A character-driven campaign is a campaign in which characters play an important part in the development of plot and immersion, as opposed to the standard generic wingmen seen in the canon FreeSpace 2 campaigns. Notable examples include Transcend and Blue Planet.
Typical features of character-driven campaigns
- Usually, character-driven campaigns contain significantly more dialogue than standard campaigns.
- Recurring characters fly missions with the player.
- The player character has a defined personality and dialogue.
- Briefings, Command Briefings, and Debriefings sometimes feature the player's thoughts. In non-character-driven campaigns, there are references to tactical situations.
A good character-driven campaign often requires well-planned cutscenes and well-written dialogue. Some character-driven campaigns focus less heavily on tactical gameplay and more on complex FREDding (such as Transcend or Sync), while others, like Blue Planet, feature tactically deep and complex mission scenarios. In general, character-driven campaigns require a great deal of work on the FRED level because of the sheer number of messages and events required.
Why would I create a character-driven campaign?
Character-driven campaigns can also be used to tell basic military stories (such as those of the main FreeSpace campaigns) with a greater sense of immersion and emotional attachment. Alternatively, they can be used to present new types of stories not generally associated with FreeSpace, such as horror (Transcend).