Gender switching characters

I’m writing a story (duh), and the main character has a BFF. I’d like to have the option of romancing the friend, but since you get to choose whichever gender you’re attracted to, I want to have that character gender-switch in different play-throughs.

My questions are . . . would this be too confusing on the replay? Does this idea seem better than having two BFF’s and changing my entire outline? Should I just make the friend male and make you romance him either way? If this has been answered in another topic, please point me to it.


How about this: Let your players choose the gender of this BFF. If they then wish, they can pursue ‘more than friends’, or not. Replaying will then offer a new approach to whatever they played the first time. :relaxed:

Characters that switch genders based on your main character’s own gender/preference have been done in other COG games, and it worked just fine in my opinion. Of those I’ve read, Slammed and Choice of Kung Fu come to mind.

Another thing, which Choice of Robots does, is to have two characters, but have only one of them appear in any single playthrough. You get to choose which of them is your BFF, and they play similar roles with some differences.

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That sound cool. I may have to end up doing something like that.

This is something which people have strong (and strongly divided) opinions about. See similar discussions on:

I’m one of the readers (and writers) who doesn’t mind genderflipping characters, like most of the responses so far on this thread. But you’ll soon hear other voices.

Write what satisfies you.


Thank you, @Havenstone I’ll look into those links.

Hey there. I too want to give the player the option to pick the PC’s gender but I am unsure of how to write it in ChoiceScript. I understand that I need to create a variable for this on the startup-page and then write the choice part but I don’t know which scripts/codes to use, other than the choice-command and that it’s a boolean value.

If someone has an example of the correct commands to use and is willing to share, I would really appreciate it. And of course give full credit in my game. :slightly_smiling:

You can find pretty much everything on either the forum or the wiki if you know where to look. In this case there’s apparently a topic on the exact things you’re looking for.

You could also try @Reaperoa’s beginners guide for ChoiceScript, which can be found here:

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Thank you kindly! :smile:

I don’t know if the OP still cares about this thread, but I’m going to chime in with my thoughts on the matter anyway.

I think it’s fine to pick the gender of the MC but when supporting characters are being considered I think it would be better to already have a clear vision of who you want them to be. I think that they should already be pretty well developed when you introduce them to your story. I believe that gender is a big part of their identity in this sense; when you picture your supporting characters how do you see them?

I’m starting to outline my own story and when I think of my supporting characters I first visualize how they look and from there I would develop the characters background, personality traits, quirks, and goals. Of course I would leave room for them to grow as characters through out the story, but I would like to have a real sense of who they are before they are introduced.

The only one I can see no problem with swapping gender is the MC. The reason being that this is essentially your avatar, your way of interacting with the story. I think the reader should have a say in determining who they are while exploring the world you’ve created, but the supporting characters should remain how you envisioned them. While the MC is the vehicle that drives the plot forward, the world and the characters are the reason the journey exists in the first place. I believe that it’s up to the author to create the journey but it’s up to the reader to determine how they get to their destination.

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Hey! Yeah, I know what you mean when you say that the supporting characters should be really thought out - I think the same way. But I have two characters thought out, a male and a female, as two separate characters. Total difference in the way they behave. The only reason I don’t wanna add in two main best friends is because I don’t have a role for the other one.
Ooh, new question. Does anybody like the idea of the reader getting to choose how the main character acts (let’s say decides to go to the gym), but have the choice effect a supporting character’s strength as well as your own?

I think they should develop on their own throughout the story. They can be reactive to the MC’s actions but they should grow in their own ways. Think of it like this; if you work out do your friends get stronger? It might influence them in different ways but your growth is not theirs, they need to find their own way.

As for the best friend issue, the MC can have more than one close friend. You said they are both pretty well developed right? If you’re having trouble with finding a role for them think about who they are and what motivates them. Supporting characters don’t have to fit neatly into roles. They can add to a story through additional character interaction or maybe serve as someone important to a plot point later in the story or even simpler they can be another close friend of the MC.

I think you could fit both into your story. I would think of it like this you have an idea of the overarching story within your scene now throw the MC and their two friends into it. How would they react? What type of interactions would they have with this environment, and how can the MC in turn react to this? These two can help set the scene and the reader as the MC can then drive it forward.

This is how I would go about it anyway.

You could have a choice between the two different gender friend characters that decides which one you go through the rest of the game with. That way they share the same role in the plot but it adds some variety on a replay. In my own WIP I’ve done something like that with the apprentice the MC takes on - the apprentice character was originally going to be a straight genderswap but eventually turned into two different characters.

I do like that - it’s sort of a novel way of choosing companions’ stats.

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Genderflipping the romance option characters is like making the gender choice for the MC in the first place. If the reader chooses a female MC and the main RO flips to male, that’s making a statement that the author wants the story to be about a heterosexual relationship.

Some stories might require this - if there’s a plot-specific reason that the MC’s best friend needs to be the opposite gender. But this could be frustrating to certain readers. I’d suggest not forcing romance with a specific character, and giving a wider options of set characters the MC can hang out with.

I’m not making your character straight, or gay, or bi. They get to choose that for themselves. In most of my stories, you get to be asexual, but in this story I feel I might have to remove that option.

There is a plot-specific reason the main character has to have a boy/girlfriend/fling/date. I’m not “forcing” the romance, I just want the reader to have a wider set of options to choose from.