[Mr. Jas’ Lecture] Why is Our Game Character We Create Easy to Forget?

There is a problem after the game is released, the character is easily forgotten. How can it happen? Let’s discuss in this lecture.


Hi all, we meet again in Mr. Jas’s lecture this time. if we check the title it’s so long, right? Mr. Jas create this because many of my friends who try to make original character (OC) or often called with original characters made by themselves. However, the problem is after the game is released, the character is easily forgotten. How can it happen?

Mr. Jas analyzes from the popular games whose characters are not easily forgotten like Final Fantasy, Tales of Series, Suikoden Seriees, Star Ocean, Metal Gear Solid, Assassin Creed, God of War, Devil May Cry (which has been a controversy because of the character design), Mario Bros, Sonic, Rayman and many more games Mr. Jas has tried. Turns out there are some things that cause why the game characters we have created with a lot of efforts can be easily forgotten by other people. Do you wanna know why? Let’s join Mr. Jas’s lecture this edition.

Mr. Jas presents the lecture this time so that we understand the way we design interesting character in a game. This time it’s not all about the character visual design but there is also characterization from the character we create. Mr. Jas will tell you why character we create is easily forgotten. Afterwards, Mr. Jas will give solution example to overcome it. You guys are welcomed to write your comments in the comment column if you want to give solution to the points that Mr. Jas will explain or if you have any question about those points or maybe you want to add the point? Come on, the more we interact the more exciting the lecture is.

Based on Mr. Jas’s analysis, the character is easily forgotten because of these.

1. The character is too black or white

It means that the character is too good as protagonist or too evil as villain, sot it’s not realistic. For example if it’s protagonist, it will always be good, it never does anything evil although it’s just a little and always accept becoming victim. If it’s villain so it will be too cruel, sadistic and full of crimes, there is no good inside.

The solution of this problem is we can make a realistic character, learn good and evil personality, combine it right, the character must be more interesting. Mr. Jas will give some example of character’s personality.

Example 1: A champion who is materialistic and always counts the benefit before doing something. However he always cares for the people in need and won’t hesitate to help, although eventually he always asks money. This can be seen in character Razh Avandrey in Eternal Grace game which is developed by Enthrean Guardian.

Example 2: Antagonistic character that is cruel and merciless but can cry seeing the mother is hurt by other people

Example 3: A gentle and sweet woman but vey manipulative and the most feared leader of rebellion order in the kingdom.

2. Character’s design is too general

Too many characters with design pattern which is similar with character from another game. From design side, for example, strong man with headband, beautiful with sexy outfit or big man with complete armor, for the villain is shaped in demon with bat wings. Based on Mr. Jas’s opinion it’s very general.

The solutions for this problem are by learning and combining many unique designs, even a flower or a coconut can be inspiration for character design. Or even a cup can be a beautiful design like what Mr. Jas’s best friend creates named Lazht.

Another solution that Mr. Jas can offer is to learn many cultures. This will help to combine clothes, nature, myth, or how the character decide based on the custom/habit held since little. This can create unique personality from the character.

Mr. Jas give you another solution, try to combine some species to find and create unique design and characterization, like tiger and swan or bat and gecko. This has appeared in Impossible Creature and Spore game, where we can combine many parts of monster’s body to create new unique monster.

Example 1: From clothing design with culture, Dita’s design in game INheritage from Tinker Games is an example that combines culture element from Domba Garut (West Java) with futuristic element.

Example 2: From minimalistic but memorable side, Titok from Gejegames created by Mr. Jas’s best friend, Mr. Ube is also a memorable example.

3. The design doesn’t make sense

Sometimes, since it’s very exciting we design our characters we insert the elements that don’t make any sense so by player’s brain or for those who see this character, this character doesn’t make any sense at all. For example, there is giant stone golem, but it can swim in water, it doesn’t make sense since stone will sink in the water. Or a crawling animal, has horn but it’s rolling. The horn will hurt the head if it keeps rolling, right?

The solution that Mr. Jas offer is that we still have to think about physiological and anatomical side from the character we design. So it’s necessary to research before we design character we insert in a game, not just being cool in designing. Mind the Abe Oddysey game, Abe’s body form is very suitable with walking style of the character, so psychologically the players accept it.

There is another solution, learn many legend books, trusted myth book, and knowledge about weird creatures, so if you want to design weird character, it’s not blurry and makes the player feel familiar. Goblin is always dwarf, big nosed, maybe green skinned or grey skinned. Try to create beautiful Goblin more than elf, of course without realizing, psychologically player will reject that design.

Well, that’s all about some things that make our game character design is easily forgotten. If we can avoid the points Mr. Jas delivers, who knows we can create very interesting game character and memorable for anybody. Hopefully Mr. Jas’s lecture this time is beneficial. Let’s keep the learning spirit to develop the game. Wait for Mr. Jas’s next lecture!

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Saya adalah seorang penggemar game sekaligus pembuat game. Sehari-hari bekerja sebagai dosen konsentrasi Pengembangan Game, Program Studi Desain Komunikasi Visual, Fakultas Teknologi Informasi di Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana. Saat ini mendirikan sebuah studio game indie yang bernama Enthrean. Karena saya penggemar JRPG, impian saya adalah membuat studio game yang bisa menyaingi ketenaran Square Enix.