Personality …

In keeping with my walk down memory lane, I was reminded of Wizardry 8. What I liked best about it was that, limited though it was, it was the best game I’ve ever played for allowing you to create a full party of characters and give them their own personalities, and have that come through in the game. Sure, games like Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon’s Age give you characters with personality and have them interact in the game, and games like Icewind Dale let you create a party with a background and relationships, but none of them really let you create a party of your own characters and let them interact with each other based on that.

Wizardry 8 let you do that. When you created a character, you were asked to give it a personality and a voice (there were usually two voices for each personality type). During the game, at certain points, they’d say things. Such as when you meet someone. Or when they level up. Or when one of them dies. Or when one of them is revived. Or when they need healing. Or … well, you get the idea by now. Because of this, they often would say something that was just so completely and totally apropos to the situation and their character, which would often also be incredibly hilarious. And sometimes two characters would say things that complemented each other beautifully, and start to sound a bit like an actual conversation.

What I’d love to see is a game like that taken further, where you can create a party or group of characters that are all your own, all of which have various relationships with the other party members, like being in love with one of them, being their rival, hating them, and so on. Then, in game, you get occasional conversations reflecting those relationships. Sure, they’d have to be generic, but being your own characters would give it more of a punch and let you ignore that. Ideally, even the AI of each party member would be biased towards that, and conversations with people could have that flavour as well. In terms of work, doing the simple, generic scenes wouldn’t be that hard — it would depend on the number of conversations — but the testing might be, since you’d have to test all combinations. But even there, if the framework was solid the only thing you’d want to avoid are crashes, because even odd interactions will just be funny and not overly frustrating. So testing the framework would be more important, and it’s easier to do than every single combination.

Sadly, I don’t think that the market really wants that, and so it will never happen. But I can always hope.

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4 Responses to “Personality …”

  1. Crude Says:

    Why not The Sims? Not enough RPG to it?

    • verbosestoic Says:

      You don’t really have the ability to create a party of characters and create personalities and relationships between them that are just acted out, unless that become more prevalent in later games. Also, the game just IS those interactions, while I’m looking for the interactions to create people brought together for a specific purpose, like you saw with the create party members in the Bioware games.

      • Crude Says:

        This may be up your alley: http://www.ea.com/sims-medieval-ios

        Probably still too vague and broad, but really – The Sims seems to have everything you want on the interaction side. Throwing that into a serviceable RPG context seems possible, though of course it’d all be in simlish.

      • verbosestoic Says:

        I have Medieval for the PC. I did like it a bit better than the regular Sims, but drifted away from it like I do for so many games — including Wizardry 8. Maybe I should pick it up again …

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