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Graeme
4th Jan 2009, 19:10
Many games have tried to get you to care about the characters in it, few have succeeded. Harvey Smith mentioned that having character recur throughout the game play a major role in this (which I would agree with), yet I can honestly say I was happy to blow away any of your 3 Tarsus buddies in DX:IW at any time; I didn't care. They resurfaced more than some character in DX did yet I still felt worse when Paul was killed than when Klara Spark's was gunned down.

What made me care about Paul more than Klara? Maybe Paul is a bad example since he's JC's brother. I wanted Jamie Reyes, Alex Jacobson and Sam Carter all to be safe. It felt more like they were genuine friends to JC. Klara, Billie and Leo (though I'll admit I liked Leo a great deal more than the other two) felt bland, empty and at times irritating.

How much of it is the characters themselves?
How much of it is how they interact with the player?
How much of it is how they're implemented, unfolded and developed as the plot progresses?
How does Eidos make characters that we care about and feel rich, deep and like genuine friends?

NK007
4th Jan 2009, 21:40
I couldn't care less about Mr. Reyes.

Larington
4th Jan 2009, 21:41
The problem with your buddies in IW is that they weren't anything more than associates whereas I could believe that JC and several of his co-workers were actually capable of being friends. It did help that the dialogue for the interactions between the various DX1 characters was generally better at representing friendships as well.

Red
4th Jan 2009, 22:50
I couldn't care less about Mr. Reyes.

His bringing of the upgrade canister to Hong Kong was quite a likable gesture :)

Mindmute
4th Jan 2009, 23:40
I couldn't care less about Mr. Reyes.

:eek:
He was one of the people from Unatco which I really liked... Jacobson actually annoyed the hell out of me...

-"What the hell JC, she was one our of own!" (bastardised version of his dialogue line)
-"Just for that girly screech, you're next..."



I think a great deal about what made the characters memorable was the extensiveness of the interaction, coupled with excellent writting. I think the storyline contributed as much towards making them likeable/dislikeable as the interaction did.
They just felt very "genuine" to me, it was easy to relate them to the concept of a real person.

Spyhopping
4th Jan 2009, 23:45
I really liked Jock, even if he did converse with JC from inside his helicopter for most of the game

spm1138
5th Jan 2009, 08:59
How much of it is the characters themselves?


It seems like that should be a big part of it. It really helps when a character is well rounded and interestingly written. Planescape Torment had some chuffing terrific characters who were really interesting to talk to. I really got to think of them as people.

How much of it is how they interact with the player?


This too. I was surprised at how much I got to care about my buddies in FC2. I mean they're not nice people and they're not particularly deep but I was sad when Frank caught a bullet and when I had to shoot Nasreen just because of the japes we'd gotten into. Having someone save your hide and saving theirs helps. Also getting a phone call and turning up to find them all giggly because they know where there's a big bomb you can use to blow someone up is heartwarming :3

How much of it is how they're implemented, unfolded and developed as the plot progresses?


In the sense that it goes back to how they've been written to start with and placing them in a crucible just shows it off more clearly, yes.

How does Eidos make characters that we care about and feel rich, deep and like genuine friends?

edit
Clearly Jaime Reyes and JC were meant to be friends from the kidding around with each other but I just never really bought it. I mean who is he?

At least Sam Carter has some kind of personality.

Even Gunther and Anna.

NK007
5th Jan 2009, 09:24
Sam Carter, on the other hand, is the manliest man and someone I can relate to. Even though I'm pretty sure if something like the "orange incident" happened to him, he'd call the technician and slice him up, then find the company headquarters and torch it. You gotta appreciate someone like that.

Spiffmeister
5th Jan 2009, 10:01
I think a lot of it had to do with the interactions between the player and the NPC's. For instance Alex and JC always seem to trust each other when they talk, or assist the other in some way (Alex clears the records of JC killing Navara on the 747). This leads the player to build a sort of confidence in Alex.

IW felt like the player/NPC relationships were more forced, and a trust was never really built in them.

