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How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

Red Dead Redemption 2 tells not one story, but 23 different stories. And if we want to consider the usual way of Rockstar Games Studio, such a phenomenon is not strange at all. Becoming a blissful avenger puts Rockstar in the role of Arthur Morgan (another member of Dutch Vander Lind). The studio's 2,000-strong team spent eight years bringing the 22 other members of the Dutch band to life, in addition to deepening Arthur Morgan and making the world around him believable and meaningful; A world filled with realistic characters with powerful stories. Does not have a clear, or even one-dimensional, narrative of Arthur; Instead, the character lives in a dynamic and rich world and, with the help of developers and players, finds his original shape and consistency.

BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?


Red Dead Redemption 2 producer Rob Nelson Referring to John Marston, the main character of Red Dead Redemption 1, said:" We had to be more careful "Let's not go too far." John, as you know, is no longer the main character of the second part, but he is one of its 23 meaningful and profound characters.

We do not intend to disappoint the audience. He was a character that people really connected with. It's exciting to bring him back as a different character. But it's also a big challenge, a good one.

People who have experienced the first part know the story of John Marston - or at least think they know - which can limit writers a lot. The production team faced several challenges while bringing to life not only the central character, but also 22 other characters of the group, each of whom was the protagonist of their personal narrative, and this was just one of them. "Having a great team of main characters in many ways was an advantage, it gave us a variety of perspectives and personalities," Michael Unsworth, lead author of Red Dead Redemption 2, said in an interview with Variety. And it helped tell the story we love - a runaway group that acts like an independent community. But it also created its own complexities. "We knew we needed an attractive mix of characters for Dutch, and the main challenge for such a great acting team is that everyone has to be unique in their own way, without getting caught up in stereotypes and repetitive adventures."

Answorth said that Rockstar, as a studio, is always trying to create characters instead of metaphors and symbols, and that this has become easier in the course of time and with the advancement of technology. Technology allows Rockstar to create characters that are deeper and more engaging. Or at least that is the purpose of the work. He explained:

"We were very obsessed with designing and constantly reviewing each character and its performance during the development process, and any dialogue we felt did not introduce the character's character in an attractive way or make sense of it." No point, we would delete or rewrite. In defining them, we put a lot of focus on their personal story; "The adventures that brought them to where they are today, who they really were and how they got here."

The production team needed to know why each member of the group was drawn to its leader, Dutch. What did you see in them? What kept them in the group? And perhaps most importantly, how did all of this affect the group members' relationship with Arthur and others? Has its own. This group is like a family that gives a sense of belonging and purpose to each individual; That's what most of these outcast characters need, whether they admit it or not.

In addition, Rockstar Games has to deal with other old characters. Marston is not the only one returning from Dead Redemption 1. "Who were those people 10 years before the events of the first Red Dead Redemption game?" Answorth explained. We also tried to be flexible and let the characters grow with the actors When you are recording for a period of several years, you gradually see things in the actors' performance that light up the spark of new ideas in your mind and some of the characters move in and out. They're going in a certain direction (which is almost always a good thing). "All of our games have included strong and weak female characters, strong and weak men, and a range of different races and genders. However, we were able to use some game mechanics (especially group camps) to delve deeper into the personality, which helped us create characters that are more elegant and attractive than ever. Because you can spend more time with them and get to know them better. Our favorite characters are not weak or strong, good or bad, but a combination of them. Our goal in all games is to find the right combination of characters to match the story we want to tell. Millions of viewers from different backgrounds, races, ages and genders experience our games, which is truly amazing; "And I think everyone's point of view is equally true, but we have always tried to tell a story about the challenges of our characters that is fascinating and complex."

BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

He said that Rockstar is doing a lot of research to reject Dead Redemption 2 and all of its games to find ways to tell the characters' story through gameplay mechanics. The main goal of the studio in each game is to find the main essence of a certain time and place, and then to extract powerful and fascinating characters from its heart. "As you get acquainted with the Dutch band, you soon realize that no one is going to head for women like Susan, Abigail, Karen, Tilly or Sadi, and if anyone," Answorth said of the women in the group. If he makes such a mistake, he will learn a difficult lesson. These are strong and self-sufficient people who have had difficult lives and have decided to escape from it and build a new path for themselves. As a result, they are very brave, flexible and supportive of each other, but they are not as perfect as everyone else. Red Dead Motion 2, like other Rockstar Games games, has a diverse cast and characters. Answorth explained:

All of our games have, as far as I can remember, multi-ethnic and diverse characters. And I do not think our approach to rejecting Dead Redemption 2 will be much different. However, as John explained in detail in the previous game, Dutch treats members of the group fairly despite all its flaws, we already had this opportunity to build a diverse group of different ethnicities and genders.


Work on rejection Redemption 2 started just when Rockstar completed the development of the first part (2010). According to Nelson, Dan Houser and several senior members of the studio were thinking about what the second part would be like. During the construction of this revenue stream, there were specific driving concepts that were very effective in shaping the final product. Hauser showed great interest in exploring the character of Duch Lind, the leader of the Wonder Lind group. "We wanted to tell the whole story," Nelson said. I think Dan had this idea in mind first.

However, it was his GTA V game that most influenced Dead Redemption 2. Dan Hauser and the writing team relied on an engaging literary technique to create the game's story. Go for something new. As a result, it was decided to tell the story of the new part of Ghetto using three main characters. These three characters were designed to have the same share of attention and playing time. With this decision, an interesting question arose in the narrative section: What should we do with the other two characters when the player is in control of one character? Rockstar Games decided to do something when the players are in control of one character, the other two characters do meaningful and realistic things and do not just roam the streets for no reason. This is especially true of Michael, who is married and has children. He leads a normal life when he is not under the control of the player, and this fascinating mechanic has been able to give more depth to the world of GTA V.

As a result, Dan implemented this idea on the 23 main characters of Red Dead Redemption 2. While you have no control over any character other than Arthur, the other characters feel alive even when you are not around them, and their characterization finds meaning and depth that gives Arthur life through his connections. Unlike TV and movies, even though there is all this interaction and dynamic narrative around the player, you do not have to get involved at all. Instead, divert your thinking to good things in life, such as the characters you love the most and feel close to.

"I hope this is an evolution of character development," Nelson said. We wanted to stay with Arthur throughout the story and see how everything changes from the beginning; "What made him the person he is today and what he experiences and how all of this affects him." So instead of playing several different characters (as we did in GTA V with three characters), we take on the role of a character who experiences many changes in his behavior and relationship with others.

When we decided that this group should be alive and dynamic, we were supposed to move this issue forward as much as possible and the game world should adhere to this principle as much as possible.

BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

As the game grew in speed, the company realized that working as a few independent studios for a game of this magnitude and complexity was not a good approach. So they gradually became a single, vast entity. And when the development process of Red Dead Redemption 2 was over, everyone knew it was made by Rockstar Games, not Rockstar North or Rockstar Lincoln. "We are a very large group now," Nelson said. "It has allowed us to harness the power of diverse regions and recruit for different jobs and situations around the world."

However, this decision has had its own challenges. According to Nelson, the most important thing was to establish and maintain communication between a large group of people. He said about 2,000 people worked on the game, 1,600 of whom are developers. An interview at the time of the game's release sparked rumors of forced overtime at Rockstar Games. In another interview, Dan Hauser said he had worked more than 100 hours a week with several of the game's main writers.


Probably Rockstar's most post-processing effort Amazing Characters has been a compelling story through powerful themes and innovative approaches. While the main theme of the rejection of Dead Redemption was "Protecting the Family at All Costs," the second part deals with the collapse of a group that's nothing short of a family. "This story is something that is falling apart," Nelson explained. In the story of Red Dead Redemption, John says somewhere that I was with a group that left me to die. He mentions this issue many times. We wanted to tell the story of why these stories.

