Most Important Character Customization Choices?

I was wondering what traits people think is most important in terms of customization?

I am thinking of doing something that is more like you choose traits rather than build them up (because I think it would be easier to program and also allow for the player not to have to constantly railroad their choices to fit the MC they originally selected).

I was wondering what people valued in this respect, do you prefer slowly building up your character in a stat screen or being allowed to just select their traits at the start? (I guess Tin Star would be an example of what I’m looking to do with traits a bit? Or something like I, the Forgotten One because I adore that game).

On that note, what are the traits you think are most important for being able to make a custom character that you want to roleplay again or that helps the character feel different to you?

Personally, I think appearance is a huge factor for me, gender is the most important, then being able to change the characters optimism/pessimism and logic/emotion would be most valuable? Would love insight though.

4 Likes

Many people seem to like building up their character, but in my personal opinion and experience, it can often be a problem. For one thing, it often forces a play pattern and eliminate freedom of exploration. That’s why I actually like your idea.

5 Likes

I want to offer a totally different perspective. Forget for a moment stats variables and customitation. Let all out the equation in this part of planning.

This is at least for me the moment, of looking at my ideas and the plot i want to express and asking myself as a writer.

What experience and emocion do I want to express to the player?

How do I want to present the plot and its relationship with the world building?

That is the key factors. Stats, perks, appareance customitation… By themselves they are just numbers and variables, soulless.

You give some examples, like Tin Star they sudden and upfront. character creation with all stats at once It has a plot reason, and a world building reason.

That person who you were is dead now You have to do and survive with the consequences of that past. It also points masterfully the special quirks and humor of the game with the combos of religion, race and gender to create one of the best integrated flavoured choices in Hosted story.

Then you have Lucid Live of the ganster or life of the wizard were you go choice by choice since almost birth in the later expanding those choices through most of the plot.

If you were in Lucid games give directly choice to be a Law firm gansta or a Illusionist magician you were in fact skipping almost 1/4 of the game and all its pacing and. heart.

So in resume there isn’t in my opinion, a most important customization ever. Heck there are stories with no gender choice or were protagonist have no defined one. All great stories by their own right.

The most important customizations are not the stats perks or hair variables.

It is the impact on the plot and what makes player feel and explore what it matters

Without meaningful choices all variables and perks are null and void.

14 Likes

Yep! I just meant for me, I can’t really feel invested since I’m uncomfortable playing someone who is in a way supposed to be “me” but can’t fit specific important things to myself (IDK, I am trans so :person_shrugging: ). The story I’m making is kind of inspired by Wayhaven? It’s a historical fantasy though, set in it’s own universe, I just got inspired by the idea of an “Agency” responsible for rounding up loose supernatural creatures (mostly curious about how it would have worked in the past). I think because the start of the story is meant to indicate the player finding a sort of “peace” before being rattled from their home (they are taken, be it by choice or not), that a pre-established character would make more sense?

Maybe a mix system could be interesting, where you have a pre-established personality but as you make choices at a specific check point it can recognize if your choices are different from how you were before? I think that could be cool, even if only mentioning in passing the difference.

Edit: Also, I wanted to do a romantic story with more than vampires and werewolves that had actual depth (the ones I found that were already written had romance that felt juvenile and underdeveloped). I’m excited to talk about it, but it’s not ready yet! :dotted_line_face:

For your story specifically, I think having an MC with a preset personality at the start could definitely work. Especially if they go through something traumatic or their previous life won’t be SUPER important (it’ll obviously be kinda important).
I think a good way of doing it would be to either have it be a bit vague, or to have a few presets to choose from (not too many, 3 or 4)

Also, I really like the idea and the more grown up and developed romance

3 Likes

Yeah! Thanks for taking the time to respond! :smile:

I am planning for more variety in the supernatural romances too! I won’t say too much about them, but the species are all ‘non-standard’ I think…? For the most part, at least, I think exploration of not being really human will be more integral.

I have 4 planned backgrounds themed around the reason they got a ‘cabin in the woods’ in the first place (Running away from their past, to find a new artistic outlet, to rediscover themselves, or to reconnect with the earth?) I am also planning for 4-5 romance options (3 gender selectable)? (Just feels like the right number, 3 is fine too but I want more dynamics between the people around). If you have any suggestions yourself please feel free to say so! I’d love some ideas :grin:

Edit: I’ll also note that all the romantic options are older in terms of maturity, and the MC is older than a lot of CoGs I’ve seen. I’m thinking the age might be selectable to an extent, but my intended age is in their thirties for the MC? I have the plot, romances and stuff planned, stuff regarding the MC themself is strangely among the foggier parts.

In response to @HoldTh3L1ne :
I think the way to make it work is to have the preset personalities with intended responses but not to lock the player out of any of the others. This way, if you want to respond in an alternative manner you can, but you also have the option of following the intended route. I think making them preset to an extent but allowing all the ‘details’ to be filled in by the player is a large part of what a good CoG game does, no? (If a character is merely a self insert, then the reader has no reason to really sympathize or learn about the MC. I think making the MC a person helps to give a reason to care?) I’d love your input though

1 Like

Having a preset character personality can be a mixed bag. In my opinion, it more or less locks the player into only a limited amount of choices, given how big of an impact one’s personality can have on decision-making.

In terms of having a “complete” character, it can definitely make them feel more “alive”, but I feel like it takes away a lot of player agency, which to me is what choice-based games should be about. Limited choices by personality are generally too restrictive, in my opinion.

EDIT: If there are multiple backgrounds/personalities, then I could see that alleviate many of those issues with being effectively locked into choices.

3 Likes