What does make a good character?
We’ve touched on this subject before back on Level 4 Animation, in which we made notes about 20 character design tips.
(Link to previous Post – https://awsomesauce.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/design-a-character/)
But to add more to the idea of what makes a good character, there needs to be more depth and purpose for a good character to work.
There’s three main pieces that character can be based upon; Physical, Social-logical and Psychological.
These three are used as a sort of foundation which is similar to that of the archetypes.
With a good character there seems to be a need to have a good relationship with its environment and other characters around it. This will allow the character to be more believable as well as giving the player something to base the characters personality upon. This will give emphasis on the ability to identify and empathise with the characters also.
Here’s what I’ve been able to get around the idea of plot to create a good character…
“The plot of the story is an account of the dramatic tension we experienced as a result of the jeopardy our hero faced.”
If you where to see this in an equation,
Plot = Dramatic tension (conflict x stakes / time = hero jeopardy)
Conflict – What is the nature of the fight?
Stakes – What are the stakes that this fight is about?
Hero jeopardy – How do the conflict and stakes put our hero at risk?
Dramatic tension – What are the results of the conflict and the stakes, and how do they impact our characters?
Time – Over what period does this conflict take place?
So the character needs a learning curve, good backstory and purpose? Pretty much the base to build what I see as a good character anyway.
I may have spoken about this video before in Level 4 when I was looking at the creative industry but I can’t seem to find this specific video. These are shorts of Pixar’s John Lasseter answering a few quick Q & about Pixar’s work, the animation industry and every odd question here n there…
In short it’s about bringing inanimate objects to life and the part that really stands out, especially when looking at making a good character is where he’s pretty much saying; a good character is made by giving it purpose, a story.