I spend a lot of time on character creation, both in games and out. I almost always create a backstory for my characters, especially when I play an RPG that presents important choices to make (such as the Dragon Age series). However, I have never been much of a roleplayer. I do enjoy watching other people play out scenes in MMOs when I come across players acting out a scene. However, it isn’t something I usually take part in myself. I know a number of other people who also have characters with thorough stories who also don’t roleplay. This begs the question as to whether or not non-roleplayers are wasting their time creating a backstory that most people won’t even hear about. However, there are a number of reasons why character planning can improve a game.
My characters’ personalities play a large part in how I make my decisions. It’s a big part of the reason why RPGs such as Dragon Age have so much replay value for its fans. My very first run through RPGs usually invoices a jokester who always pick the funniest lines and makes the same choices I would make in the real world. My next run through is often a cold-hearted, battle-hardened warrior who always gets straight to the point and makes sure she gets paid handsomely for her work. This allows me to see scenes in games that I never would have otherwise. In addition, I get the most value for my money by playing the game from start to finish more than once.
A good character backstory can also make games feel more immersive. I find that when I start putting in effort to develop a character, I begin to want to know more about the world around them as well. Before long, I find myself beginning to care about whether the poor farmer NPC can start making a profit again once I’ve scared off the ten giant rats from his property. If I truly get sucked in, I will even start reading up on all of the lore for NPCs (non-player characters) and the virtual world they live in. Sometimes my findings from internet research have often made me want to change my character’s original story completely. This way they can fit in as nicely as the developing characters made by game developers.
Character backstories can go into as much or as little detail as a player wishes. A tailor who suddenly woke up one day and decide to go on an adventure can be just as good as the hero who slayed the most terrible beasts known to man before arriving at the beginning of the game. Both of these example characters have potential to greatly enhance a gaming experience in an RPG or MMOs. I highly suggest that you give character development a try the next time to begin a new game in one of these genres.