Designing Systems: The MOO and building up the personalities

Hello and welcome to Design by Night, this is my game design blog where I will talk about game design topics that I come across during my studies and during my time designing games.

The first thing I want to talk about is charisma systems and what to do with them, as a long term pen and paper (P&P) roleplayer I wind up in discussions about charisma in games way to often, in everything from Deus Ex: Human Revolution to Dungeons and Dragons to how to efficiently create a charisma based game and the more I talk about it I understand that a charisma based P&P system is very hard to create. Due to the natural involvement of the player, the system needs to be challenging, much like a tactical battle, but instead of using swords and shields the weapon of this encounter is your voice.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I sat down and started to use this thing called a brain and started to think about how to design this system, but not for a P&P but for a video game and to my big surprise I was actually able to create a prototype (Many Thanks to the institute of game-design, Uppsala University, Campus gotland for inspiring to this idea and researching around the subject and showing us this research). This prototype is a combination of 2 systems, one that I feel will work in a large amount of different games to decide a characters personality and giving them everything to buffs to different conversation options later in the game. I call this personality system the MOO.

The MOO (Short for Morale, Obedience and Open Mindedness)  is as mentioned earlier a personality system. The purpose of it is to create more interesting player characters and NPCs for all kinds of games, so it’s more of a universal system that can be implemented into pretty much any game where personalities are important to other parts of game-play. The idea is that all character got a three dimensional character, based on the concpets on Morale, Obedience and Open Mindedness. A character got a value on a ll three of these characteristics, ranging anywhere from +100 to -100.

Morale is any characters sense of empathy and morale, a high value will most likely not have him hurting others atleast on a regular basis but when it is low the character doesn’t care about other beings to get his way.

Obedience is how strictly your character is following is ways of life, laws, orders and regulations. A high value symoblises that the character doesn’t break laws or regulations. With a low value, the character doesn’t care about laws or regulations and will therefore act on guts and instincts instead of normal cultural agenda.

Open Mindedness is a characters respect for other characters opinions and how much the character tries to discover the world around him by himself or if he prefers to be taught how to act. A character with a high open mindedness value will most likely try to explore the world by himself and accepts everything he is told, but doesn’t necessarily trust what he is told. A character with low open mindedness value would blindly accept what he is told from a superior (Such as a god or a leader) and wouldn’t question it. But if someone later tried to question what the characters been told, he will defend what the superior told him.

The easiest way to symbolise it is by having a 3d Coordinate system and putting all the three characteristics unto a different axis so im adding a picture of one bellow.

fig01(MOO Basis)

I will talk more about how to use the MOO in practice in my next post! I hope to get lots of conversation around this!


5 thoughts on “Designing Systems: The MOO and building up the personalities

  1. Pingback: Designing Systems: Visioning what is to become! | Design By Night

  2. Pingback: Designing Systems: Emotional ties between characters in games. | Design By Night

  3. Pingback: Designing Systems: Comfort Zone and Personal Space. | Design By Night

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