Players name themselves vs. OC character

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MI_Buddy
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Re: Players name themselves vs. OC character

#16 Post by MI_Buddy » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:31 pm

I think I'm in the minority, but I actually tend to actually feel pulled out of an experience when I set the MC's name to my own, unless I pick every piece of dialogue or path for the character- and even maybe then.

It's inevitable that as the story goes, "Hey! I wouldn't say that!" "I wouldn't do that!" "The plot's making me do something I think is a terrible idea!" or even just (maybe this is just me being silly) "I'm not a high school student! I was home schooled! Why is an adult man flirting with a high school girl? This is weird!" And it might work well and be believable if it's somebody else who's been developed in that way, but if it's truly me, I have a hard time accepting it (and trying to sincerely accept it, even temporarily, messes with my head too much).

I'd rather have a name and character set, and view myself as relating to the MC, rather than being the MC, in most visual novel cases I've played.

At its core, whenever you give your audience interactivity, you're giving them responsibility in the story. Depending on what they are or aren't expecting from the story, that responsibility might be jarring for them later on (which can be a good or a bad thing).

*That all said*, I think it's moreso naming a character *after me* that feels weird. I think a good solution for custom names might be:

1. Show some character interaction and dialogue, so we get a feel for how they act in the story
2. *Then* allow naming. This way, if the original dialogue's solid, players who may have quickly picked a stupid name may start feeling connection to the character and pick more seriously; and players will more easily pick a name that feels like it fits with the dialogue and stuff already presented

I love the thought in this thread, I hadn't really thought hard about it but I'm glad this thread got me to think about this for one of my upcoming projects!
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Re: Players name themselves vs. OC character

#17 Post by Syndroversion » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:06 pm

If you want the player to have control over the MC's personality and have lots of choices which affect the story, you may want to make them nameable. If you want to develop their personality yourself and give the player few options, it's probably better to supply your own name. But that's just my opinion. :)
Mammon wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:37 pm
-If your cast is large or you rarely use the MC's name, make it chooseable. This one will need a lot of self-knowledge to know whether you use so many names or make the MC so bland that the reader won't know the name when it is used. (Huh, Hisao? Who's that? Oh, they were talking about me...)
This can also backfire, especially in the case of a large cast. When I played Golden Sun back in the day, I named my character "Alex" only to find out there was another character named Alex already in the story. Needless to say it got confusing sometimes. :P

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Re: Players name themselves vs. OC character

#18 Post by Anna » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:06 pm

For me it's a question of whether the character will have a personality or be a blank slate, and what the dialogue is like.

Personality, actual MC-dialogue in the VN = name given,
blank-slate, barely any MC-dialogue/dialogue is chosen = player chooses name.

Games like Harvest Moon and what not don't really pull me out of the narrative by naming your character, dog and farm, because the MC never says a thing or shows personality. Sometimes the theme matters as well (a story about creating a persona e.g.).
Syndroversion wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:06 pm
This can also backfire, especially in the case of a large cast. When I played Golden Sun back in the day, I named my character "Alex" only to find out there was another character named Alex already in the story. Needless to say it got confusing sometimes. :P
As someone playing Golden Sun right now, this tickles my funny bone :lol:. Never thought of it that way.

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