Character appearance

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Facial adjustments in the Alpha-2 character creator (first pass).[1]

There is a great variation that's going to be available from a character standpoint when creating your character, especially around the face. Whether it be the shape of the jawline, the cheeks, the ears, the nose, the lips. You know we want to provide a lot of options and an agency to the player to customize their character appearance.[2]Steven Sharif

We want there to be a lot of room for people to manifest their own identity, to role play how they want to from an appearance standpoint. There's going to be parameters within which you will be able to customize a character. We want the culture and the identity of the races to exist in a range that makes them easily identifiable from other players and other cultures. So, because of that, we have to have a spectrum you can exist on. There will be a lot of hair variants you can do, body art tattoos that you can apply. You'll be able to play with the scales of the facial structure, the bones, the height, width, the body fat percentage. You'll be able to add body hair on different parts of the body. If you want to have hair on your feet, you can dial that up.[3]Steven Sharif

Character appearance can be customized in the character creator (CC)[4] and via in-game salons/barbershops.[5][6]

  • Character models are focused on realism.[7]
  • A player will see a generic character before customization.[8]
  • Character designs will have influences from a wide range of cultures, such as European, African and Asian.[9]
  • Lolis will not be in the game.[10][11]
  • Sliders and other controls, such as color palettes, will offer flexibility in customization but there will be limits based on race, gender, and the artistic style guidelines that the developers are adhering to.[12][13][10][14][15]
There's going to be constraints to the sliders, so that was one of those big questions as work began on the character creator: How much agency do you want to allow pulling like the lower lip all the way down in this weird deformed look, or having like [an] offset cheek that's just asymmetrical to the side of the face. There's not going to be the ability or agency to create those types of weird character things. However you will have the ability to move, slide, change, grow, decrease all those components, but they'll be kept in a more reasonable and presented way in the same sense you won't be able to change the appearance of the dwarven, nor the Dünir or the Niküan races to, in my opinion, create what would be traditionally considered a Loli character.[10]Steven Sharif

Body

Vaelune, Dünir and Empyrean Alpha-1 early character model 3D renders.[16]

So many options coming down the road. Our character team continues to refine our customization options![17]Steven Sharif

  • Body presets.[18]
    • Body tone: Overweight, skinny, muscular.[19][20]
    • Body fat percentage.[3]
    • Bone structure.[13][3]

Head

Alpha-2 character creator hair and beard customization (first pass).[29]

Every hair color uses the accent and the fill differently, but usually the fill is the root color and the accent is the tip color.[29]Zachary Mallet

Vek presets in the Alpha-2 character creator (first pass).[30]

Heads will be relatively proportional to the body size, with some limited variability.[31]

Face

Details

A "default player appearance" may be automatically applied during sieges or other large scale battles to improve client-side performance.[42][43][44]

Character sculpting

Sculpting in the Alpha-2 character creator (first pass).[45]

Clayton and I tag-teamed on this one. We really wanted to give players that feeling that they were grabbing and pulling and sculpting their own character; especially with more minute details. I mean, it would have been easy to give character- players 100 sliders, but it feels better to have a much more tactile response, like clicking and dragging and pulling all these points around.[46]Zachary Mallet

Sculpting micro adjustments with the Alpha-2 character creator (first pass).[47]

Zach mentioned how much variation we achieve through the customization features. A lot of that is achieved through what Steven is playing with right now: with these dots that are appearing; and the reason why those are dots instead of the little plates that you see highlighted on the character is because these are actually changing the shape of the character's features altogether. Plates are used for moving things around and it sort of maps exactly to your input; and that's why that pick map or the plates feel so nice. Then you can click on those dots and drag those around and actually change the shape of a feature altogether.[47]Clayton Stamper

Sculpting provides the ability to customize different segments of any part of the body in the character creator.[45]

  • Plates are used for moving features around.[47]
  • Dots are use to change the shape of the character's features altogether.[47]

Examples:

  • Adjusting the length and proportions of limbs.[45][19]
  • Sizes of calves and thighs.[45][19]
  • Adjustments will allow a character to appear more feminine or masculine.[22]

Character blending

Blending in the Alpha-2 character creator (first pass).[48]

This is more of a large scale macro tool that you can select a couple of presets and then you can get certain features from one preset or different features from a another preset. So you place down your presets and then you can click and drag and morph between those different presets.[48]Zachary Mallet

