inFAMOUS is a swell game. We scored it an 8.5 in our review, and bestowed it with the Editor’s Choice award for Playstation 3 as well. One reason that inFAMOUS worked well was the story; Marc left the description of the story intentionally vague in his review, so that players could experience it for themselves. Today we sit down with the man who worked on the story for inFAMOUS, Bill Harms.
BLAST: What did you do for inFamous? What was it like working on this game?
BILL HARMS: I wrote all of the dialogue for the game, and also worked with the designers in plotting out some of the story’s finer details. For example, the player originally didn’t meet Kessler until much later in the game, and that was something that we moved up to an earlier point in the game. I also directed all of the voice actors.
Working on inFamous was a blast. Things were pretty crazy from the get-go because the writing was running late when they brought me in, so there were a lot of late nights and weekends. That said, it was important to everyone working on the game that it had a good story, so I got a lot of support.
BLAST: What other games have you worked on in the past?
BH: InFamous is the fifth game that I’ve worked on. The very first was writing the script for Rise & Fall (developed by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Midway), and then I worked at Gas Powered Games for two and half years or so. While there, I basically managed all of the writing for the company and got to work on both of the Supreme Commander games (the original game and its expansion pack), Space Siege, and some early work on Demigod.
BLAST: What were your goals with inFamous? How has it turned out?
BH: The primary goal was to give the player the sensation that they’re a realistic super hero. In the world of inFamous, there are no masks, no secret identities, etc. Cole is just Cole, he’s not “Lightning Man”. The same goes with the villains, they just go by their names. It was a lot of fun exploring that idea in terms if not only how Cole reacts to getting powers, but also how the people around him react. If super heroes were real, I think they’d be miserable “" everyone would want a piece of them.
The critical reception to inFamous has been overwhelmingly positive. (Right now we’re in the mid-80s on Metacritic.) Sony did some great marketing for the game, including running commercials during the NBA playoffs and in movie theaters. It’s certainly the biggest launch I’ve ever been a part of.
BLAST: Tell me about your comic book projects!
BH: Right now I’m writing “Impaler,” an ongoing horror series that’s published by Top Cow. There’s a trade out for the first story arc, and we’re currently half way through the second arc. The art is by ‚ British artist Matt Timson, and “Impaler’s” basic conceit is that Vlad Tepes, the “historical” Dracula is actually a vampire hunter. In fact, as vampires threaten to destroy our world, he’s the only chance we’ve got. “Impaler” was a finalist for the International Horror Guild Award, and the reviews have been great. Even if someone loves horror but doesn’t read comics, they’ll be able to get into Impaler.
I’m also in the early stages of writing a second book for Top Cow, and I also wrote a Wolverine one-shot that came out right before the movie.
Be sure to check out Bill Harms’ other work if you enjoyed inFAMOUS, and if you haven’t tried inFAMOUS yet, then go experience that as well.