Oli Smith

With Doctor Who: The Adventure Games you’re in control of the Doctor but he’s never out of control of the situation: How do you create a sense of peril for the player?

It’s an interesting problem, and the way we’ve tried to keep that tension is to kind of alternate the player from being slightly ahead to behind the Doctor in terms of his thoughts and awareness. A level with Amy might reveal a story element that the Doctor has yet to find out about- so you might know he’s walking into danger but he doesn’t. Vice versa the Doctor might have been planning something all along – having it tick over in his mind as you’re carrying out a more immediate objective – but it’s not until he announces it’s time to put his plan into action that the player can heave a sigh of relief.

There are also some really crazy moments where you’ll just look at the game and go “What the – how are they going to get the Doctor out of that?!” It keeps you guessing, but it doesn’t cheat, the solutions have just been disguised.

In game terms that’s great, especially on the Wii, you as the player know exactly what you’ve got to do and how to do it, but you also know the Doctor hasn’t got a plan beyond that- so when that objective is completed the next mission is ‘right, how do I get out of this one then?’

Are there any Jammie Dodger moments in these games?

Definitely- it’s those moments that really turn the game into Doctor Who. The sense of humour is important, as is the Doctor’s reaction to even the most perilous situations- so there’re a lot of jokes. Especially with the DS’s graphical style we’re able to go a more Douglas Adams route with the tone of the story and some of the more surreal elements. But that doesn’t mean we’ve lost the drama- the Daleks are as terrifying as ever and because we’ve got time to flesh out the supporting characters it’s easy to empathise with them when they’re in peril.

In short, expect lots of exciting showdowns and some interesting twists right the way through!

Did you feel any pressure writing the Doctor’s first game on the Wii (I’m not counting Top Trumps: Doctor Who)?

Doctor Who and games – it’s a dream job isn’t it? You need the story to work, you don’t want Matt to go “this doesn’t sound like the Doctor” and you don’t want to give the level designers an impossible task- when there are so many people involved there’s more than enough pressure there without thinking of any larger implications!

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