We're creating an animated scene that features lots of simple characters based off the same model. We'll vary them a bit (some male, some female and with different colours and clothes etc), but they all have similar proportions and are linked to the same armature in the master file.
They look a bit like the above.
What we want to be able to do is to embed these characters into a different blend file where we'll pose and animate them. They'll be placed in the scene and animated individually as opposed to say a crowd simulation, we'll do this using linking and making the armature a proxy so that we can continue working on the characters once we've added them.
Our hope was to be able to easily 'swap' a character for a different looking one once we've added them to the main scene and started animating etc.
Originally we hoped to be able to bring in all of the characters as linked collections, all parented to the same linked armature (made proxy), and we could simply show and hide each character if we wanted to change the appearance of a particular one. However when we tried this, only one of the characters we'd brought in was parented to the armature, the rest were unaffected.
I was hoping someone could offer a workaround for this so that the linked characters behaved as they do in the original blend file (i.e all parented to a single armature), or perhaps suggest a different solution altogether.
The aim again is to make it as painless as possible to switch one character for another once they're already animated.
We're using blender-2.80.0-git20190605.e80cbdac331a-x86_64
Note: we need the characters to be linked in from a separate blend file since we'll have multiple people working on the project simultaneously.