Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Customisation: Why mess with perfection?

Greetings friends!

So over the past couple of days I've been playing more video games, largely due to one of the bi-annual Steam sales.

Thanks to this lovely money saver I have been able to pick up a few new video games at a steal of their RRP (like Borderlands 2 GOTY for ~£8).

So last night I was playing Borderlands 2 and creating my character. In these sort of games I like to play sniper characters; it's quite contrary to my usual 'charge in with guns blazing' or 'hit them with the biggest axe you have' style of 3rd person adventure or RPGs, but I played a sniper for the first Borderlands and found it more fun, so when picking between Zero the Assassin and the 'Gun-Zerker' the choice seemed pretty obvious to me.

What I found interesting was when it came to assigning the head and colour scheme for the character, there were a good number of heads (five?) and about 10-15 colour choices giving a very large combination available, however I found myself sticking with the original head and colour scheme.

The more I thought of this, the more it came down to "it's what looks 'best'".

I am reminded of my character in Wildstar who is teetering on the verge of reaching level 30 and still running around in his Highwayman costume that I got from beta.

Now in Wildstar you can change the colours of nearly every item of clothing, and I have seen a plethora of people rocking this costume set in blues, greens, pinks and ivory in order to set them apart. But when I look at mine I have him still in the default colours:

The reason why is quite simple; there are more colours available in the default version with better shading and colour matching. Plus I really like the look! Why mess with something when someone else has already made it perfect for me?


It's then I think about my wargaming, where a large number of my models have been altered either in the sculpt itself or the paintscheme compared to the 'factory default' colours that comes on cards and packaging.

For example:

Seamus: Traditionally depicted in greens, here spouting an equally flamboyant orange jacket.

The Dreamer: Usually shown as a blonde haired child, here has been warped and twisted into Sadako from Ring.

An 'in-progress' shot of me adding hair to my Lelu.

Not content with the studio sculpt, I built my own Wicked Dolls out of putty with yellow static grass as stuffing.

And of course; my very own Undead Executioner, complete with spilling guys and burlap hood


So it is interesting to me; why constantly modify and alter models in wargaming, while keeping my videogame characters looking like the factory defaults?

I guess for me it comes down to the work involved.

With video games you don't have to physically assemble and paint them. This is all done for you.

In other words. It looks great 'out of the box'.

In wargaming however, you get these unassembled, metal models that need to be covered in paint to stop them looking like POSs.

Now I have never bought a set of (well painted) miniatures before, and it would be interesting to see what I would do with them if I did.

Would I strip them and repaint? Would seem like a waste of a good paint job to do that.

Would I alter them slightly, putting my own unique signature on them? Maybe; but I'd struggle to call them 'mine' if I hadn't really painted them.

I would probably leave them 'as is' displaying them proudly as a purchased set of models painted by 'X' painter.

This is pretty much how I see the video game characters.

Now if you had to buy models, assemble and sculpt them, before painting them and then 'scanning' them into the game so they appear as they do in the real world; you know I would make mine look unique in both paint jobs and sculpting.

On that note, that's all from me, so stay safe and il see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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