Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 86: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 86 - Lens 86: The Lens of Character Function
To make sure your characters are doing everything your game needs them to do, ask yourself these questions:

What are the roles I need the characters to fill?
The teacher roll is filled by the 'Teller' NPC character. The 'Pawns', or leaders of the tribes are at the moment non-characters that are filled by the players. I don't think that the abstract strategic game needs them to be anything else. I plan on giving them character and background as an optional add-on for players that get caught up in the lore. They will give motivation to the players as to why they want the city to fall. It's a theme and secret purpose thing not a mechanics one.

What characters have I already imagined?
The Teller is pretty much fully formed. The idea of the Pawns is there but I have resisted making them specific because I think I need to find people with the right backgrounds to do that writing.

Which characters map well to which roles?
The characters exist to fill specific roles in my case.  I don't have any characters that represent the citizens... if I did I am not sure what role they would fill, but I should think about that.

Can any characters fit more than one role?
I am not sure, the characters are few and role specific so this may just not apply. Or maybe this kind of thing will become clear when I get to creating characters for the pawns. It's something to talk about with the writers I find.

Do I need to change the characters to better fit the roles?
Perhaps. I think about changing the teller to be The Teller, as in the first teller who created the game. And perhaps they were one of the actual tribal leaders that represent the pawns... that kind of thing. I don't know if I want to make the game smaller and more anonymous to make the game world seem bigger, or to make the game more important a part of the world.

DO I need any new characters?
Maybe the citizens. I have to think on what they would represent... guilt maybe? They would be ancillary in anycase and not mechanically important.