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kjames91kjames91 Posts: 97 Arc User
Hey there!

I'm having a hard time with concepts and trying all sorts, but for those who are CO veterans and have your toons since the beginning, my question is How do you do it? What were the stages you took to create legit superheroes? I don't know if it's game mechanics, endgame content, etc, but I am lacking something. Sorry for the rant, but I am curious.

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  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,210 Arc User
    I usually start off with either a general concept (an experimental security robot that accidentally gained sapience! An electrical hero who's really short!), or a name suggested by either something that happened or someone on the forums (Spinnytop suggested Weapon Xmas to me; Captain Mercaptan happened because I saw some roadkill and started free-associating about the aromatic chemicals; Pyretta Blaze is a Type O Negative song that also makes a killer superhero name). Then I try to figure out a costume that goes with it.

    Sometimes I actually get the costume first - Piqsirpoq, for instance, just started off as a generic idea for a Canadian super, with his tights colored like the ol' maple leaf. Then I started thinking about why a Canuck might wind up with ice powers (I'd gone with that because I hadn't made a Glacier yet), and I looked up some stuff about Inuit folklore. (Piqsirpoq is a Labrador Inuit word for "blizzard".)

    If you're stuck, my suggestion is that you pick a character type, then start creating a background for them. Sometimes that'll give you what you need for the rest.
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • shadowolf505shadowolf505 Posts: 651 Arc User
    I just make costumes as I have ideas in my head and try to implement them as characters in CO. What I would suggest is to try mixing costume parts with a general concept and then the name should come to you. It works well for me and is still working up to this day.
    Link to my build thread on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1346940077
    Broken parser test here: https://gyazo.com/25ccc5aaa2f98523d217ffe0c07e1dbb
    @shadowolf505 in game, same on the forums too.
  • flyingfinnflyingfinn Posts: 7,897 Arc User
    The burialgrounds of heroes under lvl 10 is far reaching and deep. :#
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  • dialamxdialamx Posts: 538 Arc User
    edited July 9
    I've turned old comic concepts I had when I was a kid into characters. Some are direct copies, some are drastically altered from their original concept, by my own experiences in life since they were created. I also have quite a few characters that are spawned out of costume ideas I created for other characters. I'm fascinated by Lovecraftian horrors, so I made my own, named Shub Nagoth. Since it's meant to be a nightmarish creature, I started messing around in the Tailor, trying to make horrific looking costumes. One ended up looking like a grotesque demon baby. I loved the look so much, I turned it into it's own character, named Mommy's Little Monster.

    The ideas you'll enjoy the most are always the ones that kinda flow out of you naturally, seemingly out of nowhere. Rather than the ones to try to force out. At least that's how it is for me.
  • alfa1777alfa1777 Posts: 13 Arc User
    I do the same as shadowolf505, some idea occurs to me and I try to capture it in the game
  • shortbus#4297 shortbus Posts: 54 Arc User
    I have been trying to figure out a simple answer or formula for this and I do not have one.

    But, let me throw around some ideas that I think might have helped.
    • Being inspired by something. Shortbus came from the idea of "what if a bus that took developmental disabilities was some how a super hero?"
    • Find the intersection of many things. Panda was part me wanting to win CCs, part wanting to use dual blades, and part wanting a panda themed character. When it occurred to me that I could use the bunwraps hair style to make "ears" the rest just sort of happened.
    • Write stories and or Roleplay. Simple conversation and responding in a "how would this character respond" way can help reveal something about the character. A few of my characters have come to life on Dawn Radio (voiced by myself or other DJs) and it is fun hearing them in their exploits.
    • Learn how to make good costumes. Go to CCs and see what those people made and try to figure out how to do it yourself. Use those colors, sliders, and textures to make something. Find pics of things on the interwebz and try to make those in game.
    • Get out of your comfort zone. If your characters all seem the same (i.e. white, male, muscular, broody) then maybe change it up a little. If you play a kid, remember what it was like to be a kid. If you play a kind of person that you know little to nothing about, try reading some biographies or stories related to that.
    • Pick a good name. This may take a while.
  • kjames91kjames91 Posts: 97 Arc User
    Thank y’all for your input. I was discussing this with a sg mate and I think my problem is how do you keep the idea/ flow of RP going? For example, for people RP alone mainly. With CO, the concepts are endless, but the sgs are limited. So for the loner military soldier in MC, how do you keep that flow going on? How can you express your stories from just your point of view?
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,210 Arc User
    kjames91 wrote: »
    Thank y’all for your input. I was discussing this with a sg mate and I think my problem is how do you keep the idea/ flow of RP going? For example, for people RP alone mainly. With CO, the concepts are endless, but the sgs are limited. So for the loner military soldier in MC, how do you keep that flow going on? How can you express your stories from just your point of view?
    Gunrunner used to be just another Westside gang-banger, until that life cost him his older brother. He decided to enlist in the military, and served two tours in the Middle East, where like many soldiers he was exposed to the toxic and radioactive smoke coming from the burn dumps. Unlike most of them, however, he developed super-speed and a highly specialized form of psychokinesis - he can cause damage at great distances, but his limited imagination means he has to pretend to be using an appropriate weapon. After returning home, he saw what had become of Westside in his absence, and vowed to use his newfound powers to bring an end to the violence. (Later, he saw that the roots of the problems in Westside weren't things that could be shot or blown up, but rather were based in matters of economics and politics. On the other hand, he learned that there are greater threats to the world at large - but that many of them, supervillains especially, could be dealt with by shooting and explosions.)

