Game Development Reference
Much of the strength of the above examples comes from the rich characteri-
sation they contain and how a large part of the humour is driven by the
characters. While there will always be jokes, we also laugh at the way the
characters react to their situations and to one another. To create humour of
this nature it is vital to know your characters and understand the way that
they will react to a situation. If the characters react consistently their
believability will be strengthened in a way which means that even when the
humour does not make the players laugh out loud the suspension of disbelief
is not broken and the player continues to be immersed in the game.
Even if your comedy game is not intended for such a broad demographic,
character-driven humour is still important. Top sitcoms like Black Adder ,
Porridge , Frasier and Friends have a strength and long-lasting appeal because of
their character-driven nature. Regular repeats are often worth watching
because they rely less on blatant jokes, which can become stale if repeated
too often, and build characters we care about and laugh with rather than at.
Comedy games have a long way to go before they can develop an appeal
that rivals that of the top sitcoms, but if we can create strong humour that
interweaves with the gameplay, it could be that replay value of such games
will be due, in no small part, to this comedy. Just as many people love to
regularly watch their favourite sitcoms on DVD.