Do you want to make a Sonic fan character, but are afraid of critics telling you it's unoriginal? Well fear not! I created this for two reasons! One of which is obvious, to help you fellow Sonic fan character creators to make a unique character that you and your fans will love! There's that, and I have nothing better to do...
If any examples in the following text sound like one of your characters, it is pure coincidence. Any reference I make to a fan character is either to my own characters or totally made up. Please do not think I am targeting you! I'm not.
I don't know how many people do this first, but I like to create a story first before designing my character. It helps me decide what kind of character I'm making! Is he/she normal? Supermobian? From another world? You have to be careful though, one wrong move and originality can easily go out the window! Here are some tips;
First things first, what's their background like? Backgrounds are important for a few reasons. Firstly, it helps you think about what your characters personality will be like. For example, if their history if full of restrictions and not being allowed to go where they want, that'll probably mean that their personality will be adventurous and curious. Of course, that's not always the case! Their backstory doesn't necessarily define their personality, but it might help you think of personality traits easier.
Secondly, it also helps with their design believe it or not! Example; if you make your character from a different planet, then their clothing will obviously be different from a regular mobian! Place of birth, era they're born, even amount of money they possess helps to give ideas for a suitable design! You don't really want a regular citizen of Metropolis to wear a fancy-dancy outfit, that'd be a bit odd no? If they're a regular mobian, make sure to make an outfit that you would wear in public! Unless your character is the opposite gender, then I wouldn't suggest imagining that...that'd be weird...
Now, the most difficult part about an original backstory is, well, making it original! What I mean by original is to make it as different as possible from the majority of the fan characters out there! Like, how many 'Sonic's long lost sibling' characters are out there do you think? Well, they made a
The biggest problem that I see in fan characters is mary-sues. Creating one of these guys is a great way to get haters if you want, but who wants that? Well, besides the annoying trolls out there...So, a good way to prevent this is to make sure your characters story isn't too over the top! Again, long lost siblings aren't the best way to go. However, making siblings for side characters (Chaotix, Vanilla, etc.) isn't that bad of an idea since these characters haven't really gotten so much attention that we know everything about them. Making siblings for main characters (Sonic, Amy, etc.) isn't the greatest idea, unless you can do it really well written, then go ahead!
Ah powers, a very common thing that FC's seem to share. It's also something to easily overdue and totally screws up your originality. Very easy to do. Here are some tips to prevent that from happening;
Now, when giving your character powers, you want to make sure the powers are accurate. For example; pyrokinesis. Many people get the wrong idea about this power. Pyrokinesis is not the ability to create fire out of thin air, but to heat things up or light flammable items on fire, and control already existing fire. Doing research on powers like these will really help to make sure that their powers aren't too 'almighty'.
Another thing to be careful of is too much power. You don't really want a character to have more than one ability. If you've noticed, Spiderman has spider abilities, and that's all. The Flash has super speed, that's all. See where I'm going? You don't need a bunch of powers to be awesome, just one can be sufficient! Having too many powers for one person can get pretty annoying, especially if it's not well written. However, if you think you can give your character two or more powers without going over the top, go right ahead!
Lastly, 'perfection'. What power doesn't have a weakness? Not very many! Flawed powers are not a bad thing! Flawless powers, again, can easily get annoying. I don't know about you, but super powerful characters that can do anything with no weaknesses are an instant turn-off, no? So, try not to make a character that's a 'supreme god that can do everything!'. I find those annoying to the point I want to shake the creator asking how they could possibly think they're an awesome character...
This is the most fun part of all, designing the character! This is also the part that you can screw up the biggest! Here are some tips;
Boobs. I have seen so many characters with watermelon boobs...the only fans you'll get are guys that can't get a girl. I'm not saying to make them totally flat, but try not to make them too big, unless you really want to, then I'm not stopping you...
Something else I want to touch on is the Furry Doll-maker. It's a great way for a start-off, that is, if you don't mind your character looking similar to other people's creations. Remember, lots of people use the game to help create a character, so don't be surprised if your character looks similar to someone else's. What I suggest is, if you really want to use it, only use it as a base creation! Don't feel like your character has to look just like the Furry you made, change up the colour of the cloths, make a long-sleeve a short-sleeve, whatever you desire! Remember, it's your character, don't feel held down by someone else's ideas!
