Reactive Characters and Storytelling


It is commonly said that a story with a subpar plot, but compelling and interesting characters will still do rather well when it comes to attracting an audience. . . Well, to be honest, I am not sure if this is really a commonplace saying, but it is something I have heard more than once before and can say that I agree with! Characters are one, if not the most, vital pieces of a story. A simple search through some of the geekier sides of the net will bring you a plethora of art and stories made in homage to these characters. This is because, although none of these characters really exist, there was something about them that struck a chord with their audiences, something the audience sympathized with or something that drew the audience’s admiration.

Here at the Future Reality Lab we are playing with the idea of characters in stories and how they fit in the world of coming technology. The question we face is: How can we use the capabilities of VR and AR to put into peoples’ hands the power to tell stories that will resonate with audiences? I think what better way than to start with the characters themselves!

My work focuses on creating characters that have their own life. These characters have goals and make their own decisions to achieve them. Not only that, but they have their own personalities and are affected by interaction. This is all done, procedurally of course.

The result then is, that the viewer, will always get a unique experience from that character, as opposed to a movie which is linear. After having watched a movie many times, I would never expect the main character to suddenly change their lines the fifth time I watched it, nor would I expect the character to suddenly look me in the eye from the TV screen. However, unlike movie characters, the characters that we are focusing on creating here at FRL are instead reactive and aware of our existence.

I believe this will foster a deeper connection between the character and audience that has yet to be thoroughly explored through the capability of Mixed Reality. Anyways, stay tuned to my next post to see any new developments. : )

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