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Article - 'Adding Humour' by TheOnlyMutantPixie

An item about Game Design posted on Jul 8, 2004

Blurb

Tips for getting different kinds of humour into your game.

Body

This is a remake of my "Implementing Humour into your game" article, I submitted fairly recently, people found a few problems with it mainly formatting, just so it is easier. It will generally be the same as last time with formatting and expanded into a few more areas.

Basically, the first section will be identifying the humour, the second will be actually using and when it is effective to use it. And I'm not relying on coffee this time. So let's start at the beginning that’s generally a good place to start.

Section 1: Identifying the humour

As you should know, there are many types of humour in the world. A few of them shall be explained here.

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't 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!”

Slapstick – A humour often seen in Monty Python films, containing quick short jokes, 9 times out of 10 includes humour. An Example would be from Monty Python and The Holy Grail, The Black Knight scene (5th chapter on the dvd or around 20 minutes in) with the two knights fighting.

Another example of this (for those who have not seen Monty Python) watch the Simpsons when Homer gets hit over the head with a hammer by Maggie (Season 2, Itchy & Scratchy and Marge) That is slapstick. 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, but sometimes Heroes can cross over to this category.

Ignorant - This can be split into smaller groups, and I shall explain some of them.

The first one is kind of hard to explain since I don't really think it has a name. But it can be really funny if pulled off.
Think of the scene in FF8, at the 'secret place' with Quistis and Squall, where Quistis says, "I'm not asking you to say anything. I just want you to listen."
Then Squall replies with "Then go talk to a wall" This isn't meant to be funny but it is, just the attitude.

The second type of ignorance is Stiener from FFIX, with him just yelling at Zidane even though he saved Garnet countless times, Zidane replied cool as always, and Stiener took a swipe at him, but Zidane grabbed a beam in the airship and swung of it using his tail.

Section 2: Adding Humour

Personality of a character is very important for the humour s/he uses; a mysterious sort of character would be very sarcastic and make remarks about anything. While an upbeat character would try and make jokes to keep the party's moral up.

While the insane villain runs down the street, grenades in hand, laughing and laughing because of the blood and guts everywhere. [Warped humour] The main hero tries to be sarcastic but fails and ends up hitting a fellow hero/NPC [slapstick]
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. I don't really care, I don't like this anyway, RPGM2k3 tends to choose the first one 10 times.

Ok, our NPC is called Wanda and in the events box we will put something like this. (This is not actual code but you know, you should be able to figure this out for yourself.)

<>Set rnd Var. [***]: 1-3
<>Branch if Var. [***]: is 1
<>Message: Hello there!
<>Branch if Var. [***]: is 2
<> Message: La a Dee imps de ad! Bob!
<>Branch if. Var [***]: is 3
<>Message: Should I wake grandpa?
<>Show choices yes/no
<>[Yes] handler
<>Message: Hehe...
<> Move event: This event: Move left.
<>Message: GRANDPA!
<>Move Event: Grandpa: Begin Jump, End jump.
<>Message: Ahhhhhhh!
<>Move event: This event: Move right, face down
<>[No] Handler
<>Message: Boring git!

Basically, the first 2 variables resulted in some fairly obvious/stupid dialogue. While the third, resulting in the player being asked do you want to wake up Grandpa, if answered to with Yes, the NPC would walk next to grandpa and yell at him, he would jump and wake up and then she returned to her original place. Fairly simple really. 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.

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

TheOnlyMutantPixie