Character-Driven Game Design: Characters, Conflicts, and Gameplay
Paper in proceedings, 2008

Contemporary computer and video games utilize characters in large extent. However, game research literature says only little about how to design gameplay so that it reflects characters' personality; mainly focusing on the narration and graphical presentation of the characters. This paper presents a character-driven game design method, which uses ideas from dramatic character design to include gameplay into the design process. Based upon previous work on NPC design and a new analysis, several design choices regarding gameplay are identified. These choices are described as gameplay design patterns and related to how specific features in a character design can support gameplay. In conjunction with the patterns, the concepts of recognition, alliance, and alignment are used to introduce the method and provide examples. The paper concludes with a discussion on how the method can affect the overall gameplay in games.

player character

non-player character

game design

Gameplay design


Staffan Björk

University of Gothenburg

Petri Lankoski

Sixth International Conference in Game Design and Technology

Subject Categories

Computer Science

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