As the fabled Fatemaker, you're destined to defeat the Dragon Lord and save the Wonderlands—but how you do so is up to you. Player choice is a foundational pillar of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, from the way you look and sound to your personalized build of Multiclass badassery. Tina doesn't call you Fatemaker for nothin', you know!
"As far as finding the fun during development, a lot of it comes from player choice," says Ian Childs, Lead System Designer on Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. "Everybody wants to make important choices about their character or their playstyle, and really see themselves and their choices reflected in the game." Character creation in the Wonderlands is a love letter to the imagined heroes of tabletop RPGs, where you can painstakingly craft the finer details of your personalized adventurer or simply pick some options, jump in, and figure out your aspirations later.
In this installment of the Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Dev Diary series, we're looking at everything that makes you so very you when creating your Fatemaker. With a wide array of options for adjusting your appearance and even your demeanor, read up on some of the many ways to make this heroic adventure feel uniquely yours.
Picking your personality
On top of the gameplay-centric choices you'll make during character creation, including your choice of classes with an eye toward the crucial Multiclass system, you can let your imagination run wild with the look and attitude of your personalized Fatemaker. With a basic body type—'This one' or 'That one'—as your canvas, you can customize your height, facial features, hairstyles, makeup, attire, and more to your heart's content. In a nod to tabletop minis, your character will spawn in looking like a freshly glued-together figurine by default, all solid grey and crying out for a coat of fancy paint.
If you don't feel like crafting your appearance from scratch, you can choose from head, makeup, armor, and overall character presets, or simply randomize all your attributes until you stumble onto something you love. Your appearance has no bearing on any in-game power or prosperity, so feel free to make your Fatemaker look as weird or wonderful as you like.
Another essential choice is your preferred personality: Gallant, Clever, Gruff, or Strange. Instead of roleplaying as an established character with their own pre-existing past and motivations, think of the personalities in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands as the general tone you take in your approach to adventure. During your quest, your Fatemaker will have plenty to say, whether that's reactions to Tina's carefully crafted campaign or biting quips on the battlefield. Your choice of personality determines how bold, pithy, surly, or downright bizarre your banter will be.
Each personality has two voice options to choose from, and you can alter their pitch to best suit your Fatemaker. "We have personalities that are not tied to any one body type, gender, past—anything like that, so it was a very different kind of challenge to create voices that still felt unique," says Sam Winkler, Lead Writer on Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. "Each of them has to be fulfilling whether or not you're playing solo. So we came at it from the perspective of tabletop gamers, thinking 'What are the archetypes that we as writers fall into when we're starting a new game or rolling a new character?'
"For instance, there's usually the Gallant adventurer who's always talking themselves up a little too much, and as you play you start to realize that maybe they're still lacking on some heroic deeds. On the opposite side you've got the Strange character, who is a little void-touched and has seen beyond the veil. They're not necessarily in it to save the world or anything more noble than that—it's more like 'I must unravel the secrets of the universe' and 'Oh, a blood sacrifice? I'm all about that, I could do that.'"
Even after you've created your character, you can completely reshape their appearance using one of the Quick Change kiosks. "If you want to change everything about your appearance halfway through the game, go ahead," says Ian. "Be who you want to be, when you want to be it. If you're completely attached to your original look because you spent three hours making it when you started the character, that's great! Did you find a customization pickup that makes your skin look like gemstone, and now you want to make a whole different look? Also great! We allow you to alter the core aspects your character at any time, including body type, personality, and pronoun."
Kick it into Overdrive
For every person wanting to create a hero in their own image or a manifestation of who they'd like to be, there will be someone looking to create a horrific homunculus that will forever live in the nightmares of any who witness them. Those avant-garde creators should direct their attention to the Slider Overdrive option, which just so happens to be Ian's favorite feature of customization.
"By default, we limit what you can do with certain sliders, because 'Oh, this makes the nose clip into the lips,' or 'these eyes are unnaturally big, or tilted in a way that humans can't do, or that few fantasy creatures do because it just looks weird,'" Ian explains. "We typically prevent those things because you want a high-quality game that doesn't look like a bunch of accidents all happening at once. On the other hand, a lot of players view those weird things as hilarious and fun, myself included. I love the bizarro monstrosities that you can make when you don't worry about sliders going too far. So what we did was make the Slider Overdrive mode.
"When you engage Slider Overdrive, there's no lifeguard at the pool. You want a giant nose that clips through giant lips? You want a helmet that clips through a mask? You want your eyes rotated 90 degrees, or to have one eye rotated differently than the other eye? Go for it. That's funny, and funny is fun. And in a world like the Wonderlands, driven by Tina, that feels very much in line with the theme of the game.
"Yeah, it's weird, but so what—weird is hilarious! Sometimes, if I'm having a tough day, I'll go into the character creator, turn Slider Overdrive on, and just randomize characters. Within five minutes I'm giggling, because there's some truly hilarious stuff in there. Definitely use it at your own risk, and if you find something that doesn't look right, don't call me."
Make your mark on the Wonderlands
Customization doesn't stop at your abilities, demeanor, or outward appearance—you can also express yourself via lavish banners and heroically posed statues. Whenever you emote in-game, your banner will back up your friendly/feisty animation, and it's also used to mark where you've saved the day across the Wonderlands.
"When you beat dungeons, your banner will show up there in the Overworld permanently to show that you've been there and conquered it," Ian explains. "You can choose your banner shape, pattern, and icon, plus a color for each. And like most of our customization types, you start out with a lot of choices, but then you unlock a lot more choices as you play the game. They drop from enemies as customization pickups, either from specific enemy armies like the Skeletons or Goblins, or from bosses and Badass enemies in general—because the tougher the kill, the more cool stuff we should give you."
Once you've completed some deeds worth commemorating, you'll also be immortalized with statues of your Fatemaker throughout Brighthoof, which come in a variety of materials from classic marble to carved wood and radiant crystal. "It's not just one statue—they're all over the place to celebrate you," says Ian. "They'll look like you and your friends if you're playing in co-op. By the time you have a full party of four, it's you in the background in your pose, and then your three friends' statues around you, all in their poses. It's nice to see yourself reflected in the world, and that's what creator creation and banner creation and hero statues are all about."
If character creation is the first step of your journey, you can think of the endgame as the ultimate destination. As you level up your Fatemaker to the at-launch cap of 40, you'll be making all kinds of meaningful choices, like stat distribution, synergistic builds within your skill trees, and the gear you bring into each encounter. Speaking of which, there will be plenty of Legendary gear to chase after across the Wonderlands, whether that's to simply experiment with their unique effects or use them as the crown jewel to your perfect character build.
Ben Gettleman, Lead Game Designer on Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, has two Legendary guns that are particularly near and dear to his heart. "There's Reign of Arrows, a Blackpowder shotgun that fires five projectiles, but it doesn't fire bullets—it fires five arrows in an arcing pattern, and you actually have a targeting reticle in the world to show where those arrows will go," Ben explains. "When they land they call down a rain of arrows at that location, so it does a bunch of damage over time there. That gun's pretty sweet. It was also a lot of fun working on the new Swordsplosion, which is a gun from Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep that we rebuilt. Now it fires swords that stick into enemies, and if you've got a sword stuck in someone, the alt-fire mode spawns a giant ethereal sword underneath them that shoots up and does a bunch of damage."
Whatever your approach to character customization, there's something for everyone in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. You'll be able to create your very own Fatemaker and customize their accoutrements when Tiny Tina's Wonderlands launches on March 25, 2022. Stay tuned for more Dev Diary articles and updates to the Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Game Guide until then as you plan out your perfect build and look!