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4 tips for creating characters for games

Characters play a key role in storytelling. Let’s face it, they are the key to any game’s success, says God of War!

These elements make the gaming experience almost tangible for the user. What generates engagement, gameplay and revenue. There are also fantastic games with a minimal number of characters, such as Dear Esther.

So if you’re looking for a place to start, here is a list of the top tips for creating game characters.

1. Evaluate the character’s role

Each character plays a role in the story. Hence, you should focus on creating characters who have a clear mission in the game. Otherwise, the character may become superficial and not provide the main suggestion for the user. So start by working on the characters that complement the overall story.

2. Appearance

A good example of this is the Zelda developer Twilight Princess. He created a discrepancy between Malo’s appearance and personality. At first Malo seems like a naive and sweet kid until he starts making cheeky comments.

Another great example of the impact of appearance is Aurora’s iconic look in Child of Light. Her red hair flowing across the screen gives the character a unique identity.

In this way the user can connect with the story and enrich the whole gaming experience. Hence, this is one of the top character creation tips for games.

3. Build the character’s personality

It’s not new that characters with strong personalities are gaining prominence on the big screen. It can be a fearless hero or an antihero haunted by his past.

Whatever it is, the character’s personality encourages audience engagement and connection with the protagonist. So this is the basis for a successful character.

There is an infinite variety of personality traits that you can create for your character. He can be aggressive, peaceful, slow, whatever you want.

However, it’s worth noting that, according to game researcher Katherine Isbister, developers should rely on “five personality traits”:

  • Opening;
  • Conscience;
  • Extraversion;
  • Friendliness;
  • Neuroticism.

Finally, remember that the character’s personality must accompany the story.

4. Build relationships

Even the loneliest character has to interact with other characters during the game. The relationship in the virtual environment, like in reality, can be divided into two categories: useful or harmful.

It is therefore necessary to ask yourself a few points, for example: “Is the character loved or harassed by others?”; “He will be a catalyst for the future of the rest of the cast”?

Also, successful developers need time to build relationships between other characters. Ultimately, these relationships get the players involved in the plot, giving them a sense of control and, in many cases, the ability to make decisions. Therefore, it is important to know your target audience.

If you are looking to start your career, nothing is more important than investing in knowledge. Study at ZION and learn the right tools with our ZGames training.

Ollie Henson

Ollie Henson is an American writer at the Institut Cartogràfic de la Revolta website. Ollie shares the hobby of playing and following all of the video games and gaming news as well as dedicated and fully educated to be an outstanding writer.

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