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本文原载于The Game KitchenDevelopment Blog(介于内容和The Last Door有关而选择部分摘录于此)

Title:DESIGNING CHARACTERS

题目:设计角色

Writer: MATEO PÉREZ 

作者:Mateo PÉREZ

time:MARCH 26, 2015

Pub

Pub scene in “My Dearest Visitor” episode of The Last Door game by The Game Kitchen-by The Game Kitchen(最后一扇门的“我最亲爱的访客”章节里酒吧场景)

Hi people! In this post I’ll talk a bit about our process for designing the game’s characters, from the original idea to their final form in a finished episode.(嗨,伙计们!这篇会聊点关于我们设计游戏角色的过程,从一个想法的雏形到它们在章节里最终的形式的整个过程。)

Brainstorming(头脑风暴) Edit

So this is the first step in every episode: we write whatever comes into our minds. When we like something, we stop and write a bit more about it, then we show it to our mates in the design team. If they don’t see it interesting, we ditch it and keep brainstorming. But if the idea manages to spark something in the others’ imagination, then we know we have something.(所以就是每一个章节要做的第一步:写下所有涌入我们脑海的东西。当对其中的一些感觉不错,我们就会停下来并试着写点延展出来,之后我们会把这些展示给设计组里的伙伴们看。如果他们并不觉得有趣,我们就会丢掉这个,继续头脑风暴。但如果这主意引燃了其他人的想象力,我们就知道这是有点成果了。)

Now, this idea will quickly stop being something you could say it’s yours and clearly becomes something with its own entity, something new and exciting. This is what we are always looking for, because if an idea doesn’t surprise you, how can you expect it will surprise your audience?(现在,这个主意打住,逐渐成为了你宣称说这是你的而且一个拥有自己实体的某样事物,某样新鲜而令人振奋的事物。这也就是我们一直在寻找的,因为如果一个主意都无法让你感到惊讶,你又如何能够期待他可以让你的观众感到震惊呢?)

At this point, feedback starts to jump from one’s imagination to the other’s. Sometimes the idea fades out –maybe when thought about properly it just sounds stupid, or maybe we can’t give it a proper shape yet and it stays aside, waiting for the time. But sometimes it manages to make perfect sense and then flourishes into something amazing and unexpected. Then we have a nice scene, location or atmosphere. Or a cool character.(基于此,反馈便可以从个人的想象跃到另一个层面。 有时,这想象或想法会随之消逝(随反馈消逝)——可能适当地再想想,这主意听起来就会觉得很愚蠢,又或者我们没法给它一个恰当的形式(以展现),于是它就只能留在一边,静待(以后或者正确的)时机。 但是,有时它又会令人在感官上觉得十分完美,然后成为惊人的又意想不到的东西。 然后我们有了一个不错的场景,地点上的或是气氛上的。再或者一个很赞的角色。)

Google Images(谷歌图片) Edit

Women-and-Fishermen-of-Hornbaek-by-kroyer

Women and Fishermen of Hornbaek by Kroyer(洪北克的妇女和渔夫by Kroyer

In-the-Store-During-a-Pause-from-Fishing-by-kroyer

In the Store During a Pause from Fishing by Kroyer(店里的捕鱼休憩 by Kroyer

This is a very useful technique we use as a help to the brainstorming. We take a topic and google it –just like that, then we pay attention at whatever the images results are. Some very unexpected mental connections can happen this way, and we can discover new interesting topics to include in the game.(这对给我们的头脑风暴提供助力来讲,十分行之有效。我们选一个主题,然后google一下——就像这些(上面的这些图片)之后我们将注意力放在图片搜索结果上就好。通过这种方式,可以得到一些预料之外联想,于是我们就可以发现能囊括进游戏里的全新的主题。)

When researching for characters, the most useful pictures are nineteenth century photographs, prints and paintings. Photos are tricky, because at the time, most of them were heavily prepared portraits, were attitudes, character and clothing appear quite artificially. Some more casual (and therefore more accurate for our purposes) can be found though, and they make for great reference.(当搜索角色的时候,最有用的图片就是19世纪的照片和绘画作品。照片有点欺骗性,因为在那个时代,大部分都是过度精细的画作,一些越是偶然(也正因此,这对我们的目的来说也就越精确)被找到东西,的对我们来说就是绝佳的参照。)

Barwell frederick bacon fisherman

Sea Beach – Norfolk Fisherman on the Look Out (The Fisherman) by Frederick Bacon Barwell. Source: Published by Day & Son, London, for Passages from Modern English Poets Illustrated by the Junior Etching Club, 1862.

