How much control do you prefer over your character's background?


To elaborate, do you prefer there to be multiple options for deciding your character’s personal history, where they’re from, what kind of family they had, et cetera (which would in turn help decide starting stats)? Or do you like it when your character’s situation is given directly to you and then you take over from there? How much customization do you prefer before it gets irritating to you?


Sometimes the plot requires a pre-defined background, but if not, it’s better to have the choice between multiple options. Depending on the game, a whole childhood chapter might be useful. I think a characer becomes overcustomized if the choices don’t have a real effect on anything.


For me it depends on whether or not its actually affects your game if you give me multiple options to set my background i would expect it to have consequences and matter past the first scene or there would be no point just a waste of choices that make no difference. I love building my character from the start up like wulfyk said a childhood chapter, it is on of the useful ways to to build you character without it feeling like your just picking out stats. However it does depend on the game your making if its a character driven game then yes i would prefer customization but if its not than sometimes it’s better just to have a blank character where you choose your stats and go from there.


Aside from chossing my gender and name, I would perfer it was fairly set.

I tend not to like long customizing and background creating sections, and it is very hard to implement those choices into a forward flowing narrative. Then you get the problem of making sure each background is fully developed on top of writing every thing else.

I would just much perfer to have a total blank slate where nothing is know about me before the game begins, or give me a proper background that ties in to the narrative. If the background choices end up being under devolped or weak, I would perfer they not be there at all. When that happens they turn into choices strictly for their stats and I strongly dislike those kinds of choices.


I prefer choices in regards to backgrounds as long as it fits in the setting.


I really love customization! The more questions about my character I get to answer, the more excited I feel. There’s a limit where I’ll get bored, yeah, but this is what usually happens. Plus, the boredom mainly just sets in where the customization is too much like a blunt survey.

Also, nods throughout the text are great. Maybe it won’t be implemented perfectly, but as long as you try, I’ll greatly appreciate it and like the work a lot more because of it.


Thank you for the great feedback! For the game I’m working on I’ll definitely try to make customization choices have a noticeable effect in later parts of the game; i.e., different backstory choices could give the player character an additional spoken language, specific knowledge about certain parts of the world, or special dialogue options with other characters (an “I was there for that too” or “I know how you feel” sort of thing).

On another note, I don’t know whether appearance customization would be necessary unless it leads to a specific plot point. Does it helps immerse people into the story, even if it’s not necessarily plot-important?


First query – I love customisation, but sometimes the background needs to fit the story (but if I don’t get gender at least I will most likely not bother). The more the better, I have yet to hit ‘too much’ in any game on here. More choices can also lend itself well to replayability (I tend to play games I enjoy over and over again if they lend themselves to it).

Second one – I feel as long as appearance is at least referred to at some point, it has been relevant enough. Now, if it somehow manage to get baked in deeper, then it could be interesting (example, playing a Native American – or whatever to use – or an Asian (or a female!) in Tin Star; people react (more or less strongly) to it, but it does not change the plot).


it depends on the game, its reason and what the story is about. if the story i about a cop, i don’t have no problem having predetermine background. if a story is about average mc that lives his/her life, then i might want a little. but i don’t walk away if there isn’t any. all i’m looking for is entertainment. spend more time for the story to be good and interesting, not die over background choices and how you can tie them into your main game. give me choices that matter now and here .


I love every bit of customization I can get. I prefer when I can choose my background but I enjoy stories when it’s set for the sake of story. As someone said it’s always good when after choosing my background it is referred later in game even if only with some small thing - like a comment from other character or dialogue option unlocked only for my background.
I also really like choosing my appearance but I don’t need later refernces in game. It just helps me to set character in my head and to immerse myself better.


I love customisation, it’s so fun, of course theirs a limit to it, but all the little choices make me happy


Customisation give me life


I guess it’d mostly depend on the game and character your making. I’d perfer a backround on the game more then on the character though…


I personally do not care about such options at the start of a game if they have no effect on the rest of the game. I would much rather sculpt my characters background through the actions and choices I choose throughout the story than preselect a background from a few options at the start. But that’s just me I guess. Most people love various types of customisation no matter the effect it has.

Other options such as general appearance and gender and such are a good touch to add. I’m rather passive about them myself, as I wouldn’t mind playing as a set character, but they are nice to include.


I like having as much control on the MC’s background as possible, provided that that info will actually be used in the game in the form of unique scenes, stat changes, or at least mentioned at some point in the game.


The more you give to people, the more they shall have and in turn the more they’ll have to lose.

Make each one of those things meaningful, precious, valuable, and people will fight all the harder to retain them.

As they gradually lose the closest and dearest to them, they begin to attach value to these things and in so doing they become all the more precious for it.

The choices slowly and steadily become harder and heavier as character is broken down to their core principles, and only then will they know the true value of their life, their soul.

So… yeah Character Background is important I think, hahaha :sweat_smile:.


The usual name and gender (games with genders other than the binary are awesome!) and a well developed back story usually does it for me.

I really enjoy games that go in depth with your character like their appearance, background and other stuff because it lets you have a little more fun but I guess it’s more work for the coder.


I would love if there were multiple options of personal history. I do believe that history and family upbringing has more effect on skills and character than any other thing about a person. Sure, most games ask “what did you study”, but why does my character care about studying that?

What would be ideal would be question 1: which family did you grow up with? And 2: how did that affect you? Because humans may embrace or reject their early values, they may learn from or be disgusted by their parents, but it still makes them different people than those who did not react to that scenario.

I love this concept. I have tried to do a little of that with my WIP, where several characters can define what kind of relationship they have with both their family and the values expected of them. But a game that revolves around that at character creation? Must play, unless it’s a medieval setting or a family of elves or another of my insurmountable pet peeves.

Referring to things later is always ideal. Long hair can be grabbed but might appeal to a certain character or be able to be tied back out of your eyes. Dyed hair makes you a rebel to some and a cool person to others. Hell, your eye color makes someone think you belong to a certain family, even if you don’t. There are ways to work it in.

Customization for its own sake? I hate it if someone straight-up walks me through, “What is your skin color? Hair color? Hair length? Eye color? Style? Mother’s maiden name?” Not only is it usually pure flavor text, sometimes never referred to again, it’s overkill in my mind.

But I do have to add that when I was playing my first text RPGs at the age of 12-13, I thought that being able to have LONG _ FLOWING _ RED hair and CRYSTAL_GREEN eyes, and clothes with paragraph-long descriptions when you did Look At FANCY DRESS was super awesome and important.


The whole non-binary thing confuses me to this day. I feel like there would have to be a large group of non-binaries playing CoGs for it to added by demand in the first place…


@TechDragon610, I’m with you on that one. Never been a fan of the “other genders” option