I guess this is a "Main Characters are Boring" thread now.

A place to discuss my comic, and for general talk.

I guess this is a "Main Characters are Boring" thread now.

Postby Adghar on Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:07 pm

Seriously. It's maddening to come to a one-topic forum.

Also, I'm a "carnafan."

But only tentatively.

Mod edit: Because I can.
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Postby Legendary on Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:53 pm

Do tell.

Man, "carnafan." How the hell did I come up with that term, considering I don't drink?
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Postby Rixaxun on Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:01 pm

Drugs? Paint-induced hallucinations?
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Postby Ska on Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:54 am

I have been a carnafan since he was first introduced.

I even did a totally awesome MS Pain picture of him, that is now in the fanart section.

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Postby Adghar on Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:39 pm

Legendary wrote:Do tell.


There haven't been too many comics (omg subjective opinion rofl) featuring Carnahan's character so I can't analyze him enough to know whether I love him, hate him, or somewhere off the charts.
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Postby Legendary on Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:26 pm

...

This seems as good a place as any to reveal that Carnahan was originally conceived as a walking "poetic angst" factory.

Then I decided that, even intended as a parody, somebody that was like that all the time would get old fast and be difficult to write for. And I realized that Antonio and Lionel were already pretty wordy (because I like using big words, and that comes through in my dialogue) so I decided to go the opposite way for Carnahan. And it made him very fun and challenging to write for, and judging from the feedback I've gotten, he's a lot of people's favorite character.
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Postby Hazardswake on Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:45 am

I like him a lot, but more than Lionel? I dunno about that.
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Postby Shimmel on Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:51 pm

So Carnahan fans are Carnafans. Then are Vania fans Fanias? Ooh, and Antonio fans would be Fantonios. But for Lionel fans... Hmm... :-?
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Postby Probablygod on Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:58 am

idiots
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Postby Legendary on Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:41 pm

Seriously, main characters are just there to be outshined by the supporting cast.
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Postby Nico on Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:16 am

Speaking of the supporting cast, why is it that so many games have a NPC more interesting then anyone in your party? I'm reminded of a review recently that wondered why your main couldn't be Sky Captain Schmidt (a sub-character that never joins you). Why can't the script writers make your main character more compelling and less of a walking stereotype? Is it because they feel afraid of making the 16 year old orphan boy who watched his village burn down at the hands of the villain different then other games leads? Is it because it's far too hard to imagine, much less write up an entire games worth of narriative when you can't use another games hero for reference? Or is it because whoever is in charge of the project will only let a writer show their skill when it's a throw-away character?

That said, too few games muster any sort of characterization. You never really learn much about what makes your party members tick, and the characters almost never make any sort of emotional growth (other then unrealistic, cliche 180 degree turns from villan to hero... or pretend 180 degree turns to backstab said heros.) The games that really offer depth to my avatars have become some of my favorites, because I actually grow to care for them and all their flaws.

I think a perfect example of what I'm talking about is the movie "Poseidon", which I believe offers about the same level of appealing, unique characters as the average RPG. Nearly everyone in the movie had no depth and could be identified as a common stereotype in a few moments. It was all action and no substance. By the end I only really cared about one of them -- the gay ships architect. This wasn't because he was fantastically written for, or showed anything particuarly endearing about himself; the only reason I liked him is because he A. Wasn't stereotypical, and B. Because they spent all of 5 minutes developing his personality. The film might have been enjoyable, but offering all action with no actors that I could feel attached to made it actually fairly boring. Who cares if the love interests father is going to drown when you could care less about her and her progenitor.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that RPG developers really need to step up and write original characters (or at least ones that have a few quirks). Spend all of 15 minutes over the course of a 40+ hour game giving them a personality and even a mediocre game will be worth playing until the ending credits. There are exceptions to this rule, but with a few exceptions almost all games scripts would be "Poseidon's".[/i]
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Postby Shimmel on Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:08 am

Yeah, main characters are always boring, but I wonder if the writers think that if someone doesn't like the main character's personality, they wouldn't play the game. That was the the reasoning behind the silent protagonist type, that players would put themselves in the main character's shoes. So I think the writers think it doesn't matter if the player doesn't like other characters so they can have actual personalities, but the main characters have to be boring.

But I also agree that too many games have no characterization. Besides, many that do have characterization introduce the personalities, then only develop a few of the important characters.
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Postby Tiako on Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:06 pm

Main characters aren't always boring, but I do think that the best path is the PCRPG route of letting the main character be completely player defined (Actually, I personally believe that going the computer RPG route is generally a good idea, but that's just a matter of preference).

The problem with making the main character "quirky" is that he has to pretty much be the center of every scene and quirkiness would make those scenes more difficult. It also likely has to do with the more restrictive nature of console-style RPG plots.
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Postby Shimmel on Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:20 pm

Tiako wrote:Main characters aren't always boring, but I do think that the best path is the PCRPG route of letting the main character be completely player defined (Actually, I personally believe that going the computer RPG route is generally a good idea, but that's just a matter of preference).

The problem with making the main character "quirky" is that he has to pretty much be the center of every scene and quirkiness would make those scenes more difficult. It also likely has to do with the more restrictive nature of console-style RPG plots.

You're right, I think a better way to put it would be usually boring? Personally, I prefer main characters to have already defined personalities, but the main problems with that are possible player dislike and quirkiness harder to write into scenes.

It would be interesting to see a main character with a completely weird personality. I'm not sure if that would be a good idea or not, though. :lol:
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Postby Squark on Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:24 am

Legendary wrote:...

This seems as good a place as any to reveal that Carnahan was originally conceived as a walking "poetic angst" factory.

Then I decided that, even intended as a parody, somebody that was like that all the time would get old fast and be difficult to write for. And I realized that Antonio and Lionel were already pretty wordy (because I like using big words, and that comes through in my dialogue) so I decided to go the opposite way for Carnahan. And it made him very fun and challenging to write for, and judging from the feedback I've gotten, he's a lot of people's favorite character.


I've been meaning to ask? What does "angst" mean? I tried wiki, but it didn't help.
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Postby Germ on Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:28 am

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Postby Draco N. Slayer on Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:03 am

None of the main characters are annoying or anything so I guess I like them. The goblin pianist is of course the best. And don't try to tell me he isn't important. Clearly he's calling all the shots in this here endeavour. Clearly.
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Postby XenoGeno on Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:57 am

I'm a Fanlock, Algerfan, and Cyklafan, myself... wow, those are stretching it. Yeah, I like them because we know nothing about them and, let's face it, the "mysterious" characters end up being the most popular. Take Carny for instance.
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Postby Legendary on Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:04 pm

Draco N. Slayer wrote:None of the main characters are annoying or anything so I guess I like them. The goblin pianist is of course the best. And don't try to tell me he isn't important. Clearly he's calling all the shots in this here endeavour. Clearly.


I'll bet he's the guy playing all the background music! :evil:
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Postby Rochi on Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:05 pm

What's funny is that lionel's having a childhood friend that hasn't turned evil, no romantic interest in the princess, and no angsty attitude makes him the most innovative party leader in a computer/video game rpg since forever. Also, Antionio's meta humor on comics making fun of rpg physics by having characters born and raised with said physics complain about how the physics are stupid makes me a fantonio.
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