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Graeme Browning Sean Wikant.  Memorable characters that the player can care about ◦ Can be complex (not hero or villain)  Not a simple challenge. Many.

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Presentation on theme: "Graeme Browning Sean Wikant.  Memorable characters that the player can care about ◦ Can be complex (not hero or villain)  Not a simple challenge. Many."— Presentation transcript:

1 Graeme Browning Sean Wikant

2  Memorable characters that the player can care about ◦ Can be complex (not hero or villain)  Not a simple challenge. Many factors effect good character design ◦ Well drawn (suitable art style) ◦ Well constructed (harmonious voice, body clothing etc. ◦ Distinctive ◦ Behave believably ◦ Relatable  Good characters are one of the main reasons you remember a game ◦ Driving force behind sequels, or paraphernalia

3  The avatar is the protagonist in the game  Players relate to character in varying degrees  Freedom to control character creation ◦ Seen in Neverwinter Nights 2 ◦ Avatar is a mask the player wears

4  Specific Characters have a history ◦ Spy Fox (talks to you) (29:50)  Non-Specific characters don’t have a back story. The designers don’t know anything about them either! Playing yourself ◦ X3 ◦ Papers Please  Middle Ground ◦ The Witcher: Play as a character based on a series of books. (middle ground because he has amnesia)

5  Indirect: ◦ Point and Click  Spy Fox ◦ Player is a guide  Direct: ◦ Steer Body  Skyrim ◦ Player becomes character, inherits their abilities ◦ Can feel like a puppet which stops the player from worrying about the character’s emotions

6  Historically game protagonists are more relatable to guys. ◦ Also seen in other forms of media  More recent games have featured female protagonists. ◦ But can be very masculine still, which still doesn’t appeal to women. They prefer more believable female characters  Women tend to prefer more avatar customization, where as men are fine with premade characters.

7  Use the previous option to cater to your intended audience  Don’t make an unjustifiably unpleasant character

8  Art Driven Character Design ◦ Come up with an appearance first and then build the character around it ◦ Good for games where the personality is stagnant or not important to the story ◦ Good for making merchandise ◦ Good for designing series mascots  Link, Mario

9  Character Physical Types ◦ Humanoids  Arms, Legs, Head, decent proportions  Animal faces are modified (ex: eyes at the front) ◦ Non Humanoids  Monsters, Cars, etc.  Can still have personalities (see any pixar movie)  Goo Balls? ◦ Hybrids  Mix of the above

10  Cartoon Qualities ◦ The physical qualities of the character describes their personality  Cool, Tough, Cute, Goofy are common stereotypes  Watch out!! Often the visual cues we associate with the above stereotypes vary between cultures.  This also depends on the target audience.

11  Hyper Sexualized Characters ◦ Exaggerate sexual attributes  Lara Croft  Samus  Kratos  Ivy ◦ Appeals to teenagers (and some adults) ◦ Limits your audience because some people hate this ◦ Doesn’t distinguish your game characters

12  Clothing, Weapons, Symbolic Objects, Names ◦ Can flesh out the characters  Back story  Personality ◦ It’s good to make use of historical or cultural meaning  Jewellery often relates to magic ability  Most game genres have associated symbolism ◦ Can be used to identify the main character easily  Keyblade  Triforce

13  Colour Palette ◦ Makes the character distinctive, and easily recognizable

14  Colour Palette ◦ Hints at personality

15  Sidekicks ◦ Allows contrast  Personality  Additional abilities ◦ Can be there to provide information

16  Story Driven Character Design ◦ Start with a character’s personality, role, and behaviour

17  Role, Attitude, and Values ◦ Good to have these well defined for a character ◦ Determines how the character reacts in the game world ◦ When it’s better show rather than tell  Appearance, Language, Behaviour  Exposition is boring!  Can use the character’s reaction to events

18  Attributes ◦ Data describing the character with symbolic or numeric values  Property  State of relationships

19  Attributes ◦ Status attributes  Change frequently  health, location ◦ Characterization attributes  Core details of the personality  skill points

20  Character Dimensionality ◦ Zero Dimensional  Discrete emotional states  Enemies ◦ One Dimensional  Spectrum for one feeling  Moral decisions are somewhat harder ◦ Two Dimensional  Multiple variables that don’t conflict ◦ Three Dimensional  Multiple conflicting variables  Any player created avatar

21  Character Growth ◦ Compare  Saints Row (Action)  Mass Effect 2 (Adventure) ◦ In games where you make an avatar, the onus for character growth is on the player ◦ Again SHOW DON’T TELL, use plot, and reaction to events

22  Character Archetypes ◦ Pre-set moulds for character’s to fit into   ◦ Can give the player an understanding of the character’s personality quickly ◦ Use as guidelines, not rules

23  Sound Effects and Music ◦ Auditory feedback for character events  ◦ Psychological expectations  ◦ Character themes  ◦ Give the player control over sounds  Music can distract from important sound effects  Cell phones are used in public  Annoying music

24  Voice and Language ◦ A character’s speech conveys a lot about them ◦ Consider:  Vocabulary  Grammar  Accent  Delivery  Vocal Quirks ◦ m/watch?v=FptizCE0wPI m/watch?v=FptizCE0wPI ◦ Voice audio files should be separate from sound effects and music

25  Whether characters are avatars created by the player or premade characters, they should fit in the world they are created for

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