The Story of Trauma Team
Teppei Kobayashi – Story Writer
Hello! My name is Teppei Kobayashi and I was given the honor of writing this game's scenario. Ben (Benjamin Franklin), who sang the game's ending theme, and my other friends call me “Teddy,” so please feel free to remember me by that.
The reason I got to participate in the development of this game was because I just happened to have a friend who’s a doctor. When the previous game in the series, Trauma Center: New Blood, was being made, the director was looking for a doctor the designers could consult with. At the time, I was involved in a project called Etrian Odyssey 2 (another wonderful game!), but since I was a fan of the Trauma Center series, I decided to go over and tell him that I may be able to help out. I said, "Would you like me to ask my friend who's a doctor?"
Well, it turned out they’d already found a doctor, so unfortunately I couldn’t be much help... But when the Trauma Team project began, the director suddenly called for me and said, "I want you to write a tear-jerking story with 6 doctors as the main characters!"
I was completely dumbfounded! Even though this would be for a game, the story would deal directly with people’s lives, and I couldn’t take it lightly. Lately, there have been a lot of opinions going around saying that violent games have harmful influences on children. If the impact of games in our society is so strong, I thought that we could use them as good influences, not just bad ones. I made the decision to join the development team with the mindset that we’d be creating a game that doesn’t take lives, but saves them!
The next day, I began tackling medical books and papers like mad. (I'm still rummaging through them even while I'm writing this!) Why? There are 6 main characters in this game. There's no way that all of them would be doctors in the same field of medicine! I had written various scenarios before taking up my current job, so I did have some knowledge on the medical field through my previous work, but that was definitely not enough for this project.
When I work on a piece of work, I always think that "realism" is important. It’s not that it has to be 100% “reality,” without any kinds of dreams or fantasy, but it can’t be obviously fake. The realism is what gives off a sense that the events could happen for real.
That's why I needed to know the different fields of medicine, what kind of diseases there are and how they're treated, what kind of people hold interest in those fields, what kind of education they go through to become medical specialists, their lifestyles, their troubles and worries, etc. After researching existing diseases thoroughly and listening to what actual doctors have to say, I would have to keep thinking while writing every exchange in the game: “What if something like this really happened?” You could say that everything in this game might become reality at some point, somewhere in our world.
(By the way... Are you curious to see what my house is like? My friend who came over once laughed when he saw it. He said, "Where are you talking to me from? All I can see are books!")
While we were developing this game in 2009, a heart-rending and dreadful incident occurred. A new type of influenza originating from swine flu, "Influenza A (H1N1)," became rampant and WHO [the World Health Organization] had to announce a phase 6 pandemic. It made us realize that as we live each day, there’s something we don't give much thought to but stays close to us at all times: how precious life is, and how much we fear disease, injury, and death. I wanted to convey that message through Trauma Team, but it wouldn't even reach the players if they didn't play through the game. That’s why we included various systems for people to want to learn more about what happens in the story.
For example, this game looks as if the episodes are lined up in sequential order, but the player can play from wherever they want. If you get tired of playing the surgeon's story, you could jump over to play a little bit of first response, or try out forensics in the spare moments between endoscopic procedures... You can find a character that you like and focus on their episodes first. Or instead, you can follow the episodes chronologically to analyze the story. No matter how each person plays the game, the information we want them to see is clearly visible so they understand what's going on. At the same time, the hints of coming events are left subtle for those who realize... By doing so, anyone can easily understand the story, but they'll come to realize an unseen truth depending on the order they progress through the game. Interesting, isn’t it?
Also, we narrowed down the characters that appear in the game in order to prevent the story from becoming dull as it progressed. It’s commonly misunderstood, but packing characters into a story doesn’t necessarily make it more interesting. On the contrary, zooming in closer on each character to depict their personalities, relationships, personal conflicts and growth is what creates characters that people can relate to. If you pick up this game, the characters will be glad to invite you as a part of their team!
Please cry with them a lot, laugh with them even more, and "live" your life with them. They’ll immediately rush to your help if you're in trouble. For example, a character that had been a main character a moment ago may support your operation somewhere else...! And at the end of the story, you’ll want to cherish those precious to you a little more than before. We hope that you’ll enjoy our extremely cool, exciting, and touching game that is Trauma Team!
Now, pick up your scalpel. You’re the only one that can save this life!