Character creator

After a quite extensive discussion about genderless races I thought we should probably take this up sooner rather than later.

###How would you like the character creator to be? And what do you want it to include?

Creating your character is a very important part of playing RPG’s it helps you define who you are and differentiate yourself from the masses. But what does this character creator normally contain?


The characters race is one of the main ways to define your character, are you a wandering adventure from a distant orc tribe? a great charr warrior? or a human mage from the top of society? All these stories are build from the lore of the races and how the players sees them.

The races span a great variety

From Humans:

To Orcs:

And to the less humanoid races like Charr:

The dev team have already confirmed that the races are not going to be traditional:

And it has been confirmed that they will have varying heights.
But how they are going to be made and which kinds of races are still up for discussion.

Suggestions for different races can be found here:

And a discussion about a whole new way to choose races can be found here:


Again gender is a way to identify yourself in relation to other people of the same race. It helps to differentiate between different people and allows a greater variety in standard forms.

But gender does not necessarily mean that all races are forced to choose between male and female, a discussion about genderless and genderlocked characters can be found here:

Races can just as easily have 3 or 4 available genders.


The body of the character is also often changeable and adds to the look of the character, things that is often changeable is body type:

And size:


Skin/scale/feather patterns is another way to differentiate the character which has come up the latest few years.


The face may be the single most worked on feature in character design. The face is what you recognizes your friends on and it is how you visualizes your character. And the face editor come in many forms.

Some have insane amounts of sliders (Mount and blade warband is actually not that bad but i am lazy)

If you have to many sliders though the character creation becomes to advanced and people give up before getting all the way through.

Other restrict it to a smaller set of faces which you can choose from

But if you have to few option there is a greater chance that you meet someone with the same look.

Others does both and gives you faces to a start and then makes you able to do edits from there:

Hair/other accessories

Hair is often done from a set amount of styles which you then can choose from.

Ears is another thing that easily can be added in multiple different forms which gives a whole new look to the character. (Picture taken from @Nissalee’s comment)

The same can be done with tattoos, feather crowns, earrings, bone spikes, tentacles, crown of living snakes, special head formations and so on.


Coloring may be just as important to people as the face of the character. Though it is sadly often left alone or fully forgotten by the game creators.

Where the face allows you to vary your characters look when people comes closer the color allows you to stand out on distance, being able to make your feather crown bright red or having a green and black scale pattern helps to do such a thing.

Some developers choose to have a set of chosen colors:

While others have a color wheel or something similar that expands the amount of choices available:

both have their own pluses and minuses.

A discussion about eye color can be found here:

And a discussion that touches coloring can be found here:

Other things
When creating a character you are often asked some other questions like:

Which class do you want to be:

Or questions about your characters personality or background

Both of these have a major influence on how the game progress for you afterwards.

####So question time!

  • Which features do you think are most important and why?
  • What would be bare minimum for for character creation to be OK?
  • How many choices can you have before it become to much?
  • Can there be to many choices?
  • How much do you think there need to be of a focus on the different segments?
  • How do you feel the character creator should differentiate from the traditional character?
  • Should the character creator differentiate from the traditional character?
  • What other games do you know that had a great character creator
  • What did they do right?
  • What did they do wrong?

  • If you could have any feature or customization part in this game, what would it be and why? (Thanks @Nissalee)

  • Is there other important question?


So…here’s a question.
To my understanding, MMORPGs typically lock in your decisions during the character creation process. Right? After CC is finished, you can change your appearance via equipment, but never your hair, height, gender, race, etc?

Now compare Minecraft, where you can change your skin in any way, at any time, as often as you like. You can be a boy, girl, orc, elf, stormtrooper, Justin Bieber, zombie, pirate, wizard, silly, serious - anything! Your character’s appearance is as much of a sandbox as the voxel world around you.

So how does Oort answer that? What’s the middle ground; the unique position Oort can take?

I think it’s critical we don’t limit ourselves to just looking at traditional MMO character creators.

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As always :slight_smile:

New questions:

From what I can tell thus far, I am guessing a lot of the frames for characters will be VERY Similar with minimal sliders. I think most of the creation/customization will be in post character physique creation in your decals, addons, and colors as explained here:


I forgot this one actually :slight_smile: I would say that colors of the characters fur and such should take place during the character creation though the same counts for hair and eyes.

These are pics from the Aurin female character creation on Wildstar. I hopped and grabbed to show what I think one of the best things I’ve had the joys of accessing when creating a character: the ears. To some, it’s a small and irrelevant part of creation, but it means a lot to me. In so many games, races are restricted to feline or some other animal. This means we have no choice but to play a cat person or a lizardfolk with whatever options are given. Instead, Carbine gives this race the option to be so many things, while remaining the same. Of course, I always saw a LOT of cat-people, but I was allowed to make something I truly love, while also giving her a unique spin.

