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Character Custom History/Biography

wasteland 2 character generator creation biography history chargen

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45 replies to this topic

#21
Messier-31

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For me it would be good to use a fair ammount of some small premade backstories to choose from, describing who you were before the game starts and from where you come from. Has impact on the story ofc.

 

Something similar is in Neverwinter (MMO) iirc.


Edited by Messier-31, 29 June 2014 - 02:00 PM.

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#22
Valmy

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You could do this in the infinity engine games right?  They had a backstory but you could write your own.

 

In general I am not a big fan of game options that do not do anything in the game though.  I mean in a single player game there is no reason for me to type my backstory into the game.  I already know it.


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#23
Osvir

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For me it would be good to use a fair ammount of some small premade backstories to choose from, describing who you were before the game starts and from where you come from. Has impact on the story ofc.

 

Something similar is in Neverwinter (MMO) iirc.

Premade stories is something we're getting in Pillars of Eternity (as it seems from reading the preview articles): The whole NPC Banter early game that defines who your character is sounds like premade stories that you puzzle together to shape something. It sounds really great and I believe it will be a great mechanic.

We'll have to wait and see. Perhaps the NPC Background Banter uses some key words only that you can't Edit (due to them being important to the story of the character later on, or can be used in dialogue later on), but maybe there are other sections of the background that are open-ended and can be played around with.

This was originally an idea I got for Wasteland 2, where this idea fits much better, but I thought that I could throw it in here as well because one idea isn't entirely exclusive to one specific game.

"Hugs" are in Wasteland 2 for instance :p


Edited by Osvir, 29 June 2014 - 03:15 PM.


#24
Valmy

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For me it would be good to use a fair ammount of some small premade backstories to choose from, describing who you were before the game starts and from where you come from. Has impact on the story ofc.

 

Something similar is in Neverwinter (MMO) iirc.

Premade stories is something we're getting in Pillars of Eternity (as it seems from reading the preview articles): The whole NPC Banter early game that defines who your character is sounds like premade stories that you puzzle together to shape something. It sounds really great and I believe it will be a great mechanic.

We'll have to wait and see. Perhaps the NPC Background Banter uses some key words only that you can't Edit (due to them being important to the story of the character later on, or can be used in dialogue later on), but maybe there are other sections of the background that are open-ended and can be played around with.

This was originally an idea I got for Wasteland 2, where this idea fits much better, but I thought that I could throw it in here as well because one idea isn't entirely exclusive to one specific game.

Hugs are in Wasteland 2 for instance :p

 

 

I have to say it would be kind of nice to know what those options are because then I could plan out my character based on them.

 

But no big deal.  It is not like I cannot roll with the punches easily enough.  'My character is the sheriff of Dyrford?  Ok then'  I just cannot get too married to a character concept before I actually play.



#25
Lephys

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LARPing: You like to roleplay? You like to immerse yourself? Then a character biography is a great tool and help to achieve this.

 
I like to immerse myself in video games but LARPing while playing video games may be going a little too far for me.


That, and "my character grew up as a slave in a noble's house, but can never tell anyone about that, ever, OR do anything that ever has anything to do with that past, ever ever ever in the whole game" kind of puts a damper on the whole roleplaying thing. :)

How do you play a role if you don't get to play that role?

#26
Silent Winter

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LARPing: You like to roleplay? You like to immerse yourself? Then a character biography is a great tool and help to achieve this.

 
I like to immerse myself in video games but LARPing while playing video games may be going a little too far for me.

 


That, and "my character grew up as a slave in a noble's house, but can never tell anyone about that, ever, OR do anything that ever has anything to do with that past, ever ever ever in the whole game" kind of puts a damper on the whole roleplaying thing. :)

How do you play a role if you don't get to play that role?

 

I guess it depends on how specific you get and also how in/out of the world you make it.

It can be used to inform your choices, even if nobody outside your head can see the reasoning.

Your example above could lead to your PC treating all interactions with nobles with hostility and/or suspicion.  Equally, all slavers would quickly feel your wrath and be ignored when it's their turn to beg for mercy.

