Poll: Main Character naming preference

Hey Guys,

I’m fairly new to the COG forum, I guess you can say long time reader, first time poster, and I have been hopping through some WIPs, alot of them really reaaaallllyyy good. Like, I’m sad that this isn’t a full game so that I can experience it in all it’s glory, instead of teasy little nitbits, good. But I noticed for a few of them, that you can’t name your MC. Personally, that’s the trademark of a COG, creating your own persona and a part of that is the name. I don’t feel as connected to an MC named Jack, as I would an MC with my actual name. Maybe it’s just me, which is why I made this poll to see if I am in the minority, or the majority on that.

By the way, as I said, first time poster, so if there is some sacred forum rule that I have broken by making this poll, lemme know so I can fix it, or delete this. If not, pick an option or reply to let me know what you think about MC namesakes.


  • Have an predetermined name for your MC
  • Choose your MC’s name
  • Have a predetermined name for your MC but choose a nickname which they can be referred to

0 voters


I prefer to be able name my MC, but I don’t mind predetermined name as long it’s have something to do with the story.
I changed the category by the way, hope you don’t mind.


I get you, and I get the accuracy aspect of it. But I more feel like, I can choose my own name, and still have the backstory or the context which surrounds the character already established.

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I always prefer to choose the MC’s name. It feels more like me, or the character I’m playing as, and that’s important for immersion. With a predetermined name it feels more like I’m “controlling” the character rather than playing as them, unless that’s the feel you’re going for. Just don’t have it as the first choice.

You can always include a few predetermined names (or just a single one) that fits the setting of your story, along with the player choice.

I rarely use my own name though since I always roleplay as my characters. It’s more fun to me.


Either way works for me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Just make sure that the MC is established as an extension of ourself/a char’s perspective where we get to take the look at the story.

Speaking of which, option 3 strikes me as super odd.

Most of the time I don’t like naming my character, because I don’t feel connected to them, it feels like I am playing as myself, which is what I don’t want to be doing. I am playing to escape, to try something new. It feels like a character is inserted for the sake of an insertion.

This problem for me is very noticable in modern setting, where most of the names are just popular names like Jane or John without meaning in the story. The names aren’t exactly associated with a hero or MC in any sense. I can understand if they are a plain person or just normal or they have hidden meaning, for example, this works very well in Magium for Barry. And that is one of the reasons why I avoid modern as a plague and embrace high-fantasy.

[As a side note, I have the same problem with flippable genders and customization]

I love it, when a game gives a set of names that I can choose from, but they impact your skills or personality, for example, name Orchid, which might give a stat boost to survival or niceness(?). It is very important that the names match with the characters personality, jobs, goals or looks, so it is not just something I like, but a characteristic. I think that the author might have better judgement of a name than me. And they might think of a name for most of the traits.

In conclusion, a set of names that impact a character is the best, and I won’t choose my own thought of name(There are some exceptions).

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With a fantasy story, especially one set in a world that’s pretty dissimilar to our own, I generally like to be able to choose from a list of predetermined names. Otherwise, the MC’s name will always look out of place (with “Alex” being best friends with “Nakharesh” and “Zvatania” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ) In a more modern setting, on the other hand, this isn’t as much of a problem.

I would very much disagree with this. Names shouldn’t impact a character’s stats or anything else, unless it’s a fantasy world where names explicitly work in this way (and this is made clear in advance, along with what the individual names actually do).


I think, everything should have an impact, from eyes to the world you live in. I always spend hours upon hours when choosing a name that matches my characters. But the stats… Yeah, it probably doesn’t work in every scenario. Still it makes me feel that it is not a meaningless choice, the stat raise could be microscopical and then that would change at least something, I need just an illusion, even if it is not the stats then I’d like at least one different coment for every name that you can choose. “This person had the same name.” would be good, I would be satisfied.

The worst thing one could do is if I can only write in a name then I can’t even get past the naming, and I don’t even bother to read the story.
It’s just my pet peeve.

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Hmm… that’d be interesting to have such a comment inside the game.

I like to have a list of predetermined names (for quick replayability) with the option to create a unique name. You can code user inputted names to have unique nicknames or additional comments or whatever, if that is wanted. Look at the From Ashes we Rise Superhero WIP the characters will react if you tell them your “real” name .

I like having a few premade names to choose from when I’m too lazy to came out with names myself, or I’m making a “speedrun”, otherwise, I love name my own characters (I never self insert).
Plus naming differntly characters made not only replay easy, but saving imports too.

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I like choosing my own name , I never pick one that is provided . I like choosing my gender , orientation , skills , hair-eyes-body…etc . Like any other game , I find this very important . In 3D games , I lose at least 1h trying to choose my class and where to put my points and what specie I’m gonna be :sweat_smile:

for me it’s a toss up between “choose your MC’s name” and “Have a predetermined name for your MC but choose a nickname”

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I feel like being able to determine your character’s name or even nickname is a bit too fundamental to defining a character as… well, your character, to simply do away with it. Especially since it’s often the choice I think about the most during character creation (probably more than most parents when they name their children, but I digress).

i prefer choosing my character’s name because some of the predetermined names (especially the surnames) are bit too…white (why can’t i think of a better word?!).

And while it is another person’s story, i do tend to develop the characters from those stories.

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Hmm, I think this would work better for a surname choice. Choosing a surname can determine your character’s background, relationships, or financial status, as well as stats.

I could see an heir MC being given a choice of what their ancestor was like or what they were good at instead of picking a surname if they need to have a set surname.

Or maybe instead of stats, the MCs parents could tell them how they ended up choosing that name. (This only works if you have a set of chosen names though)

I’m actually planning to implement something like this if you choose a name similar to a character in the story. :smile: But yes, I always appreciate it when the author adds stuff like what you’re talking about. I also understand the struggle of picking names for your characters. That’s my weakness too.

But I think names should stay as a personal choice. It is still a choice, and names have a large impact on how you view a character. It affects the player, rather than the story. And a choice like that, is pretty cool.