Hello, my lovely inkblots! Today I wanted to address something that I struggled with when I was first trying to become a VTuber. I wanted to be a VTuber for years, but I didn’t know where to start. I tried looking for information online, but I noticed that everything seemed to point to how to physically create a VTuber avatar, not so much how to find the personality behind it. I also couldn’t find information about how to come up with personas for these characters and make them unique and genuine. So, I wanted to share the three things that I did to find my VTuber persona.
Sidenote: This guide will not focus so much on the visual details of the character/avatar, but rather their core personality. If you would like to see the more technical steps that relate to your avatar’s appearance, check out my top five tips for designing a VTuber avatar, but I recommend that you at least skim through this one first. Going through the steps below will help you along in the next guide.
Step 1: Find your content & purpose
Believe it or not, this may heavily influence the development of your VTuber personality and maybe even your avatar’s general appearance. Usually, when starting out with anything creative like VTubing, you will want to have a general idea of what you are setting out to do. Try to make a list of what you would like to do as a VTuber if you can. If you want to share gameplay videos, try to consider what kind of games you like to play and how you can use elements from these to make your character unique to you. The same could be said if you are planning on creating music, too; try to take the genre that you are focusing on and make your character take on traits that people expect of that genre. For example, if you are a streamer that plays fighting games, you might want to give your character a fiery or assertive personality. On the other hand, if you want to write and perform love songs, you can make your character seem very sweet and cute. You can also try to do the opposite to subvert people’s expectations, but be careful when doing so. Try to consider what sort of personality would vibe best with your content.
Another question to ask yourself when doing this is why you want to create this specific kind of content. Does gaming genuinely make you happy? Express that! Are you trying to fill a gap in your niche?
When I listed the answers to these questions, I noticed that I mainly wanted my content to revolve around my fantasy stories. This led to me making my character into a friendly elf with some characteristics that I find cute. This made it a little easier to solidify the personality I wanted to convey and even some aspects of my avatar’s design.
Step 2: Decide if you want to act as a fictional character or be your regular self
This part may be a little tricky and I struggled with it when I was first conceptualizing my VTuber persona. As you may know, some VTubers use their avatars to act as a character that is separate from their IRL selves (this is especially common in corporate VTubers, such as those employed by Hololive or VShojo). Others create their avatars to be a virtual representation of themselves. There is no right or wrong way to create a persona when it comes to this and I think this part mostly depends on the content you are trying to make.
When I was initially coming up with the concept for my own persona, I wanted to act as a character separate from myself. However, I quickly realized that this would limit what I could talk about with my viewers and readers. If I stuck with this sort of character, then I wouldn’t be able to discuss some of my personal experiences that I feel bring more of a meaning and purpose to my content without going out of character. So, I decided against using my avatar as a separate character and instead created her to be a direct representation of myself with just a little bit of fiction added to spice things up. This was also influenced by the next step in this guide, which is . . .
Step 3: Come up with a backstory for your character
This step essentially focuses on finding the reasons why your character is the way they are. I would recommend using character planning sheets or questionnaires for this one. Was your character once the ruler of some domain, but they were kicked out and now stream gameplay instead? What experiences from your own life can you bring into this character’s backstory to make them seem more authentic? It’s very similar to creating the backstory for a fictional character because, in a way, you are. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different things out to see what fits your persona best. You could also come up with a basic premise for their backstory and wing it if you want to, but try to be consistent during your streams and videos.
When I wanted my avatar to be a separate character from myself, I came up with the idea of an elf that was reverse isekaied into the human world and was trying to navigate her way through it while sharing stories and telling her experiences. I explained above why this wouldn’t have worked out for me, but I still enjoyed creating this backstory and exploring the different ways that it would influence her personality and behavior.
This can also be helpful if you decide not to act as a fictional character while you are VTubing. How much of your real-life do you want to influence your presence as a VTuber? Are there any experiences that influence your content? What sort of things are you comfortable talking about on your channel? What is off-limits? How much of your personal life are you willing to share? It is always good to lay down boundaries for what you are and are not willing to discuss online. Using character questionnaires to describe yourself can also help you find a way to summarize your real-life backstory as well.
By following these steps, you should have a pretty solid basis for your VTuber persona. Thank you for reading this little guide! If you are still interested, I have a guide here for how to come up with more visual details of your avatar/character. If you are still struggling to answer some of the questions I asked above, please check out my other guides on how to become a VTuber.
If this helped, please let me know with a like or a comment below! Did you come up with any fun ideas for your own avatar? Feel free to share them in a comment so I can see them. I would love to hear from you guys!
Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day.