Game Development Reference
player is effectively asking the character to move to a certain position or to
interact with an object in the location, then waiting for the outcome. Suc-
cessful characters in this type of game rely on creating empathy within the
player in a similar manner to main characters in a film or a book.
In games where the interface allows the player to have more direct control
over the movement of the character, the connection of the player with her
on-screen avatar is much more substantial and the feeling that the player
character is an extension of herself begins to take place.
At the extreme end of this spectrum are the first person games where the
player character is never seen, even in cut scenes, and never speaks.The sole
intention is to give players the impression that they have become that charac-
ter, or even that it is the players themselves who have entered the game world
and are directly fighting the opponents or solving the mysteries. In this
situation the development of the character may be non-existent for the
simple reason that to do so would break that feeling of direct connection.
In some respects, the members of the player's team in a squad-based game
can be regarded as extensions of the player character. In many role-playing
games, too, the player builds a team of characters and although they can often
be interacted with, they are also an extension of the player character as the
player can use their gameplay skills and abilities should the situation require
it, but such characters are not sidekicks. Quite regularly, the player is given
the opportunity to switch between the characters in a team and the currently
'active' character then becomes the player character.
Often in these situations, the story events and gameplay objectives are
treated as if applicable to the whole team.The team becomes a kind of super-
character with combined abilities and experiences. Though the story may
single out one of the characters as the main protagonist, which character is
being controlled does not affect the outcome of conversations or the infor-
mation that is given by other characters the team will meet.
Point of view
The point of view of the player character is always different from that of the
player, even in games where this difference is minimised as much as possible.
A player, no matter how good the immersive experience, is always aware that
he sits in front of a screen using some kind of interface device.The character
always inhabits the game world.
When telling a story in traditional media, the writer must create it with a
particular viewpoint in mind. This can be from the perspective of the main