Character study!

Hey there lads.. This tittle might be quite weird, I agree, I shall proceed with explanations.

As you might not know, I'm right now working on a personal video-game project called: Goblin's Tale.

Based on my previous Warcraft3 modding project with the same name, I decided to push forward the lore/game/story/universe/everythingprettymuch of that ''said game'' to make it evolve into a real video-game settled in a unique fantasy universe, instead of being a regular Warcraft3 project.

Now here's the thing, I've been wondering for quite sometimes: why people tends to like/love a certain character more than an other one in the same video-game/movie/story/book, etc?


I'm asking that question, because I'm right now into the ''conceptualizing state'' of the Merchants/Villagers of Goblin's Tale, and I'm trying to create key characters with lovely personalities that would easily be loved/liked by the players. To create and bring forward the ''I HAVE TO protect the village, because I do care for the villagers'', and of course to give myself better chances to create a fan community for the game itself (Yes, video-games are made for players first and than.... profit comes in second... sorry to break your bubble)

So again : Why people tends to like/love a character more than an other one in the same said video-game/movie/story, etc?

Now... don't forget we are talking about A CARTOON type of character

So the main points I could think of, concerning the variables that makes us love/like a character more than an other, would be:

-----------------Story wise---------------------
#1 - his look (looks badass? sexy, hot, whatevah)
#2 - his belief/values (good guy, protector, religion)
#3 - His emotional state (cry baby, never shows his emotion, etc.)
#4 - His story (what he did or will do)
#5 - His physical/emotionnal -> strenght/weakness

Or...

---------------Psycologically wise-----------------
1# = If that character was a real person we would amire him...
2# = He's interresting (complexe, hard to picture, etc)
3# = The character reflects parts of who we are or what we believe...
 
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#1 - Quite an old Goblin. Maybe with a long beard, a long face, skinny yet fully clothed.
#2 - A very very wise Goblin. Science comes before everything for him.
#3 - Says his very very wise words in a poetically melodic way, very often being over over the top (beyond crazy). Never is sad - if he ever feels the beginning of "sadness", he just takes out 5 liters of some Dwarf beer and drinks his sorrows away.
#4 - As a part of an expedition, he traveled the whole world for "finding himself". After 10 years, the expedition got laid off, yet he still continued traveling the world to find "himself". After another 10 years, he failed in "finding himself", and basically cracked. What he did find, though, in his travels are components that would finally render him the goblin that stood out in the horde of 'em - He could drink better than a Dwarf, philosophize better than a Human and was braver than most Taurens. He wouldn't realize that destiny finds you, not the other way around, until he got back to his hometown and began teaching young Goblins about their culture and race. The knowledge he collected from all races rendered him the wisest and cleverest goblin around - learning and teaching what other races taught him.
#5 - Strenght would be the fact that he's stubborn and cocky. Weakness is that he can be "bought" for quite a small sum - he's cheap.
 

Deleted member 157129

D

Deleted member 157129

You're definitely onto something, but it looks like you're trying to find the one character everybody likes, and that's somewhat of an impossible mission. Of course, you could pull characters like Maximus from Gladiator - I'm sure that's a character many people respect, or at least remember -, but there will always be someone who doesn't like that, too. I think you need to aim for a diversity; characters that complement each other as well as contrast each other. You also need to present as many sides of a character as possible, without giving them everything, in order for the audience to understand who this character really is. You also want the beauty of mystery. You want to keep characters mysterious and not let the audience predict every move - both the rejoice of guessing right and the surprise of being wrong are reactions you want to produce, but not in abundance. An easily predictable character is boring, a totally unpredictable character can be confusing and distant. That's my idea, anyway!