Prints from historical newspapers, and the works of realist artists like Gustave Dore are very helpful to suggest new ideas.(刊登在历史上报纸(的作品),以及像Gustave Dore这类现实主义画家的作品对酝酿新想法大有裨益。)

A Couple of Words(“对儿”话) Edit

When we have a long ideas list, we have to start growing them into developed characters. We have come up with a simple technique for doing this quite fast, and so it is easy to share with our mates. We write a short sentence:(当我们有一长串的想法时,我们就得将它们加入已经创建好的角色中。我们想了个简单的方法来快速处理这些,这也易于和我们的伙伴分享(成果)。我们写下一个短句:)

“A”, who “B”. (“A”,他/她/它(是)“B”)

“A” would be a short introduction to the character (for example “a butcher”, “a priest”, “An old woman”).(“A”应当是该角色的简短介绍(比如“一名屠夫”,“一位神父”,“一位年迈的女士”))

“B” is a second layer of characterization that must have a noticeable contrast with the first. Think of it as a narrative turn. This is the part of the character that conveys the atmosphere, and expresses why he or she is so interesting. The contrast must suggest a lot by itself, or this character will not make it to the production phase.(“B”是角色特性描述的第二个层面,这和第一层应当有鲜明的对比。把这想成记叙的转折。这是角色传递气氛,展现他或者她为什么能让人感兴趣的部分。其本身暗示的对比应该足够多,否则这个角色就没法进入生产(真正地把这个角色创造出来)的阶段。)

When developing characters, we like them to have their own stories apart to the episode’s main arc. They need to be really interesting by themselves, make you want to know more about them, and they must bring life to the locations where the episode takes place.(当开发角色们时,我们都希望他们拥有独立于章节主线的自己的故事。他们需要自己本身就是有意思的,能够让你想要了解他们更多,他们应当为游戏章节里出现的地点带来生命。)

Let them talk(让他们聊天) Edit

Backyard

Backyard scene in “My Dearest Visitor” episode of The Last Door game by The Game Kitchen(最后一扇门“ ”)

Backyard scene in “My Dearest Visitor” episode of The Last Door game by The Game Kitchen At this point, characters that have not been discarded (only a handful of them) are painted and animated, and the first draft of dialogues is written.(到这一点(部分),这些没有被丢弃的角色(只生少数几个)会被绘制和并制作成动画,且有第一稿对话写入。)

It is important to note that characters are not completely defined when we start writing dialogues. They are just the simple idea we wrote in the previous section, plus they play some role in the high-level gameplay structure we have devised so far (that means the overall progression of the game from the beginning to the end – a character may act as a door to a new area, or give you an item needed to solve a puzzle).(很重要的一点是这些角色在我们刚开始写对话的时候,还并没有被完全定义。他们只是我写在前面的这些环节里的单一的构想,此外他们也在我们已经设计好的更进一层的游戏情节结构中扮演一些角色(也就是从全游戏开始到结束中,一个角色可以移动到门再到一个新的区域,或者给予你一个需要的物品来解决谜题。))

Dialogue is a tool for us to know our characters. By trial and error, we will realize certain aspects of their personalities don’t match with the general atmosphere –or their own, so we will have to discard entire branches of text. We are always discarding big chunks of material, but it is fine, because we want just the best for the game!(对话是我们了解自己的角色的工具。通过试验和查错,我们可以意识到他们性格和游戏气氛不相配的某一方面,(如果)是的话,我们就不得不丢掉整个文本的分支。我们总是会抛弃掉相当厚的文本,但这是好的(做法),因为我们也想要给予这个游戏最好的。)

Community interaction(社区交互) Edit

Character’s dialogues and personalities are not yet complete until the last part of the narrative development process: beta testing.(人物的对话和性格特质在进行最后的记叙开发部分——beta测试,之前依旧不算完成。)

When we share the episode’s beta version with our community of players, we gather a huge amount of feedback. And important part of it has to do with how the game’s narrative has worked out, and gives us a good idea of how well the characters are understood by players. That way we can clean up inconsistencies, and modify the game so the focus stays in the most remarkable parts of the experience.(当我们和社区玩家分享章节beta版本时,我们会收集大量的反馈。它的重要组成部分与游戏的叙述如何解决有关,让我们知道玩家对角色的理解程度如何。通过这样的方式,我们可以清理一些矛盾点,并修改游戏,以便将焦点保持在最明显的(游戏)体验里。)

There is another part for this phase that has great importance: the proofreading process. We export all the in-game text and share it with a very dedicated group of fans. They will re-write most of the game, giving it a unique feeling and style, and taking care that the characters’ use of language and tone is appropriate to their personalities. In fact, during this process, new personality traits arise for the characters, as the fans think about them in new and unexpected ways.(这个阶段的另外一部分非常重要:校对过程。 我们导出所有的游戏文本,并与一群非常专业的粉丝分享。 他们将重写大部分的游戏,给人一种独特的感觉和风格,并注意角色使用的语言和语气以适应他们的角色特性。 事实上,在这个过程中,当粉丝们以新鲜的又意想不到的方式来思考时,角色就会出现新的个性特点。)

Proofread dialogue

Pub scene in “My Dearest Visitor” episode of The Last Door game by The Game Kitchen. Proofread dialogue example.(最后一扇门“ ”)

When putting all this text back in the game, we are always amazed at how the depth and richness of the narrative, and of the whole experience, has improved!(当把所有这些文本放回游戏中时,我们总是惊叹于叙述的深度和丰富性,以及整体体验的改善程度。)

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