Square Enix: It’s harder to make people laugh than cry

With The Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers released in North America recently, we’ve been chatting to Square Enix about its latest Wii game and the kind of work that goes into making it. The newest game in the Final Fantasy spin-off series has much more of a focus on comedy, and we wanted to know what goes into making a gamer laugh. Square Enix told us.

“I think that a true hero is someone who never forgets his sense of humor,” explains producer Akitoshi Kawazu.”I personally really love the characters’ light-hearted conversations and monologues during the tense situations [in Crystal Bearers]. In addition, there are many instances where the town’s people and monsters will respond with comical reactions. I think that players will have a genuinely fun time interacting with them.

“Making someone laugh is actually more difficult than making them cry, and I don’t really have the right answer or formula to ensure that the humor does not fall flat. However, I do think that injecting an element of surprise at just the right moment is important in trying to make your audience laugh.”

Of course, it doesn’t help that many games’ idea of humor is being “zany” and having bug-eyed comedy animals shout at one another. Steer clear of that and you’re already on your way to a game that’s funnier than most.

Jim Sterling