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BLESS

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Warface99
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BLESS

Recommend you get a Korean VPN, and downlad the alpha/beta for BLESS. I was very impressed with the character creator. May give you some ideas in all categories of character design.

Lothic
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Obviously the character

Obviously the character creator from Bless is light-years ahead of what CoH offered. If the Devs of CoT could offer even half of what Bless provides it would be amazing.

The real challenge for CoT will be in how many costume item options it offers. I could easily live with a character creator that only offered half of what Bless does in terms of body model customization as long as it provides as many costume items as humanly possible.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Huckleberry
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There is such a thing as too

There is such a thing as too many choices. I'd much rather have a good number of body choices to pick from with the ability to modify some key parameters than something so detailed the chances of me screwing it up are greater than the chances of me creating something I would like. I'd rather give up some of my autonomy to the style of the art director because 99% of us would probably be within the same small window of most of the parameters that would be presented to us with a customizer like that.

For instance, if I had a calf slider, how thick or how thin would I make my calf compared to the rest of my leg and compared to the limits the slider allowed me to make it? I am sure we would all be almost the same, so why bother with a customized calf molder when an overall leg molder would probably do the trick? Then I could maybe just tweak the relative weights between calf and thigh a bit. I would like a muscle and fat slider for sure. So I can make that body, as styled by the art director, to be as noodly or as muscled, and as lean or as fatty as I wanted. That level of global control over my character would be far more important to me than controlling the individual dimensions of each miniscule area of my body. I could even imagine allocating muscle to arms, legs, chest, or any combination thereof.

Take a look in Youtube of some of the freaks that the Aion and Perfect World character creator can make. Maybe we want that level of flexibility... maybe not.

I am actually of split mind on this issue, because I'm guilty of spending hours in a character creator to get just the look I want... so I understand why more could be viewed as better. But back to my original point: sometimes more is too much when what I really want (the choice of the wiry lean frame of a marathon runner, thick muscles of a weight lifter, violent power of a linebacker or well padded frame of a sumo wrestler) is not available.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
Lothic
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

There is such a thing as too many choices.

Well there definitely needs to be a balance between the number of choices and the USEFULNESS of those choices. If the CoT team could offer a million body sliders in their Avatar Builder and somehow make all of those million sliders significant and useful then I probably wouldn't be too upset. On the other hand a million sliders where 999,900 were pointless/redundant would be obviously bad.

Clearly modern games like Bless are pushing the boundaries of what a character creator can provide. But every game needs to be prioritized based on what it will focus on. As I implied in my last post I believe CoT (like CoH before it) should be uniquely focused on providing as many costume items as possible. I'd much rather have 100 different kinds of knee-high boots than have ten different ways to modify the shape of my calves where maybe one or two would do. Basically there should be "too many choices" when it comes to costume items instead of having thousands of semi-redundant body sliders. Remember that CoH only offered a couple dozen body sliders total and most of those were face/head oriented - even if CoT keeps it down to a couple of hundred or so we'd be far, far ahead of where we started from.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Halae
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I'm with you guys on this one

I'm with you guys on this one; at its core, the CoH character creator was (and still is, if you use Icon) driven by the costume pieces. Certain body proportions can make certain costume choices look better, some faces make more sense when applied to a given body or costume, but at the end of the day the regard wasn't for the proportions, but for the costume. I got into a couple costume contests back in CoH and breadth of design was staggering; no two characters looked alike. Yeah, many of them shared similar body types, but really, most superheroes do; the women are curvy, the men are buff, and there's little variance outside of age differences.

I play a fair number of MMOs, and I can say with a decent level of certainty that the only games that even really tried making something similar to what CoH had are Champions Online and Star Trek Online (which is weird, but hey, future. So whatever) and they both have an unfortunate variety of things that cause them to not be nearly as good. But the games where that isn't even attempted are the worst. A perfect example is Black Desert Online; it has a character customization system about on par with Bless there, though the classes are gender and race locked. I can't tell any given character apart; even a character with, say, blue hair doesn't stand out from the crowd, and it isn't because of how their body is structured; it's because of the outfits! Black Desert, for all its touted character customization, manages to make all the characters feel samey by the simple fact that each class has something like 15 outfits, many of which are variations on the same outfit, meaning you're looking at something more like 8 unique outfits. This is a serious problem for someone who likes to look unique. You see a Witch character and think "oh, that characters a Witch" and move on.