[See also my slightly-tongue-in-cheek example in this thread:

http://forums.obsidi...read/?p=1462587

re: druid and bears]


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#27
Hiro Protagonist II

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I always like our Shaman's Thunder Bears (Warding) power in our pnp game. We pictured these cute little thunder bears attacking an enemy when our Shaman used it. I guess having a girl in our pnp group helped with it. Bringing out the Thunder Bears, tralalalala.


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#28
Lephys

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I hadn't thought of that. That's true. But then, it's only really a matter of simple convenience at that point. You could just write your bio on a little piece of paper, and leave it next to your computer (or in your laptop bag) for easy referencing. I mean, at that point, it's probably worth it to have a simple saved bit of text, in-game, for such a thing. However, it would almost be pointless to go into super-in-depth "We'll help you write a relevant/awesome biography at character creation!" systems if literally nothing in that biography was going to affect/interact-with the game world whatsoever.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it's great what Osvir is thinking, here, but I'll take biographical details that actually impact my gameplay over ones I just get to pretend are relevant or "happened," anyday.

In this game, it seems like we'll have some early game choices to essentially use references to the past in dialogue to dictate what it is that happened in our character's past, to sort of shape our character's bio. In this case, especially, I think detailed bio-writing tools would be hindered a lot more if you have to pick one of 5 options to some question/description of your past (I grew up on a farm, I was raised on the streets as an orphan, etc.) and none of them coincided with your custom-built biography.

*shrug*. I'd love to see a game that helps you assemble a biography like that, then actually carries all those things through the whole game and provides reactivity and such. But, I'm not sure it would be feasible to have anything more than just an available history/lore reference for you to look at and comprise your own custom biography, manually. And, again, I'm not sure how feasible even that'll be once you start picking in-game biographical facets.

#29
Death Machine Miyagi

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LARPing: You like to roleplay? You like to immerse yourself? Then a character biography is a great tool and help to achieve this.

 
I like to immerse myself in video games but LARPing while playing video games may be going a little too far for me.

 


That, and "my character grew up as a slave in a noble's house, but can never tell anyone about that, ever, OR do anything that ever has anything to do with that past, ever ever ever in the whole game" kind of puts a damper on the whole roleplaying thing. :)

How do you play a role if you don't get to play that role?

 

 

I mostly just treated it as a bit of impromptu creative writing practice. For example, given the circumstances BG1 opens with, how could I make Gorion's ward an interesting and distinctive character as opposed to a generic arrangement of stats, even if only in my head? What class would it make the most sense for Gorion's ward to be? If I'm playing a Paladin or Ranger or Wild Mage or what-have-you, how do I create a rational explanation for how a 20 year old sequestered away in a library his/her entire life gained those skills? What was my character's opinion of Gorion or Imoen or any of the other bit characters in Candlekeep? How did he/she react to watching his/her stepfather gutted in front of him/her? How does he/she react to...well, just about anything that happens in that game and its sequel?

 

And so on. In theory, it seemed like it would be all a quite entertaining experiment, taking what material was there and working to make my own writing enhance that as best I could. In practice, I found the whole experience exhausting and didn't get much beyond Chapter 2 of BG before just playing normally. It would be a whole different experience, of course, if the game reacted to the backstory, but since it can't it mostly just felt like writing bad Baldur's Gate fan fiction no one could possibly ever read but me. That's treading in levels of geekdom that make even me shy away in horror. 


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#30
Silent Winter

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I always like our Shaman's Thunder Bears (Warding) power in our pnp game. We pictured these cute little thunder bears attacking an enemy when our Shaman used it. I guess having a girl in our pnp group helped with it. Bringing out the Thunder Bears, tralalalala.

