With more than two million apps on the market, it’s easy to get lost in the mix as multiple apps are released and announced daily. Due to this seemingly “flooded” gaming app market, many developers wonder how they can set theirs apart from the crowd. The answer: it’s all about creating app characters with personality that will allow users to form a personal connection ensuring they always come back for more. At Outfit7, it has always been a main priority to make sure our characters are relatable through stories that resonate with our viewers. While creativity and fun are immensely important, allowing our users to form a bond with a character that has become a part of their daily life is an importance that is immeasurable.
When creating characters, think back to your favorite childhood story or book. Chances are, the first story thing that comes to mind will likely involve a heavily personalized character within a story you find relatable and realistic. Writers tend to base the story they are writing off of a character they created from the beginning – meaning they created the character’s persona first, then crafted the story around said character. The same concept is necessary when developing a successful gaming app. Characters engage emotions, whether intentional or not, and they make us wantto learn more about what is happening within the character’s life. For example, Outfit7’s users and viewers fell in love with Talking Hank because of his goofy, clumsy and hilariously silly attitude which many can relate to, thanks to a fun and well-meaning friend in their own life. It’s important to create characters that users can “root” for, which is what has made the animated series Talking Tom and Friends so popular.
Giving your characters a persona and personality that can develop over time within a story or gaming app should be THE main priority when it comes to your creation. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite tips on giving life to your characters:
Let them have a relatable ‘character flaw’.
Talking Tom is a guy with big personality and a lot of big ideas. He’s charismatic and creative, but he excels at being disorganized. He believes he can do and face anything, which is part of his charm, but there is often chaos caused by his inability to stay organized and on task. While this may be considered a character ‘flaw’ this attribute actually makes Talking Tom incredibly relatable and leaves viewers nodding their head with a simple “I know that feeling” sense of thought. It brings the viewers back to watch the series time and time again as they crave the feeling of companionship in a character that deals with the same struggles they face.
Let your characters show compassion.
Characters will always be more likable if they have a personality that shows they care about someone or something other than themselves. With Talking Angela, it was important to show our users that she is not only confident and clever, but she also has the perfect blend of humor, flexibility and patience to survive in her crazy group of friends. She constantly shows how much she cares about her friends by providing good ideas and her humor to lighten the mood. While she might not have everything figured out yet, she makes sure that her friends are always on the right track.
Keep your characters interesting.
A great way to keep your viewers interested in your characters is to have your “good” characters do something “bad”, and vice versa. For example, Talking Ginger is considered to be the mischievous kid on the block. He is imaginative and curious, but has an infuriating knack for interfering with the other Talking Friends. Underneath his pranks and competitiveness, he is a secret softy for the gang. By having characters like this in your story, it will keep your audience on the edge of their seats and constantly amused.
Give your characters attitude.
One way we set our characters apart is with their personalities. Each one of our characters has a unique way about them as they exude exclusive characteristics. For example, Talking Ben is considered the “brainy” one. There is nothing he cannot fix. He is known as the technician, programmer and handyman of the app studio. In short, he’s a genius. Each of our characters has something that makes them different from the other, and in some way, they all contribute to the success of the group. In a way, they “complete each other.”
Know your characters inside and out.
The most important part of creating successful characters is making sure that you know their stories inside and out. Make a personal guide for each out your characters, mapping out everything from what makes them tick, to their appearances and what they want most out of life.
It is important to make your characters count. By making them relatable, compassionate and interesting, you are setting yourself – and your characters – up for success, as these qualities ensure they will stand out amongst the crowd. Characters exhibiting personality and uniqueness bring life to your apps as they allow users to form a deep and personal connection with your character. This takes the connection beyond the screen, and creates a feeling of loyalty between the user and the app. Loyalty is the backbone of all successful apps and entertainment companies, and creating characters that are one-of-a-kind is the first step of the journey.
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