Protagonist Naming

Do you want the main Protagonist to be named already?


  • Total voters
    40
  • Poll closed .
Jan 1, 2019
53
15
#1
So, I'm at the beginning stages of writing my story for a game that I will be developing. I would like your help for a big decision. I created a simple yes or no poll question. You can also comment, if you wish. But I am just curious about what people would like. Which this could also lead to how I write stories in the future. The poll will be open for 2 weeks, to give a bit of time to some that are not on the forum as much. That ,and there is no reason to keep the poll open forever.
 

mickydoo

Active Member
Game Developer
Jan 5, 2018
228
528
#2
I personally don't care, but I asked the same question when I started my game and the general consensus was people liked making there own name.
 
Likes: BadWolf71
Jul 27, 2017
199
405
#3
I appreciate games more that are authoritative about making the MC an actual character, instead of a blank slate without any innate qualities besides being horny, that you are supposed to pretend is you. I always see getting to name the MC as a bad omen, but I have definitely played good games where the MC was actually an interesting character even though you got to name him, so I guess developers just put that into their games now because it's popular.

I wish they didn't, but I think a good compromise is giving the choice but filling in the "canon" name as the standard option, so people who don't care about naming the character can just stick with that.
 

redknight00

Slightly less furry
Moderator
Modder
Apr 30, 2017
1,903
3,425
#4
Naming the main character is a must, I can't self-insert immerse myself unless I can name the MC Red MacHugePenis.

While you're at it, you should also let the player decide the relationship the other characters have with the player, nothing like the dilemma of thinking of one's cumdumpster in a lewd way and raping your cumdumpster jr while she sleeps.

Now with slightly fewer sarcasm, it depends on the scope of your story, if the focus on an adventure of big proportions in a big world, naming your MC feels naturals because they are the player's avatar in the story. On the other hand, a more focused game with personal stakes and a small circle of characters benefits from having a stronger presence of the main character as their own person with their own name.
 
Dec 17, 2018
30
19
#5
As with anything, it depends on what you're going for, if your player character is just there to be an avatar for the player, it's best to leave the name up to the player, on the other hand, if your main character is actually a character of their own, then give them a name of their own.

For example, a game like skyrim only has the PC there as a medium for the player to interact with the environment, such a system wouldn't work for a game such as the witcher, whith an MC like Geralt who has personality and backstory beyond the scope of player input (rance is also a good example within adult games). Notice that I'm making a distinction between referring to a "player character" and a "main character"
 
Likes: BadWolf71

polywog

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2017
1,751
1,842
#6
Give them default names. Offer in-game option to change names.
It's mildly annoying to be asked to name one character on startup.
If a game asks me to name 9 characters that i've never met, that dev is getting coal in their stocking.
 

icesun

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
232
400
#7
Firstly: That's how I handle the (re-)naming stuff (taken from the Harem Hotel Thread):
In every kinky game where I can (re-)name the MC it's "Schlong"... (EDIT: When I need a last name, that's Cumlord --> My name is Cumlord, Schlong Cumlord ;) )
Whenever I can (re-)name a single female character she ends up as "Cumdump" (In this case it was the Android)...
Only when I can (re-)name multiple female characters I at least use 2 braincells for creatitivity.. :D
But that'll turn out into something like "Bitchpussy" "Sweetpussy" or whatever comes to mind when I see the character / read her description (if available)...

I treat real human beings so politely that I simply don't care in these games... :p
Secondly: This created a habit of my brain knowing "when there's Schlong, it's you" without having to think about names at all... ...which is nice, but no dealbreaker when not available... :)
 
Likes: BadWolf71
Jan 1, 2019
53
15
#8
I can see many different points here. Let me start off by saying that what I intend to create is a back story to the MC. Actually, I have already created little back stories to 7 of the 9 characters in my story. I would like to make it to where you feel that YOU are the person living out this life. Can one feel like they are that MC if the MC is already named?

I guess that depends on how good my storytelling is. There have been some games out there where I felt connected. For example, Acting Lessons. There was the MC's best friend Liam, I think his name was. I was devastated to learn that he had cancer. That was the hook for me to make me feel that I was a part of that world. That and the evil way that I was forced to choose who to save in the fire.

So, that's why I have my dilemma. Do I name the MC? Do I leave it blank? Or, do I allow the name to be changed in settings? What I do know is that I can't write it as a first person style. I can't bring myself to write "This is (Name), she's been your best friend for years". That just doesn't seam right to me. Makes it forced upon the person to try and be that character, IMHO.

