The Story of Standpoint: We Interview the Writer and Actor

In Standpoint you’re never alone. There is always another presence accompanying your journey. Who is she? Why is she here? We caught up with Michael Gillespie (Writer) and Holly Meyrick (Actor) to shed some light on the subject.

So, how did you get involved with Standpoint?

Mike: I lived in Bristol for a while and encountered the one the Internet calls Vethan; he indulged my penchant for drinking on boats. Initially we chatted a lot about comedy but in and around the discussions of his programming and my writing he pitched his concept for Standpoint.

I liked the initial premise he presented and how he wanted the game’s main mechanic to represent it; I thought I could build the kind of story he wanted and agreed then and there, on the boat, and mostly free of the effects of anything imbibed, that I would write for Standpoint.

What’s the general outline of the story?

Mike: For those of a cryptic disposition, the demo is full of hints and clues. To outline, the character you play as is working through the various stages of this labyrinth world under the supervision of the Narrator to try and discover something but has to alter the ‘Standpoint’ to do so.

I really don’t want to give anything away cheaply, but those who have searched the demo and found the secret areas will have heard a shade more of the Narrator’s character. As the game progresses the story can be unraveled until you discover who the protagonist is, the nature of the world you play through, why you are there and what the relevance is of that omnipresent voice. That’s all I’m saying.

What does the Narrator mean to you?

Holly: It’s an important role as there is a real depth of concept within this game and the Narrator is the core of this. We have discussed the motivation behind each line but it’s for the player to interpret. It’s fun being a part of the puzzle. The narrator both assists yet confuses. It’s been amazing being part of the narrative of the piece and seeing it develop!

What’s it been like so far?

Mike: It’s reminded me of the reasons I took to writing and why I’ve always had an interest in story-telling in gaming – I agree with Amy Hennig on how important creative expression is to the future development of gaming. The last game I played while working on the Standpoint plot was a major release and I couldn’t quite believe how uninteresting I found it; visually it was a spectacle and an impressive, expansive piece of work but I felt the story was so sparse I lost the will to play it.
I’d like to make Standpoint into a page-turner of a game, like that novel you can’t put down or that film you don’t want to end – that’s the challenge for me. The work everyone else is doing is great to keep up with and I get a kick out of how the script is being brought to life.

Holly: It’s been a really fun experience. It’s such a lovely team that have worked so hard to pursue their dream. It’s amazing how much they’ve accomplished. I was just around for the finishing touches really, they had done all the hard work before I was brought on to the team. Working with Dan on the sound elements has been great fun. He’s got great direction. He’s the one that makes it all sound great!

Why should we be excited for the rest of the game?

Mike: The demo is just a morsel. Knowing what is planned on the programming and building side alone is exciting. The gameplay of Standpoint gets much more challenging; it’ll use the gravity mechanic much more extensively in a lot of adventurous ways. I’ve seen a few of the art samples, which will completely change the atmosphere of the levels along with the craft of our music man. Also, I know what happens in the story so I think that the finished product is going to look, sound and play brilliantly and the plot should be addictive and a real jaw-dropper when you get there.

Holly: We’ve only really begun to scratch the surface of this game. There’s so much more to come. It explores some really complex areas of human emotion and to see that unfold in the capacity of a game is going to be a real journey!

Working with Holly in the studio has been great fun. Of course, like any recording session, we won’t want to use every take… For some behind the scenes action check out the demo blooper reel!

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