In the early 90’s, after several years at LucasArts working on now-legendary adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, Dave Grossman traded his desk job for a bike.

“I was burning out both kind of personally and professionally in about 1994,” Grossman told Games4Life. “And I went on a bicycle ride from here to Canada, which is probably about 1,500 miles, I would say. It was kind of like a, ‘Let’s figure out what’s really important to me about what I do and how I actually want to do it.’

By the time he rode back home, he’d found his path. No matter where he was going, the tug of narrative would guide him.

“It’s just a piece of knowledge I’ve gained over the years,” Grossman said. “If you’re very clear with the audience about what they’re in charge of and what they’re not, then they get used to that very quickly.”

Regardless of what Reactive does, it’s all in the service of pushing interactive narratives forward. It’s what Grossman’s spent his career doing and a process Reactive began even before he arrived. The path forward for both will be about expanding possibilities.

“With Cygnus, each moment has its own breadth of what your choice is and what your choice is about,” he said. “So you’re constantly reminded that you’re not in charge of other things. But if you’re just sort of in this moment of like, ‘Oh, yeah! I get to change them back and forth, and that’s what I do.’ Then you just get very comfortable with that right away, and you can just focus on what the story’s doing and not have to worry about other stuff.

“That’s just kind of good game design, as opposed to good story design.”

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