Unlikeable Male Chars [Closed]

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ladynamoru
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Unlikeable Male Chars [Closed]

#1 Post by ladynamoru » Sun May 10, 2015 7:08 pm

First of all, Good day.

Im currently making a VN about bullies and Im almost done with the script (im done with 7 badends) so I ask a friend to give her opinion about the story and the characters.

As per my friend, She said that the bachelors in my story are horrible and although the MC is likable she doesn't envy her because the bachelors are a bunch of jerks.

By the way, Here is the male bully characters:
Roi- narcissist and a trash talker
Ace- liar and a back stabber
Chev- hacker and a blackmailer
Brad- moody and violent

As I type their description I kinda felt what she means by "undesirable guys"
(Since Im on the roll on making their bad ends )

Now here is my problem:
Do I need to change the male characters?
(this is hard since their evilness is part of the story.)
can someone suggest some ideas to make them likable
Any random idea is welcome
Last edited by ladynamoru on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#2 Post by trooper6 » Sun May 10, 2015 7:16 pm

Why do you care if they are likable?
I mean, from your description of the game and the characters, these are bullies who are bad people. It would make sense that dudes like that aren't all that likable.

If this is your artistic vision, then it is your artistic vision and you should follow it.
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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#3 Post by Godline » Sun May 10, 2015 7:21 pm

Doesn't seem much point in asking since you said "(this is hard since their evilness is part of the story.)"
Why conform? We didn't with Wanted Dragon.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#4 Post by Crystaline Spade » Sun May 10, 2015 7:24 pm

If you're really concerned about it then I have two suggestions.
1) You list 2 bad traits that may be too much for some. Why not limit it to one?
2) Give concrete reasons why they're like that.

But, these aren't too good suggestions. So, long as you spend time to make the characters I'm sure it will work.
Besides, with the style of game you're making some people might just be turned off because the characters aren't perfect, they have flaws. So, just go with your gut and stick with it!

Sorry, if this is completely useless.
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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#5 Post by trooper6 » Sun May 10, 2015 7:27 pm

Also, I'd make sure the art for the guys makes them look really superficially hot. Some brooding eyes and floppy hair. Manly stubble and muscular chest. Looks good in a pair of Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots. Whatever floats your boat. Some people will overlook all sorts of evilness if the package that wraps up the evilness is particularly attractive.
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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#6 Post by Juno » Sun May 10, 2015 7:28 pm

I mean, what exactly are you trying to go for in the story? You say your story is about bullies and evilness is a big part of it, having even 7 bad endings already, but what are the good endings like? Do the bachelors have redeeming qualities at all?

I definitely would not change your characters because obviously their traits are a big part of the story. (Plus, to me, a cast of baddies sounds fun!). I would focus on just making sure they are fully fleshed out people that have real motivations and even fears (even if its the fear of failure).

My biggest concern would simply not -glorify- the behavior of the baddies. You say Roi is moody and violent--if he is moody and violent towards the MC, please don't make it seem okay. If she does fall in love with him, don't let her excuse his behavior--but point it out--and make it a major issue. Chev's description of a hacker and blackmailer sounds really appealing to me. I just wouldn't like it if MC fell in love with him after he blackmailed her the whole story and then suddenly just forgives him because she falls in love or something.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I can't stand stories where the love interest forces himself onto the MC against his or her consent, and then suddenly the MC falls magically in love and does not feel conflicted or anything about loving someone who hurt them.

BUT as long as you don't glorify it, I say go all out and put a spotlight on their badness. Don't try to censor it or hide it. Points if the MC has the option to be bad or get revenge on them or outsmart/trick them, too. I mean, that's not exactly healthy, but it would be fun to play as long as it isn't shown as being a good and healthy thing to do as a real person.

Also, I agree that as long as the bachelors are very attractive, most players will be more forgiving of their actions.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#7 Post by Kailoto » Sun May 10, 2015 7:31 pm

Hmm... part of the problem, from my perspective at least, is that the premise seems to hinge on the male characters being jerks. I mean, if it's a VN about bullies, doing it half-assed would sort of defeat the purpose.

