Disney has released a free, standalone version of the character creator for its take on a casual life sim. Dreamlight Valley isn’t out for a couple weeks, but if you make a character in the tool now, Disney says you can import them into the game when it releases on September 6. In the meantime, you can take selfies of your avatar.
I jumped in to see if it’s worth fussing over and, yup, you can easily waste a couple hours on this thing. No harm doing it ahead of time then.
Dreamlight Valley doesn’t have the most permissive character creator tool I’ve seen when it comes to your actual body. You’re kept to predetermined face shapes, features, and colors for skin, hair, and eyes. There’s a nice selection of hairstyles for any gender, though, including a number of textured styles. Over in the clothing section, there’s everything from skinny jeans to princess dresses to head scarves and combat boots.
The bit I can see myself getting carried away with is the Touch of Magic tool, Dreamlight Valley’s custom patterns creator. It’s also confined to a set (albeit a reasonably big one) of specific shapes and symbols—leaves, embroidered swirls, character silhouettes, and other details. It doesn’t just let you freehand draw whatever you want like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons custom designs everyone went bananas over in 2020. You can do a good bit of layering, mirroring, coloring, and resizing all those elements to get some pretty intricate designs though.
You can’t customize any piece of clothing. Only a certain selection can be used as templates—a few different dresses, a backpack, some tops, and Mickey Mouse ears, so far.
And a PSA: You’ll have to finish taking and saving a photo before Dreamlight will send you back to edit your character again after you’ve picked a name. I got tripped up thinking I was stuck in selfie land and locked into my outfit. You can download the avatar maker from either Steam (opens in new tab) or the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) ahead of launch next month.
Here are a few different avatars I managed to cook up, including a bit of playing around with customizing dresses and accessories. Don’t worry, I kept to the PC Gamer bylaws. Geralt is down there.