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View Full Version : Good advice from Tim Schafer: Games to comics


Tyrant's Heart
07-30-2006, 05:16 PM
From Kotaku.com (http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/podcasts/tim-schafer-shows-us-how-to-do-that-190477.php)



* Characters should be wish fulfillment. This doesn't mean they can't be goofy, or nerdy, or losers. There are lots of ways to make characters that are fun to play. Guybrush might not be a badass, but he always has a comeback.

* Create supporting NPCs (or supporting characters) as you would the ideal road trip buddies. Making them annoying, offputting, needlessly stupid or generally hateful and then sticking the player with them through the whole game is just sadistic.

* Write the PC (main character) as you would a character in a movie, a character that a good actor would jump at playing.

* Backstory. Making up pasts for every single one of your characters, big ones or not, makes it insanely easy to imbue them with neat little traits by pulling from the past you've created.

* Steal stuff, but steal it right. Steal stuff from life, especially. From your own life, from your friends', from crazy things hobos tell you on the street. And steal stuff from other fiction, but don't steal the surface junk. Steal what makes good things good. So if you're stealing from GTA, stealing the hookers and mobsters and violence is missing the point. Steal the fun, the open-ended gameplay, the facetious attitudes.




Do you think Tim's advice is applicable to comics?

Kep!
07-30-2006, 06:41 PM
Yes.

Or did you want more of an answer?

Tyrant's Heart
07-31-2006, 09:32 AM
Or did you want more of an answer?



No, more than an answer, I thought we might open discussions & debate, hearing your opinions on whether Tim is right and how Tim's advice can be applicable to comics, as much as to video games. Starting with
Characters should be wish fulfillment

And in this time of age where we demand "realistic" characterisation in our comics, do we still instil wish fulfillment in our "realistic"-ally written characters? Main characters who we can relate to doing things we all we wished to?

Then there's
Backstory.

I think he means giving each characters very detailed backgrounds, thus like in three years time, when we're about to get comfortable with a certain character, suddenly he or she pulls off that has to do with an obscure moment in his past life. Like, Gwen Stacy :banana:

Disagree?

And then
Steal stuff, but steal it right
Almost self-explanatory.

ShanE
08-01-2006, 03:50 AM
wouldn't this be more of the Writer forum kind of thing?

T.J. May
08-01-2006, 08:49 AM
Yeah, I think what he has to say applies to telling story period. They are simply the principles applied to the craft no matter the medium you chose to express yourself with. Whether it's comics, novels, screenplays, what have you. I don't think he really shed any new light on "how to..."

Basic stuff in my opinion.

My best
T

dano
08-01-2006, 01:20 PM
No one had thoughts on the 'Steal stuff' part? :huh:

T.J. May
08-01-2006, 01:41 PM
No one had thoughts on the 'Steal stuff' part? :huh:

Not really because in a sense it is what we all do. Like the character vs. creator thread going, the same stories are retold over and over, in this case "Stolen" over and over. And he's just saying use your craft and personal style to present these themes and subjects in a new light for your generation.

T

dano
08-01-2006, 01:58 PM
Using universal story formats like the heroes journey isn't stealing.
Perhaps he is speaking more about universals but he's using loaded terminology and making such lines ambiguous. While there may not be anything legally wrong with coping attributes and using them in your own game or story it certainly is a fine line.
People always rag on the early Image books for being cheap rip-offs of Marvel books/characters.

T.J. May
08-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Using universal story formats like the heroes journey isn't stealing.
Perhaps he is speaking more about universals but he's using loaded terminology and making such lines ambiguous. While there may not be anything legally wrong with coping attributes and using them in your own game or story it certainly is a fine line.
People always rag on the early Image books for being cheap rip-offs of Marvel books/characters.

Yeah, I see your point. And I wouldn't use the word stealing either, I think it cheapens the final product. But I believe he was talking about exploring universals in your own style.

dano
08-01-2006, 02:43 PM
I think all the points he makes are generally givens.
For you writers out there, these are the basic building blocks, right? You wouldn't make a main character that people think is stupid and boring. Or supporting characters for that matter.
I think this list is applicable to comics in an elementary way while being much more relevant to games because of their instant gratification nature; having a backstory, while not necessary, makes it more fulfilling.

Buckyrig
08-01-2006, 03:04 PM
I think all the points he makes are generally givens.
For you writers out there, these are the basic building blocks, right? You wouldn't make a main character that people think is stupid and boring.

I would, if it served a storytelling purpose. Nothing off the top of my head, but I'm sure I could come up with something if I thought about it.

Or supporting characters for that matter.

I have a character named Boring Lad actually. :)

I think this list is applicable to comics in an elementary way while being much more relevant to games because of their instant gratification nature; having a backstory, while not necessary, makes it more fulfilling.

I think it is more relevant to games. Most of the list are ideas that work much of the time, but not rules by any stretch. I don't know about wish fulfillment. That is a way to go, but not the only one. Backstory is the one I like. I think someone else mentioned telling those stories eventually. That is not why you do the backstory. You may use that eventually, but it is to give you a better handle on how your character relates to his/her environment. To assign a cold personality to a character is not the same as to write a character who is cold and distant because of childhood abuse.