1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Gaming A quick word about character design

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 16 Mar 2012.

  1. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

    Joined:
    9 Jan 2012
    Posts:
    1,709
    Likes Received:
    124
    There certainly is memorable character design out there in our AAA titles, it's just that the environment is very different now. If pac man weren't so established as a golden oldie, I'm sure far fewer would recognise it, I mean the modern renditions of pac man have very little to offer besides just looking odd (which is by no means purely a positive). Another change has been how games offer immersion. In TES and Mass Effect you're given a rather bland character on purpose so you can superimpose your own decisions on top. Sure they're recognisable thanks to advertising, but it's a conscious decision not to make them too unique. On the other hand the characters in Mass Effect itself are instantly identifiable to anybody who's had any contact with the series. With recognising outside of a fanbase, that almost all boils down to publicity.
     
  2. SoulRider

    SoulRider New Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, I play a reasonable amount of games, but of that list, the only names I recognised were, Lara Croft, Master Chief, Gordon Freeman, and Shepard. When it comes to the design of the characters, I can't comment on Shepard, I only know the name because of it's constant use on this site, I have no idea of what Shepard looks like.

    A quick wiki search on all the names (except altair, for some reason nothing game related to Altair on wiki?) Gave me the dates of the 1st appearances of these characters. Shepard and Drake are 2007 (don't know either of them though) Prior to those the most recent was Sam fisher in 2002. The most recent one that I recognise from your list was Master Chief from 2001, and I don't play halo. This leads me to believe that what people believe to be iconic game characters is actually just based on experience of those characters.

    I can't agree with ND, Shepard, Altair or SF, being good examples of character design, because I've never seen their design. Master Chief would stand up under the criteria, as I don't play Halo, yet can recognise the character. LC & GF (96&98) I also recognise, but I cannot say they are iconic game design because I know them from playing the games. What is the criteria for this, characters that are recognised by people who haven't played the games, or just an arbitrary decision on what the individual thinks is good design.

    If you've played a game with these characters, then you can't really be sure if you can separate iconic character design from the game you are playing. Also, 5 years is the most recent name on that list, how modern is 5 years n computer games?
     
  3. Trefarm

    Trefarm No matter what... It's all good

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    139
    Likes Received:
    2
    Game Developers have for some time believed that 'gamers' submerse themselves into the character and therefore any oddities in character design will inhibit this immersion. Or heaven forbid offend the gamer and his perceived prejudices.

    What about a Sikh character? Instantly iconic, very similar to the Bushido/Samurai/Warrior/Monk character that already works so well but with an original twist.

    So why haven't Developers used this character, it can't be from a lack of imagination I thought it up in a few minutes.
    It's not graphical limitations, just imagine that character in 'Skyrim' for example.

    Maybe it's because developers don't want to alienate their target demographic. Now because games are increasingly expensive and therefore require shifting ever rising numbers of units to turn a profit. The targeted demographic has changed from...

    Young males in the UK who own a PC/Amiga.
    To...
    Everyone living in Europe and North America, who owns a PS3/Xbox 360/PC and maybe Aus/NZ and a few other places aswell.

    What do all these people have in common, almost nothing. What are there individual dislikes almost everything! So developers are stuck in the thankless and impossible task of trying to avoid all controversy and prejuidice hence the impossibly bland main characters.

    ME2 is an example of varied and detailed character design. BUT is there a noticeable difference between secondary characters that are essential/integral to the main story and those that you can CHOOSE to interact with or ignore? I think so and again it underlines the point the characters you have to use are blander, homogenised and far simpler almost archetypal characters.

    "Not only trying to please... but also trying not to offend, all of the people, all of the time" I think we all know how well that works.
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2012
  4. Bionic-Blob

    Bionic-Blob New Member

    Joined:
    2 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't believe no one has mentioned assassin's creed yet!
     
  5. SleepyMatt

    SleepyMatt New Member

    Joined:
    4 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Bayonetta is a recent and instantly recognisable character, even for people that haven't played the game. Whether you think that is a good thing or not doesn't stop her from being a modern iconic game character.
     
  6. thil

    thil New Member

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Remember, folks!

    Graphics technology does not equal art direction.
     
  7. the_kille4

    the_kille4 Chaos will rule da world.eventually

    Joined:
    28 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    215
    Likes Received:
    5
    That I agree to a large extent. Even as the world has seemingly shrunken compared to decades ago, the cultural divides still separate gamers from different regions. Whether the developers want to create something that would work in a specific demographic or make money in a smaller target area emphasizes the differences in a AAA, indie or a regional game.

    In Singapore, a locally developed indie game is not an iconic figure. A strong part would be the cyclical nature of lack of demand and advertising. On the other hand, Freemium games have a stronger grasp on the market here the recognizably of such games and characters pale in comparison to a single AAA title.

    If a technology allows us to immerse ourselves to a greater degree, then perhaps we might see an iconic character again. Which reminds me of Cable in the game Slayers in the movie Gamer.
     
