Computer games are great big pixel puzzles – some require a steady aim and a canards sense of cunning, others require you to find the right pieces (keys, maps, mushrooms) to complete the puzzle.
So what do you do when your hero has a sonic screwdriver, a pacifist weapon and a skeleton key for every door in the universe?
Simple: donâ€™t include it.
Two of the driving forces behind Doctor Who: The Adventure Games City of the Daleks – Charles Cecil (Broken Sword) and Sumo Digital’s creative director Sean Millard – spoke with Computer and Video Games in a roundtable interview with writer Phil Ford, voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs, Dalek operator Barnaby Edwards. In the chat, which also included BBC’s Ian Tweedale, it transpires that they originally intended the Doctor to go â€˜hands freeâ€™ and loose his trusted tool.
Charles: Originally we were going to have it lost right at the very beginning weren’t we…?
Sean: The very first scene of the very first episode it was going to slide off into the sea…
Charles: And Stephen Moffat turned round and went, ‘No’.â€¦
With the Doctors only other weapon, the gift of the gab another gaming no-no, the developers decide to use the â€˜stealthâ€™ system of avoidance.
Once the operating system was decided on; next it was onto the other key elements of story telling in a video game; the background and environment.
As well as being able to imagine a battle-scared London beyond the limitations of the BBCâ€™s budget, the developers are the first people to fully realise Skaro, the Daleks home world barely seen in any detail since Genesis of the Daleks in 1975.
Sean: But then from a Doctor Who geek point of view what kind of privilege is that? To sort of invent what Skaro’s going to look like? That’s really been the icing on the cake with this as well. It’s like, “Oh God for forty years no-one’s actually nailed that down and we are the ones that are going to be able to do that.” It’s brilliant.
Apart from that exclusive the game is also the first time we get to here what the â€˜Red Dalekâ€™ sounds like having not utter so much as an â€˜exterminateâ€™ in Victory of the Daleks.
Nicholas: I suddenly realised that I had a lot of lines for the Daleks chasing the Doctor and Amy around London and I said to the director “Which Dalek is this?” He said, “Oh it’s the red one and I said well the red one didn’t speak in the TV episode.” So I had to come up with the red Dalek voice and now should the red Dalek ever speak in the TV series, if the Daleks ever come back, then I shall know how to do the voice…