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The premise of the thread is that this was a mistake.

It was not a mistake, it was a deliberate artistic choice and, as such, you can say that you don't like it, that you'd have done otherwise but you cannot say it is wrong cause, in the end, it's all down to personal preference.
If someone's draws a completely realistic human but then put anime eyes on it you can't go there and say "this is wrong, there should be realistic eyes on it": you could (harshly) say "in my opinion it looks like s**t" but you can't argue the correctness of the work as a whole cause the artist deliberately chose to put there those eyes instead of realistic ones.
They wanted immersiveness (or sense of presence if you want) and allow the player to create a custom avatar goes exactly in that direction (I mean, what is more immersive than potentially recreate yourself in a virtual world?) as does the first person mode.
You have absolutely every right to say that, in your opinion, this choice doesn't go well with the rest of the game but know that there could be a lot of people not thinking the same and that their opinions have the same validity as yours.
A deliberate choice made to reach a certain objective is not a mistake if it does not go against that objective: a custom avatar doesn't go against immersiveness and, as such, is not a mistake.

With all that said, I agree in wishing there were more iconic/recognizable default avatars. (y)
 
It's called empathy. You don't need to customize a character to identify with him.

But customization of any kind adds to self-expression and player agency. This or that haircut or make-up. This coat that looks badass or that ugly metal armor that will give me me nice protection. Though it's not necessary for emphatic connection to a character.
 
Okay ...I'll put it another way ....
----------------------------------
ALL the "choices" a player can make in an RPG leads to SAME i.e "CHARTED aka MAPPED" albeit not identical outcomes. V's life is "Supposed to" turn out in certain (put a number) ways .
----------------------------------
Ya just Parley for the guided , charted , predictable Cinematics believing thats ALL there can be looting the loot , tracing n re-tracing the the same path paved by devs with minimal "Wiggle -Room" . I digress.........
----------------------------------
CHARACTER creation is where the output is truly "UNCHARTED" even with No slider approach in Cypunk77 unlike FO4 where numerically , theoretically output variance was infinite ...
--------------------------------
----------------
----------

For Example ..n this , many will be able to relate ..... (mild spoiler)
In Devils Ending , up in Space Station , you are given puzzle , words , and a Walker ...
Now can you make choices there ...Yes
Can you REALLY make a choice there , one that matters ...NO ..
Do you wanna feel like dying person about to commit suicide coerced by clever advertising and corpo propaganda ...fine go ahead ..but MOST will disagree ...
 
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what a shame you put so much work into your OP but you lost me at 'narrative driven RPGs' Cyberjunk is as RPG as Halo
 
@Nevirate
A Better question should be , the Pretext that OP may have missed /not known is -
Read this ---
Whether RPG should be an ESCAPE or an EXERCISE of Inescapability , Inevitability of Impending Predicament.
For all I know , Life teaches us a whole lotta that .BUT If ya need further convincing ..............
 
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Don't see how taking away character customization would kill a game. I did say that V should have interchangeable haircuts and beards.
It'd kill the RPG element, which there is already little of. I see you quoting and arguing Witcher from the books, but in what books is V? Isn't the Cyberpunk universe from the table-top RPG?

Also, your other arguments are very distasteful in that reply chain, because you put other's 'taste' beneath yours... Even though most disagree with your initial argument. Stop trying to put this game in a box, it's been done to death. It's origins aren't either Witcher or GTA, but a hybrid of it. There's Witcher-like elements, because it's the studio that made that game, there's GTA-like elements, because it's easier to say something like GTA, because GTA nailed open-world. Comparing to GTA is neither good or bad, because individually you wouldn't want to be a copy-cat, but also... you would want to be as good as a GTA open world and better... YET - It's a game off of an tabletop RPG... There's probably way more mixed in that I'm too lazy to argue about, but even though it wasn't towards me, I still feel I needed to address the replies made to others.

I'd say - The harder it is to define a game and make comparisons, the better for it's originality.
 

DC9V

Forum veteran
Why I think that the character creation is important, and just one part of the whole experience:

When playing Cyberpunk, you need to believe. Use your imagination. Try to be creative without creating. Take a look at the objects in V's apartment as you progress. Do you really need that ashtray, or the Stamina boosters? Did you buy too many clothes, or why are there so many packages laying around? Is armor really less important than looking great in the photo-mode? Why does V only put weapons from her enemies on the stash wall? Are you becoming your own enemy? Use your brain. It's not about V. It's about your thoughts.
 