I now have a bizarre mental image of Thor+Zeus meets the Care-Bears :blink:


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#31
Lephys

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I now have a bizarre mental image of Thor+Zeus meets the Care-Bears :blink:


I like to think any time they grow near, AC/DC's Thunderstruck can be heard. :)
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#32
JFSOCC

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While it's impossible to integrate custom backstories into the game, I would think it awesome (perhaps for some future title) to have a large database of keywords or keyphrases to pick from. "exiled from home" "son of a prostitute" "orphaned"(bleh) "fought in the war" etc, so that you can pick and choose from a list of these, or write your own backstory and get notified if any of your keywords or phrases match the document (so you can confirm whether you want that box ticked by the game)

 

It might make it more feasible to have your own custom backstory integrated into the game. Albeit imperfectly.


Edited by JFSOCC, 04 July 2014 - 04:53 AM.

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#33
hoku85

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i dont mind writing a bio , but if i do i want some cred for doing it xD , that affects the game. This is why i think im rather on karkovs side.

 

Make npcs ask so many questions that your bio gets written , and so that it feel original. And plz make it affect the game with allinfo  you get in the bio from doing it. (sorry my bad english, hope its understandable xd).

 

makes game smooth if the npcs do that job for you with all their questions.



#34
Osvir

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What about having a UI Button during the Character Creation that has a direct access to a Codex with brief historical, locational, regional entrées/articles etc. etc?



#35
NWN_babaYaga

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For the witcher game the history of Geralt was neccesary because you play him. But when I do real character creation i dont realy want anyone else writing a tale for my "unique" adventurer. I have enough ideas myself and can create a very simple story in just a few minutes that i can use. Not that i dont like one or two fixed events that happened in your past to push the story along or a sidequest but the main theme of my character should be my own thing. I dont even need to write it down into a text box in a gui later because i have a fully working brain in my head... 

 

I dont want to question the ability of you obsidian writers to tell an interesting story for my PC but it just does not fit right paired with the ability of unique character creation. You are unique somehow but not so much you know... ? !

 

But i have nothing against a very basic setup that does not limits myself to much.


Edited by NWN_babaYaga, 10 August 2014 - 11:18 AM.


#36
Bryy

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I'm going to play as The Rock.


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#37
Osvir

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What about having a UI Button during the Character Creation that has a direct access to a Codex with brief historical, locational, regional entrées/articles etc. etc?

Wait, I think there is an explanation/description to all the options you can choose in the chargen, my bad. That pretty much is a "codex".



#38
Lephys

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I'm going to play as The Rock.


So funny you should say that... When Diablo 2 came out, my brother LOVED it. He knows if he sat around trying to actually come up with a good character name, it'd take forever, so he just slaps in the first thing he thinks of. So he makes a Barbarian, named "TheRock" (I think you couldn't use spaces? Or, he just didn't, either one...). So, he beats the game, and we didn't know that you get "Sir" prefixed onto your name when that occurs. So, we all said, "Sir The Rock? That's awkward as crap!"

So we just started pronouncing "The Rock" as one word, and calling him, phonetically, "Sir There-uhk." Haha. Annnnnnnnywho...
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#39
Ineth

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That, and "my character grew up as a slave in a noble's house, but can never tell anyone about that, ever, OR do anything that ever has anything to do with that past, ever ever ever in the whole game" kind of puts a damper on the whole roleplaying thing. :)

How do you play a role if you don't get to play that role?

 

I would think it awesome (perhaps for some future title) to have a large database of keywords or keyphrases to pick from. "exiled from home" "son of a prostitute" "orphaned"(bleh) "fought in the war" etc

 

Doesn't the "pick your character's profession" thing that was shown in the PE gameplay video/interview, sort of provide this?

 

Sure, it's no substitute for a well-rounded backstory, but it did include interesting things like "slave".



#40
Silent Winter

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^sure - but 'slave' may be auto-interpreted by the game to mean working the oars on a galley or pulling stone slabs to buid the temple - in other words, you might pick something with one idea in mind but get another.
I did hear that the questions asked about your past by the NPCs in the opening will further define your backstory if you so choose (or you can choose to remain a blank slate).  I think this is a great idea.  Should allow us to pick 'killed slave-master to escape' or 'bought freedom through hard-work' and wotnot.


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