Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#16 Post by clannadman » Tue May 01, 2012 7:19 pm

You should write an MC that fits your story. Don't worry about audience reaction - worry about the quality of your story.

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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#17 Post by PyTom » Wed May 02, 2012 2:49 pm

Tsundere Lightning wrote: As a side note: Don't have an 'alien' main character without human characters to contrast with. If there are humans around for the MC to shake hir head sadly at because these humans are crazy, you can have an effective story (and a baseline for the MC to contrast with).
On the other hand, Asimov's The Gods Themselves is one of the few books with truly alien protagonists. It had humans in it, but not in the same section as the aliens - and it made the aliens all the more alien for it.
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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#18 Post by Dollywitch » Wed May 02, 2012 3:59 pm

I like Asimov but I don't think I've read that. Asimov was one of the examples that came to mind when talking about "autistic" writing. Even the way he described characters etc. really came across as that. Of course there probably are a higher proportion of sci-fi writers on the spectrum, but I think it's just an artefact of the conventions involved - Asimov was also one of the first writers of "High" Science Fiction, the Foundation series were written back in the 40s? Figuring human beings into it might have taken a while to think of. Maybe "The Gods Themselves" was kind of an experiment in that regard. The thing about dealing with aliens especially "higher" beings is how they relate to our world. I think it's the same problem with high sci-fi, fantasy and the like - thinking about how us as humans relate to a strange world. Cyberpunk gained popularity because it extends a lot of what we already know about the world, and works with existing themes.

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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#19 Post by WatchJessieGo » Wed May 02, 2012 11:22 pm

I think a good example of a horrible protagonist is the guy from Brass Restoration. They tried to make him flawed, they tried to make us sympathize him, but he was an asshole and a wackjob.
As long as your protagonist doesn't end up like him, your players will be happy. (Or, at least, I would be.)

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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#20 Post by Glasskitten » Thu May 03, 2012 9:03 pm

Note to self: If I ever finish one of the projects with an autie protagonist, don't release it here. ^_^; (A couple of them aren't visual-things and the other was giving me trouble due to all the friendship, anyway. It probably won't be an issue.)
Grand list of things not officially canceled:
Salt -- the heartwarming story of brain-eating space worms
Tangent -- an epic poem and/or novel about a borderline-autistic Martian imp and her relationship with God
Kittens of the Darned -- a grimdark soap opera about sexy catgirls (Indefinitely postponed until I learn to draw and color realistically)
The Other Mary -- the most perfect fic about the most perfect Mary Sue EVER
Rockheart -- a short story about a monster who kills everyone
Corrupted -- a completely different short story about a monster who kills everyone (late Worst Visual Novel Ever)
Checkpoint 36a -- the transcription of a short multi-ending dream about time travel and undead schoolgirls
In Which the Princess is Kidnapped -- an entry in the "ordinary girl ends up in an alien universe and tries to save it" genre
Pictogram Scramble: Magical Friendship Bunny Ivy -- a Flash game about a magical girl making friends (Indefinitely postponed until I learn how friendship works)

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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#21 Post by papillon » Thu May 03, 2012 9:16 pm

Of course sometimes asshole mentally-unstable protagonists can turn out pretty compelling in the end, when there's a good enough reason and it's clear that we're not entirely meant to be *identifying* with the jerk.

The protagonist of Cross Channel has some serious, serious problems.

Jerk protagonists that you have to warm up to slowly are a bigger problem with games that have to work with the demo sales model. If someone's already bought into the game, they have no choice but to stick around and see how it unfolds.

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Re: Protagonist Characterization or DO NOT WANT

#22 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Thu May 03, 2012 9:57 pm

The important thing to remember about protagonists, especially in games where players have to spend hours and hours with them, is that if someone wouldn't like hanging out with that person for hours and hours in real life, they aren't going to care much for the protagonist unless the protagonist arrests their attention in a kind of "can't look away train wreck" kind of way.

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