We've been hard at work behind the scenes on getting things ready for our first Closed Alpha test in April. In particular, if you're a Kickstarter backer you've (hopefully) received a survey to fill out so we can start linking your Kickstarter rewards to your OrbusVR account. In fact, something like 80% of people already have their stuff linked up! So if you haven't filled out that survey yet, don't delay!
Today I wanted to show off the new work we're doing on the Character Creation front. In the Stress Tests all the characters looked the same and, aside from gear, you had no options to customize your character. Well that simply won't do! Here's a preview of the new system we're still finishing up:
This now serves as the first place you'll go right after the launcher checks to make sure your game is up to date. Here you can select an existing character and hop in-game, or you can create a new character. When creating a new character, you now have the option to choose your character's skin tone, face style, and eye style. We're also working on adding hair options so not everyone is bald!
The addition of the faces really adds a lot to the player model, so we're super excited to play with that the next time we get you all in-game with us. We're also working on a system so that the expressions of the player's character change when they are speaking, and hopefully it can do some pitch detection and other tricks to show expressions as well.
We've mentioned previously on the Kickstarter and elsewhere that we plan to have a naming policy for the game. Our first version of it is now available to view:
- You can't have a name that's offensive, nonsense, or impersonates someone in real life.
- You can't use numbers or spaces in the name.
- We prefer that you choose a name that sounds like a name, not a "username." A name is something like "Toras", "John", or "Lucian." A username is something like "AOneHunter", "AmazingTrapeez", or "xxBadgerKillaxx".
It's important to distinguish between "can't" and "we prefer", though. "Can't" in this case means that the system won't even let you enter a space or numbers in your name. It also means that if your name is offensive, and it's brought to our attention, we will force you to change your name (and possibly take further action if this is not your first offense).
"We prefer" means it's a polite request. We'd like to see characters in the OrbusVR world that match the setting, or at the very least, sound like people instead of anonymous users. It's much more fun to get to know "Toras" than "xxBadgerKillerxx." However, we won't be enforcing this request via any direct intervention -- so if you name your character "AOneHunter" we won't make you change it.
However, this is where one fun feature we want to try out comes in. We want to give you the ability to "earn" your Surname. Once a character reaches Level 20 in at least one Battle Discipline, they'll have the opportunity to petition the "powers that be" to grant them a Surname. But here's the deal -- we're only going to grant you a surname if your name makes sense to have one. "AmazingTrapeez" is not a person's name, so it does not need a surname. "Lucian Soria" has a nice ring to it, though. Unlike base names, surnames do not have to be unique. So if you have friends in the game you want to treat as family, you can share a surname. (The first person who "establishes" a surname gets to decide who gets admitted into it, but once they're admitted it can't be revoked).
So, if you eventually want a surname, we encourage you to consider naming your character according to the complete naming policy. If you really don't care about surnames, or following the optional parts of the policy, that's totally fine, too. There's no gameplay penalty to missing out on a surname, it's simply an extra bonus for people who want to roleplay.
Well, back to work turning all of these ideas into actual gameplay features!
If you'd like to discuss this post you can do so on our forums here: https://community.orbusvr.com/t/new-dev-blog-character-creation-preview-naming-policy/1126