That's not something that ever happened in CoH. I ran a TF once with two scrappers and a brute on the team; the first scrapper was half-demon, using rocky features to represent demonic body parts. He wore some cargo pants rolled up over his rocky legs, and a tanktop on his upper body; both in blue, with silver designs. The second scrapper was a guy in lightweight orange power armor; a backsweeping helmet, gauntlets, and jet boots over a deep green body suit, utility belt, and chestplate to complete the look. The brute, meanwhile, looked like a really buff dude. Sunglasses on, grin on his face, messy brown hair. His shirt was a brown tanktop that showed off his manly abs, and he wore a leather belt and kilt to cover himself down to the knees. On his large hands were wrapped in chains, and his boots were thick, large, and clearly meant for stomping.

You don't even know what powers these guys had because the costume creator was overall disconnected from your class and actions. The buff brute guy could have been a Thugs mastermind for all we could see, or the guy in power armor might have been a blaster with a laser cannon. Both of these with ease. And, even better? I remember exactly what they looked like years later, because they each had a unique amount of self-expression, design space that allowed for real, true customization and the clothing to fit the personality of the character you want. The half-demon was clearly a hero by his garb, it shining through despite the dark colors of his body. The orange power armor said a lot about the tinkering nature of the second scrapper, though nothing directly about his personality. The brute, though, takes the cake in that regard; between the kilt, sunglasses, and grin, he was clearly the kind of guy that enjoys life and doesn't afraid of anything, always looking for the next fight.

No, the body sliders will have an impact on the characters we make, that's unavoidable. Powergirl wouldn't be Powergirl as we know her without the super cleavage. But such things simply aren't as important to the core of the character creator as what said body will wear; that's what people remember in games like this, and it's something people will spend all their time trying to make perfect. As such, I'm thinking a lot more time should be given to the costume pieces than the body - make the body simple but versatile, as I find that in most games that provides the best results, then get cracking on the costume pieces and clothing said body will wear, and spend the vast majority of the time on that, because in this game? That's far more important.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

Shadow Elusive
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Excellent points made here.

Excellent points made here. This may impact how we handle displaying the body sliders - it sounds like the default mode does not need, perhaps, quite as many individual controls as we thought (advanced will of course simply give you all the bells and whistles and wish you luck making something of them)

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Darth Fez
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I do like how the part of the

I do like how the part of the character that's being modified is highlighted. I've used character creators in which I've had to move the sliders a lot to be able to determine what part of the face or body is being modified, and sometimes even then the changes were so small that I wasn't certain what I was accomplishing.

I think what I may like to see, rather than a broad standard vs detailed approach, is the ability to open a sub-menu, if you will, for each standard slider to access the more detailed / fine-tuning sliders. If that's feasible I feel that would be more intuitive and quicker than flipping between the whole standard and detailed menus.

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Elios Valoryn
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Yeah, Fez I agree with you,

Yeah, Fez I agree with you, thats actually a great idea. It provides a simple slider set for players who dont really care too much about details and just want the basic shape of their bodies/heads, while at the same time gives more to the player who isnt so blasé about character creation and cares for detail. Although the same could be done with a tab system for Basic and Advanced lol.

As foolish as this seems,

Gotem.

From ya boy, Elios.

Lothic
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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

I do like how the part of the character that's being modified is highlighted. I've used character creators in which I've had to move the sliders a lot to be able to determine what part of the face or body is being modified, and sometimes even then the changes were so small that I wasn't certain what I was accomplishing.

Yes it would definitely be useful to highlight the body part that corresponds to a given slider being adjusted. It might be even more useful to be able to directly click on a given body part and drag left or right across the screen to have the body part shift/grow/shrink accordingly. In this case the corresponding slider attached to that body slider would shift left or right by itself automatically to reflect the amount being dragged across the specific body part. This would allow players to use either the sliders and/or click-dragging across the body as they desire.

Darth Fez wrote:

I think what I may like to see, rather than a broad standard vs detailed approach, is the ability to open a sub-menu, if you will, for each standard slider to access the more detailed / fine-tuning sliders. If that's feasible I feel that would be more intuitive and quicker than flipping between the whole standard and detailed menus.

I agree having a clickable pop-up "sub-menu" approach for the "advanced options" would better than having one full screen for the standard options and a separate full screen for the advanced. That way you could click open the advanced sub-menu on a specific body region (i.e arms) and tinker on that for a minute then close that sub-menu back up while still having general access to the rest of the standard options. In this way (like Elios Valoryn implied) you only access the advanced options for the specific areas you want while keeping all the other areas standard/simple.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

desviper
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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

Excellent points made here. This may impact how we handle displaying the body sliders - it sounds like the default mode does not need, perhaps, quite as many individual controls as we thought (advanced will of course simply give you all the bells and whistles and wish you luck making something of them)

Yay! for default and advanced!

