You have asked us if there would be an option to create your own character. In this article we’d like to explain why we can’t give such an option to the players and why we made such decisions.
Of course, it’s great to be able to create a character based entirely on your own preferences – to define his appearance parameters, like in Skyrim, or even choose a backstory, like in Mass Effect. And many players will feel a strong attachment to such a custom character.However, fully predefined characters also have many advantages – remember Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2 or Geralt from the Withcer. So what can be said about our hero?
Jack Sharp — the one and only?
When thinking about what our main character would be like, we considered many factors, such as the technical and production complexity of implementing full-scale character customization. And by designing a predetermined character, we wanted to achieve certain creative goals, which we’ll talk about next.
A fully customizable character means always a massive amount of work. Just giving players the ability to change the gender of a character, for example, would require creating a lot more assets and adapting each of them to additional animations!
One more serious challenge could be dialogues and NPCs’ reactions. Another major challenge could have been writing the dialogues and reactions of the NPCs. Having one predefined main character allowed us to focus on authenticity and make the dialogues better, fuller, and more interesting rather then make them suitable for all possible gender and origin variations.
Without a doubt, it would be possible to create a minimum variant of customization and allow players to edit the appearance of the protagonist at least in the minor details. We do not exclude the possibility to at least partially implement such an option, although we are not ready to promise anything in advance. However, creating a predetermined character seemed to us a more attractive option. Let’s see what advantages this solution brought and what customization options we were able to provide to the players.
A true space cowboy
We gave Jack the appearance of a dashing cowboy and a certain kind of personality. He was given the persona of a caustic and cynical adventurer with a dark past, details of which emerge as the story progresses.
However, you can make Jack look at many things from a different angle. By choosing different lines of behavior in dialogues and quests, he can act as a more altruistic individual or act as a complete egoist. Therefore, despite the predetermined past, ultimately it is up to you to decide what your space cowboy’s moral profile will be during the course of his adventures on the planet K’Tharsis.
In addition to the moral image, you can also create a unique clothing style for the main character by finding different outfit options. With enough experimentation, you are sure to create an image that suits you both in characteristics and in terms of visual aesthetics.
Deeper integration into the world
Thanks to the fact that Jack’s appearance and backstory are predetermined, we were able to use this both in the cinematics at the beginning of the game and in the cutscenes. In addition, as mentioned earlier, we were able to make a more vivid and personalized reaction of NPCs – characters can comment on the appearance and actions of Jack, sometimes, in fact, giving him completely unflattering characteristics. Jack’s own reactions, by the way, are also more conveniently prescribed based on his specific personality.
We’re working hard to finish the current game as quickly as possible, but of course we’re making plans for the future. Of course, we would like to keep expanding the world of Exoplanet, making it bigger, richer and more diverse, linking individual stories into a chain leading to global events.
This means that the protagonists of the new stories told in the future may encounter the protagonists of the previous ones!
We would like to give players as much freedom as possible in creating the character they like, so we created the archetype system, which we told you about earlier. In a nutshell, it is a system that allows you to choose the starting skills corresponding to a certain class – warrior, thief or diplomat – which will allow you to influence your approach to gameplay. However, if you are not satisfied with any of them, you can form a set of skills yourself. By the way, on Edge you can find a teacher for raising any skill – so don’t worry about making the wrong choice!
That’s how Jack Sharp came to be – a hero with a particular story and appearance, but the freedom of moral choice and archetype to deal with problems on K’Tarsis. And what characters from RPGs do you remember? How important to you is the ability to customise a character? Share your opinion in the comments, and be sure to drop by our Discord!