I talk a lot about social NPCs, but I'm obviously not the only person who thinks game characters could be more alive and interactive. My approach is "world centric", but that's not the only approach.
One person who shaped some of my ideas is Chris Crawford, a game designer who was active mostly at the turn of the 90s. His books and essays were always interesting to me, and his approach was "character centric". That is, he focused on making the characters themselves more interesting and nuanced, rather than integrating them into a complex world.
The reason I'm talking about this now is because Crawford came out of the shadows and, like many of the old guard, launched a KickStarter campaign. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/544670315/siboot
Obviously, I backed it. But it got me to thinking about that world/character dichotomy, and why I decided to go the exact opposite route: I want the exact opposite thing he wants.
I don't particularly want mysterious characters that you push against. I want a world full of people you live with.
That said, I wouldn't mind seeing what he can do with his approach.