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Old 02-26-2015   #21
Jellybones
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An OC is good when you don't have to refer to it as such and you can just say "guys this is my character" without having to explicitly state he or she is a derivative of something else. I hate the term for that, it's already implying they're probably not all that original, ironically.
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Old 02-26-2015   #22
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I'd actually go farther and say not just "OC" is bad by the term alone, but I'd say the phrase "my character" is a bad sign. Characters that are good and people care about aren't talked about as "my character", they're talked about in the context of a larger thing. Nobody looks at Mario and thinks he's Miyamoto's OC. They look at Mario and think about him in the context of the game he's a part of. He has meaning because he's part of a larger work, a video game.

When people go out of their way to create a character, I cringe a bit because you shouldn't be going out of your way to create a character for the sake of making a character. You should be making a character because you have a problem you need solved. Maybe you want to get the player emotionally invested in your fictional world and you need a normal dude's perspective to help the player relate with otherwise absurd fantasy. Maybe you're making a boss and need a character design that fits the mechanics of your gameplay design. Maybe you're designing an annoying forced tutorial and think a fairy that screams "Hey!" at you all the time will help teach players your gameplay mechanics. There are a lot of potential problems that are solved by creating a character and the best characters have a purpose and reason to exist beyond just vanity. Making a character to show it off on a forum and try to pretend you're so original you have to label your character "original" is just a waste of time.

There's a reason "original character do not steal" is such a running joke.

Last edited by Mystic; 02-26-2015 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 02-26-2015   #23
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That's exactly the logic behind any character I've created since I was 16. If a need for a new character came up, it was time to develop a new one. In a strange way, that's also how you can organically form a large, colorful, and purposeful cast that aren't there for the sake of it.

Save for one totally useless fan character I never talk about, I haven't made a character that I didn't intend to use for something. According to TVTropes, even the writers for Futurama created one female character specifically to see how audiences would react to women in slapstick violence. (They were met with a mostly positive reaction.) Arguably, that single character probably has more depth and personality than any OC on deviantART made just for role-playing.

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Although, I would pay to see a show where this was the main character.
Your comment got me laughing, omg. I'd like to see a character like that too. Would do it myself, but I'm not into drunkenness too much. It's also hard to come up with a replacement for alcohol that doesn't come off as horribly cheesy. Coffee withdrawals, anyone?

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Beavis and Butthead?
The "idiot duo" is a pretty common thing, come to think of it. Not that it makes it meaningless, it's usually done right in the case of Beavis and Butthead. (The both of them thinking they struck oil, when their septic tank blew, broke my sides through the whole episode.)
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Old 02-28-2015   #24
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Its all about the backstory to story ratio. Creating a character with a complicated backstory is interesting, but if the backstory behind the character is more complicated then the story he is currently participating in people will wonder what this character who is a savior of the planet or whatever is doing exploding robots.
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Old 02-28-2015   #25
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Backstory is completely irrelevant. In fact, I'd say people making incredibly stupid backstory is incredibly high on the list of things not to do.

Characters need a PURPOSE. This doesn't mean they need a reason to do what they're doing from a story perspective. If a character doesn't have a purpose to exist in a larger work, it's just vanity and vanity characters are all awful.
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Old 03-01-2015   #26
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To add to what Mystic said, backstory is also another piece of the "original the character" stereotype. While a character's background is important to you, as the author shaping the story, it's an unmemorable chore to the audience that slows down your story, either animated or written form. You don't ever directly give them that background, it's like dissecting the joke.

In fact, I would say a character is more interesting to the reader when little nibbles of a character's past is fed to the reader, as they become relevant to unfolding events, if they are at all. (I think some trilogies wait as far as the third movie/book to finally reveal something about the protagonist that wasn't known before, assuming it's important to the story.) It provides a small, but complimentary smidgen of interest amid the tension of the story, in wanting to know more as things happen.
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Old 03-02-2015   #27
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Coming back to the "uniqueness" factor here, you shouldn't go overboard. Don't give a character multiple uncommon traits for the sake of them standing out. Characters should feel realistic and natural. That goes for personality, physical traits, strengths and weaknesses, backstory, friends/family, etc.

On the other hand, "realistic and natural" really depends on what sort of world your character lives in. Characters are affected and shaped by what goes on around them, especially during childhood and adolescence. Your character should be comfortable around what they are exposed to on a daily basis. If they are forcefully removed from this environment, make it so they react correspondingly with their traits and reasonably at that.

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A character is more interesting when little nibbles of a character's past is fed to the reader, as they become relevant to unfolding events.
I strongly agree. This is an incredibly easy way to reveal backstory for both the creator and the audience. It might be a personal preference, but flashbacks flows more naturally than slapping a backstory into the prologue. Keep the flashbacks short and simple, but if you must, perhaps dedicate a whole scene or chapter to the detail that was just revealed.

All of this stuff kind of goes for any character in general, not just OCs and FCs. A good character is a natural one.
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Last edited by YevaEA; 03-02-2015 at 01:45 AM. Reason: Makin' things prettier! :D
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Old 10-15-2017   #28
The Sin Heartless
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The same goes for the gameplay if we are going to consider that as well. Balancing, designing and implementing. Find that balance between realism and uniqueness. Remove the restrictions and let your mind free. Extra points if you succeed to implement story into gameplay.

I am fine with what Sonic community or any other community refers to as fan characters as long as I can see the soul and the effort in it. Can't expect everyone to be capable of creating entire universes, lore or multiple games worth of storyline. It is natural for people to stick to their comfort zones and communities. You manage to get the best out of the design and lore limitations and I will be more than happy to be there to support your struggle against any fans who are coming at you with torches and pitchforks.

I could throw in examples but I'm not going to risk getting labeled and stabbed in the back for daring to have an opinion. I'm not willing to place my bets on human variables either, especially when in presence of superiors. (Even though I was more than willing to threaten SMBX forum's elitists with a DMCA strike la Nintendo on YouTube. Savage.)
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