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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Reyes

Character Barks (Belinda Cato)

I have written a series of barks for a character I created for a medieval merchant simulator game concept. I aimed to communicate the attitude of the character, Belinda Cato, through these short clips of dialogue, including the way her tone and extrinsic goal changes after a turning point in the game. As she transitions from swindler to sweetheart, how she interacts with those buying from her changes too.

You can read the full character outline, game plot, and story structure here, but a short bit of context is also provided below:

Character Outline:

Character: Belinda Cato

Intrinsic goal: To fill the void created by the pain of her extremely difficult and lonely childhood as an orphan living on the streets.

Extrinsic goal 1: To sell goods and scam the people she feels bitter toward, keeping everyone around her at a distance.

Extrinsic goal 2 (after the "Alms for Arrow" quest): To sell goods in order to raise enough money to help someone she’s come to care about tend to their sick loved one.

What she needs to learn (theme): Allowing yourself to care for others comes with inherent risk; opening up your heart to love and be loved is scary, but the benefits that accompany having a real connection with another person far outweigh the possibility of pain that comes along with them.

Game end goal: Earn 1 million gold.

Short Character Summary:

Belinda Cato is an orphan who has never been shown an ounce of compassion in her difficult life. She survived her childhood on the unforgiving streets through grifting, and as an adult, she has refined her swindling to an art. She makes a killing selling snake oil cures to unsuspecting buyers and feels no remorse for taking advantage of the desperate folks who come to her for a miracle. That is, until she finds herself in need of help and a young woman with a sick husband--customers of hers--comes to her aid. Through a quest called "Alms for Arrow," where she loses her beloved horse, Arrow, and regains him through the generosity of this struggling family, Belinda begins to realize the power that kindness can have. After this turning point, she works to earn money by selling legitimate goods instead of the fake "cures" she hawked before, intending to share her profits with her new--and very first--friends: the family in need that helped her find Arrow again.

Game actions:

  • You can buy and sell products or resources.

  • You can gather information by talking to NPCs.

  • You can travel.

  • Selling and buying changes the dynamic market, so one potential action is to “manipulate” the market for your own game.

  • You can search ruins and abandoned mines for valuables (though there is no combat).

Space: The game largely takes place by shuffling you between menus or between 2d landscapes. There is no 3D area to explore.

See how I communicate Belinda's dynamic character through barks here.


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