(The following may or may not be interesting, but I'm just putting it here for inspiration!)
As for my personal preferences, when it comes to characters, I tend to make assumptions based on looks, and I always look to find out more about characters I like the design of. A good first impression is definitely important to catch my attention. Characters that resemble my taste in colours, clothes and hairdos make great, but I also love exploring contrasts; somebody designed oppositely of how I would see myself is somebody I want to know more about. To put some specifics, I'll just cite what many have already remarked; I like red, black and gold. I've also got a thing for deep orange. When it comes to clothing, I like ragged, seemingly random, asymmetric clothes with lots of small details - but the asymmetry must not put the character off balance, I have subconscious dislike for unbalanced characters. Hairdos are either punk (mohawks, man), goth or long hair - straight or in dreads. I even found some images to represent my good tast:
design_stuff.png

http://dustsplat.deviantart.com/art...-74029196?q=favby:theus-smythe/11450865&qo=25
http://ophelias-overdose.deviantart...00438904?q=favby:theus-smythe/11450865&qo=310
(I could of course find more, but that's beyond the point.)

Furthermore, when it comes to character, I ultimately like the honourable guy. I admire selflessness, but it's not as much an appeal as an emotional drive. The easiest is probably to refer a few characters from films: Maximus (Gladiator), Balian de Ibelin (Kingdom of Heaven), Boromir (Lord of the Rings), Cameron Poe (Con Air), John Brennan (The Next Three Days), William Wallace (Braveheart), and probably a few more, but there's not too many of them. You could probably give the actor as much praise as the story writer in these cases, but hey, that is the character.

I somewhat answered to your third field with the previous one, namely Russell Crowe's John Brennan and Maximus, as well as Mel Gibson's William Wallace peaking my list. Enough emotion, and for the right reasons, intrigue me. You could draw the line that all three of these characters lose their wives (although one of them do get her back) and pick the conclusion I'm a hopeless romantic.. and I'm not necessarily going to deny that, but I'm talentless at being one if such is the case. Fuck, this is crashing into too personal. Moving on..

Story! Yes, background story to further allow the me to understand and come closer, or distance myself from, the character. Great way to hook my attention, given the story is of a character I like, anyway. I'm especially soft for characters who throughout their story always have something working against them, reach a point where they can't take it any more, but then fights it off and keeps going, stronger than ever.

Weaknesses are great for bonding. I fall in love with characters who have the same weaknesses as me. Then again, I might be using the term wrongly. I'd say William Wallace's weakness is his love for his people, for his country - weakness because it is what prevents him from accepting the lies and treachery so obvious to him, but it's also a strength because it's what keeps him going, and it's what makes the character so easy to sympathise with. Therefore, I'd say the 5th field here is a double-edged sword. And I like double-edged swords.

Lastly, I'd like to delve into some different types of characters that are more lightweight than those I've already mentioned, but that tend to be loved as well. Perhaps a more fitting approach, too, for Goblin's Tale. So far, my references and opinions have tilted more in the direction of serious and deep plots. My understanding is that Goblin's Tale is much less gloomy. Characters that I connect to, who fit your setting better, are Jack Sparrow (if you don't know this character; shame on you), John McClane (Die Hard), Scrat (why, Ice Age, of course!), Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Serenity), Julian Noble (The Matador), Hancock (I already said it), Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapons).. the list goes on. Of course, not all of these characters are necessarily colourful, but they have colourful sides to them. Ok, I admit Scrat is just pure joy and love. I say the follwing in fear of getting some hate, but I don't think I'd be very wrong to assume Scrat is the most loved comic character EVER. And he doesn't say a word, think about that. One of the first things we were shown in our Animation class was a clip with Scrat demonstrating every technique within comic animation, in less than five minutes. It's a brilliant showcase of how to make a character without words, without any background story, and with only one purpose. You definitely need a Scrat type of character, Goblin.

With that, I'll shut up.
 
