In the world of videogames, one of the most popular videogame storylines is where the player is a hero who saves the world from the threat of a villain. Heroes and villains are characters that have dominated art and literature for as long as anyone can remember, and the development of them doesn’t get any easier. With this being said, it can be argued that it’s significantly more difficult to create a villain than it is a hero. This is because a hero can solely be motivated by the fact that they’re a good person; however, a villain must have a driving force behind all the evil they commit.
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Firstly, when creating a memorable videogame villain, you need to ensure that their vision is strong and that it’s a threat to society. Videogame villains have a twisted view of the world for sure, but you need to ensure you can convey they believe they’re working towards the greater good. This ambition is what will provide your videogame hero with the drive to defeat the villain. After all, villains are built from an ideology, and it’s this ideology that pushes them to execute their master plan. A videogame villain can’t be bad just for the sake of being bad; they must have a deep-rooted hatred for something that influences their actions.
Once you’ve established your videogame villain’s vision, you need to ensure that they will stop at nothing to see their mission through. No matter how many people get hurt along the way, a videogame villain cannot show mercy. This is different from a movie villain or a book villain, as we can see them develop and become a better person by the end of the story. This isn’t the case for a videogame villain, as the hero will need to fight the villain throughout the game. Videogame villains are inherently evil, and there isn’t any room for them to improve as people.
Videogame villains need to forge cunning plans for the hero to foil, and these plans can’t be established by someone who lacks intelligence. What makes a memorable villain so terrifying is that they’re so intelligent, we have no idea what their next move is going to be. This is especially true of a videogame villain, as the hero character is required to spar with the villain, and this won’t be exciting if the villain is slow and predictable. The villain needs to be a step ahead of the game until the very end to keep the player engaged.
This one may seem obvious; a weak villain would be pretty pointless, right? Despite this, you need to ensure that your villain is the most powerful character in the game. Some developers make the mistake of confusing power with size. Your villain doesn’t need to be the biggest character in the game, as size doesn’t equate to power. Although your villain must be incredibly powerful, it’s important that they have a weakness that the player can navigate as they play the game. This way, the hero can come off victorious by the end of the game.
Last but not least is the appearance, as a villain’s appearance must be iconic. The villain’s appearance is the first thing that the player will encounter, and this appearance alone must invoke fear into them. Similarly, the villain must make dramatic entrances that puts the player on edge, as it’s this that will push the desire for defeat. As previously mentioned, size doesn’t matter, the appearance just needs to alarm the player.
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