Chapter 2.27. Emotioneering Techniques Category #27: "True-to-Life" Techniques
A realistic talk about realism.
Adding a sense
of realism to the NPCs' emotional actions and reactions helps create emotional immersion.
Certainly, in the past, one of the primary ways of making a game immersive has been to make it look, sound, and feel realistic.
This effort has prompted successive innovations in creating software that emulates the refraction of light, the textures of buildings, and the semi-random animation of fire, or of waves on the ocean. It's this effort that has prompted games to include changing weather, or to make day in a game turn into night.
The bottom line: Realism creates emotional immersion.
In Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, you go on a variety of dangerous missions as part of a small squad. There are a few places in the game where you can overhear some of the other team members talking among themselves before a mission.
In one of these situations, you hear a character named Chell expressing his terror at the upcoming mission. Hearing him express his fear actually ups the fearfulness of the mission itself.
The moral of the story is that having NPCs undergo appropriate emotions can make the game much more realistic. This means, for instance, having an NPC express such things as:
Remember, however, that when a character expresses fear, sorrow, or some other powerful emotion, quite often the way it's best expressed isn't by the character stating his feelings directly. For instance, having an NPC say "I'm afraid" is usually weak writing and, thus, can undo efforts to create emotional immersion.
The same emotion can often be expressed much more powerfully by such techniques as:
Remember that your NPCs should have different Character Diamonds and, thus, would show fear in very different ways. (For more on making NPCs sound unique, see Chapters 2.1 through 2.4.)