There are two confirmed phases of character creation: Destiny and Genetics.
Destiny EditIn what we may call the "Destiny" phase, we choose our soul and birth-date.
Soul Selection Edit
Character creation in Chronicles of Elyria is a multi-step process that takes place entirely within the Soul Chamber. As mentioned in design journal #1, the Soul Chamber is where souls go in order to rest, recuperate, and plan the time and place of their next incarnation.
The first step in character creation is to select which soul you want to use. In the soul selection screen (See Figure 1) you can see the name, age, affinity, skill ramps, talents, and past achievements of each soul. That latter two, Talents and Achievements, won’t be visible the first time you play a soul.
Birth Date Selection Edit
The second phase of character creation is birthdate selection. This might seem like an arbitrary step but it’s actually extremely important. Selecting your age does three things. First, it helps filter out which families you can join in the next phase of character creation. Sorry, no twenty-something families with 40 year-old children. Likewise, the retired farmer and his elderly wife are too old for your energetic youthfulness. If you want to join a family, you’ll need to make sure your character’s age lies within a reasonable window of what is feasible (read not creepy).
The second thing selecting your birthdate does is, well, determines your character’s starting age. The younger your character begins the more time you’ll have to tailor their skills to your liking. This is especially true if you create a teenager. Creating characters less than 18 years old gives you a period of advanced skill development called “Adolescence”. During this time, characters gain new skills more rapidly as a way to experiment with different skill trees. But, being an adolescent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Starting with an older character means more financial stability, an established occupation and skill tree, and more time focused on building a family and settlement.
Genetics EditSelecting your Path, Family and Character Customization is what defines "Genetics".
Chronicles of Elyria uses a system of genetics that allows traits to be passed on from one generation to another. Like in our world, all living things have two sets of DNA, which are randomly sampled and used to determine the characteristics of their offspring. When talking about plants and animals, this allows players to create selective breeding programs, cross-pollinating and breeding until they get the outcome they’re looking for. When talking about player customization there's a bit more flexibility, but the idea is the same.
There’s a collection of physical attributes that get passed on from parents to children that include hair, eye, and skin color, different facial features, height, and a range of other body attributes. You can see values for “Mother” and “Father” which are randomly sampled from their genetic code. The right hand side of the creation screen shows your ability to select specific values for your character’s traits. As indicated by the slider, you're constrained by the values passed on from both parents, along with some slight variation on the outer edge of some attributes.
The constraints placed on a child’s physical appearance guarantees that family members closely resemble one another. This makes it so characters who hail from one region of the world will be easily identifiable by others. At the same time, noble Houses can become well-known for a specific set of physical traits, such as auburn hair and green eyes.
- ↑ Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" "Design Journal #2 – Soul Selection, Destiny, Achievements and Soul Mates." Developer Journals - Chronicles of Elyria.
- ↑ Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" "DJ #6: Character Customization and Bloodlines." Developer Journals - Chronicles of Elyria.