meaning and definition

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    What is a CCC?

    CCC, short for “computer-controlled character,” refers to characters in a roleplaying game (RPG) that are not operated by human players but are managed by the game’s programming.

    These characters can range from simple shopkeepers to complex monsters, depending on the game’s design and narrative needs.

    Unlike player characters (PCs), computer-controlled characters are guided by the game’s engine and pre-written scripts to interact with players and the environment.

    The concept of CCCs originates from early computer games, such as MUDs, where non-player characters (NPCs) were implemented to populate the game world and provide depth and interaction opportunities for the players.

    CCC FAQs

    How do CCCs differ from NPCs?

    While CCCs and NPCs are often used interchangeably, CCC specifically emphasizes the computer-controlled aspect of these characters.

    NPCs, a broader term, includes any non-player characters, regardless of whether a computer or a human (such as a game master in tabletop roleplaying) controls them.

    Can CCCs become PCs?

    Typically, CCCs are not designed to become PCs, as they are integral to the game’s environment and narrative structure controlled by the game’s programming.

    However, in some games, players might be allowed to control CCCs temporarily or adopt them into their party, blurring the lines between CCCs and PCs.

    Are CCCs only found in video games?

    While CCCs are most commonly associated with video games, the concept can also apply to text-based games like MUDs and MUSHes, where characters are programmed to perform specific roles or actions without direct human control.

    What is the purpose of CCCs in a game?

    CCCs serve multiple purposes: they can provide quests, information, or services to players; act as friends, foes, or neutral parties; and contribute to the game’s atmosphere and world-building. They are essential for creating a dynamic and interactive game environment.

    How do CCCs enhance the gaming experience?

    CCCs add depth to the game world by providing challenges, storylines, and interaction opportunities. They help create a more immersive and dynamic environment.

    For example, a roaming wolf might provide an opportunity for combat experience and the chance to collect a pelt.

    Can I interact with CCCs the same way as with player characters?

    The extent to which players can interact with CCCs will depend on the game’s rules and mechanics. Computer-controlled characters can also come in different flavors, depending on their race or role.

    For example, some computer-controlled characters can offer quests, information, or aid in your game journey. Other CCCs might not respond to dialogue and are merely monsters meant to be engaged in combat, killed, and looted for XP and goodies.

    Myths about CCCs

    A common misconception is that CCCs are simply obstacles or background elements without depth. However, well-designed CCCs can have complex behaviors, contributing significantly to the game’s narrative and challenges.

    Another misconception is that CCCs can act unpredictably and without reason, but in reality, their actions are based on predefined scripts or rules designed to enhance gameplay. Though, randomization can certainly be included as part of that.

    CCC examples

    • A tavern keeper in a fantasy RPG who provides rumors and quests to players, in addition to pints of the local ale.
    • A computer-controlled enemy general in a strategy game, leading armies against the player in an epic battle.
    • A virtual shop owner in an MMORPG who sells items and gear to players, such as potions and armor.
    • A scripted guide character who leads the player through the tutorial, explaining what each part of the tutorial is for and how to complete it.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."