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 02:25 pm (UTC)
I have attempted to answer this, and cannot come up with anything I've played recently where there are modifiable player characters. In the last, say, 5 years, I have actively played a frog breeding game, where there is no identifiable sex to the frogs (just species); a hidden object game that was all from the point of view of a set character (whose presentation annoyed me because it felt anachronistic, but I don't know enough to be *sure*); and a 3 in a row with a half-arsed story game, where there are (literally) cardboard cut out characters that appear to be from the 'select a stereotype' half price bin, but there isn't a character that is me. So basically, I don't know, because I don't have anything to point at and say 'this' vs 'not this'.