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Dollmakers, Playbys and You

By Lily Lilac of RPG-D
Author's Note: There is not such thing as the right or best kind of playby to use. It's all about what makes you, the player, happiest. This guide is meant not to say dollmaker/dressup playbys are the best to use, but rather to give some basic information about why they can be beneficial and were to find them.

Today we're going to be talking about dollmakers/dress-up games and how and why they can be used as a fantastic resource for character representation. Perhaps you don't like using real-life playbys. Perhaps you have a character (or characters) that have an oddly specific look that you haven't been able to find in a real person. Maybe you're looking to play a non-human, like a blue Avatar, dragon, etc, but can't draw or photomanip well enough to make a visual representation. Or maybe you're just curious as to why I think a dress-up game is a good source of character art. Aren't those for, like 10 year old girls?

Well, yes. But that doesn't mean they can't be used. This guide is going to talk first about some of the benefits of using dress-up games, show some examples of what people have created and then link some of my personal favorite games.


Benefit One: It's Free and Legal
Dollmakers and dressup games (at least most of them) are free. No commissions, payments or trades required. Many of the artists are completely down with people using their games to create art for their original characters. This isn't true of every dollmaker, so you'll have to check or ask for their individual rules, but a good many, including all the ones I will be using and linking to, allow there use for character art. For those who are (understandably) cautious about art theft, this is a huge benefit. Here is art that you can legally use and you don't even have to pay for a commission. Just like any other art resource, be sure to check with the rules. Most will require you to simply give credit and link back to their dollmaker/site/Deviant art page, which is the nice thing to do, anyway. :)

Benefit Two: No artistic or photo-editing ability required
All you need to use a dollmaker is a browser and maybe a basic graphics program to scale your image down to icon/avatar size. That's it. What you do get to do is pick the styles, looks and colors you want, without having to try and figure out how to draw, shade or design them. That work has been done for you.

Benefit Three: Customization
There are a lot of dollmakers, out there that have fantastic art and high levels of customization that can be used to create a wide variety of character on a single game. This means you can choose the color and style of clothing and hair options, change nose shape, eye shape, nose shape sometimes even ear shapes and jawline/cheekbone structure or body type. Different games will have different levels of quality and customization, however the ones I'm going to be linking to are on the higher end of this. In addition to all these options, many dollmakers have a drag and drop feature that gives you small items or pieces of outfits that you an manually place over the doll to build your own clothing and accessory options.

To illustrate just how many distinct characters you can get off of one game, I'm going to grab three different games and create three different characters on each of them:
Same maker, same art style, radically different looking characters, even when most of what's seen is only above the neck.


Benefit Four: There's a Dollmaker for everything
Dragons. Anthros. Elves. Period clothing. Futuristic clothing. Cultural-specific costuming. Something as simple as putting more than one character in the same image and having them hold hands (D'aawww). To show my point, here's a couple avatars, a WoW dark elf and a kitsune.




So now that we've gone over the benefits, let's talk about where you can find these character art making gems. There's plenty of websites out devoted to dress-up games and dollmakers and all you need to do is google them. Deviant art is another big resource. Of course this involves lots of searching for those high-quality games, so I went ahead and did the legwork for you.

The following list are some of my personal favorite makers, organized into different categories to help folks more easily navigate. Certain games that fall under multiple categories, will be placed in all of them, for easy finding.

The categories are: Male, Female, Multiple Characters, Child, Historical, Modern, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Fandom, Plus-Sized, Non-Human Humanoids, Animals.

