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Author Topic: character development  (Read 9672 times)

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Scarpia

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character development
« on: February 20, 2003, 08:32:01 PM »


Before gathering up a development team, try to take the game beyond the "cool idea" stage.

You will need to complete the plot. Most (90%) of the characters should be defined in RIGID detail (with the most important dialogues written), as well as descriptions of ALL rooms in the game. Beginning, middle, end, and obstacles along the way - those should be in place. You don't need all the solutions for overcoming those obstacles yet, but you will need to know which parts and puzzles will be the hard ones, and which will be the simpler ones. Most importantly: YOU MUST HAVE THE GAME ATMOSPHERE FLOWING THROUGH YOUR VEINS LIKE MAD! That feeling is the source from which the characters, room settings, and dialogues spring.

"Here endeth the lesson."



Scarpia
« Last Edit: February 25, 2003, 04:06:57 PM by Scarpia »
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Brassfire

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Re:Looking for cartoonish graphic artist
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2003, 08:52:57 PM »

What do you consider as defining a character in RIGID detail, Scarpia?

Not everything is defined for my game, so I'm not really trying to get more members at this point. Right now I have to define enough to give enough work to the members I've got! Later, I'll probably need a 3D artist for backgrounds, maybe a programmer. The team is fine for everything else.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2003, 09:42:35 PM by Brassfire »
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Scarpia

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Re:Looking for cartoonish graphic artist
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2003, 04:18:39 PM »

If I could remember the quote right, I would refer to the beginning of a book by Milan Kundera. He claims that characters (in books in his case) do not necessarily depict real life people, rather do they reflect feelings or moments. Thus, one of his characters originated from "a rumbling in his stomach", and another from the german sentence "einmal ist keinmal", roughly translated "once is nothing".

That could be considered "rigid detail" to Milan Kundera, as these simple descriptions, to him, would describe a person's very essence. An artist or animator would probably not be able to extract the same depth of the characters.


So "rigid detail" is variable, depending on the team, the character, and the situation overall. In case of an adventure game character, I would say an entire page of text (hand--written) is minimum for a core character. Then again, we would all know exactly what I meant by a simple description like "eager youngster with a guybrush-ish wannabe-mad-scientist attitude". That sure sparks an adventure-gamer's imagination, doesn't it?  :P

All depends on the context I guess.

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Brassfire

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Re:Looking for cartoonish graphic artist
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2003, 09:39:16 PM »

Gotacha. Thanks.

I hadn't thought of doing an "essence" description... that may be useful if I want people other than me to write for the characters. ;)
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Scarpia

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Re:Looking for cartoonish graphic artist
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2003, 06:35:18 PM »

Precisely. The essence of the character is crucial if you want depth (which isn't the case in most adventure games) or character consistency (which *is* the case in any GOOD adventure game).

By consistency, I mean the fact that every action, sentence or choice made throughout the game by the character reflects the same consistent personality. Having the character's 'essence' sketched out from the very beginning ensures that the whole team will be able to know by instinct the character's reaction to any situation that might arise.

A (fairly elaborate) 'Essence description' could be:
  • How old is he?
  • How old is he mentally?
  • What is his favourite thing to do?
  • What is his LEAST favourite thing to do?
  • How does he see himself?
  • What is 'wrong' with him? (everything goes)
  • What are his dreams?
  • Everybody has a secret. What is his?
  • What is his mood initially?
  • Does this mood change at any point, and how?
  • What does he think of the PC initially?
  • Does this view change at any point, and how?

Scarpia
« Last Edit: February 24, 2003, 06:36:54 PM by Scarpia »
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Brassfire

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Re:Looking for cartoonish graphic artist
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2003, 11:15:09 PM »

Yeah. I had some of those planned. I also liek the idea of an "identity" phrase like that "rumble in the stomach" thing. That's cool.

Maybe the mod should split this thread and put this character development part into the game dev forum?
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Mnemonic

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Re:Looking for cartoonish graphic artist
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2003, 09:49:40 AM »

[Um, I'm afraid I'm not able to split the thread. I could only move the whole topic to another board.]

Edit: I upgraded to a newer version of the forum software, which supports topic splitting :)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2003, 01:49:59 PM by Mnemonic »
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Czar

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Re:character development
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2003, 12:13:45 AM »

just to help:
in this case(einmal ist keinmal):one as none  :D ;)
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Jerrot

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Re:character development
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2003, 01:10:12 AM »

in this case(einmal ist keinmal):one as none  :D ;)
it's funny to read this as a native speaker. ;)
greetings from northern germany,

jerrot.
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Scarpia

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Re:character development
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2003, 03:32:12 AM »

in this case(einmal ist keinmal):one as none  :D ;)
it's funny to read this as a native speaker. ;)
greetings from northern germany,

jerrot.


Hi, both of you. I speak some German too (it is my third language), and  that has got to be the worst translation ever, unless the english tongue is keeping secrets from me. "One as none"? That sounds like a bad Babelfish translation at best. So unless the "one as none" sentence is from the classic english literature, I'd stick with my previous translation, albeit that one isn't perfect either.



Scarpia


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Jerrot

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Re:character development
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2003, 04:50:22 AM »

hm, could be shakespeare!  ;)

To be or not to be -
one as none.

 ;D

(oh, i checked you game puzzle text at your homepage... very good collection, i didn't complete reading it right now, but my printer is working. it's just the right time to implement some more puzzles in our story!)
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Mnemonic

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Re:character development
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2003, 12:34:05 PM »

(oh, i checked you game puzzle text at your homepage... very good collection, i didn't complete reading it right now, but my printer is working. it's just the right time to implement some more puzzles in our story!)

Very interesting article, indeed!
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Scarpia

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Re:character development
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2003, 10:35:47 PM »

(oh, i checked you game puzzle text at your homepage... very good collection, i didn't complete reading it right now, but my printer is working. it's just the right time to implement some more puzzles in our story!)

Very interesting article, indeed!



Hmm.... where'd you hear about my article? From that thread on the RON forum? Other than that, I've only discussed it with a select few from the AGS community... guess the word is out then :-\ oh well..


I love rumors so much I should get into politics 8)

Scarpia
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Jerrot

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Re:character development
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2003, 11:42:11 PM »

Hmm.... where'd you hear about my article? From that thread on the RON forum? Other than that, I've only discussed it with a select few from the AGS community... guess the word is out then :-\ oh well..
Oops, I didn't want to play the traitor...  :-X
(but hey, why shouldn't you want us to read this anyway ?  ;) !)

In fact I just clicked on the url you entered in your profile and discovered the text.
Ah, damn, I wanted to give you more rumors ("haha, guess who I am REALLY!"...), well, next time!
(just kidding  :D !)
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Mnemonic

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Re:character development
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2003, 10:10:58 AM »

In fact I just clicked on the url you entered in your profile and discovered the text.

So did I :) Maybe you shouldn't have put that link on your website if you wanted to keep the article in secret  ;) I may not be able to read Danish, but I can still click a link.
Anyway, didn't you consider offering the article to AdventureDdevelopers.com or to the Undeground section of AdventreGamers? I believe it would be helpful to many people...
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