Characters and the World They Live In: Character Creation
When it comes to playing games or MMO’s, really anyone that allows the creation of a character we all have our different process when we go about creating those characters. Sometimes we choose try to reflect ourselves, maybe how we feel or just want to make something fun. I like to take the method of creating a character with the game world in mind. In a way this is coming at the creation process from a role-play standpoint even if I don’t choose to role-play. It just helps me immerse myself in the world and story that is about to unfold.
Depending on the level of customization in the MMO I’m playing I can usually make a pretty unique character with a background and reason they are doing what they are doing despite the story already having one set out for me. I find that for me being an aspiring animator, illustrator, character designer, and storywriter, character creators in video games allow for me to explore different types of character ideas in different scenarios.
One of my more favorite games to create characters in is ESO. Not only does it have the customization, ESO allows you to make choices in the game. Be it bad or good choices that get made it shapes the character personality better in my mind. Once the Dark Brotherhood was released I knew what kind of character I wanted to be in that world. In ESO I’m lawless outlaw of an Argonian that works for the brotherhood. I like to think it was his ability to be super sneaky and poison making that attracted their attention to him. Upon recruitment they found out he also had dark “howling” secrets, if you catch my drift. Now, technically that might throw a wrench in immersion with a scaly lizard sprouting fur, but I can ignore it because its fun to just play in that style.
When it comes to fitting a character into a world, there many things I think one must consider. The first and foremost thing I consider is the characters personality. How do they see the world that you are about to place them in? Figure out what they like or weapons they like to use. Weapon choice can say a lot about a character and can even have a stake in their back-story such as “A character uses a sword and shield because once they were attacked and had not but a sword and nearly died.” Something as simple as that is a start.
Next normally would be name, but if you are not making a character for role-play reasons, I wouldn’t exactly worry about it. You’ll come to know whether or not it breaks your immersion or not over time. For me it doesn’t because I don’t do any role-play and the character idea just lives in my head. Now for ESO though I attempted to make a name that fits like Fleeted-Fang since he was a werewolf and there is a time limit one can be transformed.
Once those two are done all you have to do is get the perfect look for your character. That includes outfits, weapon skins, mounts, pets, whichever and whatever suits your characters design. Most games will have many different customization options to fit all if not most archetypes, personalities or whatever your design idea may be. Now this is just my way of making a character and immersing myself in the many different game worlds out there.
This makes it easier for me to keep interested in the games because I’m doing more than just playing, I’m creating a story and wanting to see how it ends. How do you create your characters? Is it something you plan from the beginning or does it just happen as you go along?
Unfortunately my screenshots of my ESO character are no longer on my ps4, so I’ll show my character design ideas for my FFXIV Machinist. I have two looks I go with, “The Western Cowboy” and “The Pirate”.