OK, I'm not sure if this question is OK for writing SE. But here goes.

I'm an indie developer trying to make a story-driven game. I want to make the main character slightly unnerving. Not creepy per se, but just slightly unnerving. I also want him to be likable, yet slightly insane. Is this possible?

Note: As it is a game, a good portion of mood and tone will go into sound design and visuals. I'm thinking a slightly off voice and stepping into the uncanny valley a bit. So any help there would be good too.

  • 1
    I guess The Joker is the goto archetype. And creepypasta Jeff the Killer. Can you fill in some character details? Is this a villain? How old? How realistic…? WritingSE is generally more about the narrative character design, like what motivates him and what he does. Can you make his affliction the result of the game somehow?
    – wetcircuit
    Dec 1, 2018 at 3:41
  • This is not the villian, but not the hero either, closer to hero but more antihero. He is meant to be mysterious. So I don't want to give away, motivation, but more of what he does, his tendancies.
    – user34313
    Dec 1, 2018 at 5:00
  • Please Edit your question with more details requested in comments. Comments may be deleted at almost any time for almost any reason; questions and answers have a much higher bar for deletion.
    – user
    Dec 1, 2018 at 11:13
  • Can you clarify what you mean by ennerving?
    – NofP
    Dec 1, 2018 at 16:12
  • I edited your question for formatting and such but I didn't change "the uncanny valley" because I didn't know what it meant. Can you explain?
    – Cyn
    Dec 2, 2018 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


Unnerving and insane are not the same thing.

Unnerving is how the character makes you feel. A little uncertain, maybe even unsafe or suspicious. Insane is about the character's relationship to reality.

If you want insane plus likable, then make him sweet and caring, but not quite all there. If you want unnerving plus likable, then go for charming. Charming can allow many people to skate right up to the edge of creepy and get away with it.

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