hero-clipartcom (1)As a Narrative Designer, you often create and develop non-player characters (NPCs) that help drive the story you’re telling. This is your supporting cast, the characters that bring the world to life around your player character or main character.

What I’ll talk about below comes from my experience creating NPCs for various story lengths (short to epic) and various media, including video games, fiction, table-top games (TTGs), and live-action roleplaying games (LARPs). No matter what, good story is good story, and bad story is…well, a damn shame.

What are Non-Player Characters, Really?

Truth? NPCs are storytelling tools. They’re not your best friend, not your fantasy (iiew), not your children, not your pets, not there to serve you. They may be your chance to show off, but ONLY if you’re showing off how great a narrative designer you are.

You create NPCs to serve the story you’re telling. This means every decision you make about them must pass the “ARC” test. Does taking the character in a particular direction:

  • Answer questions players/readers may have about the world and story?
  • Reinforce the story you’ve already been telling?
  • Create opportunities for future story twists and awesome story arcs?

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7 Tips for Narrative Designer Hopefuls

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If you’re eyeballing the games industry as a destination for your career, and the “writer” or “narrative designer” job seems right up your alley, then you should know what preparations you can make in advance to better position yourself for success. I hope you find these tips helpful, and I look forward to hearing your […]

Not So Secret Society Game Club

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We are Jen, Kate, and Angel; three gamer chicas who love puzzle adventure games. Our playthroughs are a hoot.
Join us as we shoot the shit and explore the many awesome games available for those of us with busy lives and a taste for mysteries and good stories.
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The ladies get together with special guest Pamela Wang to play through DreamPath: Curse of the Swamps, a puzzle adventure game with impressive art and game design. Join us as we’re blown away by this beautiful and well-thought-out game.

I’m a Gamer.

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What Kind of Gamer Are You?

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Richard Bartle, a British guy who created the original MUDs, identified four types of MUD/MMORPG gamer (killer, explorer, achiever, and socializer). Based on these types, Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey put together a test to determine what kind of gamer you are. Like the memes that fly around the internet these days, or the various […]