Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Am Obsessed with Making Characters Pt. 2

So, I was talking with Saki-Chan, as I do a lot you'll notice, last night and I brought up my ever-shifting plans for starting up Demon's Souls.  Instead of saying 'this week' or 'soon', I'm just going to say 'eventually' now, since a lot just....gets in the way.  Like me seeing a chance to get Dynasty Warriors 7's Platinum trophy and taking the opportunity even though it, much like other Japanese Games with Trophies, isn't so much difficult to get, so much as it's time-consuming to say the least.  I'm really really close, though, and the trophies I have left (5, though one is the Platinum) will sort of fall in line with another.  As in, when I get one, I should get another, and the same with the other pair, or it should be a little closely related, at least.  They should be a sweep rather than individual mountains themselves, is what I'm getting at.

Anyways, one of the big things that gets in my way when I'm going to start a game where you customize your character is that I never know what I want my character to be, going in.  Unless it's territory I've already navigated, ala Final Fantasy Tactics, because then I generally have the gist.  But when I start a game, I don't know what's going to be good, what's not, and while that's supposed to be half the fun, and you're not really supposed to let power-gaming get in the way, I....well, sometimes, I do.  And it's not even that aspect of the character all the time; sometimes it's more that I just don't know -what- to make the character, appearance-wise.  That was my big tripping point with White Knight Chronicles, as I went into the game -knowing- I had to make an Avatar, but never really thinking about it and then when I was in the Creator, I spent about an hour or more dicking around with it to see what I liked, didn't like, etc. and eventually ended up with an elf-looking guy with green hair.

I'm not disappointed with my character or anything, of course, and I always intended on remaking him when I got back into the game (eventually), but that was always going to be -something-.  A lot of people know or have 'identities' in mind when they go ahead and make something, but I rarely ever do.  Until now, since I actually made up a plan for the next few games I'll play that involve customizing a character.  Unfortunately, that only really pertains to Demon's Souls and Final Fantasy Tactics for now (remember when I said I might have 'extra' characters?  Spoiler alert:  I'm going to.)  This is all kind of ironic with the knowledge that I've professed to enjoying creating characters out of nothing before, and I still enjoy it, but I'm finding that it becomes more and more difficult to do the more I do it, since I end up not.....caring, I guess would be the word.  Not that you're supposed to 'care' about a digital avatar in any way that matters to anything, but I'm sure we all do sometimes.

So I ended up talking it over some more with Saki-Chan and I brought it up to her that I made a character 'family' a while back, mostly for funsies, in the context of a Final Fantasy Tactics time/setting, and that I thought it would be a neat idea to draw from that and expand that family to work out my character issues.  This way, I'll always have a design in mind and will always be able to make a character that A) I 'get' and don't have to feel out a personality for and B) have my own little 'developments' for the characters so that if I ever get to really writing again, I might be able to draw from those scenarios, since, well, I'll be able to really have something done out, rather than making a whole structure on my own, which might, admittedly, leave a little bit lacking.

Where I'm going with all this is that it means, when I finally do start Demon's Souls in that timeline of "eventually", I'll be able to make -my- character and get right into id without worrying about it and playing around for an hour to eventually make something that I have no idea about.  I won't be making a 'elf-looking guy with green hair' that I then have to figure on in my head for my own personal reasons (of enjoying making 'characters' in the sense that they are characters with histories and personalities); I'll be making Mikhail Metzinger, eldest son of the Metzinger clan.  He's going to be a Mage, possibly dabbling with stabbing dudes, and he's going to be awesome.

Likewise, the 'extra' character I'm already planning for in my FFT game is the character I initially planned the Family out for, which is its youngest member; Minerva Metzinger.  When I made her, it was mostly a play off the character of Marion Siegbahn from Valkyria Chronicles 2 since, let's face it, she's one of the best characters in the entire game.  I like to think she's evolved a bit beyond that and I don't really want to get into the big scope of it, since it's something I'm working on, but I'm pretty happy with the character, and with the amount of 'work' I put into making her family 'make sense'.  Don't be surprised if I don't talk about her in the next FFT update, however, since my main focus lies with the main team still and the 'extra' people probably won't show up until I have everyone more or less on their Master Path, to keep levels and progress as close as possible.

I still have a stable of about four other characters I can use at any point in the future when presented with customization, so I can't wait to actually get more chances.  I'm sure I'll end up detailing them here, even if it does nothing more than make myself happy with the amount of work I'm able to put into making fake things that, in the end, don't really matter or make up a lot.  Unless I end up writing about them and having a proper story made or something like that.  Then that would be something to, er, be 'happy' with, I'm sure.

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