GamerSushi Asks: Designing Your Hero?

Commander Shepard

Sometimes, nothing paralyzes me more than a wealth of options. Sure, having to choose between one or two extremely difficult questions can tie me up the same as any other man, but the thing that really makes me stop dead in my tracks is when I have more options than I even know what to do with. Rather than being happy about all the tantalizing options that are available to me, I stare at all of them in some kind of mute trance.

This is usually the problem I run into whenever I get put face-to-face with a character creation tool (pun entirely intended). A tool that is now more prominent than ever due to the rise of customizable RPGs, the character creation tool allows you to design an avatar in any way, form and – quite literally – shape. My problem with this kind of robust feature set is that I often have no clue what to do with it.

For the most part, I tend to stick with the default character, which is what I did for the Mass Effect series. In fact, I’m so used to the generic Shepard that when I see other Shepards in clips on YouTube talking with my Commander Shepard’s voice, I get kind of weirded out. In other games, I tend to make my characters look like Cortez Cardinale, from Leet World. This is a bit silly, yes, but it helps me make the character my own without having to go too crazy. I very rarely break from this trend, although I recently designed my Saint’s Row 3 character to look like Walter White from Breaking Bad.

All of this thinking about character creation got me wondering how other people make their own characters? Do you design them to look like you? Do you make them look like somebody famous? Do you stick with the vanilla presets? Share your heroes!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

7 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Designing Your Hero?”

  1. I usually leave my character default, but find the most bad ass hair, and give her/him evil “empty” eyes if I can. I also like playing as a female character in the Fallout series… Really have no idea why.

  2. I always used to make them like me (thin, dark brown hair, glasses, pale) so that I myself could live this fantastical life. Nowadays (due to laziness and the fact that if I start from scratch they turn out ugly as hell) I tend to go default but add a little something there to make it my own. I did that in Skyrim: Default Nord, different coloured eyes, badass scars. The scars were to add some history and inject a certain flavour and realism into my character. He’s a melee character, so it’s only logical that he’ll have suffered some scratches along his journey, right?

  3. Usually I go for something that looks like me (easy to do, white and short, dark brown hair then BLAM) but sometimes I’ll break out of the norm because of the game’s setting. For instance, in games like Dragon Age I tend to make my hair longer due to it’s medieval setting. I just picked up ME1 on PC the other day (I’m going to do a FemShep playthrough on PC) and I actually went online to find a good looking face for ME. After browsing faces for about 15 minutes, I found one I liked and put it in game.

  4. Bethesda’s customization options are kind of annoying, especially in terms of facial features. I usually just randomize until I get something I like. With something like The Sims, I like to put a lot of detail in the people I create. I tend to avoid the vanilla characters, either through physical features or apparel. I hardly ever make a game version of myself, mainly because I find it off-putting to play as somebody who looks like me.

  5. I tend to spend waaaay too much time on customization and naming of my RPG characters, to the point that it often consumes my entire first session with the game. Usually, I just mess around until I find a face that vaguely resembles my pre-conceived notion of the character and tweak from there. Mass Effect 3 pissed me off in that, try as I might, I just could not make my Shepard look like his ME2 self.

  6. Eddy, I can picture your Shepard saying “Vamanos mi caballo! Brrhrrhrrhrr!” while the Normandy flies toward the Collector Base.

    For my Mass Effect character, I tried to think what would a human of all ethnicities look like? He turned out looking mostly Middle Eastern with a shaved head and big pretty blue eyes, and I liked ‘im that way.
    I tend to make original characters for each game. It makes sense, since as a kid, I never assembled Legos according to the directions.
    I usually play as a female if given the chance because they’re pleasant to look at. My Femshep/Waifu was an Asian and was super hot.
    I don’t like making characters look like me because I see enough of myself everyday, and I feel like playing as another skin tone.

  7. A rule I have is never touch the ears or nose, itll never look right to me once I do.

    I made a guy quick in Mass Effect 2, imported him in 3 and ended up looking just like Rick from The Walking Dead. I gave him some grey hair though, hes been through a lot.

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