Founder and Lead programmer at OldTimes Software. I also kick out people whenever I feel like it.

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Posted by hogsy on May 28th, 2012

I guess this is a disclaimer but honestly this is more just me thinking about all this as I go along so there may be some conflicts with previous statements and such. I do hope overall it should really give you some ideas on the subject. Characters should not be disposable and this sadly is quite an issue in a lot of games, I'm not personally a fan of Call of Duty but quite honestly the characters in that are some of the most memorable I've seen due to the amount of personality each character displays in the series. Anyway...

When working on OpenKatana I've often found myself thinking about how we're going to reintroduce "Hiro Miyamoto"... It's an interesting thing quite honestly, you never think about it too much but comparing a character such as Hiro to someone like Shepard in Mass Effect or even Sly Boots from Anachronox you really notice a difference right away and you really feel it's satisfying to play as someone such as Shepard or Sly Boots but why exactly? Well I boil this down mainly to character, otherwise without it all you have is this lifeless body that you control and there's no real spirit to it, though some may say that could still work but I'm not talking just about what they might say or even do but I'm talking more along the lines of how they look and how the player thinks that character should act, if they would enjoy really being that person in real-life. Games are never about playing life but more about experiencing what we can't do in life almost like an escape from reality.
I think the best example of this is probably the character Gordon Freeman from Half-Life who despite never speaking or doing too many actions himself still gives off a personality but that personality is almost entirely developed by the player so in a sense they really are Gordon Freeman. This is really how I want it to be with Hiro, however at the same time he needs to give the player the feeling that they are really a bad ass and give the player a feeling of satisfaction, they need to enjoy being this person and most importantly remember that he's there. Quite honestly a character such as Hiro could not be taken to such an extreme that I would wish but it's still important to make sure that he's not some robot that the player is happy to dispose of, personality is really extremely important when the character is going to be memorable and it's important to make sure that the player isn't just going to forget about them.

falls asleep...

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