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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignHow Important is a Character Creator in a Single Player Game?
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2019, 10:08:56 PM »

Yeah, I guess I was never too much of an RPG guy.

I also beefed at Skyrim's opening cut scene too. I hate game openings that involve being unable to interact with things, and iirc in Skyrim you could only look around in the opening, which is sort of a trope.

I managed to die at the beginning of Chrono Trigger because I fought the training robot too many times and lost health.

I liked FF3's re-release on GBA which didn't have too bad of an opening except that I cannot remember it at all. I managed to save when I was in the middle of an area that was too difficult so essentially I lost the save because I couldn't get away.

I liked FF10 with tidus, that's a main character I can get behind. In that one I got to the final boss but he cheated and took two turns so I lost the game on what would have been the finishing blow. I decided evil would prevail and never tried again.

But yeah, I've seen LoTR style premises a bazillion times, I'm sure DAO does it well but I mean I almost fell asleep during the cut-scene there.

Now here's an opening I LOVE:



It introduces 11 characters, an image of the triforce, 5-6 different musical motifs, a ton of iconic sound effects even.

Here is DAO:

UGG I can barely get through this on the second viewing. It takes itself so seriously boo. Also the big battle in it was hundreds of years ago? The dark ones are so bad they decided to simply destroy heaven? I would love to hear a 2 minute video of them explaining why they wanted to do that instead of a battle.
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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2019, 03:05:28 AM »

I agree with you, the opening movie of Ocarina of Time is definitely more interesting than Origins, but as most RPGs the content has a higher precedence than visuals, budget is limited and it is difficult to focus on everything.  Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2019, 12:13:34 PM »

Again, to tie it back into character: I love in OOT how iconic and well defined all the characters are, a fairy, an elf, a tree, an evil warrior, each one stands out and has its own identity. In DAO the characters all turn into a bland soup, which is much less fantastical than OOT, even though DAO does have a lot of characters on screen with more detail than OOT.
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« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2020, 11:00:29 AM »

If the story of Dragon Age: Origins isn't for you, then fair enough! Each to their own, after all. ^_^

That said, I think that when I mentioned it, I was thinking less of the plot, than of the game's approach to giving its protagonist an origin. It perhaps stands somewhere between a fully-fleshed out and characterised protagonist and a fully player-defined character. Thus I wondered, I think, how you felt about that approach.

Regarding the Zelda intro and the Dragon Age intro... To start with, I didn't sit through all of either on this occasion. That said:

The Zelda intro had some good points--but for the most part did not enthuse me. (And I didn't sit through the whole thing.) But then I'll confess that Zelda generally hasn't caught my interest.

The Dragon Age intro, on the other hand, had my interest in pretty short order.

Thus I think that this is less a matter of one being better than the other than of personal taste.

I can very much see someone being glutted on the sort of fantasy that Dragon Age presents, in all fairness! But then, not everyone will be, I daresay too.

I will say that, while I do like epic-fantasy, something that I think that I'd like to see more of in RPGs is heroic fantasy--that is, fantasy of a smaller scale, with a focus less on the problems of the world(/continent/country) and more on the problems of the protagonist.

Give me a character seeking a mystical, near-mythical herb to save one of their parents; or a couple exploring an ancient, haunted castle because they're adventurers and that seems like fun; or a woman travelling the lands trying to recover her husband, who was stolen by the Fair Folk. Or some other small-scale, personal story. All with RPG -levelling and -exploration.

Again, to tie it back into character: I love in OOT how iconic and well defined all the characters are, a fairy, an elf, a tree, an evil warrior, each one stands out and has its own identity.

Ironically, I see that in somewhat the opposite fashion: to me they're little defined; "a fairy" isn't a character to me, just a species. Tell me who they are as a person!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2020, 07:59:23 PM »

Ironically, I see that in somewhat the opposite fashion: to me they're little defined; "a fairy" isn't a character to me, just a species. Tell me who they are as a person!

Species? Are you accusing me of specious reasoning?

My taste is for characters to have big bold differences that make me want to know them because I'm not super sensitive to nuances in video game characters. That's just my taste, when I have more hooks to know a character I'm more interested in them: link is a kid and he has this floating fairy, how does that work? When I see two similar looking fantasy characters its sort of like a super simple version of going to starbucks. When I'm there I can analyze everyone's choices for how they present themselves and make up narratives and just be more interested in who they are, and the people IRL are ALWAYS more interesting than characters that aspire to be realistic. Its sort of: if I want real people and real life, can't I go just talk to humans irl? And if we just want to do a translation between "this guy wears a suit" = "this guy is an warrior" isn't that pretty basic and uninteresting? There are so many more interesting things that people do irl. HENCE my interest in the impossible characters of OOT: I have never met a talking tree, what is that, I want to know.

