So, I was musing over Choice of Games and how you frequently get to choose a gender, and the games will gender-flip the love interests so that they’re of your chosen gender. I absolutely love how playing with gender in that way changes my own preconceptions of a character. It also makes writing simpler.
I was also thinking about Black Magic, who is the ultimate player-defined romantic interest since you can choose both gender and appearance. I did actually find comparing Black Magic to current celebrities broke my immersion in the game. I didn’t find any of the celebrities listed as attractive, and I noticed how other players mentioned they typed in ridiculous things.
There’s also a scene in Total Recall, where Arnie’s choosing his love interest. He chooses gender, he chooses build, hair colour and the like, and then she appears exactly as he requested, with the same plot as well as he wanted. That scene always struck me as utterly fascinating, him picking his preferences that way, and it’s just like we do in Choice games, in a way.
I’m thinking of including a shapeshifting demon in my game, who will appear to be the perfect boy/girlfriend. I want to play around with allowing the player to make choices.
Do you think I’d be better to include what hair colour, what eye colour, what build, what personality, and allow the player to pick each one in turn. Or instead have some pre-written descriptions to choose from instead? Personally I don’t like picking everything separate, although it does allow for a greater degree of customisation.
And what sort of choices should I allow to be picked?