As for making them more likeable... I'm not sure if there's a surefire way to do that, but you can find ways to make them more interesting. Give them an unexpected weakness or strength - for example, if Ace has a soft spot for teddy bears (just picking something random here), or if Chev is usually very indirect and non-confrontational, but goes berserk whenever someone insults his mom. It makes them seem more grounded and less flat.

Also, I guess it's worth addressing why the MC would like any of the bachelors in the first place. If the first impression of a character is that they're a jerk, most players will wonder why the MC has any interest in them whatsoever. If at least the first encounter with a character is a sympathetic one, then it can dull the edge a little bit.

Really, no matter what you do, at the end of the day it'll never be perfect because the premise requires each of the bachelors to be a jerk in some respects. Just try to make them realistic and dynamic - that way the people that are able to get past that first barrier will be rewarded. You can't make everyone happy, but you should do your best to make sure the ones you can make happy are happy.
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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#8 Post by SundownKid » Sun May 10, 2015 9:20 pm

As long as they have some character development and go from jerk to not so jerk, then it should be fine. If they stay jerks the whole game it might be an unpleasant experience though. It's true that some relationships are abusive so it's not like it's out of the question, but if you wanted to make a "fun" game you may want to give redeeming aspects at least ones that develop over time during their interactions with the MC who teaches them to mend their ways.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#9 Post by noeinan » Sun May 10, 2015 10:49 pm

So, I agree with a lot of the above, but I also think the approach differs depending on what you want to do.

1. Do you want this to be a game about bullies, highlighting how horrible they are, have all these bad ends where the MC is abused, and either *no* good ends, or a good end where she escapes them somehow? (She stops the abuse through he own skills, or gets the authorities involved after collecting evidence, or just decides to switch schools/her job/move to another city.)

2. Do you want this to be a romance game where the MC gets together with the bullies, allows them to bulky her, etc. but in the "good end" they actually love her and treat her with respect?

I personally like the first idea better, because it explores abuse without excusing it, having the MC willingly give herself over to abuse in a romanticized fashion, unrealistically has horrible abusers turn into good people who care about the MC and know how to respect boundaries.

When there is abuse, I feel it should be depicted as horrible instead of giving hope that "maybe he's actually a really nice guy underneath" because that's a common way abusers trap people in relationships (so portraying it as a "good end" or in a romanticized manner, is kind of a slap in the face for people who have survived abusive relationships.)

So, if you want them to be bullies, to be bad people, I don't think you need to change them. But I'd be wary of the whole "abusive relationships are sexy and wonderful" gambit, because it's overused and, at least in my opinion, not fun to play.
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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#10 Post by trooper6 » Sun May 10, 2015 11:30 pm

daikiraikimi wrote:When there is abuse, I feel it should be depicted as horrible instead of giving hope that "maybe he's actually a really nice guy underneath" because that's a common way abusers trap people in relationships (so portraying it as a "good end" or in a romanticized manner, is kind of a slap in the face for people who have survived abusive relationships.)

So, if you want them to be bullies, to be bad people, I don't think you need to change them. But I'd be wary of the whole "abusive relationships are sexy and wonderful" gambit, because it's overused and, at least in my opinion, not fun to play.
I agree, but on the other hand, the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey, Wuthering Heights, etc, shows there is a real market for romanticizing abusive relationships. I don't like it...but apparently lots of other people do.
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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#11 Post by Vogue » Mon May 11, 2015 12:16 am

I am strongly against the idea that writers are obligated to abstain from writing about certain topics because they make people feel uncomfortable. The goal of a writer is to relay an experience and to provoke an emotion from his or her audience. Not every story needs a quota of wish-fulfillment. Visual novels struggle with this particularly since they're born from a genre that's all about servicing the reader. We wouldn't have novels like Lolita or American Psycho if there weren't people willing to write about uncomfortable topics.

