Man, that Guy is Such a Jerk…

4 03 2008

The main playable character has to be likable. Most main playable characters are rather good looking.

I was wondering the other day if all of this was needed. Does the main character have to be likable? I mean, I suppose so, because then the player won’t care about him and won’t care to play the game. But what if he was a total jerk. What if the main character was a total jerk, and his mission was to take over the world. What if, in this game, you play as the villain? I think that would be difficult in some cases, because as humans we grow up being taught to be kind and good hearted, but imagine a game where you play the villain and its a comedy. The villian is still a complete jerk and makes you wish something bad would happen to him, but the story is so compelling that you just HAVE to play it. I wonder if this could work? Maybe as the main character, you know someone in the world (the game world) that is a good person and you want to see what happens to that character. Or what if the main character wasn’t trying to be a villain, but was just a jerk in general. And I don’t mean a whiny jerk like we run into in some games, but a real just jerk. Someone that if you met in real life, you’d be like “Man, that guy is such a jerk…”

What if the main character wasn’t what most main characters are and that is – very attractive. I mean, you may be able to name some that you didn’t find particularly attractive, but in general, they tend to be attractive. I’d like to see a main character with a disfigurement or terrible amounts of scarring. And yet, you still love him.

If you have some time, think about it. What do you guys think?

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5 responses

4 03 2008
yscik

Have you tried Overlord? πŸ˜‰

4 03 2008
gmunster

You know, as I was writing this, I thought of that game. I’ll have to grab a copy of it eventually. I just don’t want a game about a villain to be very cliche. I think I’m gonna find a copy, play it, and then figure out how I feel about it. Thanks for the suggestion!! πŸ˜€

4 03 2008
Brian Shurtleff

There’s plenty of games where the player character isn’t terribly likable.
This is understandable given that most games involve you shooting at everything that moves.

Would you really like someone like that, if they were real?
At least games make most of those characters somewhat noble…

but yeah, look at the GTA games. The protagonists are largely pretty scummy people – admittedly with at least a few good traits, but on the whole, fairly awful individuals – but they’re very successful games.
Those games, however, are fun because they invite you to try playing out your darker side, exploring the fantasy of if there were no consequences and you actually commit whatever evil you thought would be fun or funny.

Does it make for a like-able character? If taken from the perspective of a real human being, no.
But we can still admire them as a game character because they are untouchable, and we get to live out their fantasy.

4 03 2008
gmunster

Yeah, I agree about the whole Grand Theft Auto thing, but think about this….

In a game you have the hero (which is usually the character you play). He is constantly working his way up to the final boss. Well what if, from the start, you are the final boss. As you progress through the game, you either see the hero or fight him or make a decision to send some thing at him like evil minions or just some sub boss. I dunno, I kinda like the idea.

And I agree with your point about playing as such a character lets you explore that darker fantasy.

5 03 2008
Brian Shurtleff

Ah, well there’s games that do that too. Overlord I’ve not yet played myself, but I wish to get around to it sometime.
But I HAVE played the Dungeon Keeper series and Evil Genius, which are similar games in which you’re a villain and have to continually stop the attempts of meddling heroes trying to foil your master plans.
But, sure, I’d like to see more done with that idea though, in different game genres.

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