Lately, I’ve been thinking about how a character is defined. There is the way s/he looks, how s/he act, her/his thoughts, etc… But more important is her or his link to other characters.
It struck me in games like the Last of Us with the synergy between Elie and Joel, or in Portal (1 and 2).
I based one of my project on this idea. Characters having a synergy between them, acting on their own because they care or hate another character. This project was a tactical RPG with modern firearm. And like the series of Valkyria Chronicles, enemy could shoot you if you enter their field of view.
As I was designing this, I imagined a young girl, crouched behind a crate. In front of her an enemy’s machine gun ready to shoot him. But the player didn’t saw the machine gun and he recklessly send one of his marksman, a young boy right in front of the machine gun. But the moment he is about to be shot, the young girld grab him and pull him under cover! She has no action point left, it’s not her turn, and yet she acted. Because she cared about the young boy.
I really wanted to implement this mechanism, but what is more frustrating that a soldier who doesn’t listen to orders? If it seems fun, engaging, it may be just annoying gameplay wise.
But still, I’d really love to put it in a game someday.