thoughts on unnatural vs. more realistic hair colors

Zakarijah

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I think it depends purely on the context of your game's world. Mine's a futuristic/post-modern affair where a LOT of technology has been lost and the world functions on what they believe is 'magic'.

So I didn't want to have 'fantastical' hair colors and I think everyone in my main cast has brown, black, blonde, and red hair.

But previous things I've worked on, I always used hair colors (along with other features) to denote a different humanoid race. So elves would have more pastel-colored hair that's purple, blue, silver, whereas normal humans would have more jewel-toned or muted shades of blue, green, purple, etc.
 
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I'm a total kiss-ass for this trope. Actual, total kiss-ass. There's so many characters I have, human and non-human, that have these hair colors, be it singular or multiple. It's fun.

In one setting, I implied that some of it is dyed, and some of it is their natural color. Honestly the one way I can really justify it in hindsight is "hehe genetics go brr" XD
 

HB_Games

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I believe it really depends of the "guidelines" you set for the reality of your setting.

Maybe in the reality of your story characters can have colored hairs and that's no need for explanation. But if you see a green haired girl in the Game of Thrones you would possibly ask for an explanation for this. And this goes beyond hair colors. In Dragon Ball's world there are a lot of anthropomorphized animals (like Oolong, for example) and there's no need to explain this because that is normal in that reality.

A thing to be aware is that the reality guidelines you choose for your setting might limitate the potential public for your project. Some people would like to read an adult story with swords, magic, sex, intrigue and backstabbing but would instantly avoid it if the characters are all animeish girls with colored hairs (and some would read because of this).

Well, I would just define the guidelines for the reality of my project's setting and be consistent with it.

Hope I could help.
Good luck in your project!
 

kirbwarrior

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to make things a bit less jarring
I actually tend to find it more jarring when everyone has the same color. Most 'realistic' games I see just take variations of brown or otherwise tend to have a washed out gradient. Plus, the reason for it being in anime still applies; It's another tool to help differentiate characters.
 

SGHarlekin

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I mean, hair dye exists. Hair dye may exist in any magical medieval world as well. Would be boring watching the characters dye their hair every week in anime/games though.

But yeah, I'm in he "have all the colors" camp here. It's too great a tool to make distinct characters. (Especially when working with rtp sprites.)
 

gstv87

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hair colors in anime have a reason to be.
in a place where most of the people has dark hair, if the works they create would have realistic colors, they would be pretty bland.

it's another tool to shape characters with, in the whole of design.
the Greeks put masks on, the Italians and French wore crazy outfits... the Japanese use bright hair colors.

(side note: you can still kinda spot the different shades in real Japanese hair, especially in long manes, like, from a group of women. It's very subtle, but there are shades of blue, brown and red there. The bright colors are just the anime style cranking those up to 11)
 
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AeroPergold

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I always go for the unatural rainbow because its just fun to make fun characters with quirky hair colors. But I do see everyone's point. Natural looks best if you're going for realism. But I like being unrealistic in my game but that's the beauty of making your own games, you decide what your characters are gonna look like.
 

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