Your CC process is pretty different from mine in a lot of ways. It’s interesting to compare them. Also, I agree with this:
XD Quite suave, indeed.
So, I had two MCs when the demo existed, both of whom were templated off of older characters, and both of whom underwent some changes and revision in the time between the demo and actually getting to play the game. I also maybe kinda sorta acquired three more in the process because I must explore everything. Anyway. Since we’re discussing the character creation process…
my process - WARNING, very long
For me, the character begins with a concept. Examples:
(Talia during the demo - the original Ilya got something closer to her original name, and I liked Ilya)
Ilya is a faux-confident genius who struggles with intimacy and trust.
(Originally named Ilya - Vera’s closer to her original name)
Vera is an emotionally-fragile ball of curiosity who genuinely wants to help.
Ian is an efficient, dispassionate, goal-oriented man who fights to avoid emotional connections and has a giant soft spot for kids.
Maya is a flirty, playful adventure-seeker who is terrified of being “trapped”. (Don’t ask her what that means, as she cannot tell you.)
Dax is an angry, aggressive workaholic with severe self-esteem issues.
Once I have these basic concepts, I can start building on them. My building process basically means beginning with these core concepts and using them to construct a character’s life, partially through logic (Ilya’s a genius who had an absent mother, so as a young child, most of her approval-seeking was directed at teachers, ergo, she got good grades when she was young and was kind of a know-it-all teacher’s pet) and partially through what-ifs (What if Iain did find himself getting invested in another person? How would he deal with that? When did it happen, and what were the consequences? How has that shaped him?). By the time I’m done getting them up to Detective Reele’s retirement, I have a pretty fleshed out character.
Appearances are partially about what fits the character’s personality (a practical character like Ian isn’t going to have extremely long hair, but probably rarely takes the time to get it cut, either, so it hits around his shoulders most of the time, while a fairly vain character like Maya loves the way hers looks long and everything she can do with it, so hers is about halfway down her back when she doesn’t straighten it), partially about what I want. (I like variety in my characters’ appearances. Ilya’s hair is long and ash brown with a very subtle wave, and her eyes are very dark blue. She’s corpse-pale, and at some point between when she was the demo character and now, she’s lost her glasses and acquired a pretty notable scar. Vera’s hair is very short - she calls it boyish - and has historically been either extremely pale blonde or black. Because I brought Dax in, it became black for Wayhaven. Her eyes are grey, she has a light complexion, and she has a billion freckles because freckles are adorable. Ian’s hair is thick, fluffy, and red, because I like red hair, and his eyes are light, icy blue. He’s usually fairly well tanned despite his red hair. I would not want to have to find a face for him, because the genetic combination it would take to get his hair and his skin is not super likely. Maya’s hair is black with a million thick curls that let her have a big, soft cloud of hair because I’ve always wanted hair like that and I decided Maya should be pretty, so she got it, and her eyes are green, because I love green eyes. Can you tell I think Maya’s the prettiest one? Not sorry. Her skin is a soft, warm, coppery colour, and sometimes I sneak some freckles on her, too, because, again, freckles are freakin’ adorable. Dax also has green eyes, because see above, I love them, and has long blonde hair because short hair was just one more thing for her to be insecure about, which she couldn’t deal with, but she always keeps it up in a tight bun, because she doesn’t want it getting in the way. Dax is fair.)
Things like fashion and tastes are pretty easy to extrapolate from here, for the most part. At this point, they have developed personalities, appearances, histories, all things that help tell you what they like. Ilya is faux-confident, so while she acts bold, she’s actually very fond of muted colours, and she likes cooler shades. Her favourite colour is grey, but she’s fond of blues, as well. Her home is on the spartan side, other than a megalithic monstrosity of a computer, because she does most of her living through the machine when she’s at home. The rest of it is just a place. She dresses practically, because fashion is a lot of work and there are other things she’d rather do with her time, and besides, her job benefits if she’s practical - she’s cargo pants and a leather jacket. She’s a coffee drinker. Hates the taste, loves the kick, so she drowns it in milk and sugar until it tastes like a dessert. Vera likes pretty things, warm things, and feeling safe, so her favourite colours tend to be pastels. Her home is decorated accordingly, cozy and warm, and if F thinks it looks like a granny’s house, well, she’s pretty okay with that. She likes dresses, soft, flowy, cute ones that make her feel pretty, and she likes green tea (it’s good for you) and pastries (which are not, but every now and then, it’s okay, right?). Ian will tell you he doesn’t have a favourite colour, but he’s lying (he does that a lot). He actually loves purple, a dark, rich, intense purple, because he’s closet pretty intense himself. Dark is kind of his watch-word, and his home is pretty dark, too, as are his clothes, because, despite being short (he’s only 5’6") and on the slim side, he’s actually pretty intimidating, and for that to happen, it takes some planning. He’s not a psychologist by any means, but he has taken the time to study up on things that humans react to, and it has altered how he presents himself. It’s all very cultivated. He drinks mostly whatever’s on hand that’s going to wake him up, because, like most of my characters, he doesn’t sleep enough. Maya is chic and vibrant in every possible way. She loves yellows and oranges but will wear most bright or intense colours, and her entire home reflects this: the whole place is kind of intense and eye-burny. She’s fashionable, sharp-looking, and classy, pretty much always dressed to impress. She actually doesn’t care for either tea or coffee, but she’ll drink either one if she doesn’t get enough sleep, which has been kind of an issue since the whole “murder” thing. Dax is sort of a ball of internal contradictions. She has this entire front of being tough-as-nails, no-nonsense, and hyper-practical, but a lot of that is a forced facade because she hardcore denies all the more human parts of herself. If she’s actually being honest, though, she likes seafoam green and earthy colours. Her home is all sleek and modern-looking because anything else would be too personal if anyone does come over, but her bedroom is actually done up in all those earthy colours she likes, and there are half a dozen stuffed animals hidden in the corner. Her self-presentation, like her home-presentation, is sleek and modern-looking, with too much thought put into how others think of it; she never looks less than perfectly professional at all times, and tends to be devoid of the personal touches that might betray who she actually is in her appearance. She is a tea drinker, with milk and sugar.
As I did with the above, I usually can extrapolate things like their favourite musics, but a lot of that is played into as well by my feelings on various types of music. I don’t really have a favourite genre, but I do get feels from different kinds of music, and that helps influence what I think my characters like. Since it was asked:
Ilya’s a fan of rock and never really outgrew cartoons, so she listens to a lot of music from some of the better musical cartoons and rock covers thereof - think Jonathan Young and Nate Wants to Battle, for examples.
Vera likes classical when she’s working and has a soft spot for ballads, though she gets awkward and blushy about admitting it. A lot of things make her awkward and blushy, though.
Ian doesn’t think about music very often, but can pretty much enjoy anything with a solid beat, when he’s going to bother - he’s not picky.
Maya loves anything she can dance to. Electronica is probably some of her favourite, but she’s more interested in the movement it can inspire than in the sound itself. Maya likes to move.
Dax insists vehemently that she doesn’t care about music. She is, of course, lying, and enjoys both metal, which makes her feel more like the person she wants to be and much of which she just finds enjoyable (plus, she loves the makeup and costumes a lot of metal bands do, though, again, she’ll deny it), and love songs, regardless of genre - pop, rock, country, she’s not picky. That little gem, she’ll deny to her grave, and if anyone ever finds the collection buried deeeeeeeeeeeeeep inside her computer, she might die of mortification.
I know that’s kind of vague, but I tried to give more detail in my huge, gigantic tag block above. If anyone’s curious, btw: