Ground rules for this rant about computer (roleplaying) games,
- I know some players absolutely love being able to customise how their character looks to the nth degree
- I know that with the ability to customise appearance, and to change appearance based on the gear you’re wearing in the game, is rumoured to capture a larger audience
- I know that funding for Feature X does not necessarily impact on funding for Feature Y (so less of X does not mean more of Y, or more of Y does not mean X suffers).
Given those basic ground rules, here we go.
Dear games developers, mostly roleplaying games developers
To a reasonably large extent, I don’t care how my character looks, but I do care if all the locations are just the same rehashed map over and over again (I’m looking at you Dragon Age 2).
Mostly, I don’t really mind if I only have say, 2 hair styles and 1 nose to pick from at character creation. But I do care if all the quests are similar and there’s no epic storyline to follow other than ‘buy your way out of debt’ (hey, DA2, looking at you again!)
Yes, I absolutely want to be able to invest in my character, because being invested makes the gaming experience that much better, and part of that is being able to change how my character looks. But let’s be honest, I’m not going to make him look like me (fat, fourty, hairy) so a small sample of heroic male and heroic female appearances will do. Also, armour is armour, I don’t mind if you use the same shape and just change the colour, really.
Instead of spending time and money developing the game engine so it can handle all that customisation and doing all the hard work necessary to pull it off – why not invest that time and energy into content.
Quests, dialog, locations. That’s what I want from a game.
Not to decide if my character has a hook nose, or a ever so slightly smaller hook nose.