EA's Michael Perry, Phil Campbell and Mike Olsen, creative directors of The Godfather: The Game, talk about the process of making a compelling game based on a difficult franchise in this GDC 2007 coverage.
In this excerpt, the trio of designers say that one of the biggest challenges of bringing the book and movie series to the game world was simply fitting the playable character into the already established Godfather universe:
"The main problem mission-wise was fitting the player character – dubbed Mobface by the design team – into the story. "We felt it was important that the player character appeared in cinematics... no matter how goofy you made your character, he was there."
The first step was deciding what key scenes from the movie should be transitioned into game missions. The team created a chart indicating which characters would be in what missions, and where they would be in the living world. An example they gave of fitting the character in was the scene where Michael Corleone goes to the dinner to murder Sollozzo and McCluskey, the idea being "who was the guy who put the gun in the bathroom?" Then, "Where does the character go during the scene we all know?"
The answer apparently is that Mobface would be the one to put the gun in the bathroom, and during the murder scene he's in the background eating pasta, just off-camera in the film."