Male:
Anime Couple
Avatar Maker
BT Dressup Male
Family
Fantasia Scene Maker
Hogwarts Scene Maker
Korean Warrior
Male Street Fashion
Manga Creator Page 1
Manga Creator Page 2
Manga Creator Page 3
Manga Creator Page 4
Manga Creator Page 5
Manga Creator Page 7
Manga Creator Page 8
Scene Couple
Shoujo Manga Avatar Creator: Male
Tudor Scene Maker
Warrior Maker
Vampire Couple

Female:
Adventurer Maker
Ancient Chinese Girl
Angel Maker
Anime Couple
Anime Magical Girl
Anime School Girl
Anthro Maker
Avatar Maker
Beautiful Mermaid
BT Dressup Female
Boho Chic Sisters
Chibi Girl
Chinese Traditional Costume Creator
Childhood
Chubby Girl
Dazzling Winter
Elven Fashion
Emo Girl
Every Girl's Dress-up v.3
Fairy Tale Chick Maker
Family
Fantasia Scene Maker
Fantasy Girl
Fashion Creator
Four Elements Maker
Gothica
Goth Loli
Gothic Lolita
Heroine Creator
Historical Princess
Historical Witch Creator
Hogwarts Avatar Creator
Hogwarts Scene Maker
Jessica Rabbit
Kimono Fashion
Kimono Maker
Korean Queen
Little Miss Winter
Lolita Maker
Lovely Floral Dress-up
Manga Creator Page 1
Manga Creator Page 2
Manga Creator Page 3
Manga Creator Page 4
Manga Creator Page 5
Manga Creator Page 6
Manga Creator Page 7
Manga Creator Page 8
Marie-Antoinette
Mega Avatar Creator
Mega School Girl
Mega Yukata Creator
Modern Mucha
Mother and Daughter
Ocean Fashion Dress-up
Oshare Kei
Portrait Maker
Pin-Up Maker
Pirate Girl
Princess Maker
Rapunzel (not Tangled)
Rebel Girl Dress-up
Rock Chick Maker
Rocker Girl
Roman Lady
Sailor Senshi Maker
Scene Couple
Shoujo Manga Avatar Creator: Female
Tinker Bell Creator
Tomboy
Tudor Scene Maker
Urban Elf
Vampire Couple
Vampire Maker
Victorian Butterly
Video Game Avatar Creator
Viking Maker
Wonderland Avatar Creator
Wood Elf

Multiple Characters:
If a romantic pairing is applicable, possible combinations have been labeled
Anime Couple (M/F)
Avatar Maker (M/F)
Avatar: The Last Airbender Scene Maker (M/F, M/M, F/F)
Boho Chic Sisters (F/F)
Family (M/F)
Fantasia Scene Maker (M/F)
Fantasy Horse (M/F, M/M, F/F)
Four Elements Maker
Hogwarts Scene Maker (M/F, M/M, F/F)
Manga Creator Page 1 (M/F)
Manga Creator Page 2 (M/F, F/F)
Manga Creator Page 3 (M/F)
Manga Creator Page 4 (M/F)
Manga Creator Page 5 (M/F)
Manga Creator Page 6 (F/F)
Manga Creator Page 7 (M/F)
Manga Creator Page 8 (M/F)
Mother and Daughter
Tudor Scene Maker (M/F, M/M, F/F)
Sailor Senshi Maker (F/F)
Scene Couple (M/F)
Vampire Couple (M/F)

Child:
Avatar: The Last Airbender Scene Maker
Chibi Girl
Childhood
Family
Little Miss Winter
Mother and Daughter

Historical:
Adventurer Maker
Ancient Chinese Girl
Angel Maker
Avatar: The Last Airbender Scene Maker
Chinese Traditional Costume Creator
Elven Fashion
Fairy Tale Chick Maker
Fantasy Girl
Goth Loli
Gothic Lolita
Heroine Creator
Historical Princess
Historical Witch Creator
Kimono Fashion
Kimono Maker
Korean Warrior
Korean Queen
Marie-Antoinette
Mega Yukata Creator
Pin-Up Maker
Pirate Girl
Princess Maker
Rapunzel
Roman Lady
Tinker Bell Creator
Tudor Scene Maker
Vampire Couple
Victorian Butterly
Viking Maker
Warrior Maker
Wonderland Avatar Creator
Wood Elf

