First off, gggggod I frickin’ love fics about characters being mentally manipulated or altered into sleeper agents, as well as just characters who are double agents (Which probably explains why Saddleback is so perfectly poised for that trope) so if you know a good fic with that, shoot me a link, please, but either way, I can answer this here! (So i don’t clutter up my RP blog initially.
Also because I find talking about the development and evolution of characters super interesting! Like, I love asking people where their OCs come from, and I love making OCs with people’s help, because it’s such a different process for everybody?
For the most part, when making an OC, there’s usually a couple of different ways I do so. I like character design and worldbuilding so for me the process is pretty natural, you start with a handful of features you like and go wild from there, building up on them bit by bit until you start having a real character come out of it. This is really the core of OC building, for me, is knowing what you want in a character and making it into a full design.
But also, a lot of times it’s because you want a specific thing…but there’s no canon character that fills the niches you want. Or if there is, you don’t particularly like how that canon character is treated/viewed/shown in canon material. This winds up happening a lot with TFOCs for me because…well…shit, even with the patently ridiculous amount of Transformers Characters there are, I don’t always want to use a canon character or be constrained by canon.
(Even when I do use canon characters, it’s easy to notice that I generally make my own versions of them because, for one, I never feel like I’m using characters perfectly In Character if I do canon versions, but also because I just like messing around with variables way more than people who are better at writing characters as they appear) (Examples I particularly like here and here) (Or just that project where I’m literally making my own TF Universe over here)
For Saddleback, she actually was originally one of my first TFOCs, initially named Badge (ancient post seen here) who had a very different sort of personality, although some parts of it were perserved. I never really used her, and eventually, while going back through old OCs I found her design, loved it, gutted it out and repurposed it into the character she is now!
But where did Badge come from?
Badge initially had bits of Prowl and Jazz in her design, and seems to have largely stemmed from my desire to make that sort of classic “enforcer” type of cybertronian, while making them a small, curvy minibot (because listen I’m gonna be real honest here I like it when characters are short and round like me) and tinkering with design aspects. Throw in a hefty dose of making a “naughty cop” character, and she became a TFOC to tinker with.
Now, as a rebuilt character, Saddleback has also absorbed traits from TFA Arcee and TFA Shockwave (both of whom I also have RP accounts for, and played for some time) - becoming an Intel Ops agent with a penchant for getting the information she needs at whatever price, and in some ‘verses she has a life as a double agent amongst Decepticons (a sort of reversal of the Longarm/Shockwave thing)
So yeah, thanks for letting me blather about OCs and how they’re made for me. As far as I’m concerned, an OC (particularly OCs in various canons) are sort of the monster amalgamations of bits and bobs from media and other characters, made of headcanons that never panned out and design ideas you want to see used, all smushed together.