IMO :p

GmanPro
5th Jan 2009, 16:59
A lot of it has to do with good writing obviously but I think that it really helps when your friends arent special agents like you. In IW I wasn't particularly concerned over my Tarsus buddies because not only were they a bunch of ****s most of the time, but I never felt any urgency over them. I remember feeling in DX1 after I went rogue that if anything happened to Jaime Reyes, Sam Carter, and Alex Jacobson because of my actions that it would be my responsibility. And when Paul's killswitch was activated and he pretty much went out of commision, I felt like I needed to watch out for him too.

It was a good contrast. JC may be an unstoppable, epic secret-agent man but all of your buddies are vulnerable as hell. Rescuing Savage's daughter was awesome. I remember when I first played DX I felt like if I was too slow or sloppy that she would actually die and it would be all my fault (good thing I've got an instant quick-load key :D ).

cjc813
12th Jan 2009, 22:32
Many games have tried to get you to care about the characters in it, few have succeeded. Harvey Smith mentioned that having character recur throughout the game play a major role in this (which I would agree with), yet I can honestly say I was happy to blow away any of your 3 Tarsus buddies in DX:IW at any time; I didn't care. They resurfaced more than some character in DX did yet I still felt worse when Paul was killed than when Klara Spark's was gunned down.

What made me care about Paul more than Klara? Maybe Paul is a bad example since he's JC's brother. I wanted Jamie Reyes, Alex Jacobson and Sam Carter all to be safe. It felt more like they were genuine friends to JC. Klara, Billie and Leo (though I'll admit I liked Leo a great deal more than the other two) felt bland, empty and at times irritating.

How much of it is the characters themselves?
How much of it is how they interact with the player?
How much of it is how they're implemented, unfolded and developed as the plot progresses?
How does Eidos make characters that we care about and feel rich, deep and like genuine friends?
We like characters as for the same reasons we like people. Generally, if a character is a "nice guy" and not a jerkoff and gets presented properly with enough time given for the player to feel like they "know" him/her then our minds grow fond of them.

Jaimey Reyes was an 'old friend' of yours and was basically a decent fellah. He spoke to you sincerely and honestly. This kinda thing builds a bond between you and friends as well as NPCs.

Alex Jacobson was a cool hacker/nerd kinda guy who was also your lifeline. He was useful as well as loyal to you. This builds a bond.

Sam Carter was a down to earth, no-nonsense old man. He called it like he saw it and didn't bull***** you. That's respectable and if a real old man acted like that, guess what? You'd like him too.

Alternately...

Leo was an arrogant douche who I wanted to shoot in the face as soon as he opened his mouth.

Don't remember much about Klara, other than I seem to, at this point, want to refer to her as a particularly dumb... part of the female anatomy.

The characters in DX 1 were detailed, rich, elaborate and consistent. They were also likeable. The characters in DX 2 were kind of transparent and poorly developed. You just didn't feel like they were alive. And the personalities that were developed for these toons were the personalites of people we don't really like in real life.

So, basically...

When characters are presented well and are characterizing *likeable people* then there is attachment (generally) between such characters and the audience.

But when the characters are presented poorly and/or are not examples of likeable people... then the player would just as soon (or even sooner) shoot them in the face as to listen to their sassy mouth. :)

GmanPro
12th Jan 2009, 22:37
Exactly. I wanna punch in the face the writer who for whatever reason decided that its cool and sexy when people have a constant negative attitude or otherwise back-talk/give you crap. Like seriously, the people in DX1 had a lot more (generally) to be upset over when compared to the pompous pricks in IW.

singularity
13th Jan 2009, 02:18
I think a lot of it had to do with the interactions between the player and the NPC's. For instance Alex and JC always seem to trust each other when they talk, or assist the other in some way (Alex clears the records of JC killing Navara on the 747). This leads the player to build a sort of confidence in Alex.

IW felt like the player/NPC relationships were more forced, and a trust was never really built in them.

IMO :p

Yeah, I went through IW expecting all three of my "buddies" to stab me in the back. In the first game I cared about the NPCs more because I felt like JC trusted them, which caused me to trust them.

