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  • Valdemar Schultz Andreasen - Lead Game Designer

Walking in Anne's Shoes

Part 1: Being Anne - The Story Experience

In Forgotton Anne, our wish is to tell the story of Anne as close to our main character as we can come. Once we gain control of Anne, whatever happens to her should be similarly experienced by us. Each step that Anne takes is fueled by our will performed into control, yet we are bound inside the realm and body in which Anne lives - we experience her story as it unravels around both of us.

In order to reach this sensation, the game design starts with a simple question: "What is it like to be Anne?" As we had the plot of the story locked down, producing the game became a synchronous movement of creating the spaces to properly situate the story within a 2D-platforming environment, and thereafter, situate the gameplay. It was important for us to keep the focus on the sensation of the story, so instead of quickly letting video game tropes and mechanics dictate how the game was to be played, we had to turn the decision upside down: What tropes and concepts fit into the experience of being Anne?

Magical Naturalism

In the early months of production, we decided that being Anne was not a skill test for the savvy player. In fact, our aim is for as many players as possible to be able to partake in Anne’s journey. As time went by, we found that even the typical idea of a video game death in this context was strange to us. For this story - which is truly Anne’s story - to reach it’s conclusion, it has to be impossible for Anne to die along the way, so we decided on a high degree of naturalism to the project. This direction also meant that we couldn’t use abstract level design (e.g. floating platforms in the air for the sole singular purpose of being present for Anne’s jumping because, you know, video games). Rather, in order to sell the experience, the world in which Anne lives also needs a high level of naturalism - we have to find the story in the geography; or rather, in every part of the game