Even though our game character is supposed to function as a blank slate as far as the player will know, we still thought it might be interesting to develop a personality and back story for him as it could help inform some decisions later on. Of course very little if not any of this detail will be apparent to the player but having this underlying context will keep the game streamlined.
I found an in depth character creation document online that is aimed at fiction writers but still has a lot of applicable content. it had the expected questions such as the characters’ age, location, friends and family but also deeper questions about their psychology, morning routine and significant events from their life. As we progressed through the document an actual character was forming and it was interesting to realise that some of these personality traits could easily justify or inform gameplay decisions. For example, we said that he used to go camping in the forest with his dad a lot when he was young which explains how he has knowledge of the equipment he’ll have with him. We’ve also explained his strong relationship with his dog as well as a reason for him to be out on this trip in the first place.
While obviously not entirely necessary for our game, by completing this character creation document we have some extra insight that could easily feed into functional design decisions even if the player is never explicitly told any of this back story.