I am reminded of a theory which led to me thinking about people breaking into gaming, how they do it, and what happens when they get there.
Specifically, that everyone has That One Story they’re dying to tell, and if you pay attention you can usually tell what it is. That One Thing someone did as a labor of love, not a dash to the deadline.
For me most recently, in Shroud, it would be the kobolds.
Almost everything of the story of SOTA was mapped out and given to me (which made my job mostly “take this six lines of description and make 8 believable NPCs talking about it”) but one thing that had no description or guidance was kobolds. They just were, you know, kobolds. So I took it and ran with it.
I ran, I ran so far away.
Kobolds in Shroud are basically the good guys. They were the ultimate survivors, they helped the remnants of humanity get back on their feet, and humanity’s thank you was “ha ha you talk funny get out”. After a few dozen decades of this, they decided the proper response was to declare a particular island theirs and kick these funny behaving humans the hell off it. Thus the game.
Thus you get dialogue such as with one kobold discussing how odd humans are with you, finally concluding that it comes from not knowing when to stop reproducing and choking the landscape, and the kobold turns to you and says sternly, “STOP MATING, HUMAN.”
As I said, everyone has That One Story. You can usually tell when you run into it