Again, this isn't about personal preference.
It absolutely is, you can have yours, while I have mine. You can still talk about why that would be your personal preference.

The OP states from the getgo that he doesnt think character creation should be possible, because to him Geralt is the best protagonist around. He was against character customization the moment V was revealed and well before we knew how the game would go in terms of story and roleplay capacity. He wants a cyberpunk Geralt because he thinks thats the best. Thats personal preference right there.
 
Ever since this game was first revealed at E3, I was personally against character creation in narrative driven RPGs.

I'm against narrative-driven RPGs.

If you want to tell a specific story in a game, don't make an RPG.
If you want to tell a story that can get just a little bit on the emergent side, however, now we're talkin'.

I know there has been a lot of quibbling over the definition of RPG for a long time, but for me it comes down to the this: the game genre has its roots in table-tops games like Dungeons & Dragons, where you create the character whose role you're going to play.
If I'm forced to make only certain choices, it's not a role-playing game...it's more akin to a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.

I think character creation takes away from the protagonist having an actual real role and purpose in the story.

Disagree.

EVIDENCE A: Bethesda games like Fallout and Skyrim
The game is 100% centered around what the protagonist does. Without the protagonist, nothing changes.

Yes, this means that the developers have to create a huge branching dialogue/plot tree to handle every possible permutation of the choices the player might make, which is probably a giant hassle, but until we have AI that can not only have real conversations but also remember what the player said or did for more than three sentences, that's the only way to have the illusion of emergent gameplay.

And yes, that means the reactions to the player will likely be very generic rather than personal.

But, frankly, I'd rather have that than be forced to play a character whose personality has been decided for me by the developers.
I have movies for that!

It's also the character that will represent your marketing and grab interest in your product's story.

Again, this is why I'm against narrative-driven RPGs.

What drew me to CP2077 was not the story: it was the world.
I wanted to play around in Night City. I wanted to see what I could do in Night City.
Based on the early lifepath screens, I wanted to play a Streetkid with ambition to become a Corpo.

1624047891502.png

I didn't give a damn about CDPR's story! The story was pretty meh, to be honest.
What I really wanted was a Night City simulator.

What made Geralt stand out the most compared to his competition was not only his sickly, bruised, mutated, and downright terrifying appearance was his personality. He was cruel, direct, and extremely anti-social in some instances. Deep down, he was someone who only wanted to do the right thing, but not even that was possible as he was always forced into a position where he's choosing two different evils. This was what made Geralt iconic among video game protagonists, and he's number one on my list for top protagonists in anything.

Well, I don't want an interactive movie where I only have control over the action scenes.
I want a PC-RPG that lets me play the character I've decided upon in my head.

Yes, that means a lot of NPC behavior has to be kind of generic. Honestly, I prefer it that way to a game that is scripted to treat me like I'm a specific someone (whom I may not wish to be playing).

I mean, imagine being told, "Why, yes; you can play around in this really cool-looking world, but only if you play as [fill in someone whose personality you find utterly detestable]," and see whether that's an experience you want.

I know people will bring up Mass Effect and say: "But Mass Effect has character creation." This is true, but when was the last time anyone recognized who your character was? Commander Shepard has a recognizable appearance that everyone will consider canon.

Not if the only thing they ever did with Mass Effect was...play Mass Effect.

I don't know from Mass Effect fandom, but I played 1 & 2, customized my Captain Shepard, and in my world, that's who Commander Shepard is.
And I'd love to have a service that lets us upload our design of V--perhaps even in photo mode--in order to be sold a 3D-printed version of our own Vs. I'd love to have that available for any game that lets me customize my characters.

Why would I care what's "canon"? That seems quite silly to me.

So, how would I improve V's character? V's a little difficult to make when it comes to a character that actually makes sense to choose the choices they make. Lifepaths should play a part in how V will act towards individuals.

And now I start very agreeing with you; lifepaths seem quite the afterthought.
The dialogue options for lifepaths don't really seem to change things very much.