Also, try to make your character dress his/her age. If you make a character that's 10 years old, don't give her a mini skirt and tube top! Would a girl that young wear something like that? Not really no. Well, not from what I've seen...Try to also make them look their age, because again, most 10 year old girls don't have gigantic breasts and wear ten pounds of make-up.
The species is something to be aware of to. Make sure to choose an animal that you actually like! If you don't like snakes, do you really want to draw a snake over and over again just because it's unique for a Sonic character? I know I wouldn't! So don't choose an animal you don't like just because it's unique.
If you decide to make a your character a hedgehog, fox, bat, etc. make sure they don't look like Sonic, Tails, Rouge, etc. You'll be called a recolourer and stalked by haters. I've seen it happen, not fun. Oh, and just adding a few markings here and there on a blue hedgehog that looks just like Sonic to make him different isn't being original either. Unless he's like, a tribal ancestor or something...that'd be pretty cool...Anyway, my point is, don't add markings to a FC that looks like a canon character in an attempt to be original. All it does a badly try and hide your lack of creativity.
People that have seen my characters are probably thinking, 'what about Rosey huh? She looks just like Amy!' Ah, but there is a big different between copying off a character and making that look part of the characters story! For example, my character Rosey didn't always look like Amy, and only changed her look because she herself is a huge fan of Amy. So if you're making a character that looks like a canon, it's alright if they didn't always look like the canon, just as long as there's a reason for it all. Like they say, 'There's a reason for everything!'
You also want to make sure their cloths match where they come from. I've already gone over this part in the backstory section, so I don't really need to say too much...
Another fun thing about designing the character is colour! Colour is a key point to the design. You want to make sure to choose colours that work well together to help get the attention. Making a character's fur black and cloths all black isn't the best way to go since black isn't the best colour to catch the eye. If you want your character to wear lots of black, try adding a little red or white, you'd be surprised in the difference it makes!
Eye colour on the other hand you can pretty much do whatever with! Just remember though, multi-coloured eyes are due to having Heterochromia which is caused by injury, disease, or genetics, so be careful with that!
Naming, probably the hardest part of making a unique character. Believe it or not, if you're not careful, you could mess this step up to! Yes, it is possible. Here are some tips to prevent that;
When naming your character, think. Would a parent really name their child this? I've seen some really crazy names that'd I personally never name my child. Again, if they are from another planet, then this doesn't really apply! I can't really imagine aliens using names like Bob or something, it'd be a little odd...not that Bob is an odd name! Just that they probably wouldn't use regular names!...on to the next tip...
I've seen this quite a lot, and that is mixing up a canon character's name to make a new one. For example; Cinos. Don't get me wrong, it's a great name! But, do you really want to use a name that the majority of hedgehog recolourers use? I wouldn't, but that's just me...What I'm saying is that, using mixed up names isn't a bad thing, it's just a very common thing, especially for recolourers...
A fun thing to do with names is make a name with a hidden meaning! Say, if your character has pyrokinesis, don't stick to a name like Flare or Inferno! Nice names, but a little obvious. Try tossing the name into the translator to see what comes up, or even find a unique name in a thesaurus! Example, Flare can be translated to Colère (also means anger) in French, or Furea in Japanese. See? Cool, unique names with a hidden meaning!
Remember, your character is your creation, not a real person! If you feel that you need to change something, don't be afraid to do so! You're in control of your character, you make him/her the way you want to! Don't let critiques and trolls offend and scare you! They're just one person of the thousands out there that love to see what others are capable of creating! Share your ideas, and make an awesome character that you can be proud of!
If you guys have any questions at all, don't be afraid to ask! Even if you want starter tips, I mean, I'm not the greatest with on-the-spot story creating (Spur of the moment backstories are quite rare with me!) but I may be able to help! Or, maybe a fellow FC owner will see your need for assistance and give you some tips! Check the artist's comments for tips not included in this, or answers to questions you may have that someone else has already asked!
Until next time, happy creating!