Khaya (Cinematic Project)

Project Overview

Role: Writer
Team Size: 3 developers

Khaya is a Cinematic project meant to show the beginning of a game. It’s the story about a Spirit being trained to take care of the world. She refuses it, and that has big consequences. It was the first time I wrote dialogue for a scene, and it was praised by people who worked on games such as Mass Effect Trilogy, Mass Effect Andromeda, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Witcher 3, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Far Cry 5 and Firewatch.

It was nominated for Excellence in Cinematics at Vancouver Film School.

Project Details and Challenges

Since it was the first time I was writing dialogue, I was constantly asking for feedback from experienced writers, the voice actresses and the rest of the team. Khaya started as the artist’s vision, and we had constant meetings to make sure we kept the story cohesive in just a few minutes. It was also interesting to build a backstory and ideas about what could happen in the future of this story, making sure that what was presented felt real to viewers.

Challenges: Khaya was not just the first time I wrote dialogue, and the first time working with voice actors and developing a relationship between characters. I asked actors and developers I knew on tips about how to manage that. We had a few major structure changes, and making sure that everyone was on the same page about them was a challenge by itself. Additionally, the sound is a bit low. It is definitely something I would go back and change if I had the time for it.

I learned a lot from this project that I applied on future projects. For example, the writers from the games I mentioned on the Project Overview section gave me some feedback about how some lines could be different – and all of them could help improve the cinematic. On the other hand, I worked on them for different titles, and I could see how helpful all of it was.

Roberto Guedes