Creating a sense of time and place
Adam D. Bormann is a Design Director at Hangar 13 Games and was the Lead Gameplay Designer on Mafia III. Previously, Adam was the primary combat systems designer for Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider. He has 19 years of experience as a game designer and has previously worked at Crystal Dynamics, LucasArts, Monolith, and Sierra Online.
Mafia III is set in a fictionalized version of New Orleans in 1968, which was politically, socially, and culturally one of the most turbulent times in the history of the United States. One of our primary goals was to transport players to that specific time and place and not only let them experience what it was like then, but to also have a world that reacted to the player’s presence and actions. This talk will discuss how we approached creating a living and reactive city, including the systems we used, the challenges we faced, and how we used narrative and gameplay decisions to ground the player in 1968 in the American South.