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Article - 'Character Development I' by AutumnDragon

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jul 16, 2004

Blurb

Looking for help on developing your characters? Look no further!

Body

Characters
This is the first of my series of articles on character development. This will express basic development, personalities and motives. So let’s begin!

Character development is very important!!
I have deleted a lot of my game because the character's personalities weren't developing!
Your characters have to show the feelings, memories, thoughts, emotions, their own opinions etc. If your characters don't develop, then your game just won't have what it takes to be.

Lets start with creating the main hero.

Let’s see, will the hero be male or female?
Decide on what will be special about them, if they are special at all.
E.g. Sora from Kingdom Hearts was the Keyblade master.
(Most great games have male characters has the heroes, i.e. the final fantasy series with an exception of FFX-2. Creating a girl as the main character is more original.)

Next, decide whether your hero will be an experienced fighter with some levels and skills already or a newbie. If your hero has skills, then you will need to create a past for him where he had these skills for a reason.

Your main hero will need a past; it will influence his personality now.
E.g. If your hero had no friends; he's obviously going to be a quiet loner type.
But if you really want to create a plot twist in your characters' personality, make your character more of a desperate, crazy type, longing for company rather than trying to avoid it. This will make the character more interesting and adds originality to your game although this sort of personality might be hard to express.

Now decide how your character interacts with NPCs and other characters.
If he is a loner, the obvious trait is that he's not going to be very social. If he's virtuous, he's going to be eager to help unfortunate citizens- you get the picture.

In the end, it boils down the character's motive. Reasons why they do things and don't do things. This also applies to bad guys; the all time goal for the main bad guy is to destroy the world. Very cliché but it works as long as the bad guy has great motives expressed. A very good bad guy was Sephiroth from FF7. Excuse me if you don't like Final Fantasy.

You will have to do this for all your characters, although traditionally, you mainly focus on the main character's past, feelings etc. and less on the other characters.

Finally, decide on the number of characters and try to make them unique from other main characters. It's just not fun if all the characters had the same skills and history! Make them similar to one another so it gives them something in common or something to relate to. Remember why your characters are working together or why they are friends. This will need to be expressed throughout the game.

Although I’m sure this article has been written hundreds of times, I hope this one will help and help you with your character development. And as with all my articles, I apologise for any spelling mistakes.

-AutumnDragon