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how bad is too bad?

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hello you''re making a game right. and u have this really good story, and you have picked out a really evil sounding name for ur baddie. now what are u going to do to make your baddie "BAD"?? you could make him/her be a baby killer......but that has too many morals attached to it. you cant put that in a game!!! are u nuts ?? kill babaies?? yeah of course the user will then want to do anything s/he can to get that B%!&H. but ur game will probably never be release because of censorship issues. so then you think to urself, how can i make users really hate my bad guy. I want the user to to WANT to kick ass. i want the user to be so discusted, and have so much hatred to this bad guy, that even if the rest of the game is crap s/he''ll still play it just to kill this ass!!!. then you (being the genius that u think u are) put an obstacle in the game that makes it impossible to kill this guy. like he dissapears!! now the usetr has soooo much pent up anger. . . AND U JUST TOOK AWAY HIS AREA OF REALEASE. so now he goeas and beats the crap out of his little brother so how bad do u think the bad guy should be? how bad is too bad??

Al
"For us it''s a natural disaster....For him/she it''s a damn memory leak..." [Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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There''s no such thing as too bad. What there is however - and we see this a lot in modern movies/TV - is "too flat." The best bad guys are the ones with complex, intriguing personalities, with their own weaknesses and vices and virtues. Sometimes you really hate the guy, but sometimes you just want to root for him.

Just "bad" is applique, and the first thing you''re taught in drama class is how boring applique is (and your teacher mught use Keanu Reeves as an example - repeatedly). Your character needs to be bad for a reason, needs to have a motivation, and needs to always act in accordance with that.

In Mulan (yes, I know, strange example) the bad guy, his henchmen and his army come across two Imperial scouts. He tells them to go tell the emperor that he''s coming, letting them both live. Then he has an idea and turns to his archer. (Text paraphrased):
How many messengers does it take to announce my advance? ...Only one.

The action isn''t shown. Nothing more than his evil grin and the archer stretching his bow, but you know what happens. Now that''s bad!

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Ooo I don''t know. This one is pretty tough. Have you seen Seven? I would say emulate that dude cause I can''t think of much worse than that. I like the idea, but I''m also not sure I want to play a game where I actually have EMOTIONS towards the people I''m killing....

Somewhat of a moral dillema you''ve brought up. How bad is too bad. Hmm, very good question

Make him as bad as you can imagine, push the envelope, get your game banned in 25 states, at least it will have media attention

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Guest Anonymous Poster
When I saw Oluseyi''s post I was thinking Seven too.That is by far the best development of a villian I have seen in a movie(it didn''t hurt that Kevin Spacey is a great actor).

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Seven is an excellent example. The bad guy has motivation - an insane obsession with "punishing" people for the "seven deadly sins" - and is sufficiently flawed and complex. He then turns the scenario inside out by making himself the seventh sinner and the protagonist (Pitt) the judge. Brilliant. Bad!

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ok so thats a bad guy in movies, and while we''re on the topic i always thought that the baddy from swordfish (john travolta) made a "good" bad guy. u didnt like what he was doing, BUT on some insane level there was some kind of truth to why he was doing what he was doing.

but how bout games. what about the badguys in games. i think creating a bad guy for a game is much more harder. because u have the added element of user interaction. and you have to have the user interact with your bad guy to get rid of him....it dosnt happen how you want it to happen like in the movies. in games u have to find a way to make the user make it happen.

ok so what if ur bad guy has done so much bad. but then "turns"...s/he starts showing emotion, his decision starts getting affected by the "good side". now u think th euser would appreciate somethin glike that. maybe the user still wants to kill him. but now since in ur design u''ve made him good. u make him unkillable.





Al
"For us it''s a natural disaster....For him/she it''s a damn memory leak..."
[Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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It really depends on how much interaction vs story you''re going for as well. The more story your going for, the more you can dramatize it. But I think it would be more interesting if you get to interact with the main bad guy several times BEFORE the end of the game. Sure if you kill him, no more game right? What if the game isn''t quite scripted, so you might meet up witht he bad guy early on and see something hes doing, know hes the bad guy, and just shoot him then. Now he''s dead. But because you didn''t have any evidence to convict him (assuming you play the cop) you go to jail for it. SO you gotta wait it out and get evidence to prove the guy is pure evil. You gotta outsmart him. But you don''t know WHAT he''s going to do next, cause its not totally scripted.

Whatever the game is, you have to take care to make him believable. He can''t just be another supervillain trying to take over the world. He has to have motivation of some sort, and he has to have some depth or you won''t be able to get many people to feel anything about him.

If anyone has seen the anime "Now and then, Here and Now", the bad guy in that is quite interesting. He''s a bit mad, and he''s OBSESSIVELY in love with the "good" girl, he also has quite a superiority complex, but the way he acts is so entertaining to watch. The destruction his game causes to people''s lives is truly evil however.

And for the record, I can''t watch another Kevin spacey movie after seeing that without getting nightmares

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Antagonism.

