In video gaming, there are a lot of things that need to be done right, and for games with story, one of those things is making sure that the characters are done in a way that the players either root for them, or hate them. But in the case of the protagonist, you need to make sure the player wants to be them. For the game Days Gone, Sony has admitted that they actually had to do some major changes to the personality of its main character because early feedback wasn’t positive about him.
This comes from Jeff Ross, the Director for the game, when he talked to Polygon about the character Deacon:
“We got it from everyone,” said Ross replied, talking about criticism of the character. “Just the way some of the lines were read or the way they were written. We’ve refined some of the rougher edges, where he may not have come off as the most relatable character.”
Also present was another member of the team, who added his thoughts on the process:
“We worked really hard on making Deacon’s character realistic,” added writer on the game John Garvin. “It wasn’t about trying to make him likable. We wanted him to grow over the course of the story, and you have to start him someplace, so he can end up someplace else. In the early development of Days Gone, we didn’t realize how long the player would spend with this character before he starts regaining his humanity. Nobody is willing to spend eight hours with somebody they don’t like. This was just part of us learning and growing as developers of an open world.”
A lot of editing was done of key scenes too because they, and players, felt they were too “on the nose”, but in the end, they felt that they got the job done and that Deacon comes off much better.
The game will arrive this April.