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You're definitely onto something, but it looks like you're trying to find the one character everybody likes, and that's somewhat of an impossible mission. Of course, you could pull characters like Maximus from Gladiator - I'm pretty sure that's a character many people respect, or at least remember -, but there will always be someone who doesn't like that. I think you need to aim for a diversity; characters that complement each other as well as stark contrasts. You also need to present as many sides of a character as possible in order for the audience to understand who this character really is. Then again, there's always the beauty of mystery. You want to keep characters mysterious and not let the audience predict every move - both the rejoice of guessing right and the surprise of being wrong are reactions you want to produce, but not in abundance. An easily predictable character is boring, a really unpredictable character can be confusing and distant. That's my idea, anyway!

(The following may or may not be interesting, but I'm just putting it here for inspiration!)
As for my personal preferences, when it comes to characters, I tend to make assumptions based on looks, and I always look to find out more about characters I like the design of. A good first impression is definitely important to make me interested. Characters that resemble my taste in colours, clothes and hairdos make me interested, but I also love exploring opposites; somebody designed completely opposite of how I would see myself represents something I want to explore and learn to know. To put some specifics, I'll just cite what many have already remarked; I like red, black and gold. I've also got a thing for deep orange - you could view it as the mix of gold and red, with a bias towards red. When it comes to clothing, I like ragged, seemingly random, asymmetric clothes with lots of small details - but the asymmetry must not put the character off balance, I have subconscious dislike for unbalanced characters. Hairdos are either punk (mohawks man), goth or long hair - straight or in dreads. I even found some images:
design_stuff.png

http://dustsplat.deviantart.com/art...-74029196?q=favby:theus-smythe/11450865&qo=25
http://ophelias-overdose.deviantart...00438904?q=favby:theus-smythe/11450865&qo=310
(I could of course find more, but that's beyond the point.)

Furthermore, when it comes to character, I ultimately like the honourable guy. I admire selflessness, but it's not as much an appeal as an emotional drive. The easiest is probably to refer a few characters from films: Maximus (Gladitator), Balian de Ibelin (Kingdom of Heaven), Boromir (Lord of the Rings), Cameron Poe (Con Air), John Brennan (The Next Three Days), William Wallace (Braveheart), and probably a few more, but there's not too many of them. You could probably give the actor as much praise as the storywriter in these cases, but hey, that is the character.

I somewhat answered to your third field with the previous one, name Russell Crowe's John Brennan and Maximus, as well as Mel Gibson's William Wallace peaking that. Enough emotion, and for the right reasons, intrigues me. You could draw the line that all three of these characters lose their wives (although one of them do get her back) and pick the conclusion I'm a hopeless romantic.. and I'm not necessarily going to deny that, but I'm talentless at being one if such is the case. Fuck, this is crashing into too personal. Moving on..

Story! Yes, background story to further allow the me to understand and come closer, or distance myself from, the character. Great way to hook my attention, given the story is of a character I like, though. I'm especially soft for characters who throughout their story always have something working against them, reach a point where they can't take it any more, but then fights it off and keeps going, stronger than ever.

Weaknesses are great for bonding. I fall in love who have the same weaknesses as me. Then again, I might be using the term wrongly. I'd say William Wallace's weakness is his love for his people, for his country - weakness because it is what prevents him from accepting the lies and treachery so obvious to him, strength because it's what keeps him going, and it's what makes the character so easy to sympathise with. In such case, I'd say the 5th field here is a double-edged sword. And I like double-edged swords.

Lastly, I'd like to delve into some different types of characters that are more lightweight than those I've already mentioned, but that tend to be loved as well. Perhaps a more fitting approach, too, for Goblin's Tale. So far, my references and opinions have tilted more in the direction of serious and deep plots. My understanding is that Goblin's Tale is much less gloomy. Characters that I connect to, who fit your setting better, are Jack Sparrow (if you don't know this character; shame on you), John McClane (Die Hard), Scrat (why, Ice Age, of course!), Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Serentiy), Julian Noble (The Matador), Hancock (I already said it), Marting Riggs (Lethal Weapons).. the list goes on.Of course, not all of these characters are necessarily colourful, but they have colourful sides to them. Ok, Scrat is just pure joy and love. In say this in fear of getting some hate, but I don't think I'd be very wrong to assume Scrat is the most loved comic character EVER. And he doesn't say a word, think about that. One of the first things we were shown in our Animation class was a clip with Scrat demonstrating every technique within comic animation. It's a brilliant showcase of how to make a character without words, without any background story, and with only one purpose. You definitely need a Scrat type of character, Goblin.