Character blending allows the combination of two or more presets from the character creator. It allows users to click and drag to morph between the different presets to create customized characters without spending time adjusting each angle of every body part.[48]

Gear appearance

Alpha-1 female plate armor 3D render.[49]

We want to be realistic with the application of particular types of armor, such as plate armor. In this regard for the different sexes there's a fine line that has to be drawn between accentuating the form of the sex as well as making it somewhat realistic and actually applicable to the environment.[49]Steven Sharif

Gear is intended to be realistic in appearance.[50][51]

  • There will not be "oversized" weapons.[52]
  • Armor will not be overly sexual in appearance.[51]
    I'm more of the mind that it wouldn't really serve a purpose to have bikini plate armor, just in like reality, if you're going to have armor, it should be protective. I think from a fashion statement is enjoyable for some people, but it's a kind of an immersive issue.[50]Steven Sharif
    • Some armor and costumes will be more revealing than others, but there will not be nudity in the game.[53]
    There might be sliders, but there are not gonna be naked sliders.[53]Steven Sharif

Armor will take on a racial appearance.[54]

Each race is getting its custom geo pieces, which then will share thematic components such as color palette, attachments, design filigree. Those types of things will get shared across the geo but generally you're going to see unique races with unique geo.[55]Steven Sharif

  • Cosmetics can be used by all races but there may be slight variations to make them work with the body builds of each race.[56]

Players can change gear colors using dyes.[57][58]

Helmet display can be toggled on and off.[59]

  • Hair will likely be masked if helmet display is toggled on.[60]

Particle effects are used to denote the importance and rarity of some weapons.[61]

Weapons are able to be sheathed.[62]

Crafters are able to influence what their crafted items will look like.[63][64]

Appearance slots/Transmogs

Gear will have appearance slots (Transmutation/Transmog/cosmetic slots) that are used to copy the appearance of an item (in some cases).[65][66]

  • There are rules when applying cosmetics to specific items, unlike costumes, which don't have level restrictions.[67]
  • Cosmetic slots can be toggled on or off by the player.[68]
  • A "default player appearance" may be automatically applied during sieges or other large scale battles to improve client-side performance.[42][43]

Character creator

Scars in the Alpha-2 character creator (first pass).[69]

The cool thing about this character creator is that it's not just intended for your character. It has application with NPCs that you might hire.[70]Steven Sharif

We're gonna use similar tech for implementing things like Animal husbandry.[71]Zachary Mallet

Kaelar Alpha-2 character creation (first pass).[72]

This tech is 100% created in-house at Intrepid and is not metahuman.[73]Steven Sharif

We'll be adding many, many more customization options to the character creator.[74]Cody Peterson

The character creator (or character customization system) allows players to define the look of their in-game characters, hired NPCs; and potentially creatures raised by the animal husbandry profession.[70][75]

The Ashes of Creation character creator is 100% developed in-house by Intrepid Studios and is not MetaHuman.[73]

Additional character creator features include.

  • There will be unlockable features for character customization.[5]
You have that scar because you participated in this siege, or these many sieges; or you have this tattoo because of your of a cultural background, or because of a quest that was accomplished where you're able to get that.[5]Steven Sharif
  • The ability to save and potentially to share characters with other players.[69][76]
The beauty of it is that you can save your character- and we already have some of those features available- and load them; and in the future we want people to be able to share those characters amongst each other.[69]Margaret Krohn
  • The ability to undo changes (Ctrl + Z) will be supported, including undoing changes that were made several edits earlier.[77][78]
  • Choosing base idle animations of characters will be possible in future.[79]
    • Certain animations, such as blinking, will be present when they don't interfere with the customization process.[80]
  • Adjusting the background scene and lighting is a planned feature.[80]
There's going to be a lot of environmental controls that are offered to the character creator so that people can set it up their scene the way they want to grab screenshots or to grab recordings or whatever they want to do.[81]Steven Sharif
  • Asymmetry in terms of manipulating different components of the body or different body features such as hair, beard, and eyes.[82]
Asymmetry is going to be functionality that's possible in manipulating either different components of the body or different features like hair. The beard we saw a little bit of that blending with highlights that you can do. Margaret talked a little bit about the eye asymmetry that you can include. Obviously those are going to exist within certain parameters that we want to define on a per-race basis, but it is something that we think is cool.[82]Steven Sharif
  • Body adornments, such as piercings will be possible within cultural limits.[83]
  • The developers are considering whether to allow custom tattoos to be uploaded by users.[84]

