quinta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2014

Building characters in DESTINY

Undoubtedly, the game DESTINY became a blockbuster of this year. Launched for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and PC platforms, the game congregated a legion of players in its spatial trenches. Created by Bungie Studios and published by Activision, DESTINY is an online first-person shooter video game in a "mythic science fiction" open world setting. DESTINY was one of the great highlights from the last E3 fair and game’s launching site is an awesome experience.

Besides the beautiful interface and great history, there’s one point to discuss around DESTINY’s ecosystem: the building of characters inside the game. There’s a very good balance between the creation of the different types of characters and we bring the ideas from Flint Dille and John Zuur Platten (2007, ps.65-68) to talk about that.

This authors says that we – fundamentally – have two kinds of characters: the player character (PC) and the nonplayer characters (NPCs).

The PC is the character that you, the player, control as you play the game. “This will either be the role that you’ll play during the experience, or the character that you’ll control (depending on the point of view that the game utilizes)”. In DESTINY there’s a full customization of your PC and it creates a good bound between the player and the character. Another good point here is the possibility of evolution of the character in many ways: special powers, weapons or aesthetical components (clothes, symbols and badges).

In the other hand, the NPCs in DESTINY are very important to create an immersive experience. We have a special ally full time with the PCs, a small robot named “Ghost” that helps the player to access systems and summon special resources; there’s neutral characters that figures walking inside the sanctuary citadel and selling products in shops; we also have the enemies and level bosses as NPCs to complete the experience.

In DESTINY’s experience, the enemies and final bosses determinates the level of the challenge and by killing them and collecting special items it’s possible to reach new levels, weapons and powers.

In this game, we can observe the strategic creation of characters that fit perfectly into the writing. DESTINY shows us that more than beautiful graphics, a blockbuster game in the contemporary culture needs to create a perfect balance between each single character and a good and immersive script.


DILLE, Flint; PLATTEN, John Zuur. The ultimate guide to video game writing and design. New York: Skip Press, 2007

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