Level 5

The Three Cs, Part 1: Character

ALTHOUGH MUCH OF your game design is always changing, you need to establish three fundamentals early in your preproduction. I call them the “Three Cs”:

  1. Character
  2. Camera
  3. Control

If you change any of the Three Cs during the course of your production, you risk massive problems with your gameplay, which may require extra reworking, and you risk endangering your game. Don’t give me that look. I know this sounds dramatic, but so many game elements hinge on the Three Cs that changing one thing will have a ripple effect throughout your entire game. I have seen teams catastrophically screw up and cancel their games because of their failure to stick to the plans of their Three Cs. Although you learned about writing a character in Level 3, here I use the term in a different context. In this level I talk about the way the character is presented to the player and the activities the player does with that character. The very important rule about character design is


Let this rule be your motto when designing anything. It will come into play more importantly later in the book, but it should be your guide, especially when designing your game character. You can find several great books on how to design a character visually,1 so I don’t go into great detail about this topic, but let me pass on some of the high-level things to keep in mind.

Who Do You Want To Be Today?

As you are creating your character, you need to think about his or ...

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