10- Motives, Arch, Personality, and Background

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This section covers Motives, Arch, Personality, and Background together since there isn’t as much graphics and drawing.

This is where your writing overlaps your character design.

Motives are the goals of the character, the reason they go on an adventure.

Arch refers to the story arch – how they act or look in the beginning and how the story changes them over time.

Personality is their specific traits like energetic, depressed, grumpy. This will effect the emotions they will portray.

Background is the story of how they became who they are before the game. For example, why is my rat a mage?

By now, you will probably have a pretty good idea of what your character looks like if you started at Concept. But maybe you had a story idea first. This is the section you would start instead.

Here’s some explanation on my character:

Motives: He wants to save the white tree he lives under. He likes being alone so he does the adventure by himself. This might effect how he speaks and shows I won’t need to design additional side kicks.

Arch: While he wants to save the tree, he starts off very grumpy about it. As he fixes the tree roots however, he learns more about how the tree works. He begins to love the tree and finds out what his white pendant on his robe means in relation to the white tree. 

Do you see how thinking about the Arch changed my design? I thought about his story and added the white circle on his chest.

Personality: Grumpy, talks to the tree angrily, devious, likes beating up the bad guys as a way to feel better

Background: The tree actually gave him his power. Other rats don’t talk or walk. He was brought back to life by the through the white seed on his chest. At the end of the game, he finds out why the tree chose him

Tip: Once you start thinking about or writing the story of your game, the design of your character may change. I already had the white pendant in mind because I thought about a story before he got it. Maybe in a later level he’s given a new cape or earring. These 4 areas can effect your design, even though its just the writing part.


Write a short description for your character for each of the 4 parts: Motives, Arch, Personality, and Background. If a new idea comes up and changes the look of your character, make sure to also upload a new picture of the character!

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