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Customizable Human Avatars Versus Character Selection


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In a game where you need a character to walk around the screen (pixel 2D world) would an option to select a character be enough? Or would a full human avatar system be preferred? 

What if the character selection was able to have more choices such as older, younger, and thin or thick and the avatar system was generic?

With the character selection how many choices would you want to have? 

For the avatar system what choices would you want to have?

And then in general what do you look for and like to have in an avatar system?

Would a system that allows choices such as age and weight be interesting to you?

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So as someone who has made animated 2D characters that walk around the screen, character selection is a much cheaper option. Having customizable characters that can be animated is extremely graphic intensive and costly to have commissioned unless you're planning to do all the work yourself and then you run into an immense amount of work that is needed to draw everything.

Personally, I prefer character customization but if I had to do it again, I would do character selection instead.

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That is a good point about all the extra needed for animation, one reason I was originally going towards character selection, but was also thinking there would be a more larger non animated one for profile and forums, but then youd probably still want the 2d one to match. So that would actually just add even more art.

I in general dont mind selection, but then it is nice to be able to make a unique character too, especially since it is a more community oriented game. Also adds more shops and reward options in game.

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You could always do a mix of the two. Let them customize a flat image of a character and then have them pick one that they use to walk around with.

Also, the more you limit the directions of the character the less work you'll have. I did diagonal directions (because my game doesn't really work without them) and that added so much additional work even if I only did half of the compass (north, south, east, north east, south east) and then just mirror the image for the other directions.

Each of my animations is only 8-10 frames long but that still means I have 40+ frames for each character at each speed. So for a full animation of a horse character I have over 280 frames (stand, walk, trot, canter, jump, rear, graze) just for the base character without any of the customizations. Each piece of equipment they wear and every marking needs the same amount of frames as well. So for a full horse character with a saddle, bridle and saddle pad, face, body and leg markings you're looking at well over 800 frames.

Edited by Design1online
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Oh wow that would be a lot. Yeah I have been thinking about a combination system of sorts that works lore wise but would keep the animated character custimization to a more manageable amount. Essentially wearing a cloak that would cover things. You wear a cloak when traveling. There could be a few cloak options too, with the option to have it on or off for the larger flat image.

Also curious what people think of having other options such as age (child, adult, elder) and or body sizes (thinner and thicker) and if theyd be used. Havent really seen it done and obviously more work and art, but also seems like itd be cool to pick those type of things.

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I have seen character customizations with thin/fat, child/adult and short/tall options. However for each of those options you add you have to add the customizable thing with it. That means your one red shirt drawing turns into 6 different versions, one for each character option. 

If you want to go that route I suggest you dynamically change the colors of the clothing so that your one red shirt can actually be any color shirt and then you're just having your artist do different shirt styles instead of a shirt in all different colors.

Edited by Design1online
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I will likely have art done so it can easily be dynamically recolored no matter what system I utilize. Even if I dont make a script for it keeps it simple for adding more colors.

But just curious as to what options players would enjoy.

You have seen browser based or 2d game with those options? What game? I would be interested in checking that out. Have really only seen those options with 3d before which is a different system.

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On 5/16/2018 at 11:53 AM, Design1online said:

Yes a lot of older flash games on FB do things like this. I don't remember one specifically just that I've seen it before. You can see an older version of my 2D character based game with a character movement demo here: http://whoa-horsie.com/ 

Use the up/down arrows to control speed and left/right arrows to turn.

That's pretty cool. Did you ever launch it or a game like it?

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