A somewhat big event took place in Episode 10, Wake Me Up Before You Go. The passing of a character in any show is always a big stinking deal, and it was no less so for us here at Smooth Few Films. We’ve been plotting and scheming this for well over a year now, and seeing it on screen was strange, awesome and sad.
I figured we’d have a fun discussion about it. However, since there are no doubt some of you who haven’t seen the episode yet, I’ll go ahead and put the rest of this post behind the jump. Beware. There be spoilers beyond these parts.
Even though The Leet World is a ridiculously over-the-top comedy/action/drama based in Counter-Strike: Source, we pay a lot of attention to our ridiculously over-the-top characters. One of our biggest commitments is to our characters and how they interact.
In terms of crafting these individuals, there’s a really awesome quote by the lore-master Joss Whedon about characters and danger which has always stuck with us:
In terms of not giving people what they want, I think it’s a mandate: Don’t give people what they want, give them what they need. What they want is for Sam and Diane to get together. [Whispers.] Don’t give it to them. Trust me. [Normal voice.] You know? People want the easy path, a happy resolution, but in the end, they’re more interested in… No one’s going to go see the story of Othello going to get a peaceful divorce. People want the tragedy. They need things to go wrong, they need the tension. In my characters, there’s a core of trust and love that I’m very committed to. These guys would die for each other, and it’s very beautiful. But at the same time, you can’t keep that safety. Things have to go wrong, bad things have to happen.
Our characters put themselves in constant danger. But it’s not real danger unless something goes wrong.
The death of Ahmad the Noobito was birthed back when we fully plotted out the three season arc for The Leet World near the beginning of the first season. Every character in our show has at least some small path that they travel, some bigger than others, and we knew that we wanted to do something different with Ahmad to keep him from becoming, frankly, Caboose from Red Vs Blue. Not that we dislike that character, it’s just that without some major journey like what Ahmad went through, the comparisons were going to be easy. So we came up with a story for him.
One of our goals for the show was to create interesting and compelling characters. But with Ahmad, our goals were slightly different. We really wanted to see if we could take the audience from one end of the spectrum to the other in terms of how they felt about a character. Could we make the audience hate him in Season 1 with the hax storyline, etc, and then over the course of the next year have them fall in love with him again as the “noobito”? And for those same reasons that they would have fallen in love with him (his innocence and loyalty), could he give his life to save his friends? I think it makes for a pretty compelling arc.
Seeing as how friendship is one of the main themes of TLW, Ahmad was really the perfect man for the job. He completely embodies the idea of camaraderie, and managed to do so with both his life and his death.
It’s been an interesting ride for sure, and we’re not quite done dealing with the fallout from his heroic act. It definitely affects and influences the characters moving forward in some interesting ways. And you never know, there just might be more danger waiting around the corner…
Anywho, chime in and tell us your thoughts on Ahmad. Have you ever had a character that you really cared about who met a similar fate? And if you could vote for immunity for any character still alive, who would it be? And no, the answers to that last one won’t affect the outcome. I was just curious, that’s all.
Also for those of you that want an update, Episode 11 is getting very close, but not quite close enough for me to give a guess just yet. It should be sometime in the next week or so, though.