Unadorned Character Generation

What do you think about a story/game opening with character generation? Maybe a very short introduction, but then just jumping into player choices about their character.

As much as I love books and movies, video games are my very favorite form of entertainment. Customizing your character is usually the very first thing you do in a video game, and while it’s dry sometimes just as often it’s a lot of fun. There was a game, City of Villains, I swear the character generation was my favorite part of that whole game.

Now I know there are no visuals in a CS game…or very few anyway, and maybe without visuals character generation won’t be enough fun for the beginning of a CS game.

Most…maybe all CS authors have found clever and elegant ways to do character generation later in the game, but I really like the idea of having a fairly specific picture of who the player character is going to be before the game starts.

Oooh bonus question…what traits do you really like to choose about your character? Physical, personality, origin…etc.


@RETowers If I’m not mistaken, I think that CoG / Hosted Games prefers that you don’t start directly with character creation choices? I think they want at least some sort of brief introduction to the world first?

You can, but if there’s going to be a dozen or more questions on setting up your character that have minimal influence on the story line, I’d suggest you also include some premade options. Some people love setting up every detail of their MC, some find it annoying if they have to do it every play through and the only difference is half way through the story, someone refers to your hair as black rather than brown.

An intro is highly recommended so players can get a sense for what the story is about, but I don’t think there’s any rules that say you can’t launch into character gen early. A few HG’s do that. ie gambling with eternity starts character gen on the first page, but it’s also one I wish had premade options since you answer a number of questions that apart from setting gender pronouns and the stat screen don’t seem to really influence the writing. Imprisoned has a compromise where you have to set basic stats but then it’s option to set the extras.


I want to character creation to be the most organic Possible. Maybe it story and game with in itself of the character being created going through their life there career passion hobbits etc. I hate the number game it so bleh,

Well, what makes Character Generation fun to mess around is that we can see how our character-look changes and transforms as we slide the slider bar (in case of video games). Also the reason why some ppl can spend hours++ just in Char-Gen section of a game.

While in IF, we can’t see how our character looks. We imagine them.
For me, imagining my PC while customizing it at in-game feels… redundant.

That being said, I prefer a non-rushed character generation. Providing the reader a short prologue and grip them to the story is the first important thing to do, IMO.

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Ideally it should be done in a very organic way where you find out things about the main character was brought in story. Example we did not have the main character’s name or Rank in Mecha Ace until I think the second or third chapter.

Well see that’s exactly what I’m worried about. I really want my player character to be me…or no I’m super boring…I want to be the main character while I’m reading the story. So like in Mecha Ace I would know my name and rank.

I guess it’s not a huge deal because I enjoyed that game, and I don’t ever remember wishing I had some piece of info about my char.

In COG the only game I know that uses customization right of the bat is ZE: Safe Haven

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I would go for looks as my favourite features in setting character , in Orpheus I love it for its way to character designing , I mean i choose angelic look which led to good look but bad physical features. …

For me, it depends on the way the character creation is introduced and what depth it actually offers. I don’t care much for choices that are only of a cosmetic nature and never really reflected/mentioned again in the story. However, I know that many people enjoy playing with these things.

Regarding visuals in CS games: You could probably include an image of different people and then let players choose with which appearance they identify the most (e.g., “Which face do you see in the mirror?”). That said, this could easily prove limiting and decrease replay value for some. And you’d have to find someone who creates the art.

Personally, I prefer character creation that does not just feel like a checking of boxes (e.g. someone asks your character their name, gender, etc.).and is more part of a developing scenario. A lot of games get that exactly right. And just because I replayed it today: The Eagle’s Heir had a really interesting character creator in regards to the MC’s gender expression and I enjoy it a lot.

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Lol I got an idea about this , let the person frame a sketch like body , I mean like muscular leg with doll like blue eyes , and slim body , etc and each have a set like muscular leg give 5+ to physical while doll eyes give 5+ to appearance ,and slim body is both so a proportion there off and if possible a mixed figure with all those characters , but perfectly matched , a pic available for each combination , but it might be Little too much don’t you think … I said the ideal and I discouraged it … :grin:

Its important to know about your character’s background/generation it can help to build certain stats, influence people and more , currently the best example i can think of now is dragon age origins, the selection from which race then which class the characters come creates certain impact on story.

There are some cog games which give stat boost if you choose certain background but i dont think any of it influences the endings, it should be interesting to watch if that happens.

all i say is dont use the kemco technique of making character background ( in most of their games the mc is rasied in orphanage…its REDICULOUS!, i mean is orphanage some hero producing factory or what?.. jeez…but their games are of exceptional quality,ill give em that )

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Hey, nice to see you again. Yup i agree the ro in kemco games are sweet and the plot always contains suspense and the humor is excellent (especially in asdivine series)

Now lets come back to topic,

I believe its good to have a good background info or atleast general info otherwise it feels really lame, as if your mc suddenly jumps out of shadows to save the day. Kind of weird you know.

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