Gender choice


As I was writing the character creation part of my game, the thing I found most difficult was finding some natural way of letting the player choose his/her gender. Especially since my game begins in an action scene and I don’t want to wait until the next chapter to pop the question. How do you phrase the gender choice in your games in a way that makes it seem natural?

Unfortunately, my only idea so far is quite horrible:
The bullet flies before you can react but fortunately, it only struck your…


Well in choice of vampire they had the “handshake” or “curtsy” choice which was very subtle, I’m pretty sure I read about a few people who didn’t even know that was the point of picking your gender! So maybe something like a choice between wearing lipstick or cologne? Try something that just feels natural for the main character; something that they would do everyday.

Unfortunately mine was not subtle at all, so I couldn’t give you the best advice on it, haha.


Haha, the first thing I thought of was “Where do you start shaving first?” - “Face” / “Legs”… I’m strange… Sorry not to be of better help


@zero647 That was also my first idea, but I eventually decided on a more obvious ‘which restroom do you use’ choice.


This can’t end well. Everything think of is dirty. lol


This is how I did it

“Thank you Mr. Hunts.” You answer into the phone. “Yes, I will assemble a team and we will see you the day after tomorrow.” You finish scribbling down the info on the yellow note pad. “Thank you again and I will see you soon.” As you hang up the phone you lean back in your office chair spying the poster on the wall of T.A.P.S. You dream of the day your group will be apart of the T.A.P.S. family, even possibly meeting the team.

“Now done to business.” You say as you lean forward to open the staff files on your laptop.

Yes you are a ghost investigator; you have started your own group called…
Spectral Investigators
Society of Spectral Investigators
Spirited Spectral Investigators
This is not the name I call my group

Solid name for a group. Of course starting a new group you placed an add, which the newspaper mixed up all the information. I dare say you were less then cordial with the lady on the phone.
What did she call you to start?
She kept calling me Miss.
She kept calling me Sir.


I liked the way Vampire offered the choice. Very subtle. Subtle ways of character creation that go hand-in-hand and fluidly with the story, and what’s taking place, are really special. Everything simply flows together.

Perhaps the character walks by a mirror/fixes their appearance in a mirror, or sees their reflection in shattered crystal, or they get addressed formally by another character (Mr. Mrs./Sir Lady), or someone in the crowd of the action scene yells out something in surprise that uses the character’s pronoun (‘Oh my god, she killed him!’ - or are you a woman? ), and thus allowing the opportunity for you to slip something natural in.


In my story you get hit by an apple. The apple can hit either between your legs or your chest. Guess who’s who!


My player wakes up with a hangover. One of the first challenges is trying to identify the gender of the face in the mirror.

A) Male
B) Female
C) I don’t know; it could be either.


@Anoriel I have to say that I think that is a particularly bad idea.

  1. Because it is arbitrary. You choice is unconnected with the outcome, which is always a bad thing. That also leads to:
  2. Some people won’t get it. Heck some people didn’t seem to get the “curtsy/bow” thing in CoV, and that was pretty clear. Sure, you should have an expectation that your readers will be relatively competent, but you also shouldn’t expect them to have to look for a second meaning in everything. What about the people that skim, and those that have trouble with English? Deeper choices with unclear outcomes really need to be regulated to the latter half of the game, where you’re sure that if someone is still reading that you have their full attention and therefore will actually attempt to ‘decode’ the different decisions of the game.
  3. Even if you understand what the choice effects you’re prone to wanting to choose the other one, just because it is what you’d want to happen, and that is (at least on some level) frustrating and annoying.
  4. The choice is (again) arbitrary, to the point of the reader expecting it to get the answer wrong anyways. You think about it too long and suddenly the choice is “okay, but what if that apple doesn’t actually hit me where it hurts?” and you’re stuck second guessing the whole way. (As opposed to my second point, this is sort of the opposite. The person that thinks too much rather than too little.)
  5. Hitting a woman between the legs still hurts, badly.

“Sorry for writing this like a flamer, but I try to be honest about my reviews” :stuck_out_tongue:

@lordirishdas I’m noting this here instead of in your thread because… well, at least here we can have a chain of thoughts on what is possible good, and what is possibly bad, in relation to how to effect gender choices that everyone can easily find. Where you say “…the newspaper mixed up all the information.” and then ask for the gender, it sounds almost as if picking one gender will make you the other one (I mean, they did mix up all your information). I’d recommend changing the last line to something like: ‘At least they got your gender right, as the lady on the phone referred to you as:’. Also, the casual usage of ‘Sir’ has always been an annoyance to me. I don’t know why, as by all modern usage it is fine, but it just annoys me for some reason :stuck_out_tongue: .


At first I did have it as, if you picked one it would be the opposite sex. It confused too many of my beta testers, so I have switched it around. I have not fixed how it sounds yet, but it is on my to-do list. Thank you. :smiley:


Well, I have a forum up here where you can read that first part; you might want to take a look at it. And besides, It’s funnier than asking “Are you male or female?”. Oh and as I’m hardcore Tolkien and also like Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes my writing style IS rather… well… complicated? Try reading Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. I read Anathem twice before I was fifteen, thrice now. It’s even worse than Silmarillion.
I write kinda straightforward but I like being subtle. If people can’t cope with it, too bad. I like who I am and how I write.


You wake up in the morning, do you feel like