The director for Riot Games’ Runeterra MMO turns his mind to character customization

    
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Mark Yetter, the director for the in-development MMO set in the world of Runeterra, has character creation on the brain, at least according to a couple of tweets from his personal account, where he poses a TDG-like question:

“Being able to build your character identity that is just right for you is a rare ‘have your cake and eat it too’ scenario for game design. The thought that I’ve been spinning on a lot is – what can be done to encourage players to try new things and differentiate their looks? (Avoid everyone ending up with a cookie cutter look)”

The question has spawned no shortage of replies and reaction on both Twitter and Reddit (the latter of which was almost immediately derailed by what was described in the replies as “gamer angst”). Most people reference having good slider options, others point to transmog systems as a way for characters to stand out, while others seem to knit their brows in confusion, assuming Yetter has never actually played an MMORPG before. In any event, it is some possible food for thought.

Just as a refresher, Riot’s MMO has had a weird and winding road to its development. While the game was first officially confirmed last December, there was a lot of “will they won’t they” before then, as Riot’s co-founder asked if the studio should make an MMO, then claimed he was joking, followed by a tease, a flat denial, then the reveal of Project F, and then the December announcement. We’ve pulled together all of the related stories in a list.

source: Twitter
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Ardra Diva

give us the most detailed builder you can. The most sliders, hairdos, options that are possible. That’s what people want.

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Paragon Lost

Man, if I worked for Riot right now I’d honestly be trying to keep low on the radar currently. They’ve been problematic for some time and during this current crap with Blizzard I’d not want to draw attention back since we’ve not heard much if anything of substance about fixing their own internal problems.

NeffxUnited
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NeffxUnited

I think it would be pretty neat if they went with a superhero MMO approach for character creation. Allowing you to choose different skin tones and textures, if you want a tail or not, small or big. Doesn’t really matter. From what I can recall in league they have a slew of different creatures/races, so going “raceless” in a sense and allowing the gamer to choose from a wide array of options could be pretty neat. No gender locks no race locks, just create whatever kinda “thing” you wanna be. (of course with in reason of the base model used for animations of course.)

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Star Trek Online pretty much does this. With a few exceptions for characters that are meant to be “from” a specific era of the shows. But you can sort of get around that with the “alien gen” character creator. Want to be a human in Klingon Empire? Pick “generic alien,” and just make one. You lose the specific, hard coded “Humans only” trait, and that’s about the only drawback.

The downside of a really flexible character creator is that some people just want to make the stupidest looking thing possible, because it’s more fun to annoy someone else. Champions Online had the same problem. So does Ark: Survival Evolved, not helped by the “should have just been a placeholder” models where you can *barely* change the face except to make it even more hideous, but you can warp the body into a humanoid footstool with seven foot long spaghetti arms.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yep. The more flexibility you put in a character creator, the more chance people are going to make truly hideous characters to troll the dev team.

It’s just something you have to be willing to put up with if you want to go that route.

There’s also the issue of the more customization you have, the harder it is to keep outfits from clipping.

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IronSalamander8 .

This being Riot, and considering all that’s going on in the industry with other companies like Ubisoft and Actibliz, I can’t get excited over this, especially something so vague. I’d like to hear more about what they’re doing about their own massive internal problems first.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yeah. I’m sure they will put a boatload of money into a genuinely good game.

But it’s still Riot.

Stefan
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Stefan

I hope they pull it off, but i am a bit wary when developers end up making such big and rather vague promises.

Generally also not a smart thing to create a fairly vague promise like this as people will pick it up and create something completely different in their heads from what design they actually have in mind. What means the community hyped for it tends to end up being fairly disappointed.

You would think after dozen of game and MMO launches in particular people would learn lol