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The Baldur’s Gate 3 character creator is expansive and inclusive

On Tuesday, Kotaku published an exclusive interview with Baldur’s Gate 3 lead character artist Alena Dubrovina to dig deep behind the scenes of the game’s character creation system. Interestingly, this interview revealed that Baldur’s Gate 3’s character creator was originally built to help the development team create NPCs to populate the world that actually look unique and realistic to a story within the lore of Dungeons and Dragons.

“We never make a character creator […] specifically for the players, even though we sort of do,” Dubrovina told Kotaku. First of all, when the production starts, we make it for us. Because we knew that the game was gonna be huge. We knew that there’s gonna be too many characters and we knew we need to customize everyone and be prepared for Dragonborns or similar creatures like that. […] So we kind of know that if a design is requested and there’s gonna be—like in a year— 100 [characters] throughout the game, it’s our job to kind of be prepared to make sure that all of those imps or at least some of those imps look unique.”

But beyond this, Larian also wanted to give players plenty of options to allow them to create realistic-looking humans that also reflect who they are personally. This includes hairstyles for folks of different races so Black players can actually have representative options, four different, non-gendered body options, and selectable genitalia that will actually show up in-game (though players with Dragonborn characters should note that their junk will look a bit different on account of their reptilian nature). This decision came from the development team deciding they wanted to make underwear an actual piece of gear that players could collect during their journeys in Baldur’s Gate 3.

“The question arose, ‘what happens when you take it off?'” Dubrovina said in the Kotaku interview. “At first we were like, ‘you know, maybe nothing’s gonna happen. Maybe we’re gonna have another underwear mesh under it. Who cares? But then I started thinking about it, talking about it, and we realized that for some players, it’s just another way to represent their identity.”

Planning for how players will interact with the world and trying to be prepared for anything was at the core of Larian’s design philosophy. That included developing the game with using they/them pronouns in mind from the start. This made it easy to implement them without them impacting other gameplay systems, with the exception of sex scenes, which will differ depending on what your character has downstairs.

BG is very focused on your identity and the ultimate fantasy where you can be whoever, whatever you wanna be,” Dubrovina said. “And we wanted to have this represented. We believe that visual [character creation options create] a positive player experience. I noticed it with myself when I play games or when I pick which game to buy, right? I’m looking at the characters and I wanna look pretty. I wanna look fun.”

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