Navid Khonsari, a former writer and director for Rockstar Games, is working on an interesting game that retells the real story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran, Iran. Khonsari is responsible for the "cinematic feel" introduced in Rockstar's breakout hit, Grand Theft Auto 3, and for his work on Remedy's Max Payne series and Alan Wake. After leaving Rockstar, Khonsari formed Ink Stories with his wife in New York City.
Speaking to Russia Today (interview on the left), Khonsari said that he wants to tell the story of the Iranian Revolution with a focus on the U.S. Embassy takeover that ultimately led to the Iran Hostage Crisis. Khonsari wants to tell a deep story based on different perspectives from a multitude of playable characters:
"We're primarily looking at about 8 to 10 different roles," he told RT. "Initially, you'll start the game off as Iranian -- but American-born US State Department translator -- who's coming in with the objective of trying to free the US hostages."
Khonsari went on to say that he plans to use history to flesh out the game's story and characters. For example, the relationship between Iraq (Saddam Hussein) and the U.S. will be explored.
One of his main goals in creating this game is to encourage dialog between both Western and Middle-Eastern players:
"One of the main objectives here was to start some kind of social dialog amongst people who are gonna play it -- not just in the West, but around the world," Khonsari continued. "Things aren't so black and white when you are able to understand the side of the victim, as well as the side of the aggressor."
"It's not a matter of bad guys going after good guys, or good guys going after bad guys," he emphasized. "whether they're Iranian, American, pro-democracy, pro-theocracy; whether they just want to make money on the side by sneaking in alcohol; or whether they want to make sure everyone wants to follow the religious rules of Islam."
"These are all different stories, and to be able to actually convey that and let people interact as those players," Khonsari continued, "I thought would just open up this entire genre of gaming" -- not that he would say exactly which genre 1979: The Game belongs to, or, really, anything too concrete about its development.
Check out the video interview for more.