Polls about COG, HG, and IF games

Either is fine. Really depends how well it’s done. I prefer tying it into the story somehow, but if you can’t find a way to do that seamlessly… don’t.

It really depends on the game in question.

If it’s more ‘game-like’, with a lot of customization and a broader scope, I’d prefer a classic character creation part at the beginning.

And it’s more of a tight story, more ‘book-like’, maybe with a more preset character or background, I’d prefer to choose it all ‘naturally’, as a part of the story.

3 Likes

Since we’re on the topic of customisation…

What do you think of an option to customise the player character’s ethnicity? Depending on whether the player character is white British or a person of colour, there’s maybe going to be an extra line of dialogue with certain people or two, or different flavour text in certain scenarios. For the latter, those other characters are likely aware that the player character’s father has been to the colonies. Other than that, nothing major on story or gameplay, as the player character’s status of being a bastard child of a member of the gentry overrides everything else (always a bastard, no matter how much the player character’s father acknowledges them as his child and treats them as his own).

For an example of dialogue, a player character with South Asian mother would prompt a specific character to say something along the lines of “Are you Asian, Mr. John? My father was a lieutenant in the Madras Army.” – basically functioning as an extra opportunity to raise or lower a relationship stat depending on how you answer. And for flavour text, maybe a Black player character would garner comparisons to Joseph Emidy if they play an instrument well, or for a less flattering comparison, to William Davidson if they get involved in radical politics. Just a couple of examples I’m thinking of.

Maybe it’s my love of worldbuilding trying to stuff too much in again, but what are your opinions on customising a character’s ethnicity like this? I won’t be able to cover everything, there’ll be only four or five which I will be able to integrate into the world with that kind of (admittedly very minor) detail. If you would like to explain your poll answer, please do! I’m very much still learning when it comes to this topic.

  • Yes, I like character customisations even though it won’t make a major impact
  • Nice to have but unnecessary, allow players to skip this customisation
  • No, it’s excessive because it’s mostly flavour text and/or it’s not worth doing if I can’t have a more complete list to choose from
  • Don’t, this kind of customisation is offensive

0 voters

I think the main thing is to make it clear to readers that your ethnicity matters in the game. Because most players are going to assume it’s just cosmetic.

1 Like

I love, love, love little touches of customization like that. And it’s always refreshing to see diversity that isn’t purely cosmetic.

3 Likes

Generally prefer to choose as I go, especially as having a little story beforehand is good for framing the context and catching my interest—a bunch of character creation options is usually not as much of a hook—but I would still prefer to get through at least the most important character creation choices quite early on.

4 Likes

Looks like just over half says yes to customisation! I’ll continue working on this.

@geldar Do people automatically expect appearance/background customisation to be cosmetic? Personally, I think a disclaimer here would be overplaying it when the only differences are limited to an extra piece of dialogue with a specific character here, an extra line of text inserted there. It does not matter otherwise; there is going to be no difference to the story.

@AletheiaKnights Yes! It is the 1830s, and I was going for how the player character’s ethnicity wouldn’t be completely “invisible” and draw comments, though overall it will be largely overshadowed by their illegitimacy. Taking cues from Dido Elizabeth Belle (born to a Black mother), who was raised and treated as a gentlewoman by her family, and appeared to be defined more by her illegitimacy than her race (especially when it comes to inheritance matters).

It’s not always easy to find what individual people thought of certain groups, especially when minorities were a small, typically working-class group, and therefore don’t interact with the gentry or nobility (the ones who do–like Dean Mahomed, who ran a very fashionable steam bath in Brighton with his sons, patronised by the King–seem to be the outliers). I could try extrapolating though, and hope I get it right. Really digging into things lets me uncover interesting facts, such as finding out that the man this one character is based on was personally present at the Battle of New Orleans!

For the one who said that this kind of customisation is offensive, could you please tell me why? I’d like to avoid any pitfalls if I can.

2 Likes

Appearance, generally yes, cosmetic. Background, depends what you mean. Background like ethnicity and where you were born generally doesn’t affect stats (though there are exceptions). Background as in your life experiences and occupation would probably affect stats in some way. Either of them can affect the story, but generally it’s clear why that is. If it’s minimal maybe no disclaimer is needed, but some people want escapism from the reality that their ethnicity affects how people interact with them.

1 Like

Ethnicity affecting stats is DEFINITELY something you ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT don’t want to get into.

11 Likes

Player character’s life experiences before the story is fixed (stats always start off at “zero”); what skills you choose to raise and your affiliation with certain people once the story takes off is your choice. You can’t change the past–an elder bastard, raised as one of the gentry, and now in some sort of trouble–where will you go from here?

It is historical fiction after all, with some alt-history elements, but it’s still 1830s England. The time period will be made clear from the get-go. Is that clear enough of a setting to hint at players that this isn’t pure escapism?

It definitely happens with fantasy races, and WotC has decided that is also wrong.

Probably.

2 Likes

People who are asexual/who wants to play as asexual, what is your preference about flirting options and/or attempts by NPC’s?

  • I do not want to see any kind of flirting attempt at all
  • I don’t mind flirting and would be enough to just inform them you’re asexual

0 voters

Unless they’re aro-ace or the NPC’s flirtation is purely a sexual come-on, I’d like to have the option for my character to flirt back!

2 Likes

Please make it an option to inform them you are asexual (turn them down?), and not an automatic response.
Lots of asexual people like flirting, and/or dating, and/or sex.

9 Likes

And/or living happily ever after. I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary last year!

8 Likes

When you play CS (ChoiceScript) and other IF games, do you consider yourself to have a personality “type” of RO that you go for?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Is there a specific RO personality type that you particularly enjoy?

  • Brooding and mysterious
  • Sweet and earnest
  • Straitlaced and stern
  • “Bad boy/girl/person”
  • Other
  • I really don’t have a type

0 voters

1 Like

My choice in RO is determined by what I feel best suits my character, not what I personally find most attractive. That said, if I play a self-insert, I definitely go for straitlaced intellectual or creative types.

1 Like

While I didn’t select sweet and earnest, I will pick a character that is both sweet and straitlaced over one that is straitlaced and not sweet. And I will pick earnest over dishonest.

I dunno, I think my answers would just be very different if these categories weren’t double-barrelled.

I really like opposites attract romances, so I like to pick the RO that differs in personality to my PC the most.

1 Like

The more sarcastic the better. Whether it’s a brooder that uses biting sarcasm or a lighthearted character that jokes a lot.

7 Likes