This is not a 'how to' guide. I'm saying that upfront because I'm not so conceited as to think I know the 'proper' way to write anything about anything in any format. There are lots of ways to write. Instead, these are just some thoughts I wanted to share about the kind of elements I consider and the thinking process when writing the female characters in AIF games I've developed. A lot of this is stuff you've probably noticed if you've played my games. Maybe you'll have something to say about the method? Maybe you do things differently, or you would do things differently if you were to write a game? Maybe you think I should do things differently? It seems like a discussion that I'd be interested in, at least.
Obviously in AIF there is a particular importance, far beyond what you might find in most other writing, in making sure characters and relationships are sexually appealing. This is because it's ultimately the point of an AIF game to have enjoyable sex scenes (although I'm not saying you couldn't write a good AIF that wasn't designed with that in mind). I actually find this makes things easier, because I always have a clear objective in what character/story elements I'm developing.
I like a nice mix of character types in a game. This means a variety of body types, personalities, ages, roles and sexual identities. In PAC that means you have a strong contrast between such characters as the shy, nerdy, skinny Akemi, the busty and confident Megumi and the athletic and bratty Misato. I don't do this to make it a better game (I can't say for sure that it does), instead I do it because I find it more fun to write characters that are distinct from each other.
Also worthy of note: in Pervert Action games I've had a kind of formula, which I adopted deliberately in order to give the series a sense of thematic identity and continuity. I'll tend to have three younger women in some kind of central thematic role (first students in PAC, trainee pilots in PAF and now maids in PAL), and three other women who are generally more mature and in various other, more adult roles.
The starting point for any sexual objective character in AIF for me is always what their sexual kink/personality is going to be. What kind of sex scene am I going to have in there? Will it be a romantic tender scene? A rougher, hate-sex scene? Those kind of possibilities are important because then you work backward to know what kind of characters you'll want. That said, I don't necessarily know what the sex scene is actually going to be when I create the character; that can also develop out of the understanding I gain of the character through developing their background and interactions with the player.
Body type also plays into this; there's a big difference in my head between a curvy dominatrix and a slender dominatrix, for example. It helps me to get a sense of who the characters are to know what kind of physique they have. As I said I definitely like to have a range of body types, and one thing I've noticed is that this means different players will automatically gravitate toward characters based on their preferred type.
Most importantly with sexual identity I tend to think about sexual power relationships. There's some quote out there that "everything in life is about sex except sex, which is about power." Is the woman dominant or submissive? Or maybe good natured but still sexually assertive?
Role and personality
This will depend a lot on what the story is, and how these characters fit into it. The fact that Pervert Action games are derived from anime stereotypes/archetypes has inspired a lot of the characters I've written for those games, although I do like to put my own spin on the ideas. There is more than just "the shy girl" or "the mean girl" at play here, though, as they might also be students in the PC's class, or they might be a work superior, or perhaps a peer to the player.
Age plays a big part in determining what kind of person the character is for the story, and not just their age but also their age in relation to the age of the PC. It matters a lot whether a woman is younger or older than the player character in determining how they relate to each other, and I always find age differentials enjoyable in creating sexual relationships.
Anyway, the role/personality and the sexual type probably align a lot. If a woman is a teacher and the PC is a student, then whether she's dominant or submissive will play a huge part in the kind of character story that plays out between her and the PC. Is she a strict teacher? A cool teacher? Is the sex scene going to have a "sex ed" theme? You can go the obvious route (a teacher who is dominant over her student) or you can subvert it (a teacher who gets dominated by her student), but either way I like to be aware of how those roles (teacher/student, in this case) stereotypically interact with each other. This will factor in to how I develop the characters.
I like to sympathise with characters, particularly if I'm supposed to want to screw them. It's easy when trying to make a character sympathetic to make them angsty, however, which I don't want. I find the easiest way to deal with that is to give characters problems but then not have them complain too much about them. In fiction readers don't like a whiny character, and instead tend to respond to someone who at least tries to get past their issues.
All that said, not every character has to be sympathetic. It can be fun to have a sexual target who is actually the opposite, and I think this works best when the character then is very unfriendly, culminating in a sort of break-through moment in the sex scene (maybe a hate-sex scene). I do admit that having a character who is mean and unsympathetic and then bends or relents in a sex scene can come off as a bit misogynistic, but that at least is not the spirit in which it's intended. Instead I see it as room for a character arch, and beyond that I just accept that when writing stuff designed to titillate the reader I probably have to leave some sexual politics issues at the door. The old saying "the heart wants what the heart wants" could easily be modified to "the genitals want what the genitals want." (I had to make that gender non-specific because it applies just as much to women as to men.)
Connect the dots
When writing I tend not to work in a linear fashion. It's not like that idea of a sculptor who looks at the block of marble and sees a statue - they just have to chip away the bits of marble that are in the way. Instead I tend to work a lot more intuitively; I come up with a bunch of ideas on a general theme and then start trying to connect the dots. It's only when I get to the end, or maybe about halfway through and I look at it and say, "oh, it's a tiger!" That means that I often need to cut out quite a few good ideas along the way just because they don't really fit what I'm trying to do.
So that's pretty much my recipe for character creation in AIF. I don't necessarily think this is a toolkit you can port to any writing approach; it's led by sexual considerations because the sex is the driving factor in an AIF game. Because I know the goal of my character design is to create desirable NPCs I build them from the ground up trying to achieve that goal, but this becomes a little bit more complicated when you're working on non-smutty writing. Maybe working in comedy you can take the approach that the character needs to be funny, but that's the closest analogue I can think of.
Do you think this is a good approach? Is it too formulaic? Is there more that I should be thinking about that I haven't put in here? Let me know in the comments.