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Old 02-18-2015   #1
moe
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Default What makes a OC good? What about bad?

Before going to the actual subject, please remember this:
USING SOMEONE ELSE'S CHARACTER IS NOT GONNA BE TOLERATED, PERMISSION OR NOT. THAT CAN, ACTUALLY, OFFEND THE CREATOR OF THE CHARACTER, NO MATTER IF IT'S BAD, GOOD OR MARY-SUE. RESPECT THE OTHER'S CREATION AND LEAVE IT ALONE.
*caham* Now, to the subject:
Nobody likes Mary-Sues, and frankly, neither do I. But we all know that we had a Mary-Sue character at least once (yes, Gary Stus/Marty Sues count too.)
Mary-Sues can either be fan-made characters or even canon characters. You decide.
I am a PROFESSIONAL at knowing if a character is Mary Sue or not. Just by looking at their personality, colors, design or even name I can know it's a Mary Sue.
So, here comes the actual question: What makes a OC good?
It can be anything - from colors to hair design, anything related to the OC will count.
And, optionally, say in your own words: What makes a OC BAD? Is it their eye color? Is it their clothes choice? What makes it a Mary-Sue?
As always, do not use a fan-character as a example (not even your OC, that's gonna be for later). Canon Mary-Sues are okay, but please avoid using fan-characters. I do not mean to offend any one in this thread.

BEFORE POSTING, READ THIS:
DO NOT, I SAY IT AGAIN, DO ***NOT*** GO OFF-TOPIC. DO NOT START TALKING ABOUT ONE THING INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL TOPIC. THAT IS NOT TOLERATED, AND WILL SIMPLY RUIN THE THREAD.
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Old 02-18-2015   #2
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In all honesty I'm confused as to what you're asking of us here: the thread's title would suggest a reasonable debate thread, but then your post goes into that of a tone to say we can't offend anyone's creations or anything. That is just the start of the problems in your post.

If you want an actual discussion though, here we go...

What would make an OC good is when it actually is what the abbreviation stands for - an Original Character. As in, what it says on the tin.

The weird thing here is that the term "OC", especially in the context of Sonic fanbase like here, is seemingly often misused to imply a character that is somewhat more originally designed than merely a "fancharacter", but isn't necessarily urelated to the universe it was designed around. This is a ridiculous way of thinking IMO.

Also, what on earth is a "Mary-Sue"? Is this some weird kind of stereotypical character or something?
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Old 02-18-2015   #3
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Originally Posted by Monster Iestyn View Post
Also, what on earth is a "Mary-Sue"? Is this some weird kind of stereotypical character or something?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarySue
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Old 02-18-2015   #4
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What is even the difference of an OC and a fan character? Aren't they generally the same thing in concept? Someone please explain. This is the shit that keeps me up at night.
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Old 02-19-2015   #5
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A "fan" character is a made-up character based on a someone/thing of a franchise/series. An "original" character is a made-up character that isn't based on any one particular thing. As a reference - compare Jasper with Puffball. Jasper is a fox, with an undoubtedly Sonic style. The Puffball character WAD, on the other hand, doesn't seem to base on some character from a form of media, and most likely something the author just thought up of; something random without a basis on anything.

tl;dr: FC - something/someone from something; OC - something/someone from nothing
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Old 02-19-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moe View Post
I am a PROFESSIONAL at knowing if a character is Mary Sue or not. Just by looking at their personality, colors, design or even name I can know it's a Mary Sue.
So, here comes the actual question: What makes a OC good?
It can be anything - from colors to hair design, anything related to the OC will count.
And, optionally, say in your own words: What makes a OC BAD? Is it their eye color? Is it their clothes choice? What makes it a Mary-Sue?
Hair? Clothes? Eye color? The fact that these are major concerns for the creator makes it terrible by default.

Now look, I'm assuming that when you think of OCs, you'd probably use them for like... fan fiction, or role playing? Maybe character wads sometimes. But the fact of the matter is that 90% of all fanmade characters are bad because their purpose is superficial.

When Yuji Naka or... whatever created Sonic, do you think his main concern was "should his fur be blue or brown"? That was the least of SEGA's concerns. They needed to create a mascot that would provide a stark contrast to Mario's inoffensiveness and lack of personality. SEGA's new platform was fast, and cool, and so Sonic had to be fast and cool. They went through a bunch of character designs, like an armadillo, a rabbit.... Hedgehogs were a unique cartoon character idea, they roll up into a ball and they go fast. Sonic the Hedgehog is particularly cool. Look at that snarky, impatient bastard. You think he's just going to wait for you to take a piss break and he's just standing there? Why do you think he taps his foot after eight seconds?

The thing is that every aspect of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles' designs had purpose, and that's what makes them palatable. A good character places function over form every time. If you're creating a character that can swim, don't make it a hedgehog. Make it a fish, or a frog. If it's strong and slow, make it a turtle. And follow the style of the lore you're basing it off of. If you're basing your character off of classic Sonic, it shouldn't even have an eye color, and it sure as shit shouldn't have more than boots and gloves for clothing (unless it's a girl, because animal boobies...)

If a person does all that, I still won't read their stupid fanfic, but whatever character they create will be more respectable than the majority of the garbage on deviantArt. On the other hand, I like character wads that provide some actual gameplay content, so you'll score bonus points if your character itself doesn't make me want to kill myself just by looking at it.



ALSO: If you want a list of good characters, just take a look at anything from Sonic Boom's secondary cast. Partly to see how their designs mesh with the rest of the cast (color scheming, silhouettes), but also how their personality correlates with their aesthetic and contributes to the series' plots.
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Old 02-19-2015   #7
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Blue Warrior pretty much nailed it. Everything about a character needs to have purpose. The few bits of jewelry I give my female characters have a story behind them, so they're not just there because, "Squee, that's cute!". Some characters' scars have a story too, rather than to make them look cooler or, "LOLOLOL I HAVE A DARK PAST MY PARENTS ARE DEAD I'M A SAD BOY.".

