Anthony Burch discusses why character-centric reasons for completing tasks are equally as good as mechanical reasons for plot

VIDEO: Plot is dumb, character is cool

Borderlands 2 scribe Anthony Burch has released a new video based on his GDC 2015 talk Plot is Dumb, Character is Cool.

The writer discusses his experience on Borderlands 2 and how the studio took different approaches to DLC, initially focusing on plot and expanding mythology, as that’s what players had said they wanted, to later doubling down on character motivations and choice.

Though there were also other factors involved, he said the most popular Borderlands 2 DLC was Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, which focused largely on character and had little to no real impact on the main Borderlands story.

The talk also goes into detail on specific events in the DLC, and how player actions could be related to the characters themselves, rather than a plot device. For example, instead of using just a mechanical justification for turning on a generator, the writer could use character justification instead, such as turning on the lights because your “badass mercenary friend is afraid of the dark”.

Burch argues that character-centric reasons aren’t necessarily always better, but they are equally functional and gives the writer more to work with.

You can watch the full video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4RMOX2_iOg

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