One of the most important parts in a video game is to have a believable and interesting NPC characters. This article will discuss how to create believable and exciting NPCs, so that players feel more attached to the game world and its inhabitants.
In order for an NPC to be credible, they need backstory or motivation for why they are doing what they are doing. Let’s discuss several ways to make this process easier so that game writing will be even easier.
The importance of compelling NPC characters
NPCs are characters that are not controlled by the player. They have important roles in aiding or playing against the player’s progress throughout the game. NPCs can be classified into many different categories, including shopkeepers, quest givers, enemies, allies…etc. Their purpose goes beyond just being another obstacle for players to overcome; they should help players better immerse themselves into the game world.
By creating NPC characters with a backstory and motivation, a video game writer can help players feel more attached to the game world’s inhabitants. This can in turn make players more willing to accomplish quests or defeat enemies in order to protect certain NPCs or defeat others. Players will be much more likely to invest in the outcome of the game through their attachment to NPCs. Don’t ignore this important detail of writing video game scripts!
Creating backstory for NPC characters
In order to create a backstory for an NPC, a video game writer must know how this person fits into his or her world. The more information about them you have, the easier it is to make decisions about what they should do and say throughout your game.
Additionally, a writer should know how this NPC responds to player choices and why. For example, how does a shopkeeper react if the player wishes to break his window to get into his store? What is this person going to do or say then? These are crucial questions that need to be answered as you create your game’s world.
Some tips on how to make this process easier
Create a list of all the NPCs that will be in your game and what their purpose is. You can separate them into groups such as allies, enemies…etc. This might help you find any holes in your list if you haven’t done so already.
You can group them even further based on specific game details: Are there different races? Is there a different dynamic based on gender or age? What about socio economic factors? Are the characters educated?
All of these questions will lead you to find out more about your NPC’s to categorize their behaviour patterns more.
Keeping track of things is the only way to keep the credibility up throughout the game. Make sure to know what your NPCs motivation is if it’s a specific quest/mission you’re writing for them. The same characters can have different motivations to achieve many different goals throughout the game.
Character dialogue is important, but don’t forget that NPC dialogue has to be believable as well. You need to make choices that player will believe in, not just because they sound good on paper. In other words, an NPC can’t sound like a salesperson who tries to sell you something.
Never forget that player’s and NPCs should share the same world, so it is important to remember all of its details while developing your game. This will keep the experience believable and provide players with an immersive gaming process.
Examples of good, believable NPC characters in video games
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, most NPCs have a reason for being in the world they are existing in. They don’t seem to exist solely for players to interact with them or ride by them on their horses. For instance, a farmer is trying to convince Geralt of his daughter’s disappearance and the possible culprits. This gives the player a reason to go talk with the suspects and eventually find out what happened.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim players meet multiple characters in cities and villages. All of them have a backstory which makes it easier to immerse yourself in this world. You can hear about their life, learn more about this land’s history, become attached to NPCs. If players are attached, they will feel more compelled to complete quests and see the game’s story through.
Detail-oriented NPCs make an impact on players. The fact that all of them have a backstory adds to this immersion factor. Players care about what happens in the world around them, which gives them purpose for completing quests, defeating enemies, and so on.
NPCs that don’t impact the game’s story in any way tend to be more of an annoyance than anything else. They are simply walking around or standing still (and not doing much of anything). Players want to interact with characters who have a greater purpose for existing within the game world, not just fine details that aren’t expanding the game’s story.
A good example of NPCs that don’t impact the game’s story in any way would be shopkeepers. They are there for players to purchase items, weapons, and armour. Nothing more than that. It is helpful to have specific details about them so it doesn’t seem like they are just standing in one place.
In conclusion, NPC characters in video games need to be well-developed and believable enough for players to want to interact with them. Detailed NPCs have a greater impact on player immersion which can lead to increased sales of products featured within the game. .
Examples of good, believable NPC characters in video games: In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. NPCs that don’t impact the game’s story in any way tend to be more of an annoyance than anything else. They are simply walking around or standing still (and not doing much of anything). It is helpful to have specific details about them so it feels like they belong more in your world.
To sum it up, good NPC’s need to fulfil a role that is constantly evolving throughout the game, their motivations must line up to their personalities to get the players hooked.