|Imagine these concepts were considered for the dev spotlight workshop character.|
|(They weren't really, they're just something I doodled afterwards)|
Character workshop, part 1: The setup.In this multi-part dev spotlight feature I will demonstrate how I create a simple character for TU. This character will be included in the version 3 of Teraurge. This content will also be different from other story content I have planned for V3 because most of this character will be discussed and dissected during this workshop. So if you don't want to be spoiled on this character before experiencing it yourself as intended in V3, stop reading now.
I have tendency to do my work in a messy and ass-backwards way, which then usually evolves into something decent/bearable. Don't do what I do, just treat this as a day in the zoo.
NameNames are one of the most useful useless things. I don't think about character names much. My main concerns for a name are: How alien it is, no apostrophes, how easy it is to remember.
How alien it is: I could name a character "Jack" but that would hit player's sense of immersion hard. It's perfectly realistic (but unlikely) that aliens would use same sounds/wording for names as us, but I will avoid naming my characters with normal human names. (Google the name too, so you don't accidentally pick a name of a known/famous thing you didn't know about).
No apostrophes: This is simple, no apostrophes. Dumb cliche that makes names more complicated and elvish.
How easy it is to remember: A writer always feels a pang of shame when a reader doesn't remember the name of the character they're talking about. Not being able to remember names of characters when experiencing the writing also makes the story more confusing and harder to follow for the person experiencing it. This can sometimes be lessened in games by just giving a "Who was that again?" option in dialogue for the player, but in general I write content assuming players can remember characters when they're mentioned. Short, simple and distinct names are easy to remember. If there's a character with a long and complicated name, take into account how shortenable it is. I wouldn't want everyone to refer to Nkaan as Nkaanmykiunsuns all the time. (I don't take the pronunciation of a name into account when I create it. Your pronunciation is just as valid as anyone else's).
How to come up with the name? Just write weird words and add/remove letters from them until it feels less like a random mess of characters. Amnk... Amnuh- Amnukhel. There we go, that's the name, Amnukhel. Sounds vaguely Egyptian but we can't tell for sure. I just have to make sure there are no Egyptian styled design elements in the character's design to avoid making it too familiar and less alien. Additionally it can be shortened to just Amn or Amnu. Great. I don't usually spend more than 2 minutes on a name. The name itself doesn't matter, the character itself will define the name through their interactions with the player.
Next, I'm going to make a folder named "Amnukhel" into the database/characters/ (Remember not to use UPPERCASE characters).
And then I'm going to create two new txt.files and a folder, and then name them "diag", "stats", and "pictures" respectively.
Then I'm going to copy the default list of attributes I have on hand into the stats.txt.
|Imagine intense copy/paste action here.|
The default environment doesn't have to be defined from the get to, the game will load a placeholder grey thing if it's not set properly here. The color settings are just white for bubble and black for text. They're set as hex colors and if you want to be efficient/lazy you can just google that shit.
|Yes, you can just google that shit.|
To finish the setup of the character to be ready for content, I'm going to copy the most basic script structure in the world into the diag.txt.
|This will be super riveting and erotic at some point, I hope.|
I still need a "character.png".
At this point I have a very vague grasp about the character that I won't elaborate here. To help with the creative process I'm going to doodle a picture of the character so I can do a thinky during the drawing. I used to draw character sketches on a blank background, but I find it faster to implement them into the game if I just use the perspective template I use for drawing backgrounds for this purpose.
|I wasn't sure what I was going for, but this one's good. A colorful frog alien thing that rests on it's belly with droopy ears . I wasn't going to render it this much but I got carried away. The ominous human scale shadows are harmless.|
After some doodling, I export the character layer as a "character.png", and put it into the character's folder. After all this setting up I can boot up the game, press ctrl + d and open the character from the debug menu. (You might need to activate the debug function for your installation to be able to do this, see the file "debug_functions_plz.txt" in your database folder for the instructions on how to do it).
|Amazing what you can accomplish in an afternoon of fucking about.|