The main takeaway from the pushback you're getting in this thread is that if you're going to delve into abuse or bullying or another touchy subject, do it for a reason. If you have something important to say, you don't need to be afraid of offending anyone. People that ignore your writing's meaning in favor of what it looks like at face value aren't really worth listening to anyway.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#12 Post by E-night » Mon May 11, 2015 1:40 am

I have a couple of questions:

1. What is the MC like. Is she the classic meek girl or is she capable of giving back as good as she is going to get? (Not that it makes the LI's action okay, but the abuse would be less one sided and might move the story from an abusive relantionship to a destructive romance)

2. How did she meet these Guys? No, seriously. Why is she with them in the first place.

3. Who is the Guys actions targted at? The MC or others? I ask because it is easier to swallow the romance if she is not the one getting the hurt. (Of course this makes her a horrible selfish person, but... well love is blind I suppose)

4. What story are you trying to tell.

I don't think you should change your story, but be honest up front about what it is. As other have said. There is a market for abusive assholes, but I would not personally like to see it pandered to.

That said. Writing a story with villain protagonists is doable, but it is much more difficult to write this and not come off as glorify/romantisicing abuse or bad behavoir.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#13 Post by ladynamoru » Mon May 11, 2015 8:52 am

E-night wrote:I have a couple of questions:

1. What is the MC like. Is she the classic meek girl or is she capable of giving back as good as she is going to get? (Not that it makes the LI's action okay, but the abuse would be less one sided and might move the story from an abusive relantionship to a destructive romance)

2. How did she meet these Guys? No, seriously. Why is she with them in the first place.

3. Who is the Guys actions targted at? The MC or others? I ask because it is easier to swallow the romance if she is not the one getting the hurt. (Of course this makes her a horrible selfish person, but... well love is blind I suppose)

4. What story are you trying to tell.

I don't think you should change your story, but be honest up front about what it is. As other have said. There is a market for abusive assholes, but I would not personally like to see it pandered to.

That said. Writing a story with villain protagonists is doable, but it is much more difficult to write this and not come off as glorify/romantisicing abuse or bad behavoir.
1.About the mc:
Shes one of the target but there are more bullies than just the 4 guys
The mc in my game is the 'player' she can be sweet and nice to bitchy and evil according to the player choosing
The default about her is that she is a person who rarely doll herself, gloomy, nerdy, and frugal.
The good thing about her is being observant and hardworking

2 How did they meet?
She meet the guys based on the "players choices"
(Aside from the first meeting intro where the guys commented/tease the mc's physical appearance)

3.since it is romance, the bullied target are other student.
while the mc is bullied by other girls in her class
(there are choices in gameplay that will make the date-able guys bullied her)

4 My story is "How to tame a bully" so the story is about the different kinds of bullies
and originally it tells the story of the MC who tames the guy who bully other people
It also tells the story on how she improves herself despite of being bullied

(Since i plan to make it a game for other to play i want it to be a memorable experience for others)
Last edited by ladynamoru on Mon May 11, 2015 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#14 Post by shin.e.d » Mon May 11, 2015 10:33 am

I think your vn sounds cool. Though I normally try and avoid dark VNs, the whole idea of having the rougher crowd as dating candidates is enough to perk my interest. 8)

If you sprinkle in some humor, it might make it more digestible. Although, everyone's tastes are different - you can't please everyone. Your audience should know what they're getting into from the box - if your characters are bitterly cold or dangerously untamed, then advertize it! Although some may not like it, there's certainly a desire for more VNs that do something alittle bit different from the norm.

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Re: Do I need to change the male characters?

#15 Post by ladynamoru » Mon May 11, 2015 12:43 pm

daikiraikimi wrote:So, I agree with a lot of the above, but I also think the approach differs depending on what you want to do.

1. Do you want this to be a game about bullies, highlighting how horrible they are, have all these bad ends where the MC is abused, and either *no* good ends, or a good end where she escapes them somehow? (She stops the abuse through he own skills, or gets the authorities involved after collecting evidence, or just decides to switch schools/her job/move to another city.)

2. Do you want this to be a romance game where the MC gets together with the bullies, allows them to bulky her, etc. but in the "good end" they actually love her and treat her with respect
Yup it is a story about bullies. since it is romance, the bullied target are other student.
I did focus on how horrible they treat other guys.
while the mc is bullied by other girls in her class
(there are choices in gameplay that will make the date-able guys bullied her ) .
The guys haven't bullied the MC on the first few chapters (aside from Brad's backstory)

for the ends
there's a True route (you did mention some parts that's in it)
a good end for each guys (I havent finished this part yet)
a harem end (>_< for fanservice)
and 7 bad ends
total of 13 ends (what a lucky number)

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