December 28, 2015
np no need to apologize, just really wanted to emphasize why I tend to not to create a character (cac).
Yeah with planning anything can work in general. there is no argument here. but my point is the more you limit the customization of the main character, the better story can be.
otherwise you will be in for a lot of work or a watered down story to make cac possible.
yeah mass effect story is nice, I love bioware games. but did you notice how all the character cast in many bioware games in general meet the protagonist for the first time after character is established? no childhood friend, no old flames, etc. everyone you meet is for the first time. and your character can’t really have a deep history. the best effort I saw was during dragon age 2 when you begin with your family.
Also notice how the relationships don’t matter to the overall plot in those games? romance between protagonist and characters are at best is a side quest. I’m not saying it is not interesting, just saying they don’t matter in relation to the main antagonist of the game. now contrast this with say final fantasy 10, Tidus and Yuna conflict with Seymour or whatever his names was. and lot of other JP games where it gets fairly deep into relationships between the protagonists and a character and it effects their decisions vs the antagonist. Even look at Halo, between Mater Cheif and cortana. A single story but a good really one, and you can really nail the ending from all the build up because there is no guess work. Remember the mass effects original ending to their trilogy? disappointing to say the least.
I see your point on the set character concepts and for what you’re planning it likely makes more sense. Rookie kind of already does character insert kind of thing anyway, so doing more than that would just create a universe full of create-a characters we’re never allowed to see cause we aren’t controlling them at the time. Or you’d have to retcon them to not being create-a characters after the fact, which is similarly weird.
The mass effect ending is a bit of a low blow though. I see the point you’re making but mass effect 3 was caused by way more than vague characterization. I mean, I heard the director just threw all the writers off the project to write some unrelated ending himself. Even after all the writers had handled everything else up to that point. Then budget’s tightened down too and the bad ending wasn’t properly finished and ugh… not a good time for games.
I guess it really comes down to personal preference. I like Create-a-Character because of personalization. I actually just picked up Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Remaster today and played it for an hour or so, and in the first 10-15 minutes you can see what Vortex is talking about, “Who are you?” et cetera, et cetera. There’s an immediate disconnect between the player and the game’s story. Youre an unknown to everyone in the game, but as the story progresses you ‘create your own story’ as well with the reputation system, different missions you select, who you kill and who you spare — same goes for Mass Effect.
However, for certain games, maybe more so for shooters than for RPGs a lot of times there is a disconnection between story and player. Most people dont care about the story in shooters. They just want to look and feel like a badass, and I think there can be a common middle ground between the two, similar to what Sword Art Online does. You can create a character, and select different characteristics but regardless of gender and what you look like, you will always be referred to as Kirito by the cast.
I think in the end, you should make whatever game you feel comfortable with. At the end of the day, it’s your IP, your original characters, your story and I am sure all of us will respect you for that.
If I ever do anything with AoD, or anything else that you don’t like just let me know and ill scrub it. I dont want to offend anyone, especially not you.
Pulling off create a characters and a good story is by no means an easy thing for sure. The whole reason I used mass effect as an example is because it’s one of the few ones that actually succeeded at it. I remember fallout 3’s story being similarly removed from everything except instead of doing gameplay that makes you feel badass, you’re running around looking for your dad 90% of the time. Blech.
November 19, 2013
I used the example to illustrate, when you make your own story you can only really guess at what it is as a dev. endings and many events and quests in the game have to be watered down as a trade-off for having a character that could be many different things.
I’m not saying one is more fun than the other or what you should like, it is great to explore in those games, I have a lot of hours in skyrim. My point is there is a very noticeable difference in dialogue, relationships, and story in a game dealing with a pre-established character such as a rpg. In games like skyrim, saints row, where you can wildly change your appearance and/or race and it doesn’t seem to matter is where it is really noticeable. you can be superold hag, a she-troll monster, and smoking hot babe, and none of it seems to matter. sure it’s fun, but the story and relationship in a rpg with character known to the dev the the beginning allows for more depth and detail.
in UMCH appearance is not ignored nor is personality or intelligence, characters refer to Maiko’s appearance, example would be jeni saying cow-tits and maiko saying to herself that her boobs hurt. Luma’s dialogue hits on everything about maiko specifically both physical and mentally. maiko refers to her hair being messy. all this would have to be watered down or completely removed making the game a lot less detailed then what I would be comfortable with to have a cac.
referring to not beginning with a past relevant past in most cac games, dragon age 2 seems to combine the best of both worlds here. you start off with your family, they all look similar to your cac and surprisingly only one sibling dies off at the start instead of losing your entire family as expected. and your surviving sibling is actually relevant all they way to the last boss fight if her/she will help you or fight you. you have your mother through a lot of the game also to talk to and even meet up with your shitty uncle near the start also. But the point is not every person you interact with in that game is someone you met after character creation.
June 29, 2016
Just curious, I know you are very adamant about having a great story, but have you ever considered a gender-neutral story? I know it leaves a lot of holes in terms of relationships and building them up, but with the branching paths now that we have in the editor it opens a lot of possibilities in that sense.
You can have a gender-neutral story, but still pick and choose your partners and reputation paths based on the branching options. This leaves the door open for smaller customization options while still retaining somewhat of a stronger narrative than you would have in say Skyrim where no one knows really who you are. You can still have that personal connection to a character. A brother is going to be a brother, regardless if youre male or female. A father is always going to be a father. So on, and so forth. Obviously not trying to sway you in one direction or another, just saying that it is an option to think about.
