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Article - 'Implementing Humour into your' by TheOnlyMutantPixie

An item about Game Design posted on Jun 9, 2004

Blurb

A nice guide on adding humor to your game. It contains some RM2K code, but can be applied to any RPG.

Body

This is a tutorial as I will go into the world of humour and explain some parts of it – how to use it (hence the title) and a short but (kind of) useful example code at the end. If you do not care about types of humour skip to the end now. Ok let’s begin.
Many games I have seen usually have one or maybe two types of humour in them. (This may not be the case for the majority of games, but this is all I have seen) Many types of humour are normally left out; I will explain some types of humour sand how to use them effectively inside a game. And maybe at the end, I’ll add a little section about talking to NPCs and using variables to create some funny dialogue (In RPGM 2k(3), using Gamemaker? Well, have fun figuring it out on your own!) That depends how strong this coffee is.

Ok, Section 1 of one hell of a long tutorial. (Well, if I lengthen it with stupid titles like these, it will seem damn long.)

Anyway, moving on as you (should) know there are many types of humour in the world; Sarcastic, slapstick, warped etc. to name a few. So ok, now you have a few types, you may not know what all of these types are. I feel it is a waste if I list every type of humour since I do have a social life (unfortunately )
Sarcastic - humour which is normally said in a certain tone or a certain way. This is kind of hard to accomplish if you are using RPGM 2k(3) since you can hear voices (unless you use voices) certain effects can be used to show a character is annoyed in a certain way, this case Sarcastic.
“Wow! That was amazing, my house has been destroyed and my family has been murdered and to add to the joyous occasion you can’t get rid of some monsters, thank you, Thank you! SO much!”
See? The sarcasm is easy to see.
Slapstick – A humour often seen in Monty Python films, containing quick short jokes, 9 times out of 10 includes humour. An Example from “Monty Python and The Holy Grail”
Two swordsmen are fighting, one wearing green the other wearing black. The Green Knight swings his sword but the Black knight blocks it with his own sword and kicks in the Green knight in the balls.
Ok, it doesn’t work so well in text but if you have ever since the film it is funny and the scene is so well put together (on a low budget) Advertising over.
Warped – Many things can be described as warped, essentially a sick and twisted sense of humour like, while at a cancer funding raiser, you stand up and make jokes about smoking, that kind of thing. Or joking about a dead person, and only the person that told the joke found it funny while the rest back away. Warped sense of humour is usually associated with dark characters, basically villains.

Section 2

This was partially covered in the first section but I will go into more depth with these three types of humour. If you are creating a game/movie/film script/jingle whatever you are going to have to give your characters a background and a personality. The personality is important for the type of humour you want that character to say and laugh at. Personality and humour are very closely related. A dark and mysterious type of character, who rarely talks won’t do slapstick all the time, at least I hope not, it might work but hey, whatever you want really.
Sarcasm can be used with a dark character or hero or maybe a slightly PO’d NPC using any type of language you want.
Slapstick can be used in many areas but is hardly used in RPGM 2k(3) because of creating different animations for hitting someone and receiving the damage. If your game was set in the mediaeval times or dark ages. Villages could surround some one who is a witch (Yes, “Borrowed” my Monty Python and The Holy Grail again, I know) and one of them says (with or without dialogue before.)
“She turned me into a newt…”
“A Newt…?”
“….I got better…Burn her anyway!”
Warped isn’t too hard to implement and I don’t think I’ll give a example since many of the times it used it is the same anyway. Joke about someone’s death or Poison a castle supply of water (Kefka, Doma Castle FFVI)

Section 3 out of 3!

Ok, this is only an example but if you want your game to be rigid and uneventful, take the code from here, (Well you can’t directly, YA BOO!)

Ok, our NPC is called Wanda and in the events box we will put something like this.

<>Set rnd Var. [***]: 1-2
<>Branch if Var. [***]: is 1
<>Message: Hello there!
<>Branch if Var. [***]: is 2
<> Message: La a Dee imps de ad! Bob!

Of course you can extend and improve upon this to your liking! Hardcore RPGM 2k Junkies will of course use this as a basis and create up to 999 (At least I think it is) Possible outcomes and even more involving what dialogue comes up and choices made. Implement different kinds of humour into there and some type of witty response, we all love the hero rebelling! Mind you, No one in their right mind will do that, (I’m in my left mind!) – Don’t worry, I’m sure there was a joke somewhere in there.
I suppose I will have to wind it up now.

Ok, If you want to display this on your site please contact me first to let me know, and have proper credit. The code used is not actual code but pretty close but people should be able to figure it out, you’re brighter than you think!

I think that is all, if you any more info contact me on my e-mail or MSN.
If I can be bothered.

TheOnlyMutantPixie