Total Customization

Which is why I’m looking forward to mackin’ on Cren. :sunglasses: I like that kind of customization, but picking every li’l detail about my character is simply unnecessary. Unless a certain hair or eye color is incredibly rare or signifies some kind of hidden potential, I don’t see how it might impact the story, y’know?

Outfit colour coordination? You don’t want to clash, do you? :scream:


Whatever customization that is done should be reflected in the story. Having a pierced belly-button is in the game, why?

I differ in @Lithophene in that eye color variables can add to a story if consistently used; as a one-of use then I agree with him.

But if a NPC is attracted to green eyes and is constantly loosing themselves in your chosen green eyes - that can be a powerful connection - it all depends on the writer’s skill.


More seriously, I don’t mind having to choose my MC’s appearance, although generally I like to have some idea of my MC before I go into it. One thing I wouldn’t like, though, is if one particular appearance was “better” than the others. To take @Eiwynn’s example, if an NPC prefers green eyes, is there any advantage to choosing any other colours? It may be less believable if all NPCs have different eye-colour preferences, but it’s certainly fairer.


I love it when games provide extensive character customization, be they MMOs, RPGs or even text games. Unfortunately the latter don’t really use them those options that much to make it worthwhile. “So you have a fancy hair-do and exotic eyes? That’s cool… to bad they won’t ever be mentioned in the game after the character creator.” In the end its nothing but a luxury, a filler (to increase the word count) and a tool to aid us with our head-canon appearance.

But assuming we somehow stumble upon a game where those choices do matter, like having NPCs with a preference list, I’m cool with that. I guess some people will complain that it may lead to situations where you’ll pick certain traits just to appease X. I mean, sure, you can min-max if that’s your style but if you’re here to RP then why does that even matter? Are you here to play a character you created or to fish for the best ending? What do you do when you encounter someone in real life that doesn’t like your appearance for example? You’ll either learn to deal with it and accept each other or move on to other people.

Its completely natural (and even realistic) to give NPCs certain traits they may or may not like but that doesn’t mean they won’t like you for having less desirable characteristics, it may just be harder to get there.


You know @IvoryOwl I think you may should check out Freak: Amidst the Neon Lights which does pretty much what you are describing.


Agree with your there fully. Games that do that just make me feel unadequate for some reason, like how was I supposed to guess that!


I don’t mind and sometimes quite like some customization (ie basic appearence of the mc) but if it’s overkill I personally find it gets annoying and wish there was a skip or premade option, especially if things you’ve set are never mentioned again. (For example if you spend time setting hairstyles, scars, jewelry and clothes but then it’s never mentioned again). That way you can choose.

Generally I’d say no to customization of other characters names, race, appearence etc as unneeded and if it’s there provide a quickstart option with everything preset. The only exception would be if there was a big difference in the story. (So if you chose to grow up in a family of trolls, you’re probably going to have different reactions and experences than if you grew up with elves.)


Wait … the story changes depending on if you chose Mara as your sister or Fairy as your brother? Seriously?

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Toxicdreams asked about adding in non-human race choice as an option for non-mc characters. I think having different people or races set in a story would make a difference although it’d be a lot of work to write! :slight_smile:


I’m one of those guys that spends hours customizing their character before moving on to the story so for me, there is NEVER too much customization.


This may sound odd, but I’m happy with whatever level of customization, as long as a later description of the MC isn’t worded in a way that directly contradicts the image I have in my head too badly. Especially since certain narrative assumptions tend to do with ethnicity, gender stereotypes, or ableism.

For example, just because I may play as a female MC, I don’t care for them to automatically assume that means I must have long or smooth hair or wear skirts, unless there is a specific cultural context for why she should. Like, if it’s important to the setting, character, or story, let the player choose or explain context. Otherwise, if it really doesn’t matter, maybe leave it to headcanon without specifics. I hope that makes sense. :sweat_smile: And obviously, this applies only to text based games, since with visual games, I’m one of those people who can spend well over an hour tweaking details I’m going to have to look at moving around on screen.


I enjoy deep character customization. However, with my own work, when people across the gaming spectrum gave me the same feed back, I changed it. Hopefully, for the better.

Go with what makes sense for your story, but unless you weave narrative into the customization process, it can get boring sometimes for a reader.

I like having tons of customization options. Having them used in game is even better…Liconis story does a very good job with it.

That being said, it can get tedious the third or fourth time you’re playing. I think I’m actually going to code in a quick start option myself, for Citadel. Not sure why I hadn’t thought of it, but it’s a really good idea.

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Same, I never actually thought about doing a quickstart but I know for my Dragon Racer game, it can be a bit annoying if you’ve played it a couple of times after.

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I’m a little bit ambivalent on it.

High costumization manages to create a much more personal feeling of connection between a character and its reader (allegedly). Players also get the chance to make their character who they want the character to be, down to the smallest details.

I think, though, that customization is better left in small quantities. Like being able to name a few characters, or pick one or two physical characteristics. I don’t really like when the author pushes, say, a bunch of clothes and gives me the choice of what my character is wearing. The choices are often plentiful, but I don’t think an author can accurately capture the type of MC I have in mind, and not the MC in all the reader’s minds.


Just out of curiosity, what about if it’s a superhero game? Like your costume choices on Hero Rise?

When the choice has meaning, like in @malinryden’s “Fallen Hero” and it actually matters - her use of the uniform customization is a great inspiration.


In heroes rise The uniform doesn’t do anything except a minor stat stuff so I don’t really care. I would care if changes some minor stuff as How people reacts to you in some flavor moments.

Customization for the sake of it with no doing anything and not being saying about it. In my book is stupid and unnecessary. I just pick those random. No sense for me.

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Well I never like the option to customise npcs, maybe customising your family as in if you have a sister or a brother would be ok, but nothing too much. Maybe change their appearance based on the mc’s appearance. But yeah, as it’s been said a choice needs to matter, my personal pet peev is when gender is just flavour text :frowning: .

I think in an interactive novel no customisation should be implemented though. But in a true CYOA game as much as possible is good to make it more personal, but I think big customisation options like height aren’t good tbh. Like if you take two mc’s one who is say 4ft12 in and one who is 7ft, every npc will surely have a different reaction, so to right different reactions for every single npc based on that, plus any additional customisation options such as eye colour, hair colour etc is just too ambitious as it’d be too time consuming to implement convincingly I think. So manageable things like eye colour, hair colour etc are good as the difference in reaction shouldn’t be too different and not with every npc I don’t think? :stuck_out_tongue: plus you could just focus on more depth to fewer options, E.G one mc might be really self conscious of a scar, another not so much etc.