5 things character creator modes are doing wrong

fantasy

I didn’t make that character, but I’m beginning to wish I did.

As a gamer, one thing I’ve always wanted to be able to count on is this: if a game has a feature which lets you create characters, then they should do it right. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and character creator modes aren’t always top-notch.

Yes, I have had problems with creating custom characters, but that’s mostly down to the system. This is about the five things that I believe character creator modes are doing wrong.

DISCLAIMER: I would like to say that none of the custom characters shown here are of my own creation.

1. Mediocre/bad voice acting

dw6 empires

Chief Offenders:

  • Soul Calibur IV
  • Soul Calibur V
  • Dynasty Warriors 6/7: Empires
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time

One thing I’m getting really tired of is having to feel bad every time I have to pick a voice for a character I make. I often feel bad about it because of how bad the voice acting as. Dynasty Warriors, pretty much all the main characters have campy, yet enjoyable voice acting. It’s not the same with edit characters.

In any case, female voice acting for custom character tends to be very annoying, especially in Soul Calibur IV, where the first two voice templates make annoyingly high-pitched squeals when hit with enough force.

My point is that when you’re making a character, you want him/her to sound good, or at least have a voice you’re comfortable with, but usually they don’t.

2. Having too many complex details

skyrim

Chin details? CHIN DETAILS!?

Chief Offenders

  • Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Dragon’s Dogma

Recently, games with creator creator modes have been coming with the option to edit more precise facial details, like jaw width, chin size, and so on. My problem? None of that is even necessary!

When I make a character, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the minor facial details of my characters. I just want to get the hell on with it! I’m fine with the option to add mustaches, beards, or even freckles. What I don’t want to have to put up with is having too many options that I won’t use.

3. Limiting the amount of characters with which to name your character

my name is

“I’m Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?”

Chief Offenders

  • All of them!

Ever thought of a badass name for your character? You type it into the game, and if it’s long enough, you can’t do it. Why not? It’s the 2010’s! I thought we were past this.

In the old days, you couldn’t give your character a name longer than 6 characters (letters, numbers, symbols and/or spaces). Now, some games won’t let you type longer than 12 (like in Dynasty Warriors 6/7: Empires or Soul Calibur IV/V), in spite of the fact that some first names are actually longer than 12 letters!

I think game developers should give up this arbitrary limitation and give the people what they want.

4. Not making every kind of equipment available immediately

world of warcraft

Gah! It’s an offense to my eyes!

Chief Offenders

  • All of them!

When I want to make a character, I want there to be a large variety in outfits. Some games do have them, but happen to be sadistic enough to make you work yourself to death for it.

For example, in Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, you have very little variety of outfits to begin with, but you can use Bonus Points (which are earned throughout the game) to buy more outfit sets. The only problem is that there are 32 equipment sets for each gender (64 in total), and each one costs 400 bonus points. To get them all would cost you 25,600 bonus points (you would have to fight 128 battles in Empire Mode to get that far). In my case, doing all that took me at least a week.

But the worst offender here is Soul Calibur IV. There’s plenty of variety at the beginning, but a lot to unlock. To buy new equipment, you use gold. Some equipment is more expensive than others, and the grand total to buy every piece of equipment in the game is 1,064,750 gold. Imagine how long it must take to get that far!

5. Not having a “Test Play” mode

Not pictured: A test play mode

Chief Offenders

  • Soul Calibur V
  • Dynasty Warriors 6/7: Empires

If you ever wanted to try out a character’s fighting style, this is what “Test Play” was for. Soul Calibur IV had it, but when Soul Calibur V came out, I noticed that it didn’t have a Test Play feature at all. If I wanted to try out a custom character, I have to go to Training mode, and if I wanted to change it, I have to go back to the Character Creator mode. Have. F**king. Mercy.

That really bugs me anyway! Why leave out something as essential as a test mode? This is especially annoying if you’re playing a fighting game, and are unfamiliar with that particular fighting style.

Conclusion

I really think that game developers should realize that the character creator is an opportunity for gamers to spread their artistic wings and show off their creative ability. By imposing these limitations, they are limiting art, just like a curator in a European art museum would.

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2 thoughts on “5 things character creator modes are doing wrong

  1. Detail is actually a good thing. Those many complex options are there so people wanting to make their own unique character can attempt to do so. Skyrim is a terrible example to give cos it doesn’t give actual sliders like Dark Souls (even though the character models in DS are terrible and the options are confusing in DS2, those are sliders, not what Skyrim offers, which are pre-made options laid out as sliders) if you’re not using mods. If you don’t care about those many details, just pick your race, preset, give it a name and you’re done. Just cos you don’t “give a rat’s ass”, doesn’t mean it’s unimpotant.

  2. I am a lady,playing games since years and I like details and I know that most of the ladies and even guys would like to customize their characters.
    You gave an example from Skyrim,to be honest I even felt annoyed about they didnt give options with nose width,eye angle or eye width.Thanks to they didnt give such options I wasnt able to create myself,or a random lady which I would like to play with.Maybe its nothing for you but for me its something dissatisfactory.
    The thing which I am trying to say is; you dont have to bother yourself with “too many complex details” in there,you can just press R (or whatever your key is) and your character is done.Also other games are giving you that chance,you can just push the “next” button or something,no one have to dive to details at all.It looks weird when someone is thinking this is kinda problem.Especially if there is a lot of people loves such details.
    So companies dont give a rat’s ass about you dont like details as long as you can pass them without even caring,they care about people who likes.
    Regards,
    Melen

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