Gameplay Design Patterns for Believable Non-Player Characters

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DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play
The University of Tokyo, September, 2007
Volume: 4
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666


Descriptions of humans require several qualities for people to experience them as believable: human body; selfawareness, intentional states, and self impelled actions; expression of emotions; ability to use natural language; and persistent traits. Based on these we analyze non-player character Claudette Perrick in The Elders Scroll IV: Oblivion to detect how these qualities can be created in the interactive environment of a game. We derive the gameplay design patterns Awareness of Surrounding, Visual Body Damage, Dissectible Bodies, Initiative, Own Agenda, Sense of Self, Emotional Attachment, Contextual Conversational Responses, and Goal-Driven Personal Development, which point to design choices that can be made when designing believable non-player characters in games.