I think V should have a dynamic personality kind of like Arthur Morgan and Commander Shepard, but the difference is the player chooses what V does.

And the choices the player makes should be remembered by the game so they can come back to the player...whether to bite them on the ass or boost them up, either way.

To make it believable, it's ultimately up to the VAs to do the character's performance justice to make them great. There are small things they can do to give V and the player more to work with when it comes to choices, but I'll talk about that in my lifepath thread.

Yeah, but the problem is that there have been times when the text for the choice I take and how the VAs--or worse, the writers--wrote what V then says are not always in line with each other.

Can't tell you how many times I've chosen a dialogue option that I thought would smooth things over with an NPC, only to have V kind of a little bit throw a tantrum or get aggro, instead. And I'm just like, "Well, that's not what I wanted."
It's like watching a TV show or movie where the characters are facing some problem or other and, rather than choosing the very obvious solution, they hand-wring about it for the entire episode. And you're just there shouting, "Just do THIS, you morons!!!" but of course they can't hear you... there is a certain episode of "The Orville" I can't watch anymore because I'll grind my teeth to powder at how utterly stupid the characters had to be to keep the main plot problem continuing for 40+ minutes...

At the end of the day, this is just my opinion, I'd rather just play as a character than a character I create

Opposite.

The more I can make a game character my own--the more the game is designed to handle that--the better the experience, I say.
 
Um..... Right.... I'll come clean, I've read the OP but not anything else.

So you're playing a game where many people have complained that the end user isn't given enough agency and the suggestion is to further reduce the player's individual identity?

If you struggle with the choice, there are presets you can use, or tweak if you so choose.

Many PnP RPG campaigns are narrative and limited, because the story and choices are written by an individual between work / school and life for the enjoyment of a small party of friends.

The one thing a player can guarantee is that their character is theirs and they chose the appearance, skills and equipment.

Straight no for me. Should be in a Cyberpunk game no ifs no buts.
 
It absolutely is, you can have yours, while I have mine. You can still talk about why that would be your personal preference.
The difference is that I've supported my opinion with evidence and examples. That's the difference between simply stating your personal preference and making an argument.

I actually love character creation, roleplaying, and open world games. So if you want to talk about my personal preferences, there you go.

this choice doesn't go well with the rest of the game but know that there could be a lot of people not thinking the same and that their opinions have the same validity as yours.
I provided an argument for why I don't think character creation works in a narrative-driven game. Others are welcome to make arguments based on their own opinions.

Pretty sure my opinion is already not being treated with the same validity as others here, so let's not even go down that road.
 
Your opinion is just as important and anyone's because this is a single player game. But from the DEV point of view I think they did the right thing to help sell the game.

This is a well funded large scale study on the subject, the study found player character creation and other forms of customization for aesthetics is important although it does not directly affect gameplay,: See attached PDF below.

Adult participants were recruited through fliers at a medium-sized private East Coast University in the US, and were remunerated $50 ($5 per hour) for their time. Interested individuals filled out a pre-survey designed to gather demographic information and gaming experiences.

To approximate voluntary gameplay ( Ducheneaut, Yee, Nickell, & Moore, 2006; Mahmassani, Chen, Huang, Williams & Contractor, 2010), this study's procedure involved about 10 hours of game play, which was divided into 4 sessions over two weeks.

About authors

Selen Turkay
is a research fellow at Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching
(HILT). Her research interests include design of personalized, interactive, and collaborative learning environments in particular gaming and virtual worlds.
Specifically, she studies the effects of design choices on learning agency and outcomes, as well as learner experiences including engagement and motivation. Her research approach is a synthesis of mixed methods, qualitative to quantitative (focus groups, case studies, diary studies, content analysis, surveys, eye-tracking, true experiments). Selen earned her Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Media at Teachers College Columbia University.

Sonam Adinolf
works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been performing games research for 8 years. He has predominantly focused on virtualworlds, with some exploration of collectible card games as well. He finds the dynamics in games that affect enjoyment and socialization to be fascinating.
 

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  • 4340-5871-1-PB.pdf
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I'd say - The harder it is to define a game and make comparisons, the better for it's originality.
But not necessarily the better for its quality.

