Friday, February 23, 2007

On Character Customization

I want to customize my character. I want to choose my look down to the smallest possible detail. Give me size and weight customization. Give me a hundred colors for my hair, skin, eyes and toenails. Those are lacking in today's MMORPGs, and indeed seem to have regressed in the past years.

The game can load a haircut per player, why not two or three? I think hairstyles should be add-ons by the player, so that the hair elements can be added separately. Choose a flat hair style, add a ponytail, add braids or buns as desired. Place a ponytail on each side for a different effect. And heck, go to a hair stylist to change it as needed; Ultima Online had that, and it was great.

I want to customize my body appearance. If I want to be tall and slim, let me be tall and slim; and if I want to be short and fat, by the devs, you will let me be short and fat! And none of those pre-made faces. I want my own head, forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, the deal. I want people to recognize me by my face, not by the name that hovers over my head.

And please, please, please, don't go telling me a facial expression and pre-defined hair style is all you need. Simple characters are only good for munchkins, and if they don't want to customize their own character, let them hit the random button and be done with it. I don't want to look bland just because some guy somewhere is too lazy to spend a few minutes selecting his character's looks.

That's all I wanted to say. Character customization has always been a favorite of mine, as it is for many people who would agree with what I write in this humble weblog, I presume. I just wish the developers wouldn't just say it's too hard to do and actually get around to doing it...

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