At any rate, I'm currently leaving it as a player choice. As my writings move along, it may change to where the MC is named. I just also had a thought about this: If I'm naming the other characters in the game, why am I leaving the MC's name a choice? Like @polywog said, I don't like to name the supporting cast members that I never met.

Oh what web I have woven in the cobwebs of my mind.
 

Winterfire

Well-Known Member
Game Developer
Sep 27, 2018
738
620
#9
If it is not tied to the plot, do give the choice.
People like having choices, the more choices they have the more they can fit your game to their tastes and like it.

More often than not, the protagonist's name does not matter and it can be anything hence why people give the choice so easily.

IF the protagonist's name holds a value in the plot (Family whose name always starts with C, a family name that is also a clan name tied to the history of the continent, and so on) then giving the choice to name the protagonist would lead to possible inconsistencies that would make the game a worse experience to the player than if you had not given them the choice to name the protagonist.

-edit-
There are also things you can do with a preset name that cannot be done with a custom name: Classic wake up scene in which the name is broken up in multiple parts split by "...", name in images (identity card or whatever) or even have multiple characters call you in different ways... "Sam" would become "Sammy" to some closer friends while a more formal person would call you "Samuel"... That gives you more depth in the characters' development as it is normal for people that have known you for a long time to give you a nickname.
 
Jan 1, 2019
53
15
#10
If it is not tied to the plot, do give the choice.
People like having choices, the more choices they have the more they can fit your game to their tastes and like it.

More often than not, the protagonist's name does not matter and it can be anything hence why people give the choice so easily.

IF the protagonist's name holds a value in the plot (Family whose name always starts with C, a family name that is also a clan name tied to the history of the continent, and so on) then giving the choice to name the protagonist would lead to possible inconsistencies that would make the game a worse experience to the player than if you had not given them the choice to name the protagonist.

-edit-
There are also things you can do with a preset name that cannot be done with a custom name: Classic wake up scene in which the name is broken up in multiple parts split by "...", name in images (identity card or whatever) or even have multiple characters call you in different ways... "Sam" would become "Sammy" to some closer friends while a more formal person would call you "Samuel"... That gives you more depth in the characters' development as it is normal for people that have known you for a long time to give you a nickname.
That is a valid point that I didn't think of. Yes, people like choices, we all do. There are people out there that type in their own name, I never could and don't know why. So, if the MC is already named, that could take away the feelings of making choices, but could add to the element of immersing into said character. I have found myself reading books to where I have felt like I was that character. "The Stand" by Stephen King, is one of those books that I immersed myself into the character. The Witcher novels are another.

Yes, my story & game will be a VN and the choices being made will be like Telltale games. There won't be a "End Game" if a wrong choice is made, but it can impact how others react around the MC.
 
Jan 1, 2019
53
15
#12
Wh?????? Those are great
My thoughts on the "End Game" choices are because in life, you don't get an "You made a bad choice. Go back and try again." The only end game we get is death. So we all must live with the choices that we make, no matter how big or small of an impact that choice makes.
 

Volta

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2017
446
400
#14
Personally i like the MC to have a character of their own, having a default or predetermined name is part of that, too often the "name your own pc" is bland as hell where named pc's aren't. This isn't a hard and fast rule but i think that during development if the dev thinks of the main man simply as "the mc/pc" they get into the habit of leaving him as a blank slate which is a bit boring.

IMO the pc needs at least a default name, however being able to choose your own name is something that loads of people like so why not split the difference and simply have the "enter your name" box already filled at the start but leave the option of changing it to the player?
 

W65

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2018
757
577
#15
As folks say in these threads, "story" players largely expect a named protagonist, and "game" players are more split.

The ability to name the protagonist is really secondary to the question of how developed the protagonist is a character before and during the game. My feeling is that the "story" players have a conditioned expectation that a protagonist without a default name is probably going to be the usual personality-free cipher protagonist, and that expectation creates further expectations for the quality of the storytelling.

Unless there's some particular meaning to the protagonist's chosen name (and that trope's pretty badly played out, I think) then there's no real technical or storytelling reason to not slip a "rename character" option in the settings. I mean, it does create workload on the developer to implement the name as a variable where it appears, and to remember to actually use that implementation everywhere it shows up. I guess that in particular engines it'd be a matter of how to implement it, but the popular ones are flexible enough to do it.

