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Do you think a game could become as popular if your character in the storyline is evil/the villain instead of a hero? (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : Do you think a game could become as popular if your character in the storyline is evil/the villain instead of a hero?) Locked
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Jan 27 2013 Anchor

Pretty much all singleplayer rpg's you play as a hero or you have the option to play evil as well but not only evil.
I can't think of any rpg's where your only choice is to play it as an evil character.. where you can't do anything heroic.

Personally I would love a game like that but I am very much a niche gamer.

Reason for this is that I am getting realistic with myself and starting to understand that the best choice for me to get started in game dev is by making a singleplayer game (no networking).

And I really can't stand heroic games, If a game comes out and doesn't have an option to play it evil then I wouldn't play that game.
And making a game with 2 storylines evil and good is a lot more work.. Unless you make those almost meaningless evil/good paths where no matter what you say in the dialogue won't make much of a difference in storyline.
So I would rather focus on making the game only evil.. you can make the storyline a lot more evil then instead of making it evil+good.

If I make a singleplayer game then it's more important to me that it becomes popular because a singleplayer game isn't something I find as interesting as an mmorpg would be.
That's why I'm wondering if it's a good idea to make an evil storyline.
Maybe the majority of gamers feel the same way about playing as an evil person in a evil storyline as I feel about playing an hero.

Jan 27 2013 Anchor

How 'evil'? Saturday morning cartoon evil? Bond villain evil? Or real evil; Charles Manson or Jefferey Dahmer or Adolf Hitler evil?

Plenty of people would play the first two; those are fun. They let people be 'naughty' without actually doing something bad.

No one would play the last. You could write the most amazing story and create the most amazing gameplay, but if you make the player into Hitler or one is going to like it, and they're certainly not going to play it.

That said, make what you want, popularity be damned. That's the beauty of being an indie; you can do that.


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Jan 27 2013 Anchor

well. god of war might be one of those evil games ?

anyway, personally I wouldn't mind at all playing an evil character but the thing is, you gotta have a strong storyline and motive to be evil. the act of being evil sure could be nice but if you are just slaying foes over burning villages it might get boring so you need something in between, something that might not be all that evil.
but the thing is.. a truly evil game couldn't work in the mainstream business, in my opinion. people are used to be heroes and media would take this chance to try to blame video games for violence once again. just don't think about publishing a game like this haha

Jan 27 2013 Anchor

I think it's not matter whether your main character a hero or an evil,the most important thing is the story.

Jan 28 2013 Anchor

Wasn't Overlord a game where you had to be evil? I haven't played it myself...but it may match what you're looking for, sorta.

Jan 28 2013 Anchor

I think if the characters one defining attribute is whether they are "good" or "evil" often leads to them being quite boring but yes, evil characters such as Niko Bellic and Kratos not to mention several optionally evil characters have been very popular. But really I don't care if the player character is evil or not when looking at a game I'm more interested in story, gameplay and style.

Jan 28 2013 Anchor

TerranAmbassador said what I was going to say. Being "Evil" is a James Bond Villain or Evil Overload kind of way is fun. Rampage, Evil Genius, Dungeon Keeper, all were based on the premise of you being the bad guy. Board games like Battlestar Gallactica are based on this concept of a traitor among us as well.

Being an "evil" terrorist or some such has never been a problem in FPS games. Competitive multiplayer kind of has to be this way. Sometimes FPS games have you working for "the man" before they betray you/turn evil. Like any other story, this can work depending on how it's executed.

A much harder this to do is to give villains depth. Ideally, they should have a point. Not evil "for teh lulz" but in that they are fighting for a cause they believe in, as no one goes "I'm an evil dictator. Yep.". Brink was very good at this. The fact that you could be pro Security or pro Resistence and not be evil made sense. The resistence believed that the wealth was being horded by the few who didn't care if they lived or died as long as the wealthy didn't have to lose paradise, whereas security believed they were doing their best to help these people that keep biting the hands that feed.

Nightshade Technical Artist
Feb 8 2013 Anchor

Depends on your definition of evil.
Anti-heroes can be just as "likeable" as heroes - take Dexter for example, the main characters in the Prototype games, GTA games, Agent 47 in Hitman and so on. They are not "good guys" but they have a cause that the viewer/player understands. Dexter only kills people that the justice system fail to catch, Alex Mercer in Prototype got infected against his own will, and so on... As long as the character has a cause and isn't evil just to be evil I think it can be just as popular as any other kind of hero.


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