Sunday, July 24th, 2016 07:37 pm
What options do you want to see in games which allow the player to customise their character's gender and appearance? What existing games have impressed you?


As a player: I like pronouns/gender and appearance being entirely separated, and no gendered aspect to the physical character creation at all. This generally only happens with games with a single androgynous body type (eg Glitch or Hustle Cat), or what is effectively a male/female choice but with any pronouns separated eg Long Story and Pokemon Go. I feel like it should be possible to either have three or more set options (eg hourglass+boobs, broad shouldered and flat chested, and androgynously shapeless) or a single set of sliders which include a wide spectrum of body types including broad shouldered with boobs etc. It looks like the current version of The Sims might do this?

As a game developer: I mostly make visual novels, which limits my options since every alternative has to be hand drawn. In one game I have separate M/F/Other choices for gender, assigned birth gender, and presentation. The main character always has the same underlying ambiguous appearance (shortish with a slim figure and long hair) but their clothes and hairstyle change to match the chosen presentation.

For a more ambitious (and thus less complete ;)) game my cocreator and I are considering the same set of choices plus the ability to choose from a limited number of different body shapes. We have yet to implement this but it's just an extension of what I already did, and existing visual novels like Magical Diary offer a roughly equivalent level of complexity with different hairstyles etc.

Does that sound appealing to people?

nb: This is obviously more relevant to trans players but it affects cis people too, so everyone's comments are welcome. Also, this is aside from the ability to have a character be fat, dark skinned, visibly disabled etc, which are also really important but not what I'm asking about in this post.
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking about this from an MMO angle (with a pinch of dollmakers thrown in):

I too prefer that gender (and/or pronouns) not be a hard-coded part of the visual customization process. But when it comes to the visual side, I think actually I might be more interested in character creators that limit the range of aesthetic choices -- but interestingly. Here's five selectable body templates and all of them are brown-skinned. Here's three selectable starter outfits which say something about the universe that this character is going to exist in and the set of possibilities that we want to explore with it.