So I look to Oda Sensei when it comes to character design as he is the GOAT. He did an anime you may have heard of called One Piece. Luffy is looking for the One Piece. Its a near-mythical herb or something, but that doesn't matter. What's exiting is WHAT HE DOES. His appearance is well defined, he wears a straw hat, but they quickly reveal where he got that and why he treasures it. That's character: not someone who just blends in with everyone else but has their own special agenda, but someone who wears their identity on their head: this is a guy who literally has an icon of his entire goals and motivation worn on his head at all times. That's what OOT is closer to, you've got these dragon age characters that are just vanilla paste to me, each one more bland than the next, I can barely tell them apart. Oh yay they all banded together to beat some bad guys who wanted to, what was it, destroy the concept of heaven? But there is no rugged individualist there. There is no charismatic hero of destiny, and if your characters all look the same, none of them are special no matter how noble the back story is. In Dragon Age are there even any people with different skin colors? Just seems soooooooo boring. But hey, that's just me!

edit:

This is an example of the drama that comes from two real characters interacting:





« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 08:06:20 PM by michaelplzno » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2020, 04:37:52 PM »

Quote
Species? Are you accusing me of specious reasoning?

I'm... not sure of whether you're joking here. If you are, then fair enough! If not, then no, I'm not so accusing you at all: Im' referring to "species" as in "types of creature": tiger, lion, cheetah, etc.

My taste is for characters to have big bold differences ...

That's fair! I'm not knocking your preference at all--just highlighting how we differ in this. What to you makes for exciting character to me makes for boring cutouts; what for me makes for exciting character for you makes for bland sameness. We don't see these characters the same way at all; in a sense, we're not seeing the same things. And that's okay!

So I look to Oda Sensei when it comes to character design as he is the GOAT.
I'll confess that I never tried One Piece; the premise and art-style really didn't appeal to me, as I recall. (Not that I've watched much anime, in all fairness.)

But there is no rugged individualist there. There is no charismatic hero of destiny, and if your characters all look the same, none of them are special no matter how noble the back story is. In Dragon Age are there even any people with different skin colors? Just seems soooooooo boring. But hey, that's just me!

For me, it's quite different: the characters were quite interesting indeed! Perhaps not the best I've ever encountered in a game (I'm still a big fan of some of the companion characters from Baldur's Gate II, for example), but still pretty good.

(And true, there was no charismatic hero--but then, Dragon Age: Origins was a darker sort of fantasy than the Tolkien mould (which I'm likewise not knocking!), so a "true and noble hero" wouldn't have fitted in very well. The closest might be Alistair: a good-hearted fellow of your order, inexperienced but brave--and also arguably the rightful heir to the throne, albeit lacking self-confidence regarding reaching out for that.)

As to skin colours, I honestly don't recall! It's been a long time since last I played the game.
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2020, 05:52:49 PM »

I was making a joke about species vs specious. Homonyms.

I don't need a true and noble hero, but I want characters I can root for and aspire to be like. You may call them cardboard but I'm not looking for a riddle wrapped in an enigma of nuance and subtly when it comes to a good character. Those are easier to do frankly. In DAO the bad guys were also uninteresting based on their intro, and if we are dealing with dragons and destroying heaven and spirits and stuff, why would we want these down to earth characters? Like why not make a game set in an office where everyone has really fleshed out realistic personalities and has arguments and no one really stands out?
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« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2020, 08:34:27 AM »

I was making a joke about species vs specious. Homonyms.

Fair enough; I saw the homonym, but without tone it wasn't clear to me that you were joking! ^_^

I don't need a true and noble hero, but I want characters I can root for and aspire to be like. You may call them cardboard but I'm not looking for a riddle wrapped in an enigma of nuance and subtly when it comes to a good character.

I don't really look for characters that I can aspire to be like; just characters that I can like. And I like the characters in Dragon Age--I don't always like them as people, but I like their characterisation. I grew somewhat fond of some of them; when I played a female mage in one run, I had her often cast a particular combinatory storm-spell with Morrigan, had them grow close, and called them "The Storm Sisters", as I recall. ^_^

Those are easier to do frankly.

To do well? I disagree, I feel.

In DAO the bad guys were also uninteresting based on their intro, and if we are dealing with dragons and destroying heaven and spirits and stuff, why would we want these down to earth characters?

Why not? That sounds like an interesting juxtaposition to me! Somewhat-human-scale characters struggling against huge and terrible things, finally growing enough and finding the means to triumph in the end!

... Also, all that stuff can be presented in a down-to-earth way, I feel.

Like why not make a game set in an office where everyone has really fleshed out realistic personalities and has arguments and no one really stands out?

Personally, I find the subject matter of Dragon Age, and the characters, more interesting than what you suggest there.

But ultimately, this is all a matter of personal preference; neither of what you like or what I like is better than the other--just better for you, or better for me.

