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Your custom character philosophy: realistic avatars that fit the game? Or horrifyingly mutated abominations?


Nick R
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Inspired by the avatars that people have been making in the Street Fighter 6 beta: when faced with a custom character editor in a game, what's your approach?

 

Do you try and keep things realistic, making someone that doesn't look out of place with the rest of the game's character designs?

 

Or do you set all the sliders to their extremes and create The Thing That Should Not Be, ready for the Internet to describe it as "cursed"?

 

Maybe you start your first playthrough by making someone that looks as much like you as possible - and then on later replays, you go crazy with the Popeye-shaped forearms, clown shoe feet, and fluorescent skin colours?

 

(I apologise if anyone here has to use the Popeye forearms, clown shoe feet, and neon purple skin in order to make a realistic version of what they look like IRL. :blush:)

 

 

 

I have to admit, my in-game avatars tend to err on the boringly realistic side (except for the odd cool-looking facial scar).

 

But even then, sometimes you get something like Mass Effect where the character looks fine in the editor, but then you see them in the first cutscene and you think: oh no, I tried to make a realistic Shepard but she looks bizarre after all, now I'm stuck with this silly design the entire game, so I might as well have gone crazy with the editor in the first place...

 

 

A related previous thread:

 

 

 

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I typically just make a version of me. Recently, in my playthroughs of Elden Ring, Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne I've made a guy who looks the same in each game whom I've named 'Geoff' for some reason. 

 

I will spend ages agonising over character creation if I can. I never go too crazy or mutated abomination because anything I think is funny in that way in the moment I probably won't find funny by the time I play next time. 

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As geeky as it sounds, I really like to role play when I create a character in games, making my own head canon concerning their upbringing, personality, livelihood, strengths, weaknesses, fears. It has provided an even more immersive edge to games like Fallout 4, Bloodborne, Nioh 2, Elden Ring and, more recently, Cyberpunk. To that end I usually go for designs that fit the world they're supposed to be in. Boring maybe, but it helps me get invested in the story. By the time I completed Cyberpunk, I'd grown to really like 'my' V. 

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I tend to go for realistic characters but I usually choose female avatars, even if they're under layers of armour like my character in Elden Ring. I think I've just grown bored of playing people who superficially look like me, or thick-necked space marines.
 

1 hour ago, Let us measure said:

As geeky as it sounds, I really like to role play when I create a character in games, making my own head canon concerning their upbringing, personality, livelihood, strengths, weaknesses, fears. It has provided an even more immersive edge to games like Fallout 4, Bloodborne, Nioh 2, Elden Ring and, more recently, Cyberpunk. To that end I usually go for designs that fit the world they're supposed to be in. Boring maybe, but it helps me get invested in the story. By the time I completed Cyberpunk, I'd grown to really like 'my' V. 


Same for me when I played Fallout 4. I gave my character all sorts of backstory when I was creating her, to the point where that story was canon in my head and the whole plot about the kid was completely jarring.

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7 hours ago, fat flatulent git said:

I always make as attractive a woman as possible.

Similar. I don't get why you'd make yourself, or make something ugly. You're going to be looking at the arse of this for hours. I don't get why you'd want to look at your own arse for thirty hours plus.

 

I make the prettiest character I can based on current thinking (which changes fairly regularly, so usually fairly different). Almost always called Molly though.

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5 minutes ago, MarkN said:

Similar. I don't get why you'd make yourself, or make something ugly.

 

Depends on how into the role playing you might be, I suppose. I gave my Fallout 4 character what looked like an old chemical burn across her face, because I figured that she'd have been exposed to some fairly horrible substances during her time in the Wasteland. Made the pre-Vault cutscene a bit jarring though.

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19 minutes ago, DeciderVT said:

 

Depends on how into the role playing you might be, I suppose. I gave my Fallout 4 character what looked like an old chemical burn across her face, because I figured that she'd have been exposed to some fairly horrible substances during her time in the Wasteland. Made the pre-Vault cutscene a bit jarring though.

Was she ugly though? Scars don't make people ugly - saucy Germans rocked the fencing scar look for decades it seems - it's quite a good one.. (To be ugly these days most people just go for being nasty and small-minded and hateful... It does trickle out through their faces sometimes, but it's buried much deeper. Gosh I've gone a lot darker than I set out to...)

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I'm definitely in the 'make a nice looking Wendy The Welder character' camp, but I fully respect and admire those that can completely bend the character creator to their will to make absolute horror shows, they do make me belly laugh when they're posted on a new game.

 

I sometimes dip into it myself, but only when the game is very silly (like Saint's Row 3).

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I like to role play in story driven games, so I mostly create characters that fits a certain theme. Of course, creating a raider type character in Fallout gives you the ability to create horrible abominations and still role play.

 

 

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For my first playthrough I normally make a character that looks like me, as it helps me become more invested in the character… although far too many games don’t have a “baldy” option.
In that case I pick long flowing locks reminiscent of my teenage years for fantasy games or a brightly coloured mohawk if it’s a futuristic game. Because in the future we’ll all have brightly coloured mohawks. It’ll be the law!

 

 

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4 hours ago, MarkN said:

Was she ugly though? Scars don't make people ugly - saucy Germans rocked the fencing scar look for decades it seems - it's quite a good one.. (To be ugly these days most people just go for being nasty and small-minded and hateful... It does trickle out through their faces sometimes, but it's buried much deeper. Gosh I've gone a lot darker than I set out to...)


I always add a scar if I can, chicks dig scars! Virtual me might as well be appealing to the opposite sex, seeing as the real me is an abomination. 

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I made an avatar in Tiger Woods 2004 that looked so much like me it was uncanny. I spent hours on that. Ever since then I can't be arsed. Although I to tend to make a huge muscly guy with spiked white hair wherever possible. Or a woman with big knockers like what Scouser does. 

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Make it ginger for the personal connection, make it an absolutely unquestionable freak by moving certain sliders all the way one way and certain sliders the opposite. I put as much shit on there as possible, spend hours on it, make a true monstrosity with ginger hair for the personal connection. Then cover it in armour and don’t look at it for 60 hours until I press the wrong button, unequip something, and spend half an hour laughing at the long forgotten freak. 
 

A dance as old as time. 

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I used to invariably spend ages trying to make a character that resembled myself, only for them to end up ‘sort-of’ doing so. These days I still put a bit of effort in but nothing anywhere near as exhaustive. 
 

I could probably see myself creating a fit female character for an action game or suchlike, but never for an RPG. There just wouldn’t be any sense of attachment. 

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There is usually a clash between wanting to make a decent character that does sort of resemble myself and wanting to get started on the game. I usually end up going with a “that’ll do” half formed thing as a result, so I was really pleased to discover Elden Ring lets you change your appearance at any time. More games should do that.

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Either the default male or female character (I roughly alternate gender per game for some reason), maybe with a haircut swap.

 

Most games in general play your character is mostly covered in armour and gear anyway. Great that you implemented a system to do custom leg tattoos and realistic levels of chest chair but I'm never seeing it.

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