Friday, 18 March 2011


Character shouldn’t be confused with characters however the two are interlinked. Character to an environment, story, characters, or anything that appears in a game is necessary. As without it we find it hard to believe what we are seeing. Character is important as it put a story and reasoning behind what we find and see in a game. It makes the player more submerged in the game and less disconnected from what they are playing if they understand how they got here and why they are doing what they’re doing. Games developers are quickly realising that increased hardware power, mindless gameplay and graphical stimuli will not hold the players interest for long, and in order to attract a wider market audience away from the hard core gamers an interesting story and narrative will be able to attract additional buyers.
Characters however are important in games as they generate emotional attachments, are interesting and ultimately allow you to take part in a games story. Without some sort of emotional attachment, relation or interest characters are dull, boring and distract the user from the key aspects of game. An effective character can persuade a player to invest more playing time, purchase more games and can spin off a whole world of different money making options for a company. An effective back story allows for the user to feel compassionate or resentful of a character and without this sort of planning and background story writing characters are flat and the story and gameplay is directly affected.  Characters need to be individuals as much as people in real life and need to have there own motives, reasoning and goals.
Characters are normally the archetype; a character is either a hero/heroine. Although they might be a bad character they are still a character that is ultimately respected within a story.  This doesn’t change much when looking from game to game and this is the basic for creating the majority of artistic pieces. Even if the character is supposed to be an everyday character the player still makes them a lot more capable that what they would otherwise be in real life. A script is important when building a character as this gives the player more insight into how they might be, feel and react to the surrounding area. However without proper character development and conception of a script can feel disjointed. Acting allows for the character to become more real as an actor uses his talents to create a persona for them. Having someone use their voice gives feeling to a character and is important to create this sense of presence and profound importance that makes characters so wonderful to look at. Appearance can tie in with art direction, without having a direction for the character the realism or more likely relation of character traits won’t work and you will not have succeeded in creating interesting characters.
Personally I find Sci-Fi and Alternate History/Futurism fascinating to look at, as this allows so many options when creating a story. Not that I don’t find Fictional stories interesting but I feel that Non-fictional stories allow for such a greater depth to storytelling as if done correctly a world different from what we are living in is so much more intriguing to learn about.  I find the halo stories particularly interesting as with the development of the games they also released a series of books that give you more insight into the world and time that they are set and because these stories are following a ultimate style guide and guru they work amazingly as interlinking pieces of work and do brilliantly at developing characters that you have and haven’t already met. I feel games need to try and develop this more as ideas that are backed up with stories and characters that have been thoroughly thought through and ultimately a lot more believable. I would thoroughly recommend the entire halo book series as they are wonderfully written and give great insight into characters and why they are important in any creative situation.

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