And indeed, it's besides the point: when I brought up Dragon Age I wasn't talking about its plot--I was talking about its structure as regards character creation: instead of creating a near-blank-slate character, or having no choice and playing a fully-fleshed single character, it allows you to define a character, and then pick from backgrounds that both give your character a backstory and that have some echoes in later interactions. And I was curious as to what you thought of that approach.

If you prefer, imagine that approach with Zelda's setting and (aside from Link) characterisation. "Zelda Age: Origins", where you get to design your Link's appearance, and choose from a variety of playable backgrounds, each of which has minor effects on how certain characters respond to your Link. The overall plot is the same, the types of characters encountered are the same, and so on.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2020, 11:24:29 AM »

Your point of view is reasonable, I understand where you are coming from at least.

In Zelda, there are some instances of that kind of characterization. Particularly in relation to the masks you can wear, if you put on different masks you get different reactions from some characters. In fact there is one Zelda where you can transform into a wolf and people are terrified of you or not depending on your form.

I guess its childish, my taste here, because I just want it to be obvious: oh if you are wearing a scary mask people are scared, as opposed to real life where things are muddled and I have no idea who is reacting to what, or even if a reaction has to do with my own IRL "characterization"

But yeah, I guess you want the nuance and all that, I can see people liking that.
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2020, 10:58:12 AM »

Your point of view is reasonable, I understand where you are coming from at least.

Likewise; I can very much see where you're coming from, I believe. ^_^

I guess its childish, my taste here, because I just want it to be obvious: oh if you are wearing a scary mask people are scared, as opposed to real life where things are muddled and I have no idea who is reacting to what, or even if a reaction has to do with my own IRL "characterization"

I don't think that it seems childish. We just all like different things in our media, for various reasons. And even when it comes to escapism specifically, different things give different people that escape, I think.
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2020, 12:25:16 AM »

I can't say anything about how complex or cool looking it should be and all, I don't spend time to
customize my character's face. But I spend time to choose how should my character's body look. Build up or fat, longer arms, how tall is it. Things like that.
But as a role playing perspective. I can't role play when I crate my own character. I just focus on stats and how can I get the best outcome. It's probably because there need to be an infinity of chooses to let the game allow me to role play however I want. I am not sure tho, I'll try to see why I can't just role play in those kinds of games next time I play them.
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2020, 09:29:30 AM »

These days I am playing Persona 5, and thinking through is strange that you cannot create your character expecially in an rpg. Maybe is an issue that still exists in jrpg? 
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« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2020, 09:35:25 AM »

JRPGs approach the genre from a somewhat different direction, I think; I gather that they tend more often towards the approach of having a specific, defined protagonist, where WRPGs tend more often towards having player-insert/player-defined protagonists.
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Ordnas
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2020, 09:01:45 AM »

Yeah, it makes sense, but then I am wondering why do they let you choose a name for the main character  Tongue
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« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2020, 09:14:07 AM »

I don't know; it may be that it's a feature that's particularly appreciated by Japanese audiences. Perhaps it's a way of encouraging the player to identify to some degree with the character, without letting them define the character entirely.
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« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2020, 10:03:04 PM »

I actually hate naming my own character! I like the Japanese style where they give you a guy and you are controlling them, even for Zelda I name my guy Link!
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2020, 03:04:29 AM »

I think it depends. I feel like it has so much to do with what you as author want to convey.

As a player I can absolutely have a lot of fun with character creation, but if someone wants to tell a very specific story it might clash really badly to allow the player character to be just anyone, e.g.:

Custom characters often feel like tourists and don't feel integrated in the same way.

So if it doesn't suit your vision, I don't think you should shoehorn it in. But if you feel like it can enhance the particular experience you have in mind, go for it! c:
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2020, 05:01:26 AM »

True, I think there are no game that allow you to modify heavily the hero if the story is around a specific defined character (like Geralt in The Witcher: you can costumize his hair and his armour, but you cannot modify his face and body). GTA San Andreas  allowed to modify also the shape of the character (going to the gym everyday or eating too much in fast food), but still you cannot modify the gender.
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2020, 07:15:45 AM »

I actually hate naming my own character! I like the Japanese style where they give you a guy and you are controlling them, even for Zelda I name my guy Link!

Same. Built-in random name generators are nice, though. If I can spin it a bunch of times and get something world-appropriate that sounds OK, I'm usually happy.
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2020, 09:26:30 AM »

I think it depends. I feel like it has so much to do with what you as author want to convey.

As a player I can absolutely have a lot of fun with character creation, but if someone wants to tell a very specific story it might clash really badly to allow the player character to be just anyone, e.g.:

Custom characters often feel like tourists and don't feel integrated in the same way.

So if it doesn't suit your vision, I don't think you should shoehorn it in. But if you feel like it can enhance the particular experience you have in mind, go for it! c:

I'm inclined to agree, I believe: as with so many things in game-dev, to a large degree it comes down to the experience that you're making (and perhaps your resources, of course), with no hard rule for or against.
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