Allowing the player to name characters?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NeoFantasy, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. NeoFantasy

    NeoFantasy Building Worlds Veteran

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    Do you guys prefer naming the protagonists, or having them already named? My game start off with the player naming two of the main characters, but without the player being able to customize them I find it feels kind of pointless. So do you see a point in allowing the player to name these characters? Or does it come off as pointless.
     
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  2. Alexander Amnell

    Alexander Amnell Jaded Optimist Veteran

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       I feel about the same way, if the character is a placeholder for the player to implant their own personality or roleplay with (elder scrolls, dragon age, dark souls etc) then I'll name the character but in a game where the protagonists have set personality, goals and skillsets I'll generally leave their names alone whether or not I'm given the option of renaming them.


       That said, I don't see anything wrong with giving players the option to name them regardless of my personal preference. To each their own, if you want to rename my original characters your name, or something obscene and disgusting (as most online games seem to suggest is the norm) and get more enjoyment out of the game that way, then more power to you.
     
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  3. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    Personally I don't like having to think up a name for a character.  Until I know their personality or their role, I'm just picking something I like, which means nothing.  To me, it's an unwanted interruption to my goal - playing the game.


    In my game, I allow the player to name just one of my possible 17 party members, and that's because the first time you meet her, she can't speak, so can't tell anyone what her name is.  I could have just as easily had an existing party member come up with a name for her.
     
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  4. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    If the character is merely my avatar in the game, or I'm allowed to choose various aspects of the character, then I like to name him\her. if it's a story about a specific character, with a backstory and a personality, then I don't like to name them.
     
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  5. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    There are some games where there is absolutely no point, and you're kind of ruining the story by naming the character. But in games like Chrono Trigger, the names had no relevance to the story so it was fine. 
     
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  6. DarkBooDev

    DarkBooDev Destroyer of Worlds Veteran

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    I personally prefer two scenarios:


    -Allow the player to name the character only if the character is a silent protagonist or has very little story impact (like for example, in Shining Force II, the player is allowed to name the main character, who is mostly silent throughout the whole game, as well as an optional party member that acts kind of like a pet, and has little plot relevance.)


    - If the main character already has predetermined traits, personality, motives, and goals, then they should be named to feel more like an established character in their world rather than just a self-insert for the player.
     
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  7. Palin

    Palin Veteran Veteran

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    I see it like this... allowing the player to name a character isn't difficult to implement and it gives options to the player: they can decide to name it, or keep it the same. In my opinion,  you need a strong reason to prevent giving this option to players. For instance, is the name of the character important to the story/plot? If you can't think of a good reason, then maybe leaving the option in for players who do prefer to name characters is the best choice.


    That being said, I seldom rename characters in games anymore. However, when I was young I always enjoyed renaming.
     
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  8. SLEEP

    SLEEP grunge rock cloud strife Veteran

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    name all your characters after fart puns by default, then i wont need to rename them
     
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  9. BigToastie

    BigToastie Veteran Veteran

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    The general rule i go by, if the player customizes the character, build that character personality and generally has free reign, you let them name it.


    If the character has a 'preset path' in a game, give them names by default.


    Even when I get options to rename characters (final fantasy 7,8,9) I kept them as default as I always felt to keep that proper name (except one time I accidentally called Steiner Steine%, and for some reason kept it...)


    on a some what relevant side note:


    I personally always find the hardest thing on MMORPGS naming characters (as I hate numbers in my names!) haha
     
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  10. NeoFantasy

    NeoFantasy Building Worlds Veteran

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    I feel the same way as most of you, the thing is the player does have some level of input over the characters personalities. Throughout the game there are multiple choices given to the player, while most don't affect the plot much, they do change how certain characters see the protagonists. I still feel without the player actually being able to choose the protagonists objectives that it is pointless.
     
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  11. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    @NeoFantasy
     Yeah. That, for me, would still be the story of a pre-defined and fleshed out character. One good reason to allow the player to rename a character, is if the character doesn't have a proper name to begin with - if they're an experiment, machine, have cliche amnesia.
     
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  12. Hyacin

    Hyacin Villager Member

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    At the beginning of a game you don't know where the story goes or what your character will do, so I think it's always hard to chose a fitting name as a player. ( but maybe it's just my lack of creativity when it comes to names.  :| )
    In my opinion when a game focus more on story or the game is more serious there should be a given name (exception when the player takes more of an story observing role). If it is more about gameplay or just for entertainment it does not really matter. 
     
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  13. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    It depends on the type of story you are trying to tell. If your character has their own distinct personality that may be different from the player's, give them a set name. In my game, you can only change the middle name of the main character. Fortunately for him, ridiculous middle names are part of his race's culture. Historically, a lot of them used to be slaves, and were given middle names based on their skills, such as "Laundry", "Electrician", or "Decorative". In rebellion, people named their children and renamed themselves in an act of "Screw you, my name is Pissblast now." I'm trying to come up with middle names that are worse than what the typical player uses as a joke. So far, some names other characters have are all-powerful military leader Simo Fork Fork Brinkman, friendly old medical doctor and psychiatrist Leonid Groinpuncher Strand, and a beautiful and intelligent lady, Michael Alien Infection Ward.
     
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  14. LunarClassic

    LunarClassic Villager Member

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    The decision to make the player name the character(s?) or not should really depend on the game's actual design and concept. Naming Horishi in Ao Oni was a good one, because it made you relate to him as 'you' being stuck in that mansion with the demons.
     
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