It helped that the NPCs in DX were a little more likeable, too.

jamhaw
13th Jan 2009, 03:24
Many games have tried to get you to care about the characters in it, few have succeeded. Harvey Smith mentioned that having character recur throughout the game play a major role in this (which I would agree with), yet I can honestly say I was happy to blow away any of your 3 Tarsus buddies in DX:IW at any time; I didn't care. They resurfaced more than some character in DX did yet I still felt worse when Paul was killed than when Klara Spark's was gunned down.

What made me care about Paul more than Klara? Maybe Paul is a bad example since he's JC's brother. I wanted Jamie Reyes, Alex Jacobson and Sam Carter all to be safe. It felt more like they were genuine friends to JC. Klara, Billie and Leo (though I'll admit I liked Leo a great deal more than the other two) felt bland, empty and at times irritating.

How much of it is the characters themselves?
How much of it is how they interact with the player?
How much of it is how they're implemented, unfolded and developed as the plot progresses?
How does Eidos make characters that we care about and feel rich, deep and like genuine friends?

I think that IW's chief problem with the characters is that they blew up Chicago, in the begining. There should have been a tutorial, sort of mission at the start where you did security for some company that got attacked, with at the very least Billie. That way you would have had some time to get to know some of the characters and care about them. I really felt bad mowing down UNATCO troopers because I had worked with them for so long. One of the best (worst) expierances in videogaming for me was after I killed the nameless UNATCO trooper sitting at Private Lloyds desk and then discovered that it was LLoyd that I had just killed.

gamer0004
13th Jan 2009, 13:44
IOne of the best (worst) expierances in videogaming for me was after I killed the nameless UNATCO trooper sitting at Private Lloyds desk and then discovered that it was LLoyd that I had just killed.

I thought that Lloyd had been replaced...?

jamhaw
13th Jan 2009, 13:55
I thought that Lloyd had been replaced...?

So did I but after killing UNATCO TROOPER you can see the troopers name again and it's Lloyd. Might only be for the PS2 version though.

Radius86
13th Jan 2009, 14:37
So did I but after killing UNATCO TROOPER you can see the troopers name again and it's Lloyd. Might only be for the PS2 version though.

You know something that I expected but did NOT happen? When you defected from UNATCO and made it out the building, there wasn't a single guard out there. I would have expected some resistance from that thief Kaplan, and some nice lines concerning 'minimum force approach'.

But I pretty much got to Jock's chopper unmolested. There wasnt a single guard out there. :whistle:

Larington
14th Jan 2009, 14:14
True, though considering the base was on a full lock-down (Can't remember but there might have been two guards outside the outer gate/fence thing) they probably didn't expect a 'criminal' to be breaking out of the facility from within it, nor for Jock to decide to be a hero and do a quick extraction run on the UNATCO HQ.

APostLife
14th Jan 2009, 15:15
It all comes down to whoever writes the game plot and characters etc. Spend more time detailing every character and see if they can relate to you. I cannot stand sequels/prequels that completely lack what the previous game/s did had? Isn't obvious in order to make a game u have to research. One big example is Red Alert 3 - an example of how not thought out game it wasn't compared to the other series.:mad2:

I hope that developers are doing a good job - some fans can actually be smarter than the developers.

GmanPro
14th Jan 2009, 17:42
^^ Indeed. They have to try to recapture the same emotions that the DX1 characters inspired. I'd say that getting the same 'feeling' as a previous game in a series is much harder (and much more important imo) than just getting the same aesthetic look/art-style. <- Which is usually the only thing game companies bother trying to get right these days when making sequels for classic games.

teknikal-vision
14th Jan 2009, 17:58
the DX1... 'feeling'

I hope I get that feeling when I finally play Deus Ex

I think the characters in Deus Ex were so emotionally involving and impacting because you spent a lot of time with many of them in a variety of situations.

One of the coolest things in particular was having to live alongside Walton Simons when he finally arrived at UNATCO. Sharing your personal office space with someone who didn't like you and having him as your superior was really cool. Nothing worse than following the orders of someone who hates you.

It made the encounters with him as your full-blown enemy so so so much more satisfying. Your instincts on him were absolutely correct and it felt so very good kicking his ass!