If there was a way to allow the system to remember which reputation branch choices you make, positive or negative, that would do so much for replayability. You could play the game 3, 4, 5 times an not experience all the endings because of the typical DND reputation pattern — Chaotic Good, Chaotic Evil, Lawful Good, Lawful Evil so on and so forth. Adding in the option of Male or Female, with certain scenes being exclusive to one gender or the other, would add even another element of replayability.
I guess from a Visual Novel standpoint, this “makes sense” to me. An this is exactly what they do in the Sakura games I told you about a few months ago. (I saw you played Sakura Maid.) You can play the game, or novel in this instance, 8-10 times and still not unlock every scene because of choice paths.
I guess what needs to be set in stone before we really begin to speculate and let our minds wander is:
What type of game will ARIA 2 be?
What type of setting will ARIA 2 be?
And does that combination “make sense”?
Once we know that, we can really begin to supply ideas and feedback based on that because right now it’s hard to say, “Oh add this functionality it’ll be great!” if it doesnt fit the games’ profile, why have it at all?
Just thinking outloud I guess, as usual… : )
December 28, 2015
Gender neutral stories are much more plausible in non-h games. In games like mass effect the only gender stuff to keep in mind are pronouns characters use and possibly one or two characters that may refer to a character’s gender specifically. When characters have to get naked on screen things get kind of tricky cause of art assets and scenes. Only way I could see that working is if there are less scenes which are all super modular and easy to edit.
Aria already does that a bit though. Like how all the bj scenes are based on the same base with edits to make them different characters. So if Spiral felt like making Aria II similarly art wise, a create a character isn’t entirely impossible.
While on the subject, has anyone considered having the character itself be gender neutral but still have them be a set character? For example, what if the main character was an android or a Goo like being that could shift it’s gender/appearance at will? This would make the character specific to the plot and key characters would always react the same way to seeing them since they would know the main character can shift their appearance in that manner. Don’t know if there are reasons a character like that would exist but it’s something that occurred to me and I thought to ask.
June 29, 2016
Actually, an minor spoiler alerts as far as AoD is concerned since I haven’t revealed this yet, that’s exactly what Arielle (“Sidney”) is in my HVN. She’s an android, not necessarily a “shapeshifter” or bi-gender, but I dont want to go into detail about that indepth just yet. Her introduction and backstory wont be until probably Chapter Three, so it’s quite a ways off…
November 19, 2013
I considered gender neutral protagonist story with the rookie. But couldn’t bear trying to write in ways that obscured gender. It made some of the lines seem very odd and not how the character would actuality talk. imo better to just have some established and write character dialogue exactly as they would talk. Yeah and this is just talking writing alone. Would have to go out of the way to make sex images and generic sex descriptions for genderless protagonist. can’t really get into details on body parts, etc.
gender neutral but still be a set character reminded of the old anime ranma 1/2. where the dude can turn into a girl after getting doused in cold water. hat water to change back. or something like that. I actually like how they did it also. because the girl is a different body totally and not totality transformation of his own body.
in the JLCK lore there is a few interesting things related to a character that is possible to be any gender with reason, and/or similar.
First would be most obvious, Yeah GemCo does all kind of bio-experiments. Almost anything is plausible in terms body parts from being a goo-girl to a bio android or whatever.
Another character is annie, she was unconsciously created from emotions to be, what she needed to be, when she needed to be there. There are other entities like Annie that exist can are whatever the person that created them wants them to be at the time they want them to be it. An example would be Leyah talking about the magical Kitty. sometimes it is a girl sometimes it is a cat, it can switch because that is how leyah imagined it.
There is also the character donavik. a demon possessed the character wave. demon possession is another one alone but, but the demon in the girls body exists in a another dimension. the portal to the words is anchored on his stomach. the demon pops out at times during combat to assist him. like just the arm to punch someone or block a projectile or something. but the demon chick could just as easy pop out a arm or just it’s upper body and give him a boob or bj etc.
i haven’t made a specific stories about a character with any of these situations.
December 28, 2015
> To Dtk
I’d never ask you to spoil something you’re getting ready to show. I write myself so I understand the notion. I’ll be waiting to see where it goes when it’s ready.
Wow that’s a lot more ways to pull off a character like that than I expected. Not surprising that you haven’t made any main characters like that yet though. Now that I think of it, I don’t know how well people would dig a gender-flippable character like that. I mean people seem to get pissy over futa, so being able to completely flip genders wouldn’t be any better.
June 29, 2016
For me, personally, I think the whole futa debate is a mind game / subconscious thing for a lot of people. To me, I dont see any difference between Remi stuffing Tiffany up, or Jeo doing the dirty work. It’s the same thing, to me at least.
Where people start to freak out is when it’s Jeo on Remi, or even the other way around. That’s where people throw up their hands and they’re like, “Whoa, wait a minute.”
In my mind, just because you like futa doesnt mean you like yaoi. An just because you like girls doesnt mean you like yuri. It’s a perspective thing, to me anyways. I like futa, and I obviously dont have a problem with Remi on the ‘receiving end’ but that doesnt mean I like yaoi.
Futa, by definition, is bi-gender with dominant feminine characteristics. It’s not a ‘trap’, it’s not trans. It’s a girl with male reproductive organ(s). A lot of people just cant get passed the dick, as off color as it is to say that.
Remi is still my favorite character, regardless what anyone else says.
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