Miss Honeywild


That is pretty cool gonna add that to my hair+other stuff part :slight_smile:

Awesome! There are some other neat things they do, but you’ve covered them. The different body types are a great alternative to giving out sliders.

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Now we’re talking! Going to go do some digging on Wildstar now. How long have you been playing? What do you like about it? What don’t you like?

I’ll send you some private messages about Wildstar. I don’t want this topic to derail :wink:

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If you can post all the good things about the character creator it would be awesome :smiley:

So i decided to answer some (all) of my own question just to get the conversation going.

Which features do you think are most important and why?
I will in any point in time answer race and coloring to this question.

Race because that is the greatest change in appearance you can make at all, and because it is a very, very important defining trait for your character.

Color because whatever other types of customization you add tot the game the color of the hair/skin/tattoos/whatever is the best way to make extreme changes in the characters appearance without changing any fundamental attributes of the character.

What would be bare minimum for for character creation to be OK?
Wow this question is formulated badly, but i can’t find a better way to ask it :frowning:

The bare minimum for the character creator to be a good character creator would to me be

  • At least 3 races. As that would make it more an active choice than “I do not like that other race as much as this one”
  • 2 genders for each race. This would probably not be necessary if a lot of work was put into the character creator but if it should be bare minimum gender is an easy way to differentiate the characters from each other.
  • A few different facial settings
  • 4+ different hair/other thing hair styles
  • And color customization

Everything beneath this would make character creation something I would just blast through without doing much thinking.
If a bit more work was but into it a few different body type/sizes would b great too.

How many choices can you have before it become to much?
This is one of the hard questions by my opinion because if done right, it is nearly impossible to reach that point, I don’t have anything against sliders but the game needs to present a variety of possible faces where the use of sliders are not necessary like for example GW2 and Wildstar does.

How much do you think there need to be of a focus on the different segments?
As said before I feel the Races and Coloring should have tons of love.

But after that i think the focus be put into making the characters body differentiate this can both be by changing the body’s size, stature or type or by making it possible to change skin/scale/feather patterns.

To me the hair/other-things-in-that-direction and face have equal priority i don’t need to be able to make small adjustments to the face to feel my character looks right as long as my face and hair fits together in a way I like.

After this comes everything else, (With exceptions of background story and classes which are probably neither going to become a thing)

What other games do you know that had a great character creator
I have been looking a bit into Wildstar and will start with that as I am going to play around with GW2 again before writing a quite extensive list of things I like about that.

I think Wildstar have a fantastic character creator (Or that is the impression i have gotten from looking at people creating characters on the net)

They are great at making the choices you make actually being different instead of making you choose between 2 nearly identical hair types or faces this makes the choice actually matter and makes the cast of characters very different. Further more they present you with pictures of the different options instead of just giving you a slider named “hair”

A bad thing is that they have no body customization (Or i haven’t been able to find any info about it so i assume that) when not talking about color which means that even though people have very different heads they all have the same tail in different colors and exactly the same body type.



Which features do you think are most important and why?

  • Body form: I like to have some styles like fat, slim, broad shoulders, potatoe-belly. It gives great differences on low cost.
  • Not only faces and hair, but also skins: Remember the Tauren of WoW? Their hair color also gave different patterns on their bodies. I loved that
  • And then the Standard: face, hair/horns/scales, Accessoires, eye color, skin color - because that’s just a must :wink:

How many choices can you have before it become to much?

  • If we have 10 heads, 10 hairs/horns/…, 10 Asseccoires, 5 skin colors, 5 eye colors, 5 skin patterns and 5 body styles on each race we will end with 625.000 possible looks on each one … sounds enough ;D
  • Five races would be great, if the lore is deep enough :wink:

How much do you think there need to be of a focus on the different segments?

  • Most important, no sliders or such stuff. It takes a lot of programming work and time and in most games it is only good if there are no pregenerated different faces to chose from.
  • Just keep a focus on the faces … the body is also important of cause, but most people look at the face of each character if they try to recognise and remember them :wink:

What other games do you know that had a great character creator

  • Wildstar was great with its different asseccoires and or ear styles :wink: … I loved the body shapes you had to chose from. Also, they had not to much races, but all were made with love :wink:

Which features do you think are most important and why?
For me, the most important features are the ones that give your character meaning. Races are usually a major factor here, because most every game has them, but doesn’t necessarily offer a wide variety to choose from. Plenty of games exist that offer Elves and Humans, but what about games that offer something different? Another feature that is important to me are ways to make your character special to you. Hair styles and faces are important here because most players want to be unique. Unless you are an identical twin other multiples, there is nobody in the world just like you. In MMO’s, we want that same feeling.

