Game Development Reference
Think about the other characters your avatar will meet and the arena in which
you set your story. Both should be chosen for the potential of conflict and
obstacles as in any good drama.
Keep the details of the avatar interesting but sketchy. Allow room for the
player to fill out the corners of the character.
Avoid stereotypes. Nobody wants to play a character who is utterly predictable
and devoid of life.
Resist cliche. Avoid amnesia. Try not to kill off or maim innocent members
of the avatar's family just to give the player a reason to ride out for revenge.
IF you would like to read more about character, GOTO “Non-Player Characters”
THEN GOTO “Major Characters” THEN GOTO “Minor Characters” THEN
IF you would like to jump to the next main topic, GOTO “Dialogue”
ELSE GOTO “END”
3.4 Non-Player Characters
Non-player characters (NPCs) can be divided into two camps: major characters (vil-
lains, mentors, sidekicks) and minor characters (servants, pets, extras, cannon fod-
der). We don't have time to go into detail about each subgroup and how it is written,
but here are some general points to keep in mind. First, any live character can expose
story in a more interesting and unobtrusive way than artifacts like books, journals,
scrolls, audio recordings, video recordings, historic markers, or signage.
They deserve our attention and respect. Treating them simply as obstacles or
Central Exposition or hint systems is to ignore the fact that they are one of
the most seamless ways of telling story. Properly developed, they are far more
engaging than endless pages of text or canned speeches. Create full-blooded
3D characters with lives of their own. The three dimensions of character?
Physical, sociological, and psychological. If you don't know these, look them
Once you know who these people are, their usefulness in puzzle creation goes
beyond mere roadblocks.
They can also be tools to solve puzzles.
They help us to develop the player character. He can react to them and the
news or crises they bring. He can interact with them, hearing good counsel or
opposing views. Drama results. Or comedy. Or both.