Meet Team Röki - Danny
1 - Introduce yourself
Oh hai, I’m Danny, narrative designer and writer.
So one part of my role is in shoring up their Alex’s and Tom’s vision, making sure all the narrative pieces fit together nicely and that the characters feel rounded and believable.
The second part is turning the wonderful placeholder dialogue (frequently hilarious, I really hope we can share some down the line) into real words that help enhance the characterisation and overall flavour and pace of the game.
2 - What was / who was your inspiration for wanting to be in the gaming industry?
My dad brought me up playing video games, starting with text adventures like Jinxter and the old Amiga RPGs like Sinbad and Rocketeer, before we both grew up a bit and started playing point’n’clicks like Simon the Sorcerer. Those games are all incredible, and frequently hilarious, intentionally or otherwise.
But it wasn’t until I randomly picked the chunky Baldur’s Gate box off the shop shelf (and then badgered my dad to buy it for me) that I realised what games were capable of in terms of storytelling and player choice.
3 - Favourite childhood game
Obviously a super tough question. It’s a struggle to think which has influenced me more, and which just gave me the most overall joy. I’d have to pick Grim Fandango.
That’s partly because I played the whole thing through with my dad. Sharing the hilarious moments and twists in the tale, and swapping potential solutions (especially when I figured something out before he did) was a defining experience of what I want from games.
As for the game itself, the puzzles can be pretty oblique and hard, especially by today’s standards, but were always creative and amusing. The day of the dead via film noir vibe still holds up today, and the writing itself is a high watermark even for LucasArts.
4 - Favourite game of the moment
All things considered, it’s probably Kentucky Route Zero, even though it’s not exactly a new release – I only very recently played the latest two episodes. There’s just nothing else like it out there in terms of ambience and imagination.
And the writing. Hoo boy the writing. It’s somewhere between Hemingway and Murakami via by the politics of poverty and coloured by the terrifying fallibility and inevitable fading of memories.
5 - Who do you think would make you starstruck?
I don’t believe in celebrities. Believing in them is what gives them their terrible power. Or is that fairies? Anyway, I stood next to Chris Morris in a tea-shop in Soho once which was nice.
I think the only living person that would really stop me in my tracks is Jonas Bjerre from my favourite band, Mew. I don’t know that I’d be able to find the words for how much his band’s music has meant to me over the years.
6 - And finally… Describe Röki in 5 words or less
Well, Alex pretty much nailed it, so I’ll take a different tack.
Adventurous, vibrant, epic yet intimate.