What would be a bare minimum for character creation to be OK
I think a good example of the “bare minimum” belongs to something like World of Warcraft. This is to make it “OK”. There are certainly many other games with worse customization, but I’m using WoW as an example because choices are limited. You can pick a race, face, some colors, and hair styles. There’s not a whole lot that makes something feel unique because the options are limited. All Night Elves or Blood Elves look roughly the same, and the animal races like Pandaren and Tauren females suffer from “same-face” syndrome. Doesn’t matter how many times you change the fur pattern or color, the expression is the same. My basic minimum is some type of race option or the ability to make a creature unique with ears and other features, along with faces and other simple options.

How many choices can you have before it becomes too much?
I think this is highly dependent on the game. If the world is immersive and rich, I think the choices should fit that. In a world where there is a story and lots of hours to play, I want to have ways to keep me attached to my character. In lighter games, deep customization is not necessary. For example, games like Trove and Diablo 3 don’t offer major character customization, but the games aren’t super in-depth. Diablo 3 is all about loot, but offers players some ways to change the looks of their gear with dye and transmogrification. Trove lets players change the look of their gear and their face and hair, but the game play is very light-hearted. On the opposite end are games like any of the Elder Scrolls titles. Hours upon hours are spent in these games, and there are deep stories to be told. You are a part of the world, and you want to be proud of the character you have.

How much do you think there needs to be of a focus on the different segments?
I think the more defining areas need focus, but not so much that we lost track of the game. To me, body sliders would be more focus than necessary, because this game shouldn’t call for them. They can add to development time because of gear fitting issues. Each piece has to be sized for each possibility with a body slider, or you end up with giggly heavy armor on rounder characters. I think enough focus should go into each area, like faces and body parts, so that there are plenty of ways to make a character unique. However, additions can be added later. To get the game rolling, maybe options can be added at a later date in patches, along with some type of barber shop, allowing players an opportunity to enjoy additions.

What other games do you know that had a great character creator?
My favorite so far is from Wildstar. To me, they had a great balance between race options and what you could do with them. The Aurin were my favorite, and that is partially due to the ability to change the ears. This made them a super versatile race, giving players a way to play cat-folk or something different with winged ears. They offered robots and rock people, which aren’t used frequently enough in my opinion. Instead of investing time into sliders, the developers at Carbine went with varying body sizes and shapes for each race. The biggest problem I had was a lack of options for some races and genders. First, Chua were not given a race. This wouldn’t have bothered me but there were very few options that made me feel like I could make a “female” version. Guild Wars 2 also had some awesome character creation options with races and what could be done to them. Skins were adjustable, giving a little extra personality to the player character.

Great job with the questions! I’d like to add another, if you don’t mind. I’ll also respond to it.

If you could have any feature or customization part in this game, what would it be and why?
Of all the options I’ve ever really liked or wanted in a game, aesthetic choices like ears and tail are what I would make happen in Oort Online. So many games have offered up beasty races like cats or something of the like, but that’s where customization stops. Sure, they had hair styles and faces, but it was always a cat. Now, I am a cat-person, and love the company of a cat over a dog. However, people like different things. I loved the Aurin in Wildstar more than any other race because I could be a mouse or have these humongous ears. This minor cosmetic bit was enough to change a race in such a major way. We weren’t limited to cat-people, but there were no other options for tails. That was a bit of a disappointment, and I’d love to see another game do it. Because these aren’t major options, just ears and tails, it wouldn’t make things too crazy. No alligator faces with bunny tails. Instead, maybe something that has horns and hooves, but a long cat tail. Not too odd, but just the right kind of flavor for the player.


I just want to add one wish: Let there be “old” characters. At least one face of each race should look old. I dislike many of the the modern MMOs cuz in most of them you only have young skins and sometimes even NO REAL BEARDS! … I love to play old characters (like wizards or druids) but often there is no way to do that. So please …

  • Let there be also old looking characters
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It sounds good,
maybe we could start by choosing a race,
customizing the character with:
and maybe one of the many special skills of that race.

Then the rest could be filled with going around and growing as a character,
getting reputation, power, knowledge, currency, experience.
( Like traveling and then discovering/visiting a village and talking to the artisan of the skill you want to train in and make a temporary commitment,
just like in WoW reputation with daily quests. )


The idea of having more then one racial skill/bonus but to have to chose one or two from the beginning and to have the others to learn/gain later sounds cool :wink:


I say less Human-like. But why not have a contest of some kind? Let us come uup with a lore, and have ideas of what a character would look like.
I’m sure, given time, we could make some really cool ideas. And the winners could get something in game, like a name drop, or whatever.