How much customization of appearance do you like?

I currently have gender, name, height, hair color/length, eye color, beard/no beard for men, age, and weight as part of the introductory scene. Is there anything else appearance wise that I should consider adding?

Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything, but maybe the community can help!

Some people prefer skin color… But uhm these options are extreme the number of them


If you ask them, folks will almost always opt for more customization. What you have right now is solid: you should focus more on how to introduce these choices in interesting ways. Maybe you’re trying to get a book from the shelf to introduce the height choice; maybe you’re scratching your chin to see if there’s any scruff for the beard option, etc. A lot of customization can even be held off, like hair or eye color until situations occur where that’s important to know.


Sometimes less is more.


I play anything from no customization to full customization.


Lol, Cat, I’m pretty sure most people would prefer a skin color option included among the numerous customization options that Shockbolt is offering.

Myself, I prefer my character’s skin to be a pale shade of lavender. (Think Lavender Mist.)
Periwinkle works too! :heart_eyes:

But, like Doctor says:

And as MultipleChoice says:

Otherwise, I’m going to request that the player character has an option of being an anthropomorphic animal.
Ah ha ha! No, no. Ignore that. :sweat_smile:

You should include race/skin color. I don’t know how many options you’ve planned for hair and eye color, but have a similar number of skin colors.

other possible options are:

  • scars, tattoos, piercings etc.
  • bust, waist and hip measurements for females
  • glasses, yes or no.
  • body shape or specify if the weight is more due to muscles or due to fat.
  • handedness

I hadn’t actually thought about that! I think I might code all the appearance variables up front and than move then different places chronologically as I write more of the actual story line. That’s a great idea. (:

Or you can have an infinite amount of appearance customization by never defining it at all and letting the player’s imagination do it instead.


I thought about that, but I’ve always felt like part of the appeal of chose your own adventures is the role playing part – and part of that at least for me is getting to pick out traits from a list. (:

I figure some people will just ignore it and imagine what they want anyways, but there’s no reason not to include character creation for those who do enjoy it!

These are in my opinion the right answer unless physical points are necessary to the story. My opinion is obviously partly due to the fact that when you pick a character’s skin tone, my skin color is very rarely included, and then usually only as a caricature, but when a story starts by telling me ‘you don’t belong here’, I kinda stop caring about the story.


I really don’t care if there is customization or not…unless it affects the story. If I choose to be tall and I get different options for defeating the bad guy because I’m tall, great. I am not fond of things like…“your hair is shiny [choose color] and [choose length] and your eyes are [choose color]”…and then it’s never mentioned again.


There’s an option in each of the categories to write in your own. (:

Yeah if it’s there to be there it’s not really important. If you get a different reaction from people on race, similar to how Lonestar does, than yes.

Just my opinion, but I don’t care much about personal customization. It’s important in games such as Dragon Age: Inquisition, because I can actually see the result of all the time I spend in character creation. If I did a good job it leaves me with a sense of satisfaction throughout the game since I have a unique-looking character with which I can interact with the game world. That doesn’t really apply to games which are entirely text, though.

Most of the interactive fiction games I’ve played that included such options did a poor job of making such details actually relevant. Let’s say I choose for my character to have really long hair and a conspicuous tattoo. Will another character in the story see his tattoo and react differently to him, perhaps assuming he is some kind of delinquent? Will his long hair be detrimental to him in a fight because it can be grabbed? If the answer to such questions is no, then I really can’t be bothered to choose those options in the first place.

Most of my favorite COGs don’t have any level of customization at all, and I generally prefer it that way, so I can project whatever appearance I want onto my character in my head. In Sabres of Infinity I can easily imagine my dragoon to be a gaunt, black-haired figure with a calculating gaze. In Choice of Rebels my character can be like a majestic rebel queen out of storybook legend with long, flowing, golden hair and emerald green eyes. All that without superfluous and limited in-game options.

TLDR I don’t think customization of appearance is usually necessary in a text-based game.

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I understand the opinion that character customization isn’t important for some games. If you’re playing Choice of Pirates (or some other genre-based game), you really only need to be male or female, and let your decisions/stats define you.

On the other hand, I’m making a very “intense role-playing” text game, where you have a real life body with unique hair, eyes, body weight, age, and hair length, and an “avatar” body, which has its own hair, eyes, body weight, hair length, and race. And those are just appearance. You can choose your own weapons and armor, etc…

I figure it’s the kind of game that people enjoy customizing their character, and making them as cool as possible. If people ask you to add options, it’s probably (MAYBE!) a good idea to add the option, and that’s what ended up happening to me.

I left out skin color, because:

  1. I don’t see it as much of a difference in character; your skin color does not change your personal actions.
  2. You can’t change your skin color at will (unless you’re creating a fake character).
  3. In an ideal world, it shouldn’t matter. If your game is not a commentary on racial issues or realistic to the point of discrimination, then skin color doesn’t matter.

My game only lets the player choose a first name and gender. Appearance is never described. I prefer to leave it to the player’s imagination. Besides, the genre of the game is survival horror, and the protagonist is isolated for most of the game. There’s no romance, either - in fact, the gender is only used in one significant plot point that comes to mind. The point is to let you sink into the character - I want you to play yourself. My point is … excessive customisation doesn’t really appeal to me. The more options I have, the less I’m immersed. It makes me feel indulgent. So I’d say you’re going overkill.

I spend an hour o neach sim.

I’m in two minds on the whole subject mainly because it’s very much a matter of personal preference. Some people like lots of customization, and some really couldn’t give two figs about what they see as unnecessary detail (especially when / if it doesn’t really seem to make a whole lot of difference in the game itself, as is all too often the case).

What I would therefore suggest for any author going down the let’s throw it all in there route is to allow the player to choose to actually bypass that whole procedure, should they prefer. Use default values (e.g. medium height, brown hair, green eyes, etc.) so those variables have usable values in-game where / if needed, but only change them if the player expresses a wish to do so.


I like to had customization, but if it is just there and never used in the game itself then it’s a waste of time in my opinion.

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