Interviews// Haze's Screen Writer, Rob Yescombe

Posted 23 Apr 2008 09:26 by
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Games: Haze
SPOnG: Some of the Mantel guys have crosses on their helmets. Is that a reference to anything?

Rob Yescombe: (Grins). It's NOT a Jesus reference! I can't stress that enough. It was just something that someone thought looked cool.


SPOnG: OK. But if Jesus was in Haze, what side of the conflict would he be on?

Rob Yescombe: (Pauses). It's a good question. He would be one of the butterflies that lands on your gun if you stand still for long enough. In the jungle, they might land on your gun. You can shake them off.


SPOnG: With the Sixaxis?

Rob Yescombe: You know, I don't know if they ended up doing that. You can just move and they'll come off. But we should have done Sixaxis. That's a trick missed. You know, you're telling me right. Maybe it does! We should find out. I can't wait to find out.


SPOnG: If it's not...

Rob Yescombe: Then you don't have to buy the game. I'll give you a copy for free.


SPOnG: Could you speak a little about the scripting process? You've said that you started with 100 pages and now you're over 1,000.

Rob Yescombe: The process is, I write, basically, a screenplay, which is the narrative structure, the skeleton, if you will. It's like reading a movie. It's like ? 'this is what we want the ideal narrative experience to be. Then, on top of that, your bolting on all the mission objectives, the in-game speech...

So, as different game units are designed and developed, then of course you need to provide the sign-posting and the dialogue for that as well, so it kind of blossomed like that. But it's all centred around that initial 100-page through-line of the story.


SPOnG: The voice acting is looking good. The bit with the *******EDITED FOR SPOILERS******* was impressive.

Rob Yescombe: Yeah! That's a guy called Chad Ellis. But, other guys we've got in there ? (the main character) Shane Carpenter's played by Bertie Carvel, who is playing that in a very particular way for a very particular reason. He's an up-and-coming guy... very good. We've got Rupert Evans, who you may know from Hellboy, he's the...


SPOnG: Was he Abe Sapien?

Rob Yescombe: No, he's the young guy who's looking after Hellboy. Agent John Myers. As well as that, the guy playing the rebel leader, Skin Coat Merino, is a guy who used to be quite a big star in Spain (Carlos Riera). He retired, and he came out of retirement, when he read the script, to do this! I'd heard him reading a Book at Bedtime on Radio 4, and he's got this amazing voice, so I begged him to come and do (Haze). He's done a really great job.


SPOnG: How long did you have the guys in for with the voice acting?

Rob Yescombe: One thing that was really important to me in the casting and directing was I didn't want to do what a lot of other games do, which is record all the voices separately. So, all the main characters who were in that 100-page story together, we had them all in the studio, all recording together, because some of these guys have worked in radio, so it's like a radio play, effectively. That meant that they could act off each other, instead of me recording one guy, recording a line one way, then having to explain to the next guy, 'this is how the other guy did this line.' It's much better, 'cos then there's chemistry, you know?


SPOnG: How does it compare to other voice acting sessions you've had?

Rob Yescombe: Well, Haze is my first game, but the things I've brought from spending some time in the TV and film industry ? part of that was having actors actually working together. Having had experience directing people before, that's something that Free Radical gave me free reign to do. Hopefully it's paid off pretty well.
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