Saturday, January 23, 2016

DevDiary #6 - Character Concepts

 Auryon Concept #1

I've been working a lot with character design recently - particularly thinking about the sort of clothes that they wear and how to start differentiating the different tribes.  Auryon, being the main protagonist of the game, has been the main focus of this.  She needs to be fairly iconic to stand out, without being too garish, and her clothes and gear need to make sense for her world.

The first concept that I produced for her (above) was a good start, but I started to realize that there were several issues with it.  The dress seems impractical for a hunter to wear, and its design seem unnecessarily complicated for something to be wearing on a daily basis.  Also, the armor seems to be a bit under designed for a tribe that comes from a military history.  I like the idea of the spaulders, and may explore them again in the future, but I need to find someway to make the leather strap make sense or to visualize how the slats may be held together.  Right now, it looks like I just came up with the idea without thinking about how they work (which is, honestly, what happened).

Boo on the bow.

Auryon Concept #2
The second concept for Auryon, I feel is a much stronger representation (although could do with a little bit more work).  You can see between the two images within, that I've darkened Auryon's skin somewhat, and it may go darker before I'm done.  The armor is a much nicer design - taking inspiration from Japanese wood armors - but I think I'm going to smooth is somewhat as the different segments don't really read well at a distance.  I think I prefer the version without the spaulders here (although it's probably difficult to tell that she's missing them due to her pose).  I feel that overall, her clothes are much more practical for someone who will be climbing through a forest, falling in rivers, and fighting a mad despot.

In working concepts for some of the other character's in Auryon's tribe, I've realized that her armor feels very clean and new.  While Auryon would certainly take very good care of it, that armor would still need to show it's age and that it has seen some action.  Also, I much prefer Auryon's bow here, although, I'm still probably going to end up re-working it a few more times before I'm satisfied.  Part of the problem is that this is one of the first bows that I've ever drawn, so the proportions seem a bit off, even for a short bow.  Plus, it looks like it would snap upon drawing back the string, so it needs to be thickened a little to make it look like it could really stand the test of a fight.

Finally, while I like the hair style, I think I'm going to drop it.  Her hair is so dark, it's difficult to tell even close up what's going on with it.  The French braid wrap just doesn't read with the dark hair, and with the back wrapped up, the curliness gets somewhat lost.  Having curly hair my self, I've kind of learned to just let it fall where it does.  I see no reason why Auryon wouldn't do the same.

Possl Tall Concept #1
 Possl Talls clothes are really bright and almost neon.  I think I'm almost certainly darken the green significantly to much more of an Earth tone.  I think that part of the problem is that my Cintiq is getting old and so the colors are a bit more dull on that screen.  Otherwise, Tall hails from a much swampier area than Auryon, so I do like his pallet being very different from hers.  It also conveys a certain degree of sickliness that will become important in the story.

When I next revisit his concept, I'm going to need to put more weight to his clothes.  Both because the would legitimately need to keep him warm, but also because he comes from an area permeated with water.  In order for him and his fellow tribesmen to survive, they need their clothes to keep the water out. They also need to appear as though they've been worn a little bit.  Everything in Possl Tall's tribe is a bit more worn down in comparison to what Auryon's tribe has, owing partly to the fact that Tall's tribe came from a group of people who weren't particularly good craftsmen.

As some can probably tell, I took his thin facial features and hair style from Sting in Dune.  It gave him a really solid unhinged and calculating appearanceWith this look, I can easily imagine him as a demagogue shouting rhetoric while casting devastating, uncontrolled spells.  I feel that I do need to re-work it a bit more so that his silhoutte reads a bit better, also so that his face tells a bit more of a story.  I really need him to have a history, but I don't want to be particularly explicit about it.

Everything that I'm working on at this point is still very much first draft.  Currently, aside from still writing the script for the game, I've been working heavily on character concepts so that I can get a feel for what the world might look like.  Right now, I'm working on some of Auryon's fellow tribesmen, and will probably move from there to other supporting characters.  I will almost certainly circle back to these two and work them more as I get more of a feel for the world that they inhabit as well as the battles that they have both fought.