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Character design

Learning Intentions

  • Understand how characters are designed and developed within a computer game

Success Criteria

  • I can explain how characters have changed

Flow of games

  • We’ve looked at how games are planned out and how they flow from a start to a finish. At this stage, we have not thought about how our character will work.
  • Characters within video games have changed a huge amount, for example characters like Mario and Link have been completely redesigned over the years.


How have VIDEO GAME characters changeD?

  • Let’s discuss why characters have changed over the years. Have a think about it for a few minutes and we’ll feedback afterwards.

Character changes

  • Character in video games have often changed to fit into modern categories.
  • Mario started off as a couple of little pixels on the screen but as times went on, he became more human like. This is mostly down to improvements in hardware but also because of changes to the way that the gaming market is going at the time. 

Character changes - Princess Zelda

  • Zelda herself is a better example of how video game characters have changed since she started off as the princess of Hyrule who was somewhat lacking the ability to act for herself whereas 19 years later she is a very powerful, courageous girl:

Why the change?

Why the change?

Why the change?

Why the change?

Why the change?

How characters have changed over the years

  •  Many characters have changed significantly over the years and there has also been a shift towards new types of characters. 
    • An obvious change in the design of characters is the change to more muscular characters (take Gears of War for example) compared with how few there were in the nineties. 
    • A change towards more woman as central characters
    • A shift towards more child-friendly characters compared with 20 years ago 

Pick a character from a game from the following generations:

  1. 1980s
  2. 1990s
  3. 2000s
  4. 2010s

Write down how the characters have changed physically and in the way they act. You will likely need to watch some videos of them on YouTube.



  • In Biomutant, character customisation isn’t just for looks, it is fully functional in gameplay.
  • Players will take control of a raccoon-like creature in a world filled with mutated animals. They can customise their character’s sex, height, body shape and thickness, fur fangs, and many other attributes. 


  • Each of these features has a direct impact on the characters stats and how it will perform in gameplay.
  • For example, a thicker character is heavier, which makes it move slower, but also allows it to deal more damage, and resist more damage in return.


  • Throughout the game, players will have the opportunity to upgrade and mutate their character design to fit their needs, or to combat specific situations, such as attaching robot wings or extra claws.

Load up Super Metroid on your computer.

This time you are to take notes about the main character of Samus. 

Note: do not worry about her “abilities” – this will be covered in mechanics.

Not all information will be given to you on a plate, you may have to infer/assume certain information


Super Metroid

Complete the game analysis tasks.


Presentation Overview
Emerging Video Game Technologies
© 2020 - 2024 J Balfour
20:40 | 23-05-2024
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