Interactive Storytelling for Video GamesSupplemental MaterialTeaching AidsAbout the BookInteractive Storytelling for Video Games
Lunar Silver Star Harmony Q&A with Kei Shigema (Scenario Writer at Game Arts)

Josiah: What were your biggest inspirations when creating the story of Lunar?

Shigema-san: I was watching the moon float in the blue sky at dusk. It was easy to look at that white light and say that people must be doing this in another place as well. I felt like I could hear her voice whispering in my heart...
I wrote the story [of Lunar] because I wanted to share these thoughts with everyone.

Josiah: Lunar contains many memorable characters. Which is your favorite character and why?

Shigema-san: In the first Lunar, Mia. In Lunar 2, Lucia. What a coincidence that both are girls... Sorry, that's a lie. *laughs*
The scene with Mia where Vane fights the machine tower is the best!
She should have been crushed by all the responsibility that was placed on her, but she awakened and released her power. The moments when people have to take a stand are always touching.
For Lucia...I really love everything about her.
Her character is like a doll becoming human. I think this is represented well in the game because, although she is a party member, she is AI controlled and doesn't follow the player's commands.
It is very impressive how you can imagine the emotions conveyed by her movements.

Josiah: Though Lunar: The Silver Star was first released in 1992 and it remains popular to this day. To what does Lunar owe its continued success?

Shigema-san: It's a timeless work and the staff and I really appreciate that.
I think everyone accepts the story because it faithfully follows the simple swashbuckler "boy saves girl from the bad guys and helps save the world" style.
During the development we strongly believed in the power of the story and I just ran straight ahead, focused on writing the story and characters.
...I mean, I just wrote it. *laughs*

Josiah: What is the most important thing to remember when writing a video game story?

Shigema-san: Unlike novels, movies, and the like, game scenario writers must always keep in mind how people will react when playing the game.
Considering that games are interactive, we must always imagine the thoughts and requests of the players and try to remain half a step ahead.
In addition, the story isn't just a simple scenario. It must also be told through the game design and systems.
In other words, you need to always be aware that you're writing a "game" scenario.

Josiah: In what ways do you think video games and their stories will change in the future?

Shigema-san: I honestly don't know how the average game story will evolve.
In some games, advances [in technology] will allow for a power of expression that is almost the same as in movies.
My own thoughts such as "I want adventure," "today I want to see a different tomorrow," or "I want to try for a favorite child" are simple to say but I want to better express the strong feelings behind them.

Josiah: Thank you very much for your time.

Shigema-san: You're welcome.

***Translated by Josiah Lebowitz

Interactive Storytelling for Video Games: A Player-Centered Approach for Creating Memorable Character and Stories
By Josiah Lebowitz and Chris Klug     Copyright 2011 by Focal Press
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