Of course, we're all guilty of making terrible (Or simple.) characters or fan characters from an early age. My first "original teh character donut steel" as a kid was a freaking "Stick It Around" fan character, of all things, for the love of God. That changes as you create more characters, and grow as a person.
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Old 02-19-2015   #8
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OC = Original Character. A term that shouldn't be looked down upon because pretty much everything in good media uses original characters. That's just common sense, whether it be indie or high quality first party titles or any sort of other media.

FC = Fan Characters, the bane of the Sonic fan base as a whole and offspring of the dark DeviantArt corners. Avoid these altogether, I'm sure it doesn't need an explanation. Infamously notable examples being SuperMysticSonic, Sonichu, and Shadow the Hedgehog. :V
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Old 02-19-2015   #9
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Oh, an OC topic.

Don't worry I'm not going to be starting a giant character war

What makes an OC good? I'm going to cover more along the lines of APPEARANCE than the actual character itself.

So what DOES make one good? Originality, as said above. Something that makes them unique. Something that makes them stand out from the original cast. Different bodyshape. Different type of appearance/species. Hell, even do mobian versions of already existing species things in the Sonic universe like a black arms bird thing. That's not really common. Starting with this kind of base can let your mind go free and opens up to a lot of possibilities. Not using any kind of base. Not using any kind of major influence other than the way a Sonic character should sort of look to make it resemble a Sonic character and not look out of place. That's a key step and will most likely ensure that your character is completely original.

However a lot of people prefer to have an actual, y'know, common kind of basis. A bodyshape that isn't completely huge or tiny or odd and looks a lot more smooth next to the original cast all the while standing out. The thing is, what most people struggle with (including me) is making a design that's not TOO complicated but also makes the character look visibly distinct from the rest of the Sonic character cast.

Simply adding markings to an actual Sonic character however isn't good.

The LESS it looks like an already existing Sonic character, the BETTER!

---------- Post added at 05:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:55 PM ----------

I would've used examples too, but er, noticed at the start it said NOT TO. ...Welp.
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Old 02-19-2015   #10
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BurningFox, that is still a fan character.
Fan characters should never be anything anyone strives for, as different as you try to make them, you're still basing them off of the consistency and style of another series.
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Old 02-19-2015   #11
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So OC's are characters such as Cobalt's character and Iceman's character, right? Sorry if I'm still asking. I just never really understood the difference.
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Old 02-19-2015   #12
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Since they aren't fan characters in the sense that Cobalt and Iceman based them off a character because they're fans of something, that'd be correct, Larz =I
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Old 02-19-2015   #13
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I think there's some confusion on the usage of the word "OC", because some camps (including myself) assume it to mean one's own creation for use in a fanwork, whereas Iceman and others use it to mean "original character" with no strings attached.

Colloquial knowledge would suggest it's the latter, but Urban Dictionary is telling me otherwise, so... take your pick, lolz??
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Old 02-19-2015   #14
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I just assumed you were talking about Sonic FCs. OC is also a name I've used countless times to describe Sonic characters made by people. ...Sorry for confusion? I think I probably look like a moron now. XD

EDIT: Should've probably read the actual first post a bit more. LMAO.
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Old 02-20-2015   #15
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Personally, it never mattered to me whether or not a character is a FC or an OC. As long as there is effort and care shown with the overall design and personality of a character, it won't bug me in the slightest. Obviously I'll have gripes if the character ends up being Sonic the Sonic, but I can come to terms with it if that's what the intention was.
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Old 02-20-2015   #16
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There ARE such things as bad OCs/FCs but it's up to you if you judge someone for it, really. Personally I don't really care about literal recolours a great deal, sure I'll cringe but it's nothing to outright hate someone as a person for. ^^;
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Old 02-20-2015   #17
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Consider the intent behind the character over the qualities that constitute a good character: Who's your audience? Is its purpose to entertain others, or just yourself? The latter is the mindset that leads to the sort of wish fulfillment that makes Sues so boring. All great characters are flawed- flaws lead to conflict, which generates tension, which is the basic unit of narrative interest. Problem is, writing a character who doesn't share your ideals requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Few people who use characters to entertain themselves have the discipline for that.
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Old 02-23-2015   #18
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Consider the intent behind the character over the qualities that constitute a good character: Who's your audience? Is its purpose to entertain others, or just yourself? The latter is the mindset that leads to the sort of wish fulfillment that makes Sues so boring. All great characters are flawed- flaws lead to conflict, which generates tension, which is the basic unit of narrative interest. Problem is, writing a character who doesn't share your ideals requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Few people who use characters to entertain themselves have the discipline for that.
This is something I've learned to incorporate into every new character of mine : flaws. For the same reason that little imperfections in the body can be praised or adored, (See facial moles, battle scars, five o' clock shadow, and white hair streaks.) flaws in a character are exactly what springboard interesting events that, well, allow the character's unique traits to shine and make them interesting. Conflict especially is a driving force in action comedies, sitcoms, or even romance novels.

Wait, who am I kidding? Fiction in general hinges on conflict. It would be boring if everybody got along the entire time. This is the problem with Mary Sues/Gary Stues, because even the most mature adults on planet Earth have something that pisses them off, or triggers an unhealthy behavior. (Not that your character has to get drunk and steal a new traffic sign every episode to be interesting.)
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Old 02-23-2015   #19
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(Not that your character has to get drunk and steal a new traffic sign every episode to be interesting.)
Although, I would pay to see a show where this was the main character.
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Old 02-24-2015   #20
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