If you've played the demo for A Weekend in Puzzleburg, then you may have noticed that the splash screen when starting up the game says, "A Game by Adam L Bernstein" (indicating it's been made by a man) but you play the game as a woman named Cindy. Might seem a bit strange at first.
When making this game, I realized that it really doesn't matter who the main character is since it's a game about taking a solo vacation and that experience is not unique to any particular type of individual - it's something that anybody could do. As such, I don't necessarily have to stick to the old adage of "write what you know" and place myself in the game as the main character. I could be free to do something different.
And quite frankly, I'm a white man - do we really need another game featuring a white man as the main character? There are plenty of those already. I did know that I wanted to have a well-defined main character that could go on the game's promotional artwork and that all players would experience the game through a similar lens, but it didn't have to be (and probably shouldn't be) a white man.
So I had the following criteria:
- Single defined character as the protagonist to be used in promotional materials (i.e. no character creator)
- Probably not a white man
- As much as possible, still somebody with some of my own traits so I could hopefully write them well
I also knew the game as a whole had the following criteria:
- The main character would be carrying a lot of items around
- The main character would have to be personable since they're interacting with - and doing good deeds for - strangers all throughout their vacation
Based on the above criteria, I settled on a white woman with blue hair for the following reasons:
- As a woman, she could carry around a purse, and all items would go into the purse (it's kind of weird to me how many video game protagonists carry around massive amounts of items with no rational explanation as to how they could carry so much stuff, so having a purse seemed like at least as good of an explanation as I have seen any game attempt)
- If she's white, then that's something I have lived-in experience with and can probably still write the character well, even though the character is a different gender from myself
- The blue hair makes her stand out in the promotional materials - and to other people in Puzzleburg who probably see countless new tourists come through each year (plus, I think it signifies that she's open to new experiences and why a solo vacation might appeal to her)
So there you go. That's how I came up with the main character for A Weekend in Puzzleburg.
I hope you pick up A Weekend in Puzzleburg when the game releases on Friday February 17, 2023. In the meantime, please wishlist and try out the free demo on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1929760/A_Weekend_in_Puzzleburg