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The Computer Game Design Course by Jim Thompson – Research To What Makes A Good Character

*Pg 64

“Many games are memorable for their central characters and even in some cases, their enemies.”

A character should be good visually and conceptually. It is important to cast the right actor to play the character in a film but in games and books the advantage is to create the right character from scratch. As well as defining the character appearance, it’s personality is important also. This is important if the character is an NPC and controlled by the games AI (artificial intelligence). It is equally as important if the character is the central character controlled by the player.

A good way to design a character is the answer questions about them (basic info, skills and abilities):

  • What is your age?
  • Profession?
  • Where do you live?
  • What experience do you have? (Helps to dictate challenges).

What had happened to the character? Back stories are important to make the character. It does not have to be as tragic as: Bruce Wayne’s (Batman) parents being killed leading him to became the dark knight named Batman – prosecutor of criminals.

  • How does the character speak?
  • What sort of manners does he have? Rude, polite or…
  • How does the character dress.

These details make the character believable and help the player to accept. These details also give you a definition of their behaviour and mannerism.


NOTES: What makes a good character…

  • Three dimensions of a character: Sociological, psychological and physical;
  • Communication;
  • Colour theory/design;
  • Shape;
  • Physical properties;
  • Silhouette;
  • Character flaws to make it more human;
  • Names are important;
  • Breaking down stereotypes;

Colour is important because it helps create a visual appearance that is appealing to the audience. Like the fast food restaurant called McDonald’s, their colour theme is red and yellow and these two colours stimulate hunger in a person.



This shows how important colours can be and what effects they can have on the audience.


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