With that, I'll shut up.

you're awesome, it definatly gave me a few more tracks.. <3
 
Level 22
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I like characters which "step out" of the rest in one way, they must have a vision, be smart and very powerful.

If it helps you further explain my liking, I'll just post the name of my favorite anime character, if you know him you might understand my idea.

Favorite characters: Nagato (Pain), Itachi
 
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Messages
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-----------------Story wise---------------------
#1 - his look- he should look like a normal goblin, but he needs to have a fierce look in his eyes
#2 - his belief/values - Logical and open minded
#3 - His emotional state -Don't worry be happy, a optimist
#4 - His story -dunno
#5 - His physical/emotionnal -
His strength should come from his size, agility and intelligence, he should have a phobia
 
-----------------Story wise---------------------
#1 - his look- he should look like a normal goblin, but he needs to have a fierce look in his eyes
#2 - his belief/values - Logical and open minded
#3 - His emotional state -Don't worry be happy, a optimist
#4 - His story -dunno
#5 - His physical/emotionnal -
His strength should come from his size, agility and intelligence, he should have a phobia

you misread the question... just saying.
 
Level 16
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
2,073
Usually, no matter how well a village is designed and how likable most of the villagers are (note the most), there will at least be one guy everybody hates. The old hermit who really wanted to help you but comes of as pretty much useless because you have to bail his ass now and then, the smug jackass who can do nothing by himself, the goody-two-shoes who never knew when is the time to stop helping, etc.

Any character, regardless of looks, beliefs, emotional state, backstory or physical/emotional/psychological state can be lovable, its just the execution which can go awfully wrong.

Remember, no ideas, except the ridiculously offensive ones, are inherently wrong.

Do note that not only supporting characters can be likable. Antagonists often has their own following of fans, be it because they are total badasses, because they are humorous guys who seem to never succeed on their plans, because they are magnificent, etc. Again, its just a matter of execution.

With that said, this TVTropes page might be able to help you to avoid making a hated character.
 
images

Stranger from OddWorld 3
Oddworld-Strangers-Wrath-Screenshot.jpg

oddworld-stranger.jpg

Now Turn that into a Goblin.

:3 you got the name, you can wiki what makes him badass if you want

erm thanks, but you miss-read the question :O

Usually, no matter how well a village is designed and how likable most of the villagers are (note the most), there will at least be one guy everybody hates. The old hermit who really wanted to help you but comes of as pretty much useless because you have to bail his ass now and then, the smug jackass who can do nothing by himself, the goody-two-shoes who never knew when is the time to stop helping, etc.

Any character, regardless of looks, beliefs, emotional state, backstory or physical/emotional/psychological state can be lovable, its just the execution which can go awfully wrong.

Remember, no ideas, except the ridiculously offensive ones, are inherently wrong.

Do note that not only supporting characters can be likable. Antagonists often has their own following of fans, be it because they are total badasses, because they are humorous guys who seem to never succeed on their plans, because they are magnificent, etc. Again, its just a matter of execution.

With that said, this TVTropes page might be able to help you to avoid making a hated character.

Thanks mate :D
 
Level 26
Joined
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Messages
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from my experience the really odd characters are the beloved ones: A few examples:
Homer Simpson
McLovin of the movie "Superbad"
Forest Gump
Timon & Pumbaa of the "Lion's King"

I am sure that I could expand the list even further, but I don't thik it would be needed.
all of these characters do not fit into our society on first sight.
But all of them a really special trait that makes them really loveable to the viewer. Maybe, because they are not perfect at all and they show the viewer that it is ok to be not perfect.
 
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