Self insert VN Protag?

I’ve gotten to the point in writing in my VN where I can start safely planning the layouts of my CGs, especially for fetish scenes. However, I’ve run into something I’d like some opinions on (I’m running a twitter poll on this at the same time, but thought I’d ask you guys too).

The player character is treated as a sort of self insert like many romance VNs tend to do, with the narration referring to “I” and the player able to choose their gender and name. But for certain CG scenes, it would be better to be able to show the player character despite them not being the subject of the scene. For example, the player character feeding another character. I had originally planned to just show the player character’s hands but in some close proximity scenes I think it would be distracting or just not feasible. So when you play a VN and your character must show up in a CG, how to you prefer them when you can’t customize them at all? Fully designed but faceless like an ecchi VN protagonist? Completely greyed out so you can fully use your imagination? Or something else?

  • Faceless Protag
  • Featureless Protag
  • I’ll reply with another suggestion

0 voters

Examples of both Faceless and Featureless, plus the character from my VN for comparison to show how they look side by side.

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I think the featureless gray guy is the best, but maybe with some extra clothes? Like a shirt and some jeans, maybe? (they seem like a very default choice of clothing)

Another idea is that the character is normal human (kind of like a faceless guy on the left) but with a cap that creates a shadow on his face, making it completely blacked out.

Oddly enough, I think I’d be able to roll with the absurdity of a character who’s just a gray silhouette better than one who’s dressed but without a face.

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I know what I’m about to suggest isn’t entirely practical but at the start of a new file there could be something like a questionnaire that would alter how the protag looks depending on the answers given, though that would probably a bit much to make a the art for some scenes that you’re probably not going to look at for that long.

Yeah, I listed no customizability because that would add a ton of extra work for the CGs. Most CGs will have at least two poses, and because the character’s weight can be different each day, I have to draw a version of that pose for every possible weight stage attainable at that point in the story.

If I added varied player character sprites (more so than already having male, female, and nonbinary characters as planned), that would add so much more work it’s not feasible for me as a one person team. :weary:

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then probably the best thing to do would be to use the featureless protag

I agree. Faceless protag is a weird mix between an actual character and a character you can imagine yourself.
Some players might not identify themselves well with a given faceless character (personally, I’m not a big fan of the hairstyle in the pic)
That’s just my opinion though!

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if I am to be perfectly honest I’d rather have the protagonist just be a disembodied voice (aka no sprite or portait) if we aren’t going to have a customization option

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