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ViolentSleep

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About ViolentSleep

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    Amateur / Hobbyist
    Game Designer
    Writer
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    Art
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  1. ViolentSleep

    Plot beats needed for Whodunnit

    I'm glad I could help. It's always a good idea to take into account how your characters will interact. More than once I've had a character that just doesn't blend into the story because they clash awfully with everything else in it. If you can work that into a game mechanic it could work out really cool! It'd be neat to see how interactions between NPCs could affect the outcome, rather than just relying on the player character to carry all the weight. Dunno how easy it'd be to do, but it'd be neat to see it in action. Most of my stuff isn't readily available. I write - a lot - but I have that awful habit of not showing it to anybody. Some I plan on developing into games, others I wrote as part of a collaborative fiction project and don't work as stand-alone stories. A few of my short stories which I've abandoned and won't further develop or edit can be read on my website though. Not sure if it's okay to link to my stuff in a post, but it's in my sig if you wanna take a look.
  2. ViolentSleep

    Plot beats needed for Whodunnit

    I find that the rather aptly named Character Generator is pretty good. It has multiple generators depending on how detailed you want to get. Seventh Sanctum also has a few good ones listed for use. As for how many characters you need, that's way too broad a question. The honest answer (even if it sounds like a cop out) is "as many as you need". I'm fortunate, whenever I write - whether short stories or for games - I have rather small casts. The stories I write don't need large lists of people. In a murder mystery type deal, however, you need a fair few to act as potential murder victims and suspects. Four side characters in addition to the two main characters is still six people you need to invent, but that's probably the number I would start with based on a broad outline of one 'friend', one 'suspicious individual' and then two neutrals. Start there and if you notice any gaps in your world building for the game (say you realise Person 3 doesn't really have anyone else to play against, and kind of just agrees with everyone. Bring in another character to act as a foil to them to increase tension), or you notice that you have a character who floats around without contributing to the story, then add or remove characters as you feel necessary. Start small. Build a solid core cast, then expand on that as needed.
  3. ViolentSleep

    Plot beats needed for Whodunnit

    Personality makes for a better experience of that character. The most interesting background in the world won't matter if they're as dull as a butter knife. But the backstory for a character matters a great deal, even if you're the only one who's ever going to see it. Spend some time writing out a character bio for each of them, and if you're really up for it a basic timeline of important events in their life. It'll help you get a more solid idea of who they are in your head, and more importantly give you some sense of their motives and desires. A character without any motivations is a plot device, not a character. Again, their specific motivations don't need to be related to the game, or why they're in the chalet. A guy who has a family, who is motivated to give his daughter a better life than his, is going to be extremely concerned with getting home to his family. Compare that with a second character who's business just went under, and blames the first character for it and who's primary goal in life is to get even. The second guy might try and frame the family figure for the murder, or kill him in addition to the murder in the hopes of getting away with it. Is the daughter at the chalet? Will the father be willing to commit morally heinous acts to protect her, or avenge her if she's hurt? Is the third character a former detective, who was forced to retire after they failed to solve a case? Has that failure haunted them? Could they see this as a way to redeem themselves, and to what extent will they go to do so? Does saving people from the murderer matter more to them than catching the killer? Whenever I write a story, I tend to develop my characters like this first. Then when I stick them in a situation (the chalet) and throw a problem their way (the murder), I have some idea of what might happen next for each of them. Your players need not ever encounter or find out about the vast majority of your character's lives if it never becomes relevant to their experience of the game. But it can really help you in making fleshed out people for your story - more than just walking plot devices. If you're looking for inspiration to get started, there's a ton of random character generators available online. Pick one and see what it comes up with. Do any catch your eye as being interesting, or something you can morph into a person in your story? Use these random characters (or even people you know) as a blueprint for your characters that you can mould into something that works. But don't just copy-paste them from the generator into your game - there's no guarantee they'll fit with what you want.
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