Freedom to select MC’s personality

Hi guys, I’ve been searching for similar topic but couldn’t find one so I decided to make it.
I wonder how much the freedom to create/develop the MCs personality in a story affecting your playing experience (and your purchasing decision).
Personally for me it affects a lot because there are several types of characters that I just couldn’t play it. I don’t mind gender-locked stories but if I am forced to play as timid and shy MCs, I’d abandon it. I do understand that it means lots of coding works for the author to provide several types of personalities; but if we have no say in that, then I think it shouldn’t be an IF.

So I wonder what’s your opinion on this.


I am the same way, I can’t play a game where my personality is locked. For me though it’s purely based on placing myself as the role of the MC, what would I choose, react, etc. As far as coding goes, there are so many options you can add, sometimes it won’t have the specific one I may want but at least there are options.


I hate it when I have to play as random generic voice man.

Or as a “”””””Funny”””””””” MC.

Customisable personality or at lest a very strong one I believe is one of the most, if not the most, important part about any COG.


Where do you rank choosing gender and names?

Would you continue playing or would you drop it? @Caspiera @LordNanachi?

I wonder what are the opinions from the published authors.

I would drop it.

Gender is mid way maybe. Name choice give barely a shit about personally. I just pick the generated ones anyway.

I’m not too fussed normally about gender in these games.

Sometimes I’m like… kinda wish I could play a girl/guy in this story…

But if a story is good and genderlocking it improves the story I don’t mind

I just need to be able to have the ability to role play.


WHat am I dropping like it’s hot?

If it’s about shy MCs I fucking love that.

Then I can make a cute MC

I somewhat agree with you. For me It really depends on the writing. I like being able to choose personality, but I’ll keep playing, unless It bothers me. I don’t really like genderlocked to male stories, but one of my favourite book is A Study in Steampunk.


I totaly agree. I tend to go with eiher sarcastic/dramatic MC or stoic MC, depending on the story. For noir story like Rent-a-Vice, I went with stoic as it provided me with deeper emotional conflict.

I mean will you drop it if you are forced to play as personality that you dislike.

Suddenly I remember your wip @Caspiera and I’d like to comment how happy I am with the selection you gave for MC interaction with the other characters as it shows their personality rather than simply being shy or sarcastic.

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Oh, yep if I am forced to play as a personality I don’t like I drop it like I dropped my hopes and dreams


Aww thank you :heart_eyes:

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gender-locked stories get the skip button . I wouldn’t even read the demo if avaible .

But the personality ? not really . Some stuff are mean to be for the narration .

Funny how the romances or characters you interact with are more bothersome for me then my MC personality . Since I do not have an issue to go with the flow…to see where the story is leading me . But that doesn’t help much , if a character you meet is obnoxious or an idiot .

I don’t recall a game where you were locked in a shy timid personality personally .


I don’t really remember whether it’s a published one or WIP but as I recall it was during romantic scene with ROs and there was no option to choose on how MC reacts or even thinks in such situation. The text assumed the MC would blush and stammer at everything the RO said.

Samurai of Hyuga actually quite linear too but since the Ronin personality is fun to play for me, it became one of my favs. But people who don’t like to play such a character might not enjoy it.

@Bae_Junhong but you can choose your MC’s personality in A Study in Steampunk, right? That’s one of my reasons to love that story. I went to the darkness in one of my playthroughs.


In a perfect story I’d be able to completely customize my character’s personality. Choosing where they land on a spectrum of several different traits, and have those choices reflected in the way the world responds to my character.

That’s a lot to ask from a single author/coder. So any scaled back version of that is great too. Even that can be a lot to work into a long or complex story. I think the most important thing to do is to make sure that the character HAS a personality even if we don’t get to choose it.

Someone mentioned Samurai of Hyuga above. That’s a great example because that character has a personality that I would never choose myself. I still enjoyed that game though, and I could get lost in it in a way that I couldn’t in some other games that kept the protagonist’s personality more of a blank neutral.

Some one asked above where personality ranked in terms of other things we get to choose about our characters. I’d put gender first, then personality, and choosing my name is of no importance at all. I almost always choose one of the default names, and actually get a little annoyed when there is no default choice.


Hmmm. I’m going to go against the majority here and say that I don’t think the freedom to chose the Mc’s personality is high on my priority list. I’d even say it can actively be harmful to the story.

Now don’t get me wrong: on paper, of course it would be good to have that. Who wouldn’t want to roleplay the way you want? But in practice, it’s a bit harder than that.

The problem, I think, is that if you decide to have a player-determined personality when you write a game, you have two choices: you actually manage to write entirely different voices for each personality type that manage to give the MC relief, or you give the MC the most neutral personality bar a couple of dialogue choice, and you let the player fill in the blanks.

Now the first choice is ideal, but has an obvious downside: it can be a lot of work. Often more than it can be worth for someone writing a CoG product. Plus, there’s always the risk you missed the type of personality some players wanted to play, because there’s a lot of character archetypes out there, and everyone can be attracted to something different.

So in practice, the second option is often the one who’s kept, and… I’ll be honest, more often than not, it’s just boring. Sure, you have a few lines here and there, but in general, it just ends up basically being your standard bland protagonist who has as much personality as a cardboard.

In general, I can be a lot more enthusiastic toward projects where the MC DO have a preset personality (with sometimes the possibility to adjust certain traits). Sure, it’s a risk, and a lot depends of the quality of writing. But I feel like it can bring so much more to a story than a game where the writer tries his best to not flesh out the Mc too much because it might interfere with what the player think they might be.

Now, I get that the problem with that is that it’s harder to feel like the MC is an extension of yourself. But… is it such a bad thing? Don’t get me wrong, I did went through a period during which every of my RPG protagonists were basically idealized self-insert of myself. But at the end of the day, I came to realize it’s limiting. It’s just sticking to your comfort zone and not trying anything new.

Random trivia: to me, I know I’m hooked to a game or a WiP if when it comes to choosing a name for the MC, I don’t feel like picking one for myself, but instead go with a choice in-game because it just feels right for what I already know of the character. I guess I’m at a point where I’m more interested in discovering a character than trying to mold it to conform to my own ideals.


I avoid gender-locked male games, and I also don’t enjoy games that continually tell me my motivations and feelings. I appreciate games that, maybe you can’t choose exactly what you’re going to say/do all the time, but you can choose your tone/reaction/etc. I think WHC does a good job with this. There are always a lot of ways to handle a given situation, and I don’t feel smushed into a box

Now that I’m on the other side of this though, I have to admit it’s hard to write an MC that has no predefined personality.


Being able to select a personality is important. I also like it if I’m able to select my MC’s background (like, say, a previous job or a previous ambition) and also have that provide additional insight to the story or the characters that a player will never find out if they chose differently.

An example: In Heart of the House, a character will learn more about Oriana’s history, including how she got her name, but only if they have an academic background.

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I’d say I’m ok with fixed personalities, but I’d like to on some extent determine my MC’s values. For example, I don’t need the choice between agreeing seriously or agreeing lightheartedly, but I need the option to disagree.

I do like to choose how I react to certain actions and in that way decide a personality, even if those decisions don’t actually have an effect on the plot. As long as the other characters react to different personalities in a different way, I’ll enjoy it. I also like to choose a gender and name, but that’s not something that would stop me from playing the game if it doesn’t have that.