While its quite important to carefully construct an antagonist figure through history and events, its more important that the antagonist is tailored for the protagonist on the personal level. If you watch the movie "Enemy At The Gates," Jude Law and Ed Harris, while never meeting face to face, complement and antagonize each other. In the grand scope of the historical fight going on, these characters both became irrelevant, however the story followed their little sniper''s duel. Theres also the Seven example. Its one thing to be a truely fucked up badguy, but a direct antagonist sometimes works better.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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I always though dr soran the ''baddie'' in star trek :generations was good. He was obsessed with living forever, was generally a reasonable guy, but had been driven to think that we would all die anyway so it didnt matter how. Thus he was going to kill millions as a by product of getting himself to the nexus. He wasnt a classic villain, just a guy whose morals had been twisted by a unique look on life. the deaths of people had just become irrelevant to him
And he was played by malcom mcdowell

http://www.positech.co.uk

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alfmga: For some reason your description of the bad guy you want to root for reminds me of Face/Off, which (other than being rather stylish in the classic John Woo way) has all sorts of back and forth emotions for the two main stars - you just know that everyones cheering on Cage at the start, despite the fact you know he''s the evil one..

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One twist I personally like a lot is the bad guy you chase through the entire plot, only to find out that he''s not a bad guy at all, and someone else you know and trust turns out to be pulling the strings.

Or end up with no bad guy at all, and all you''ve done is chased your own (or the people''s) delusions. Ultima 6 comes to mind - finding out the Gargoyles are NOT an evil race at all.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
* SPOILER *




























Bioforge was quite cool. You were turned into a cyborg using alien technolgy against your will (it was done really well, not in a cheesy way) and your after the doctor that did it. You talk to this other friendly doctor on a walkie talky but never get to save her because the doctor escapes with her to be used for his next experiment. It would have been nice if you got to kill him but it was fairly original.

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quote:

One twist I personally like a lot is the bad guy you chase through the entire plot, only to find out that he''s not a bad guy at all, and someone else you know and trust turns out to be pulling the strings.



yeah i like this twist too.

it also makes me think of when you are after a bad guy, and another person is after the same bad guy. only you dont know that the other person is after the same guy ur after. leads to a whole bunch of problems and nice plot twists.



Al
"For us it''s a natural disaster....For him/she it''s a damn memory leak..."
[Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]

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Become truly attached to a character. Make the character unique, interesting, and useful. Encourage the player to develop that character. Then kill it.

Final Fantasy 7. Sephiroth killed Aeris.

Be sure to prevent the bad charcter from being flat, as others have said. Sephiroth was far from flat. We didn''t hate him for who he was, as we do a demon or monster. Actually we kind of liked him until he killed Aeris. We hated him for what he did.

In other words, make the "bad guy" a normal character just like your good guys, but make him do something unforgivable. I think the ideal reaction is this: The player ants nothing more than to destroy the wrongdoer, but feels a pang of guilt when he does for destroying the character.

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By the way, Sephiroth was a bit multi-dimensional. His name is actually quite ironic, since it''s based on "Sefirot", a hebrew word meaning "Number." The 2nd form of Sephiroth, "Safer" was derived from "Sepher," which made the combined name mean "Book Of Numbers" which refers to numerolgy, which involves to the Tree of Sephirot, being the path to god. Now, analyze the plot again, nothing that each of hojo''s experiements where given a tatoo, and all of the sephiroth clones only wanted to collect at the great nothern crater.

Its great knowing people who know this stuff.

At any rate, a lot of thought when into the process of turning the Given badguy into a famous war hero that snapped when he figured out that he was a creation and not even human. Thats a bad guy. If you want to make a badguy, but don''t know how, make him normal or a Good guy, then throw events at him that would make him fall apart. Even if he then acts static, he''s fully justified. Hey, works for George Lucas, right?

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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I thought that Kevin Spaceys Role in "The usual suspects" was great, how you only find out that he is bad until the very end, and he gets away. Also, how you see that shot of him killing his whole family, and then killing the bad guys Was BEAUTIFUL!

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quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
By the way, Sephiroth was a bit multi-dimensional. His name is actually quite ironic, since it's based on "Sefirot", a hebrew word meaning "Number." The 2nd form of Sephiroth, "Safer" was derived from "Sepher," which made the combined name mean "Book Of Numbers" which refers to numerolgy, which involves to the Tree of Sephirot, being the path to god. Now, analyze the plot again, nothing that each of hojo's experiements where given a tatoo, and all of the sephiroth clones only wanted to collect at the great nothern crater.




........

how did you get that info? you made the name? or is it studd that you just know? or did you actually research Sephi's name???



Al
"For us it's a natural disaster....For him/she it's a damn memory leak..."
[Triple Buffer]|[SCRIPTaGAME]|[My Old Site]


[edited by - alfmga on September 15, 2002 3:50:39 AM]

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I've recently finished reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, and it was such a great book! It had all sorts of good and bad characters, good characters doing bad things and vice-versa, good characters the society thought were bad, characters I thought were bad that ended up being brave and good.

There was Inspecteur Javert, the ruthless and highly efficient and respected policeman who did a lot of evil in the name of justice.

There was Jean Valjean, the escaped convict, who was emprisoned for stealing a piece of bread, and then again for trying to escape, who became evil and savage because society constantly rejected him, and then became good again thanks to a saintly bishop, only to find himself hunted down by his past (and by Javert).

There where many more. Again, great book.

[edited by - Diodor on September 15, 2002 5:04:07 AM]

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