Tag Archive: narrative


A bawdy tavern – full of NPCs

I’ve been thinking about characters in games a lot more recently, and specifically, the problems with NPC (non-player characters) entities in MMOs.  Your typical MMO features hundreds of characters – quest givers usually – who come and go on an endless conveyorbelt of sob-stories and XP rewards.  It’s hard to care for the 10th, 50th, or 100th NPC mother with a missing son, or someone needing their precious supplies gathered from the bellies of wild animals.  So, with that in mind, here’s my police-suspect-inspired checklist for making a character work in a game.

Means, Motive and Opportunity…

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The Depth of Van Gogh’s Fields

Van Gogh, Starry Night, with a tilt shift style effect applied

Starry Night by Van Gogh, modified by Serena Malyon

Never has the sleepy town, punctuated by a church and overpowered by the incredible glory of the sky above it, seemed so tiny (via a misguided Reddit post).  It feels like you could reach out and pluck the building out of its setting with just two fingers, holding this human world full of tales and loves and drama in your fingers – but there’s less story in this teeny tiny version with its increasing focus, than in the seemingly over-sharp originals – here’s why. Continue reading