So, I wanted to discuss this question with the Episode community:
I’m currently writing a story for the new Fantastical Competition, and I was inspired by the featured story called ‘The Enchantress’. I found it interesting that we were able to customise the protagonist whilst maintaining her race and keeping the skin colour pretty linear (if I remember correctly. It’s been a while).
I was wondering what other Episode users, readers and writers alike, thought of this particular way of going about things? The fact that the character is dark-skinned is important to my story, as she is from “The Land of Summer” and it sets her and her people apart from many of the other characters in the new Kingdom in which they settled. However, I did want to give readers a little bit of customisation. This would mean a limited range of skin colours which still stick to the race of the character to some degree, but complete access to almost all of the other customisation options.
How would you feel about this? What would you think about a story which had this feature in its main protagonist? Do you think it’s an okay middle-ground between ensuring the diversity of my cast and allowing character customisation? How did you feel about this feature in ‘The Enchantress’? I want to ask this question in the most respectful way possible, so here we go:
I would love to hear from white people and other non-brown minorities if you’d be okay/happy with playing as a brown character, or if it would make you less able to empathise? I don’t think it’s a bad thing if you do, but I would love your honest opinion.
I would be really happy for any feedback! Thanks in advance!
usually, i prefer Limited CC to full CC because it forces me to try different looks on my characters instead of going with the boring ones i’d usually use.
a character with a racial background is usually more interesting and i love having their specific background play parts in a story. i would be totally open to playing as a character outside of my race.
although i did like that feature in “The Enchantress”, generally, i dislike having Limited CC for a white character.
the only problem with this is i feel like my opinion is going to be rare. lot’s of people nowadays have gotten use to full CC and don’t understand it’s a luxury the author grants you, not a right. some people might dislike the hairstyles or eye shapes or whatever that are options for your character because they consider them “ugly”. i hope that isn’t the case for your story cause i’d love to read it.
Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m glad that I’ve found someone who’d be interested in reading a story like mine! I just often get the feeling that there’s an attitude of diversity doesn’t matter when character customisation comes into play. It’s pretty sad, really.
I definitely understand people who say that CC isn’t diversity, but I think this is an okay middle ground. What do you think?
Absolutely. If the character’s race is important to the story, then I wouldn’t expect full CC and I would completely understand why it wasn’t included. I like that you’re giving the limited CC option. I’d probably choose to keep the character as is but I know some people like to be able to tweak certain features. (For the record, I’m half-white, half-Asian and happy to play as anybody lol.)
The Enchantress- because of the art scenes, I understood that full CC couldn’t be included. That goes for pretty much any of Mette’s stories now. I don’t think she has full CC in any of them? It didn’t bother me because I knew there was a reason.
It does sometimes bother me when CC is limited but there’s no reason. It also bothers me when we’re told to name our character before finding out that CC is limited (there have been a few instances where I’ve given a character my name only to find out I have to play as a white, blonde girl ).
I don’t mind limited CC! If it makes sense to the story and the setting, then, there’s no reason that should be full CC.
Especially if your character comes from a place called, “The Land of Summer.” I wouldn’t expect someone with paper-white skin walking around there. Just like you likely wouldn’t see someone with very dark skin living in a place called, “The Land of Winter.” (Assuming that that place does exist - I don’t want to be making too many assumptions about your story, now.)
But maybe I’m not the right person to ask, as, I don’t like CC in the first place, as I feel it takes away from what the author really wants the characters to be.
It’s great to hear that you’d be okay with limited CC! I definitely understand what you mean about the pointless use of limited CC, so I hope that my aims become clear pretty quickly in my story!
On the topic of names, how do you feel about set names for CC characters?
That’s really interesting that you don’t like CC! You make a really good point about the characters being what the author intended, although I do feel like I invest in a story more if I get to choose more elements of the character’s look/personality - especially on such an interactive app. I know that a lot of people on here like to project themselves onto a story.
I’m just worried that I’ll end up pleasing no-one: that some people might complain that they can’t be white and others will say that CC is a copout for diversity!
I like set names, especially if there’s limited CC. Even if there’s full CC, I don’t mind set names. I think being able to choose your own name only really works when a story is more plot based and the character’s personality/development isn’t a major focus of the plot. Otherwise, you get a lot of people complaining that the MC isn’t acting like they would . If there’s a set name, even if the character looks like me I still know that it’s not, if that makes sense.
Well, people shouldn’t complain about not being able to choose the skin color. I know a lot of readers do that when something like that comes out (case in point, the love interest from Vampire’s Kiss; though the reason the author gave for it didn’t make much sense…), but, they… shouldn’t. Because -
- If there’s a set amount of skin colors, it’s because it’s supposed to make sense to the setting and plot.
- Just because the MC has a different skin color shouldn’t mean you can’t relate to them as a character. I can put aside most of my favorite characters being cis and straight, it’s not that hard.
But those are just my opinions. I know not everyone agrees.
That’s definitely true, although I did certainly find it silly and pointless in Vampire’s Kiss! Whether it’s for the sake of diversity or cis, straight, white characters, I always want a point to limited CC. If there’s no point or the point is silly, it seems disingenuous!
I do have a somewhat unrelated question for you if you don’t mind me asking:
I wonder a lot how a writer would go about doing a story about a gender transition on Episode. It seems limiting and counterproductive regarding diversity to me that I wouldn’t be able to capture the full transition of a character, but rather I’d have to have them pre or post-transition. I would love to read/write a story concerning a gender transition and learning to love yourself despite what society may say. How do you think Episode could go about that, or I could begin to feature someone like that in a story?
I think it would be a bit difficult. It wouldn’t be very realistic, seeing this female character model suddenly turn into a male one… HRT doesn’t exactly work like that, haha.
Right now, the best way to portray a trans person would likely be showing them pre or post transition (or somewhere inbetween wouldn’t be too difficult - say, having a character look male but still having them wear transitional apparel). While a transitioning story might be nice to read, there’s not many options at this point (since the male and female character models seem to be very, you know, hyper feminine or masculine).
How could Episode go about this? The addition of different body types, and body sliders, for sure. Not to mention some non-traditional feminine or masculine clothes, for sure… Guys with dresses, and the like. (For Christ’s sake, the LL women don’t even have sneakers!)
It’s certainly not impossible to write a story about a transition on Episode. It just wouldn’t be very easy or realistic, and might teach incorrect information.
… I know I was disappointed when I found out if I start HRT, the effects will take a long time to start showing. I wouldn’t want to raise anyone’s hopes like that.
… Hopefully that makes sense? I’m happy to talk about it more in a bit, as I am, currently, in a bit of a hurry to get to school and thought I’d get this reply in before I go.
i’d use limited cc
i remember when cc first came out it was lit but it got overused so if i have to customise a character with more than 2 people i usually click off
Definitely! I don’t mind three characters personally if the customisation is spread out over the chapter or various chapters. Even more than that if I’m not just sitting there for hours customising people before I can even begin the story! However, people do ask you to customise practically the whole cast before you can start. “What do you look like? What about the bad boy? What about the nice guy? What about your best friend? What about your parents? And how about your best friend’s lover?”
I thoroughly lose interest.
Closing due to one month of inactivity