Trey Parker Risked It All For The New South Park Video Game ‘The Fractured But Whole’ – Forbes
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are known for tackling heroic workloads on the fly in order to get their show on the air every week. But in the production phase of the franchise’s new video game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole (out Oct.17), the 47-year-old Parker couldn’t resist performing an even more hardcore feat out of devotion to a vision.
“The recording process was daunting,” says Frank Agnone, executive producer of the long-running Comedy Central animated television series and its affiliated video game projects. “Plus, about five weeks before we got to the backend of the work that needed to be done, Trey had his gallbladder removed–he was really sick. We lost him for about two-and-a-half weeks: that set us back considerably as well, but we managed to rebound. There was even one day Trey was in the hospital, he convinced his doctor to let him leave the hospital to come to the office to record some dialogue and then he could turn around and go back to the hospital.”
Amid a wave of laughter from members of South Park Digital Studios and the game’s developer and publisher, Ubisoft San Francisco, the show’s art director and producer, Adrien Beard (who also voices Token Black), adds: “He’s deathly walking out the door, I’m like, ‘Dude, you should totally be in the hospital–what are you doing? You’re gonna die!’ He’s like, (in a frail voice) ‘I just want the game to be sweet.'”
Before Season 21 of the series began on Sept. 13, Parker and Stone (who are each big gamers) had created a fresh storyline for South Park: The Fractured But Whole that expanded on the Seasons 13 and 14 “Coon and Friends” saga where the boys and their classmates play superheroes by forming a watered-down Justice League in Eric Cartman/”The Coon’s” basement.
It’s a running joke around the office of South Park Digital Studios in Marina Del Ray, Calif. that the show has no idea what they’ll churn out from week-to-week. So although fans playing “The Fractured But Whole” will quickly recognize a direct overlap between the game’s inciting incident and that of the “Coon and Friends” storyline from October 11th’s Season 21, Episode 4 entry “Franchise Prequel,” its incorporation into the series wasn’t premeditated by Parker and Stone.
“The Fractured But Whole” serves as the sequel to 2014’s “South Park: The Stick of Truth,” a positively received single-player role-playing (RPG) game also published by Ubisoft San Francisco that complimented the show’s Season 17 “Black Friday” serial, which itself was a three-episode satirization of the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones.
To ensure the creation of a “sweet” game that implemented key lessons from the experience of making “The Stick of Truth,” South Park creators Parker and Stone took a more active role in all phases of the new game’s development in order to bolster the aspects of comedy and gameplay therein. Central to that objective was the penning of a massive script covering a multitude of interactive scenarios with roughly 30,000 lines of dialogue that was “the equivalent of about four to five feature films,” according to Agnone.