    That one started off with getting the Invisible Guns from the Foxbat event, and trying to figure out what kind of person would use invisible guns. Gunrunner's build is basically Munitions with guns he imagines. Now he's kind of the Nega-Punisher, waging a one-man war on villainy while trying not to kill everything in sight.
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,605 Arc User
    kjames91 wrote: »
    Thank y’all for your input. I was discussing this with a sg mate and I think my problem is how do you keep the idea/ flow of RP going? For example, for people RP alone mainly. With CO, the concepts are endless, but the sgs are limited. So for the loner military soldier in MC, how do you keep that flow going on? How can you express your stories from just your point of view?

    The first thing I suggest is to remember that you aren't role-playing a toon, or an archetype. You're role-playing a person. You have to connect to them on the level of empathy for how they feel, what they want, how they view their place in the world. The way to make a compelling character with a compelling story, is to find one with a story that's compelling to you. That will infuse all your role-playing interactions.

    Then keep in mind that a person isn't a static sculpture, all its traits set in stone. People change based on their experiences, the challenges they face, their successes and failures, and the lessons they learn from them. Allow your character to evolve over time, and his interactions with others will always be fresh.

    Everyone on this thread has given you great suggestions for where to find inspiration for your heroes. The only thing I have to add should be obvious based the sort of things I post around here: I usually try to find a way to connect a character to the existing setting in some way, to find an intersection with who he/she is, and the background provided for the world I'm playing in. My experience is that immediately adds depth to the character, and usually suggests routes I can advance him or her through.
  • deadman20deadman20 Posts: 1,516 Arc User
    Something that may help with building up a character is how you set the mood for them. I typically do that by finding a piece of music to use as a theme. Sometimes it can be just as simple as building your character around what a particular song is conveying.

    Most of my characters don't really belong in CO's universe, but that doesn't mean that on their own they aren't great characters. For instance, I have a character themed around Simon Viklund's "Break The Rules". The song itself has motifs that are reminiscent of Bonnie Tyler's "I Need A Hero", but mixed in with "Push It To The Limit" from Scarface, nevermind that it was designed for another game. Something that might help is to think of a song being the intro for a show with that character as the protagonist.

    Anyway, the character I created with that song in mind is a roguish thief. Think Robin Hood, but stealthy and charismatic. His specialty lies in coercing the enemy to do the fighting for him while he works in the background to further disrupt villainous intent, usually by taking the very objects they were after. He "breaks the rules" by doing the deed first, keeping the villains fighting among themselves until backup arrives to clean up anything left. Most heroes are direct and confrontational, whereas this character works behind the scenes.

    That's just a concept. Afterward, you can take it steps further with a fitting story that gives that character a reason to do what they do, a background of sorts. It doesn't have to be the length of a novel, but it is much easier to develop a story when you have your own interest in it. Once you have a solid background to match the character's ideals, that's when you should feel ready to RP. You don't have to write down every little interest or exploit for that character, as that tends to be overdoing it. Just start with a good foundation and build up from there. Let some RP affect your character's ideals, but remember their core.​​
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