To be perfectly honest, I think CDPR's attempts to be original are where the game most fails. I think their attempts to be innovative resulted in a kind of jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none situation, where they did a lot of things kind-of-okay, a few things quite well, and a few too many things really crappy and messy.

Look at Bethesda: it doesn't take much time playing Fallout 3&4 and Skyrim to see that they are basically just a re-skinning of each other, that the UI is almost exactly the same, ultimately. The crafting system is the same. The dialogue system is the same. Even some of the monsters are the same 3D model; hell, sometimes they didn't even change the name.

And yet, it works. It totally works.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Originality isn't necessarily good, especially when it's being done simply for its own sake rather than in service of a specific goal.
I think CDPR should have been less concerned with standing out and more with making a quality game; then they'd stand out even if they were totally unoriginal in terms of gameplay.
 
For some of us, character customization, no matter how limited is looked on as an essential part of the game. It's part of the reason games like Skyrim and Fallout have the playability they have.

I am hopeful that CC will be either expanded by the developers or mods soon enough.
 
[...]

Ever since this game was first revealed at E3, I was personally against character creation in narrative driven RPGs. I think character creation takes away from the protagonist having an actual real role and purpose in the story. It's also the character that will represent your marketing and grab interest in your product's story. CDPR's previous protagonist created by Andrzej Sapkowski, Geralt of Rivia was definitely a unique protagonist despite his competition with other protagonists that look similar to him. Looking at you, Elric.
View attachment 11226659
What made Geralt stand out the most compared to his competition was not only his sickly, bruised, mutated, and downright terrifying appearance was his personality. He was cruel, direct, and extremely anti-social in some instances. Deep down, he was someone who only wanted to do the right thing, but not even that was possible as he was always forced into a position where he's choosing two different evils. This was what made Geralt iconic among video game protagonists, and he's number one on my list for top protagonists in anything.

Now, plenty of people complained about E3 2018's V appearance. Saying he was too generic or that he looked too much like Commander Shepard. I'd definitely agree, however everyone praised Female V's look, which isn't surprising because she does look like a very unique and interesting protagonist, but everyone dismissed V saying that his appearance doesn't matter because it can be customized.
View attachment 11226647View attachment 11226653
When E3 2019 came around, V received a redesign which was definitely better than 2018's by a longshot. They stuck with that design for the rest of the marketing making a few tweaks here and there. I personally think he looked the best in the Diner trailer. However, there were still complaints about Male V looking to generic. The only problem I actually saw was his haircut. The military flat-head haircut was too common among protagonists. I used this fanart as an example of improving his appearance. Now, obviously everyone, again, said that his appearance didn't matter, because it could be changed. Even to points where the character doesn't even look recognizable from their canonical appearance, but a simple haircut change for the character fixes many of the issues.
View attachment 11226656View attachment 11226662
Now, I'm not saying that V shouldn't be able to be customized at all. He/she should be able to have different haircut options that aren't garbage like the base game has. When the game finally released, my suspicions were correct in the ugly custom character. It's not bad in some circumstances, but the character still looks fake compared to a lot of the other characters. Honestly, I see most of people's Male V, and I don't know what Panam sees in them, but I don't see her touching them with a ten mile pole. To me, character creation seemed like an after thought. I know people will bring up Mass Effect and say: "But Mass Effect has character creation." This is true, but when was the last time anyone recognized who your character was? Commander Shepard has a recognizable appearance that everyone will consider canon.
View attachment 11226674View attachment 11226677
I've gone off enough about appearance. In terms of V's personality, I can say that he/she is cruel, direct, but can have a soft side for specific individuals. Now lifepaths can kind of play a part in how V reacts to his/her environment, but I'll talk more in depth about lifepaths in another thread, but with lifepaths really make no difference in how V reacts to certain individuals. Bringing up Geralt again, whenever the player made a decision in The Witcher 3, it actually felt like a choice Geralt would make regardless of the consequences or motivation. Geralt's simply trying to get by and doesn't have the time or patience for people that he may or may not see ever again. Most of the choices and consequences in The Witcher 3 made sense to Geralt as there will never be a "best" outcome, because it's simply impossible. The Witcher 3 demonstrates that perfectly with there always being a heavy cost to the characters surrounding Geralt.