The last thread like this showed that you do get the occasional player who simply won't play a game where they can't rename the protagonist. However, I doubt anyone's immersion is going to be ruined irretrievably by a setting in the options menu. The best choice would seem to be picking a name for your protagonist and having it default to that, but letting the player change it during the game if they'd like.
 
Likes: BadWolf71
Jan 1, 2019
53
15
#16
I really don't want to start another thread with a poll question, so I'll just throw it out here for all to post responses.

Do you want to see the Protagonist in 3rd Person or would you rather have it kept to 1st person for 90% of the time?

I myself like the 3rd person angle better than 1st person. You can see more of your surroundings in 3rd person. I don't think it would detract from the story or game either if it's in 3rd person.
 
Likes: GaunterODimm

nln0

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
225
119
#17
A big reason why I like naming over not naming is basically if a character as a name of someone I know (IRL) I want to change it.
 

GaunterODimm

Active Member
Feb 12, 2018
129
318
#18
I really don't want to start another thread with a poll question, so I'll just throw it out here for all to post responses.

Do you want to see the Protagonist in 3rd Person or would you rather have it kept to 1st person for 90% of the time?

I myself like the 3rd person angle better than 1st person. You can see more of your surroundings in 3rd person. I don't think it would detract from the story or game either if it's in 3rd person.
Hmm... I guess both have their merits and demerits and I myself would not favor one of them more than the other. In first person there is the feeling of "self" and the fact that the choices your make are your own makes the vicarious experience of the player deeper. But it also limits his control over the overall direction/flow of the story. Also, a player may not like all the actions that the PC takes or may feel like they are being forced into making decisions/ doing things that they don't want to make/do. This is specially true in case of adult games, for example in case of a NTR scene, some players may want to identify with the active person rather than the passive one. One possible solution could be multiple protagonists experiencing things from their own perspective, but then, the player often has a hard time to fall in character after a switch.

On the other hand third person gives the player the freedom to experience the story like a movie. He can make choices on behalf of any character or control the overall progress as he sees fit. Also, there is no sense of remorse after he makes a dark/gruesome decision. For example, if there is a female protagonist who gets raped because of the choices the player made, he does not need to feel guilt/remorse because he is necessary playing as the hand of fate, and fate can take any turn at any time. A player may feel uncomfortable about both being the rapist or the victim and so, in case of first person, the game would need to exclude the whole scene out to avoid that. Third person has no problem because the player is not directly experiencing that. But then this also makes it hard for the player to identify with any one character. Some players may feel being left out since they are not actively participating in a situation.

I guess there is a reason why most games take the first person approach, whereas most movies take the third person approach. The first person approach works well when the whole plot is centered around the protagonist, it is always about where he goes, what he does. This is favorable for games, because they are almost always about the quest/venture of the main character. On the other hand, the stories of the movies often span over multiple characters, and the viewer has no control over their actions. So, the third person approach works well for most movies.

However, I do feel like there should be more adult games, especially visual novels exploring things from the third person. Most game developers seem to take for granted that first person is the only way to go, because the player needs to actively participate in the sexual encounters. But recently I played "Intimate Relations" by PTOLEMY which pulled off of the third person perspective perfectly. You see things from the point of both the father and the daughter, and knowing that what they are thinking/feeling makes it easier to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Also, the game does not force you into being a perverted old man trying to bang his daughter, or a depraved young girl trying to seduce her father, you can simply chose to be an outside observer if you are uncomfortable with either of that.
 
Likes: BadWolf71

Fliptoynk

Active Member
Nov 9, 2018
133
60
#19
Hah, i would like to see an ntr game take yer real name from facebook then your in-game wife would say later on like:
Wife>"Sorry Mike Hunt, but your dick can't satisfy me anymore"
BBC>"spread yo legs bitch umf! umf! umf!"
BGM>"It's a heart ache. Nothing but a heart ache"

Just kidding :ROFLMAO:
It's a fine idea to give the protagonist his own name. Especially when your game hits the box office and a sequel is underway. It makes the protagonist a trademark.
 
Jan 1, 2019
53
15
#20
Hah, i would like to see an ntr game take yer real name from facebook then your in-game wife would say later on like:
Wife>"Sorry Mike Hunt, but your dick can't satisfy me anymore"
BBC>"spread yo legs bitch umf! umf! umf!"
BGM>"It's a heart ache. Nothing but a heart ache"
Yeah, no. LOL