Our recent exposure on the IndieGames Weblog has spawned a lot of comments on the main character Joe. Joe is literally an Average Joe, living an average life and taking care of an average job. Let me explain why we created such a rather dull character for our game:
We decided early on to give Joe a very weak personality to make more room for the surrounding scenery. The story takes place in both the early Seventies and in a future where mankind has become extinct, and both settings are visually rich and offers great possibilities for exploration. We felt that having a main character with a strong personality would steal away too much attention from the surroundings.
When working with Joe, we soon realized that the most interesting situations occurs when Joe’s personality is directly in contrast to the surrounding world. For example, in the above scene Joe finds himself in a room surrounded by stylish Seventies art and design. Joe has no appreciation or understanding of neither, and this enables us to have him comment on the room in funny or unexpected ways.
Joe starts out his adventure as a slightly naive working class nobody. His life is quite tragic, but he’s totally unaware of his own miserable situation. As the story progresses, he becomes gradually more aware of his own situation and is forced to evolve accordingly.