So, how would I improve V's character? V's a little difficult to make when it comes to a character that actually makes sense to choose the choices they make. Lifepaths should play a part in how V will act towards individuals. I think V should have a dynamic personality kind of like Arthur Morgan and Commander Shepard, but the difference is the player chooses what V does. To make it believable, it's ultimately up to the VAs to do the character's performance justice to make them great. There are small things they can do to give V and the player more to work with when it comes to choices, but I'll talk about that in my lifepath thread.

At the end of the day, this is just my opinion, I'd rather just play as a character than a character I create, but regardless of what we all think, V will appear like he/she does to the cast in Cyberpunk as these two. Panam will fall in love with the guy on the right and Judy will fall in love with the chick on the right, and it's how the industry will view these two characters.
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its an interesting take, but it comes down to that you prefer a predefined protagonist, whereas V is less a of a predefined character. The char customization is an extent of the same philosophy. So there are probably a lot of things that irk you about this game. As far as marketing, generally I think its easier as you say with specific characters, but at the same time I don't think cyberpunk's marketing ability is really in doubt, they had a hugely successful launch sales and presales if nothing else.

I don't think the game would be improved by a more fixed protagonist, as one of my favorite parts was creating and playing out a char concept and least favorite parts was when the game took more control of the character identity.

Also... a side note, V can look like a model if you want, but what if panam isn't driven by our world's definition of beauty, or doesn't really focus on appearance at all? She's a nomad in an alternate future with cyberware, body mods, etc. Probably not looking for the same visual's you might be.
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I am going to get crap for this but oh well :D here we go; I dont get what (male)V and you guys see in Panam.

I disagree with character creation being pointless btw. It creates a connection between myself and the character I created. The game being first person doesnt change that. In fact, a third person playing style(especially forced), where I do see the character makes me less connected to that character. I also feel less connected when I cant choose their appearance. The goal is to make your story(the game you play) and V's story fall together and the character creation helps do that.
In fact, if you dont care about aesthetics even when you are in first person 'because it doesnt matter anyways' you are saying that you are already less connected to the character.

The problem isnt the character creation is useless because of the story or the way it plays out. Its because the developers cut a large percentage of player agency. The game was originally supposed to have 3 story branches and then they cut it to one with just Johnny.

I agree with most of what you said, but I ve seen no evidence the game was ever supposed to have three dif story branches. ever since they announced the new lifepath concept, it has been dialog options and background. Before that it was disparate facts about the character without a cohesive story, so it probably would lead to different interactions/quests within the same overall story.
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Okay ...I'll put it another way ....
----------------------------------
ALL the "choices" a player can make in an RPG leads to SAME i.e "CHARTED aka MAPPED" albeit not identical outcomes. V's life is "Supposed to" turn out in certain (put a number) ways .
----------------------------------
Ya just Parley for the guided , charted , predictable Cinematics believing thats ALL there can be looting the loot , tracing n re-tracing the the same path paved by devs with minimal "Wiggle -Room" . I digress.........
----------------------------------
CHARACTER creation is where the output is truly "UNCHARTED" even with No slider approach in Cypunk77 unlike FO4 where numerically , theoretically output variance was infinite ...
--------------------------------
----------------
----------

For Example ..n this , many will be able to relate ..... (mild spoiler)
In Devils Ending , up in Space Station , you are given puzzle , words , and a Walker ...
Now can you make choices there ...Yes
Can you REALLY make a choice there , one that matters ...NO ..
Do you wanna feel like dying person about to commit suicide coerced by clever advertising and corpo propaganda ...fine go ahead ..but MOST will disagree ...

same can be said of every computer and console rpg in existence. You just prefer the limited range of outcomes provided in other games maybe.

Note that in devil ending, you chose to ask for treatment from a cold corporate entity. What variation do you expect. You checked yourself into a hospital and treatment facility with a predetermined way of doing things, at that point there is only two realistic choices, accept it or throw a tantrum. If you don't like those options, you can choose a different choice before you go there.
 
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All I know is I probably wouldn't have been interested in the game (nor, by extension, looked into the TTRPG) if they had a fully defined main character. It's why I still haven't played the Witcher series. Unless it's Final Fantasy, very few games catch my interest if I can't create the main character.
 
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