The aim is for the character creator to be on par if not much better than that of BDO.[25][85]

Racial appearance

The races in Ashes of Creation are primarily humanoid in appearance. This was mainly driven from a lore perspective as well as savings in animation and character design.[86]

I didn't feel that it was necessary to recreate the wheel on races from a fantasy perspective. I'm not sure how much that would add to the flavor of the game. Obviously I think that we're capable of doing unique things within the cultures and I think we are doing that specifically like an islander dwarf race. I mean like that really hasn't been seen before; or a stargazing noble Vek kind of looking race: Those things are still unique and they still bring innovation to the idea of what these races can be, but at the same time there's a familiarity there that players can feel comfortable with in the traditional fantasy setting.[87]Steven Sharif

Dünir dwarven appearance

Facial hair is characteristic of the Dünir, not the Niküa.[3]

  • Female Dünir beards will not match that of the male. It will be more of a braided option that is not as voluminous.[3]
  • Body hair may also be a character customization option for female Dünir.[88]
  • The developers updated the Dünir dwarves' design to have a more stout traditional fantasy appearance based on feedback from Alpha-1.[89][90]

Niküa dwarves have a "halfling" appearance.[89][90]

Tulnar appearance

Outdated Tulnar silhouettes. These do not represent the current state of game design.[91][92]

The Tulnar will have a wide array of character customizations. We can't wait to show you all the sweet Tulnar customizations we are working on![93]

Tulnar is the only race with the capability to adjust racial appearance in a significant manner.[94]

  • Tulnar race does not have sub-types, instead, players will be able to customize the appearance of Tulnar characters.[95][96]
  • Players will have dials to adjust the reptilian, mammalian, humanoid, and other attributes of their Tulnar character in the Character creator.[95][97]
    • Mammalian Tulnar may have snout features, fur and inverted knees.[98]
    • Reptilian Tulnar may have more circular eyes and head shape, and scaly skin.[98]
  • There are feline and bestial components that can be scaled up when creating a Tulnar character but Tulnar do not equal furries.[10][99]

Tulnar do not equal furries, but there are definitely some bestial components that you can scale up when you're creating your Tulnar character, so you could max that setting I guess. Whether or not that would give you what you would think of as a furry, I guess it's going to be up to your interpretation of what a Furry is.[99]Steven Sharif

Q: Will character creator allow us to make Tulnar that might look somewhat like Kobolds from Pathfinder or DnD?
A: I wouldn't say exactly, but there's definitely elements of Kobolds that you could incorporate in a character creator with the Tulnar, yes.[100]Steven Sharif

Gender

There are female and male genders in Ashes of Creation.[102][103]

Artistic influences

Character races are super important. These are the choices that we make at the onset of our adventure in an MMORPG: what race- not just mechanically aligns with our decisions, if those races have game mechanics behind them from a stat perspective, but visually and culturally and historically: What are these? What do these races represent? So it's important that visually they're distinct. And everyone's seen fantasy games do Elves, so everyone's seen them do Humans, everyone's seen them do Orcs: There's an established expectation almost behind what these traditional fantasy races represent; and there's a risk, because whenever you're creating a new IP or a new story or a new world- a new Universe; a realm in which things don't have to always be the norm, you can take a little bit of creative liberty to redefine some of the aspects of a particular race; and that can be a good thing, because it's something that is new to players. It's something that is unique to the realm that we're building- the surroundings that you have. So what we wanted to do was push a little bit more on the unique side of what the Py'rai would look like from a visual perspective.[110]Steven Sharif

You will see in the different races that are available from a player character standpoint a lot of different influences that reflect many cultures in the world: Not just European, not just Africa, not Mesoamerican. These cultures are going to be present in many of the races.[118]Steven Sharif

The idea is just to find a base component in the real world as a starting point and then to begin to fantasize.[111]Steven Sharif

Cosmetic items

Cosmetic items allow players to customize their character in-game.[28]

  • Eye color.
  • Skin color.
  • Hair color.
  • Hairstyles.
  • Tattoos.
  • Scars.

Cosmetic items that produce in-game cosmetic effects will also be available.[119]

Emoji

Emoji adds additional flare either for chat or character representation (social animations).[120][121][28]

Artwork

Ashes of Creation will have a higher graphical fidelity than most western games. It will not be too stylized or "cartoony".[123]

We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art.[123]Steven Sharif

See also

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