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad"

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I agree that a macro and

I agree that a macro and micro level with the option to go advanced on a per-bodypart basis would be perfect. So that way, if there's something just-not-right with the look of my character I can drill down into that body part and tweak it just so. But the zoom level should still allow me to see my whole body, so I can see the total effect.
I would expect that in the face, the per-bodypart might be even be smaller like the nose, the chin, the brow, the eyes, etc. (with the zoom level being the whole head) Several games have already done this for faces, so I imagine it would be a familiar and intuitive feature for people.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
desviper
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

I agree that a macro and micro level with the option to go advanced on a per-bodypart basis would be perfect. So that way, if there's something just-not-right with the look of my character I can drill down into that body part and tweak it just so. But the zoom level should still allow me to see my whole body, so I can see the total effect.
I would expect that in the face, the per-bodypart might be even be smaller like the nose, the chin, the brow, the eyes, etc. (with the zoom level being the whole head) Several games have already done this for faces, so I imagine it would be a familiar and intuitive feature for people.

I gotta say, is that amount of detail worth the performance? I've always wondered this because we spend 99% of the time staring at the back of their head. Is it worth the bones, polys whathaveyou?

Alternatively, maybe there's a slick way to have the default bones with fewer bones and add more with advanced mode.

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad"

Please have Scaling decals!

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desviper wrote:
desviper wrote:

Huckleberry wrote:
I agree that a macro and micro level with the option to go advanced on a per-bodypart basis would be perfect. So that way, if there's something just-not-right with the look of my character I can drill down into that body part and tweak it just so. But the zoom level should still allow me to see my whole body, so I can see the total effect.
I would expect that in the face, the per-bodypart might be even be smaller like the nose, the chin, the brow, the eyes, etc. (with the zoom level being the whole head) Several games have already done this for faces, so I imagine it would be a familiar and intuitive feature for people.
I gotta say, is that amount of detail worth the performance? I've always wondered this because we spend 99% of the time staring at the back of their head. Is it worth the bones, polys whathaveyou?
Alternatively, maybe there's a slick way to have the default bones with fewer bones and add more with advanced mode.

Performance is irrelevant here desviper, it's not impacted by how many bones we have, and polycount has nothing to do with having these morphing capabilities.

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desviper
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It isn't? I have no idea how

It isn't? I have no idea how such things work so I could easily be totally wrong. But doesn't the extra detail on the face take some amount of processing power?

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad"

Please have Scaling decals!

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Polygons can impact

Polygons can impact performance, you're right on that, and polygons are part of what gives detail to a character's face and everything else. however, rigging, such as through an animation skeleton, doesn't impact basically anything in terms of performance; it's just more difficult for the designers to deal with because it's additional layers of complexity they have to deal with. It's physics objects (such as hair, capes, and similar) that are one of the real FPS killers when you use too many of them; when you see FPS drops in game, it's usually due to two things - physics objects, and particle effects. Meshes, polygons, textures, and similar have much less impact on performance, and rigging has next to none.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

desviper
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Okay, so I'm technically

Okay, so I'm technically right that it costs more performance, but glad to hear I'm mostly off on that :p

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad"

Please have Scaling decals!

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Lothic
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desviper wrote:
desviper wrote:

Okay, so I'm technically right that it costs more performance, but glad to hear I'm mostly off on that :p

Yes technically speaking more polygons on the screen can measurably impact a game's "performance" in terms of FPS. But as Halae spelled out their overall impact is practically nil compared to almost everything else that modern graphics processing has to handle while you're actually playing a game.

What having more animation rigging/features in the body models actually impacts is the Devs' time and effort to get that all working properly. It's more difficult on the development side of things and that's where we might legitimately ask "is it worth doing"? Like you said we all spend like 99% of our time looking at the back of our characters' heads so do we really need hundreds of facial/head sliders?

I think like with most everything else there needs to be a balance with this. You have to remember that some people enjoy creating characters so much that they almost spend more time tinkering with that than they do playing the actual game. It would be great to get more control over those facial/head details than we had in CoH. On the other hand I don't think we need (for instance) 50 unique adjustment points for eyebrows. There needs to be some sanity with this and whatever number of facial/head sliders we do end up with need to be useful and significant. Having a million sliders just for the sake of having a million sliders is pointless.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012