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Using Lisp (or another language) to generate fictional characters

126 posts in this topic

here is my template for character generation i would use, it's been a while it's been done
those with a "*" mean that the character data is use in virtual character (i have concret oppose a virtual character, a group, a "force" or the dna (see generate interlude thread) is label as virtual)
PS: i have the read again my post again generate interlude thread >>>> my god, BAD ENGLISH, hope this one would be better)

notice that there is three layer:
the generic layer, where the character basic description free from contexte
the contexte sensitive layer, where the character is define from the settings context
and the narrative layer, which is the purpose of the character in the story plane, his fct

< *id (name, surname, nickname, etc...)
< appearance (description: height, weight, mark, etc...)
< *generic psychology (personnality, attitude and speaking, etc...)

< *goal, need, desire, fear, preocupation
< *preference, taste
< *standard, moral, belief
< good and bad traits
< *relation with other characters
: name of the character
: status of the relation (friends, ally, etc)
: degree and frequency of the relation
: polarisation of the relation (good/bad)
: historic of the relation
: purpose of the relation (story behind)
< status in the worldh (fct,title, influance, power, implication, reputation, patrimoin (i'm not sure of this term in englis))
< aptitude (knowledge, possibility (physic, spiritual (intelligence, sensibility etc...), social), competance, qualification)
< habit
: clothe style, makeup, jewelry, etc...
: occupation, work, hobby
: habitual place, living place, casual place, environement
: food, drink
: frequentation
< background
: origine
: story/past events (past habit, past relation, etc...)
: education
: link with the present (the story space)

< objective scenaristic (purpose and finality in the scenario)
< fonction in the story (opponent, hero, etc...)
< fonction symbolic (discursive purpose, the character as an element of language)

< luck (add some randomness)
< possible evolution (constrain or guide into some predefine change)

the generation as not to fill all slot, and some could be left blank according to the resolution/depth you need for a character
the blank would help have a more flexible use of character as well, since you could generate on the fly the needed content and face many situation
the generator also has "trick" rule to convert a profile to break impossible resolution state (the most famous is the deus ex machina or some conversion trick (a character discover that he had a family link which permit him to shift a force, and open new possibility or resolve dilemna), but the engine could also use trick like ellipse, which left blank the way of an resolution)

the narrative layer could be weight and his related to the theme layer of the whole engine, it add a meaning flow to the story, the purpose is not to have deeper story but to fit the story along some path for consistancy (goal/purpose of the story)
with a lower weight, the flow would be more like a simulation (more "real", action driven) but with a high value it became more sureal/symbolic (mythology or legend are this kind of story)

each "atom" data has a value attach to them, which permit the program to choose on purpose rather than pure randomness and help the building have consistency

more about the virtual character
the virtual aspect represent actually the mind of a character, a concrete character is only a virtual one with a "body", but for one body you could have many mind or one mind could control many body, a character is then the basic system of decision making/appraisal, it's help to control things like balance of force and give them a strategy (personnality) and a wy to make decision in a meaningful way (help avoid the mechanically type on construction, by building the style around preference of character)
the power with that if you can stop the play and let character tell his story or a story with his own point of view/taste and even more (shift the personnality of the dna to change the ambiance of a play or put the teller as a concrete character, which mean the story fold around his own experiance within the world)

any comments??

about the narrative/themes fonctionnality
the fact is that it inhibit or reinforce action/decision taken towards the theme to keep consistency

be good
be evil
but do it WELL

[edited by - Neoshaman on December 21, 2003 12:11:02 AM]

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
But as mentioned such a bit of text (or however you represent it) probably won''t be enough to produce a deep character.

I''m pretty sure that the original focus is to generate a history for a character. In any event, to respond to your remark, what makes a character deep?

Original post by Anonymous Poster
There''s another nature vs nuture argument here.


If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; so a man.

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