Modern:
Anime Couple
Anime Magical Girl
Anime School Girl
Anthro Maker
Adventurer Maker
BT Dressup Female
Boho Chic Sisters
Chibi Girl
Childhood
Chubby Girl
Dazzling Winter
Emo Girl
Every Girl's Dress-up v.3
Fairy Tale Chick Maker
Family
Fashion Creator
Gothica
Goth Loli
Gothic Lolita
Hogwarts Avatar Creator
Hogwarts Scene Maker
Jessica Rabbit
Little Miss Winter
Lolita Maker
Lovely Floral Dress-up
Manga Creator Page 1
Manga Creator Page 2
Manga Creator Page 3
Manga Creator Page 4
Manga Creator Page 5
Manga Creator Page 6
Manga Creator Page 7
Manga Creator Page 8
Male Street Fashion
Mega Avatar Creator
Mega School Girl
Modern Mucha
Mother and Daughter
Ocean Fashion Dress-up
Oshare Kei
Pin-Up Maker
Portrait Maker
Rebel Girl Dress-up
Rock Chick Maker
Rocker Girl
Sailor Senshi Maker
Scene Couple
Shoujo Manga Avatar Creator: Female
Shoujo Manga Avatar Creator: Male
Tomboy
Tinker Bell Creator
Urban Elf
Vampire Couple
Vampire Maker
Wonderland Avatar Creator

Fantasy/Sci-Fi:
Anime Magical Girl
Anthro Maker
Angel Maker
Avatar Maker
Avatar: The Last Airbender Scene Maker
Beautiful Mermaid
BT Dressup Female
BT Dressup Male
Create a Dragon
Create a Dragon 2
Dragon Maker
Elven Fashion
Fairy Tale Chick Maker
Fantasia Scene Maker
Fantasy Girl
Fantasy Horse
Four Elements Maker
Gothica
Heroine Creator
Historical Witch Creator
Hogwarts Avatar Creator
Hogwarts Scene Maker
Pegasus Maker
Pirate Girl
Ocean Fashion Dress-up
Rapunzel
Rock Chick Maker
Sailor Senshi Maker
Tinker Bell Creator
Urban Elf
Vampire Couple
Vampire Maker
Video Game Avatar Creator
Wonderland Avatar Creator
Wood Elf

Fandom:
Avatar Maker
Avatar: The Last Airbender Scene Maker
BT Dressup Female
BT Dressup Male
Fantasia Scene Maker
Heroine Creator
Hogwarts Avatar Creator
Hogwarts Scene Maker
Jessica Rabbit
Korean Warrior
Korean Queen
Sailor Senshi Maker
Tinker Bell Creator
Tudor Scene Maker
Vampire Maker
Wonderland Avatar Creator

Plus-Sized
Anthro Maker
Chubby Girl
Every Girl's Plus-Sized Dress-up
Four Elements Maker (Earth)
Lolita Maker
Princess Maker (two body types)

Non-Human Humanoid:
Angel Maker
Anthro Maker
Avatar Maker
Beautiful Mermaid
BT Dressup Female
BT Dressup Male
Elven Fashion
Fairy Tale Chick Maker
Fantasy Girl
Fantasia Scene Maker
Four Elements Maker
Gothica
Heroine Creator
Pirate Girl
Ocean Fashion Dress-up
Rock Chick Maker
Tinker Bell Creator
Urban Elf
Vampire Couple
Vampire Maker
Video Game Avatar Creator
Wood Elf

Animal:
Cub Creator
Create a Cat
Create a Dragon
Create a Dragon 2
Create a Rat
Dragon Maker
Fairy Tale Chick Maker (end of the game)
Fantasy Horse
Feline Creator
Griffin Maker
Fox Creator
Kitten Creator 1
Kitten Creator 2
Kitten Maker
Pegasus Maker
Pony Creator
Puppy Maker
Robe Au Choix (Horse)

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