  8. ssj12

    ssj12 Member

    Joined:
    12 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    688
    Likes Received:
    1
    not true, there are many FPS and shooter protagonists that are good. Gordon Freeman, Chell, GlaDOS (portal 2), Malcolm (UT) , Nathan Drake, Ratchet, Clank, and all the GTA characters are great examples. It doesnt matter the genre as long as the characters and games are great and can leave an impression.

    I will never forget the name Fox McCloud, Mario Mario, Luigi Mario, Auron, or Geralt because they all come from AMAZING GAMES and are great characters.
     
  9. SoulRider

    SoulRider New Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a thought, how about the Portal Companion Cube? Does that class as Iconic character design? I know it isn't a character, but the companion cube has more character than most NPC's in FPS games.
     
  10. rogerrabbits

    rogerrabbits New Member

    Joined:
    24 May 2011
    Posts:
    577
    Likes Received:
    11
    The only problem is that 'most' of the games that get all the mass popularity, are boring and stupid. These days it's all about terrorists or ninjas or pirates or terrorist robot pirate ninjas or skeletons and dragons. There's just no creativity or originality anymore and I wont go in to why I think that is, just that I think it's an issue.

    If you want more interesting enemies and characters in general, you have to look beyond 'the big games everyone is talking about'.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    greypilgers likes this.
  11. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    4,053
    Likes Received:
    106
    What do you mean it's not a character, HOW DARE YOU!!!
     
  12. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

    Joined:
    29 May 2008
    Posts:
    3,367
    Likes Received:
    431
    FTFY!!
     
  13. toolio20

    toolio20 New Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    59
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm getting pretty good lawls from all of the folks talking about what an iconic "character" Master Chief is; a silent, faceless suit of armor - no matter how aesthetically pleasing and well-executed - doesn't do squat for characterization. And let's not get started with f'n Gears of War...everything about that game positively SCREAMS "a retarded 12 year old wrote this whoo-hooo!!"

    With that said, I disagree with the article, to a point. There are many striking, iconic character designs in modern gaming, most of which have been mentioned - Altair, Solid Snake, Gordon and Alyx, the Big Daddy et al. No, the designs are mostly fine - the problem is, for the most part, the majority of plots/games they're involved in are all trite, repetitious, vacuous dross (notable exception being the HL continuum). But damn do they sell.

    If people would demand creativity and compelling storytelling - and make this desire known by refusing to purchase truly poor, Michael Bay-esque games like Gears of War or the 53rd installment of Call of Duty - maybe pubs/devs will realize they need to start demanding their creative people earn their pay.

    Since this will never happen, we should stop writing, reading and responding to articles like this...
     
  14. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2002
    Posts:
    5,155
    Likes Received:
    38
    Not only is it a great idea to reduce the graphics quality in games to focus more upon character design and story, its one of the best ideas anybody could have!

    The problem with continually pushing graphics is that people get more and more used to it, meaning that companies will push harder and harder putting people out of the market of their game (such as me and my 5 year old laptop).
     
  15. Kiytan

    Kiytan Shiny

    Joined:
    2 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    971
    Likes Received:
    23
    Call of Duty may be a multi-million dollar selling franchise, but Tetris...that's probably in the BILLIONS, A copy of it was bundled with every gameboy so that's 30 million units right there (according to wiki) along with god knows how many other ports and knock-offs that exsist. So not only is it a brand that has FAR outsold CoD but has also been around longer, and isn't really a fair comparison.
     
  16. SMIFFYDUDE

    SMIFFYDUDE Supermodders on my D

    Joined:
    22 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    2,897
    Likes Received:
    103
    Manny Calavera and Glottis are my favorite computer game characters even if they aren't well known to most people.
     
  17. greypilgers

    greypilgers New Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    442
    Likes Received:
    23
    I assume you may mean the Big Daddy from BioShock? In which case the line about Master Chief applies to Big Daddy as well?

    :D
     
  18. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    4,053
    Likes Received:
    106
    Yes!!! (re-installs Grim Fandango)
     
  19. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2006
    Posts:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    208
    Was thinking the same thing. I've played as much BioShock as I have Halo (almost none) and know about the same amount about each. Being a suit of armor doesn't immediately make a character tell you nothing. The visual style of their armor can tell you loads about them. I can look at Master Chief and without a doubt say he's a good guy, and not only that: he's the good guy. His lines are smooth and clean, he's green (the good guy color) and his stance is proud. It's not just about how many things a character tells you, it's how readily and powerfully it tells you the important aspects.

    The Big Daddy is very similar, except for that they look like bad guys. The out of place and scary diver helmet, the violent looking drill, asymmetrical and haphazard lines, and the menacing stance. I know nothing about what a Big Daddy is other than it's sea themed and evil, but the impression from each of those is very apparent and striking.
     
  20. Blademrk

    Blademrk Why so serious?

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    3,988
    Likes Received:
    86
    uh, he's not a silent character. Faceless, yes but silent, no.
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page