Characters can be other people in the game, but also any animals, monsters or even robots. Anything which can move or perform actions on its own is usually a character.
The main differences between a character and an object in ADRIFT are:
- The player can have a conversation with a character, to obtain information or be given a quest to go on.
- Characters can move themselves to different locations, and can be given a pre-defined path to follow such as a guards patrol route.
- Characters can wear and carry dynamic objects.
- They can sit, stand or lay down.
Creating a Character
To create a new character in the Characters folder:
- Right click inside the Characters folder and select "New Character"
This will open the New Character dialog:
Characters have an "is this character known to the player" property. If this is NOT selected then the character is described using the article, prefix and descriptor fields, and cannot be referred to by their proper name.
If this property is set then the character is described using their proper name, and can be referred to by either their name or their descriptor.
Often a character will start as not known to the player, but when the player meets them and finds out their name, this property will be set.
The contents of the description text box will be displayed if the player examines this character.
- Give your new character whatever name you like, an article-adjective-noun that describes what they are, and a detailed description in the text box.
The properties tab of a character initially looks like this:
"Location of the Character" can be set to:
- Hidden - The character cannot be seen or interacted with.
- At Location - The "At which Location" property becomes visible and you can put the character in any room or location. This is the most common way of adding a character to the game.
- On Object - The "On which object" property becomes visible, and you can choose an object with a surface.
- In Object - The "Inside which object" property becomes visible, and you can choose a container object.
- On Character - The "On which character" property becomes visible. (eg. for a parrot sitting on a pirates shoulder)
Select At Location and then the location that you wish your new character to be found by the player.
Set the "Gender" for your character (Male, Female or Unknown).
"Character position" is normally standing, but they can be sitting or lying on an object or on the ground.
The remaining properties are optional and allow you to change the default "A tall man is here" message, add a description for a character that enters or leaves the room, or limit how much the character is able to carry.
Asking a Character a Question
The conversation tab is initially blank except for an "Add Topic" button.
Pressing this will open the "New conversation topic" dialog.
This has 5 options: Introduction, ask, tell, General command, and Farewell. Some of these options can be used together, and selecting one will disable the options that cant be combined with it.
The simplest type of conversation is for the player to ask the character questions to discover facts that they need to know.
In this example a character named Alice is wearing an engagement ring, so select "Ask" as the type of topic, then in the keywords section enter all of the ways that the player might refer to this object.
A comma is used to separate each possible keyword, here i have added both "ring" and "engagement ring" as keywords"
Enter the response that the character should give to the question in the Conversation text box.
Note that the "Summary" field is just the name that this topic will be listed as on the conversation tab, so you can put anything you like here.
The player can now type "ask alice about ring" and Alice will give the appropriate reply.
If Alice is the only character at the same location as the player, then they can just type "ask about ring".
Adding greetings and farewells
Add another topic, this time selecting the "Introduction" topic type.
This is an automatic greeting that the character will say when the player first starts to speak to them. Add a simple message such as "Hello there!"
Create a third topic and add a "Farewell" message.
The Conversation tab will now look like this:
When the player asks the character their first question, the introduction message will be displayed before the answer to the question.
The Farewell message will be displayed when the player leaves the location.
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