July 29 / 2016

The Assembly: Constructing the Characters

We’re cracking on with our series of development blogs, where we give you, the gaming community, an inside glimpse into how we created our first major title for high-end VR systems, The Assembly. In this update, we’ll be taking you through how we crafted The Assembly’s cast of characters, and how they offer contrasting perspectives on this mysterious organisation.

If you'd like to meet these characters for yourself, you can purchase The Assembly game on Steam, Oculus Home, Green Man Gaming, Humble Bundle and GamersGate, priced at $29.99 / €24.99 / £19.99.

Fantastic academics and where to find them

For The Assembly, we wanted to create a grounded version of a fantastical idea. We’ve all heard stories and theories about elusive collectives of mavericks, but how would such a facility function? What kind of people would they hire? And what happens to them over time?

The Assembly as an organisation attracts a rather specific type of person – successful, recognised, highly intelligent, and (dare we say it) egotistical. The Assembly wants the best of the best in its midst, and they create a way for these individuals to escape from the outside world without a trace.

Don’t let it go to your head

Once these geniuses have been properly inducted into the Assembly, they find themselves in an extreme situation. Outside of the Assembly, you are brilliant, one of a kind. But within the Assembly, you have to fight to prove yourself amongst your peers – who are as equally talented and intelligent as you. The desire to prove yourself sets in amongst this claustrophobic, all-encompassing setting, where everything is controlled and everyone is watching you.

This melting pot of paranoia, talent and technology allowed us to create more fully-rounded, realistic, and ultimately flawed characters, who are at the heart of The Assembly.

It takes two

Take Madeleine Stone, one of two protagonists in the story. Following the fallout of her scientific careers, Madeleine wants to hide from the world and its harsh judgement on her experiments. The Assembly creates a unique opportunity for her to do precisely that, exploiting her situation to their advantage. It is easy for an organisation to recruit an isolated and traumatised individual, rather than someone whose life is complete and harmonious.

Conversely, Cal Pearson’s experiences mirrors Madeleine’s own encounters but from within this insular world. The respect and recognition he once enjoyed amongst his peers has taken a turn for the worst after a failed experiment and a broken relationship. He was at the top of his game, but now he blends in with the crowd. Life for Cal in the Assembly is not what it used to be.

Nothing is what it seems

Through exploring the Assembly's bunker, you examine the extreme situations it creates and the characters who find themselves caught up in its net. There’s the new recruit who doesn't quite know what to make of her surroundings, the doubting veteran eager to restore his reputation, failed and blossoming relationships amongst employees trying to make a new life for themselves, and manipulative leaders carefully monitoring the finest details.

At the core of The Assembly are the two main characters’ differing perspectives. Throughout every level, you interpret the characters and their motivation in your own way, and uncover the secrets that the Assembly has been hiding from the world.

We’re here for you, virtually

If you have any questions about The Assembly, feel free to send us a message via The Assembly's Facebook page or tweet us with the hashtag #TheAssemblyVR.

If you’d like to know more, you can also find nDreams on Facebook, reach us via our dedicated subreddit, find more videos on our YouTube channel and check out our board on Pinterest for screenshots of all our titles.

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