And this decision to retell this story led the creators to want to bring several main characters to life. "We wanted a very lively group and community that the players could connect with for a long time. Likewise, everything evolved through the story, and all the characters were vital to creating such a structure - although at the beginning of development we removed one or two characters that we felt were out of proportion. The Dutch band at the end of the story looks very different from what we saw at the beginning, both in terms of atmosphere and communication between the members and in terms of number. Each member of the group enters a major process of change (whether good or bad), and they all contribute to the overall narrative and achievement. For a two-hour movie, such a large team of characters could be daunting, but when you have a game of this magnitude, it is essential that everything is realistic and believable. There were times when I wondered if we really needed 23 members in a group, because at the end of the development process we were writing a lot of AI dialogue for the game. "But I knew we needed them all, because they balanced each other and gave us the form they needed to play." "Cinema/Catsin" and "Missions" overcome and instead work to see their player living in a real world with the people he values. For this reason, Rockstar went for the concept of camp for the band; A traveling community full of people who care about Arthur and play the role of family for him. It is through these interactions and other characters and perspectives that Arthur acquires his true form and consistency. "In terms of narrative, I think Camp Group is one of the most ambitious things we've ever done," Answorth said. You are not just doing story missions with these people, you are living with them. And storytelling is completely free and is not limited to cinematic scenes.

BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

There is no pause in the game There is nothing special after the end of the missions and the percentage of forced interactions between Arthur and the other members of the group is very low. "The story is, in fact, Arthur's whole experience of the world around him, and his control is in the hands of the player," Answorth said. We couldn't create a big, dramatic movie scene and then bring the same characters into the gameplay space to turn them into lifeless robots. Their energy and behavior must always be maintained at a certain level and they must remember what is happening around them. "Overall, it was a scary and difficult challenge." And in creating this experience, the players are exactly as involved as Rockstar's 2,000-person studio. "In terms of narrative, there are similarities between Red Dead Redemption 2 and some TV drama series, but we have been able to develop characters and storylines over a longer period of time and gradually. However, television is a static and passive experience. You may have a popular character in the series for yourself, but in Red Dead Redemption 2 you can establish a direct and active relationship with your favorite character. You can spend time with him and get to know him better. As storytellers and character creators, we have to say that Arthur is not entirely ours, and yet he does not do 100% of what you want; In fact, there is a subtle conflict between the two for him. In addition to experiencing the story, you are shaping it, and that is something that comes from just an interactive experience. "

" And most importantly, all 23 characters bring with them some kind of commitment and responsibility. If we had not finished the story of these characters, we would have done something completely wrong. We do not want anything to hang in the air. "They all have their own stories, and these stories come to fruition." The players' interaction with the world created for them, and how that world gives players both control and a sense of companionship, is visible.

To provide the experience that Rockstar Games intended, studio teams must They created different systems to bring the world, its characters and the player to life. The narrative itself is built on a complex network of dialogues, actions, and interactions based on artificial intelligence. For example, the camp - as the heart and soul of the game - operates on the basis of programs that move and enliven the individual members of the group. "We wanted to get the feeling that the camp really exists," Nelson said. If you go with the group and live with them, the camp should be believable, it should convey the right feeling to you; It should not be the case that only a few people stand together for you to reach out to them and then take action. This world cannot exist for the player alone.

As a result, the team designed a camp program that focused on the actual activities of a camp (including finding, preparing, and storing food). People also have different habits such as lighting a fire or putting charcoal on the extinguishing fire. Some people get up early in the morning and some people have to drink a cup of hot coffee before doing anything. They all have different tasks to do inside and outside the camp.

BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

These ideas, you can see a sense of being alive in the game. We thought about who would do what in the camp. Who is a worker and bears his responsibility? Who is lazy? Who uses creative ways to get things done? We had to write interactions and connections for them. .

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BingMag.com How did Rockstar tell the amazing story of Red Dead Redemption 2?

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