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Showing posts from April, 2017

Interlude: NPC- When Life Gives you Bears…

Cayenne was running through the forest, torch in hand, sword drawn. Followed by a pack of dire wolves far below her level, she was unafraid- they would not be able to harm her when they eventually caught up to her, but she saw no reason not to indulge their instinct to chase their prey- or, this time, the bait that would inevitably become a deadly trap. She saw the clearing she had been looking for, a moonlight arena for the upcoming battle- epic enough. The trees were a strange shade of green this time- but it was still better than the last time she saw them. She stopped, killed the wolves and breathed in the air.
The phone rings. And rings. Hands are busy clicking. Let it ring. 
Distractions. Four screens, a city, one world, then another world, and another, and another, all of them waiting to be tended to. Meanwhile, life lingered, untended by those busy hands and the profits, the good- often through violent means, the bad, through differently violent means, though with the same frequ…

Rant: NPC IV //// NP-Me (in a reality)

A verbose pirate.An eternal child, fascinated with triangles.An archeologist with formerly triangular breasts.A post-apocalyptic hunter.A monster hunter. A plumber and his brother.A man in the wrong place. The Kid.A witch wearing her hair as an outfit.An indoctrinated space saviour. A vampire.Bricks. A Dog and a Rabbit (at the same time). The Death Salesman.A Cyborg with a fancy coat.A Hacker. A Prisoner. The ruler of an ancient race. Amoeba.
Most gamers have led multiple lives and inhabited many number of bodies. This sounds esoteric, but considering the number of characters invented for, or translated into gaming, magic is not required, save for the suspension of belief and its recreation. The key phrase is “role-playing”, the freedom to recreate yourself in someone else’s image, and discover how it aligns with the perception of your self. 
Playing a particular character can be compared to assuming a role in a play, or film- a narrative universe is created and the player is injected…

NPC III: Rant /// Keeping Company (in a reality)

These worlds are inhabited. Inhabitants may range from relatively normal people to epic boss-monster-things and terrible creatures you end up hoping to meet, no matter how dangerous their reputation or fangs make them. Sometimes the scariest creatures look no different from the humblest ones. In many ways, they are no different to real people, except that the writing is occasionally better. Meet the real NPC’s. 
Functionally, an NPC is a feedback and support mechanism. Feedback, in the sense that they can be used as organic mechanisms to enforce the players sense of existing and developing within a game world by commenting on actions and decisions they have undertaken in that world- their reaction to the character communicates a certain status within the world’s society and attitudes towards the character and their actions hitherto, giving them meaning and multiplying a personal sense of accomplishment. They help the player immerse themselves in the world by acknowledging the player …

NPC II: Rant // To Create a Reality

Fictional realities have come a long way since the 1980’s. And there is a reason video game narratives don’t translate well into film. 
The narrative difference between film and video game is of perspective and design. One allows you to experience a fictional reality through a third eye, no matter how much the film absorbs you into its universes. The other gives you the ability to immerse yourself personally in the narrative of a character- through control or a first-person view- who might bend the rules of luck, science and/or genetics a little. Two narrative approaches- the level of very personal involvement with the world and it’s characters differs, as does the emotional and locational attachment. Film allows you to experience events without becoming a part of them- they unfold without the passive viewer being able to influence them in the narrative world that the events require. A computer game makes the viewer active, an influencer and sometimes instigator of events, able to go b…

NPC I: Rant / To Escape a Reality

An NPC is a character in a computer game who is not the PC- the latter being represents you in a computer game, the former are almost everyone else who populates the game world. This term usually refers to characters who constantly inhabit game worlds with digitally created personalities (AI packages) and fulfill a role therein. They occasionally contribute to the narrative development of the game, or player character development - in many cases not through peaceful means, and mostly serve as extras in the game world. The main difference between a Non-Player Character and the Player Character is that their agency and role within the world they inhabit is limited to following scripted behaviour while the player is not- in theory.* 
When it comes to gaming, there are two parallel theories at work in my mind: One is the thought that we might be living in a computer simulation in our main shared reality*, the second is that there exist an infinite number of parallel and divergent realiti…