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Ketchaval

believable charcters.

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Star Wars trilogy vs. Lord of the Rings trilogy. Both are good, but I don''t find myself caring for the Star Wars characters, they don''t feel like real human beings to me. But in Return of the King I felt engaged with the characters thinking -look that way! when an enemy was creeping up on them.

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That''s a fascinating observation.

Characters with which an audience member can easily identify are a critical element in a movie. However, in a game, the interaction is a little more active, and so a fabulously rounded, history-rich, carefully written character can actualy be a hinderance.

It is easier to immerse yourself in an avatar that has relatively little in the way of character depth. If his personality, appearance, and mannerisms are all realistically portrayed in exhaustive detail, then the player is separate from the character, and will be less inclined to identify with him. On the other hand, if a character is mostly flat, and fairly generic in outward appearance, history and personality traits, then he becomes a blank canvas onto which the player can imprint his own identity, allowing the player to become more intimately involved with that character and his world.

Player investment, not designer detail, is the true measure of a video game protagonist''s value, and will determine the degree to which a player feels emotionally connected to him.

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quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
That''s a fascinating observation.

Characters with which an audience member can easily identify are a critical element in a movie. However, in a game, the interaction is a little more active, and so a fabulously rounded, history-rich, carefully written character can actualy be a hinderance.

It is easier to immerse yourself in an avatar that has relatively little in the way of character depth. If his personality, appearance, and mannerisms are all realistically portrayed in exhaustive detail, then the player is separate from the character, and will be less inclined to identify with him. On the other hand, if a character is mostly flat, and fairly generic in outward appearance, history and personality traits, then he becomes a blank canvas onto which the player can imprint his own identity, allowing the player to become more intimately involved with that character and his world.

Player investment, not designer detail, is the true measure of a video game protagonist''s value, and will determine the degree to which a player feels emotionally connected to him.



This question might not have been more completely answered, I just wanted to add that often, a tinge of lamentation, or, something the character had happen to them before they arrived in scene is a good way to pump up the empathy. A lot of the investment we had in the characters from any of the Lord of The Rings movies was due to the initial backstory that was run at the beginning of the film when the Sword of the Kings was broken, and the Lord of the Rings was removed from the Dark Lord''s hand.

That backstory essentially gave all motivations to all characters (gollum''s notably) and set all events in motion irrevocably.

So, when designing a character, think a little bit about the challenges they have faces as well as the advantages they possess and you might find your characters having a little more dimension, a little more empathy and player investment in their interaction with these characters.

food for thought,
Adventuredesign

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I think the more the player gets involved with the character the better the game will be. When people play games thay want something to make them feel like there is a reason why they are playing the game, that they are actually getting somewhere.

Games are often repetitive, take Prince of Persia for example. Ok that was one of the first game of it''s type but the character was the reason for wanting to play the game. He was interesting.

Take the games that have become world-wide hits.
Tomb Raider
Half Life
Counter-Strike

Ok there are a few exceptions like Quake. That is character based but not as much as the others.

People like to relate to something. You have to be careful though not to leave the game design alone because you are creting the character.

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I might have a hard time making out what exactly makes the Lord of the Rings trilogy so appealing to the public, but what I know is this :
if I can convince my church going, "Role playing games are evil!" mum, and my 7 years old little sister, to watch it,
AND have them actually like it, I say,
this trilogy is something that must be studied by the future generations
Surely we can learn something from Peter Jackson.

I mean, my MUM !? O_o Next thing you know she ll read the books...


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by ahw

Surely we can learn something from Peter Jackson.

I mean, my MUM !? O_o Next thing you know she ll read the books...



Just watch out if she watches his other films, which are gross and very gory > Bad Taste, Braindead, Meet the Feebles.
P.J''s Heavenly Creatures is a very good film though. the Frighteners is fun.

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Yeah I know, I follow Peter Jackson since I saw BrainDead. The funniest, goriest movie I have ever seen You can imagine how surprised I was when I heard he was gonna direct LotR ! And yet look at how he succeeded ! This guy started with fully fledged gorefest movies, and ends up doing a Hollywood budgeted, fun and thrills for all the family, crowd pleaser.
Amazing, I tell you.


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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quote:
Original post by ahw
I might have a hard time making out what exactly makes the Lord of the Rings trilogy so appealing to the public, but what I know is this :
if I can convince my church going, "Role playing games are evil!" mum, and my 7 years old little sister, to watch it,
AND have them actually like it, I say,
this trilogy is something that must be studied by the future generations
Surely we can learn something from Peter Jackson.

I mean, my MUM !? O_o Next thing you know she ll read the books...


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !



I think it was Peter Jackson who learned something from J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
first person games can also benefit from having more believable characters, and Valve are investing heavily in their character technology.

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quote:
Original post by ahw
Yeah I know, I follow Peter Jackson since I saw BrainDead. The funniest, goriest movie I have ever seen You can imagine how surprised I was when I heard he was gonna direct LotR ! And yet look at how he succeeded ! This guy started with fully fledged gorefest movies, and ends up doing a Hollywood budgeted, fun and thrills for all the family, crowd pleaser.
Amazing, I tell you.


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !


His work in horror came in handy though. Just look at Shelob''s Lair. I had read the books, but I was definitely impressed with its creepiness.

-----------------------------
A world destroyed, a myth rebord. Some truths should remain untold...

Check out NightRise today, coming eventually from DanAvision Software Entertainment.

http://www.danavisiongames.com

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