Valparaíso, Chile
carlos.ibanez@criticalfailure-studio.com

Character Design

Character Design

Hello everyone, my name is @rodia and I am the new artist and animator, and this is my first entry to our Devblog. I hope you enjoy it!

Today I’m gonna talk about the work I’ve been doing this last three weeks, the design of the main character of the game.

First Version

The first version of the Magician was a character with a little development, not really deep and with lots of lacks. He was complete, yes, but we felt that something did not completely fit with him. Thanks to the feedback we received from you when we presented the first demo, we were able to realize that our main character lacked of the charisma we wanted for him, to be a correct part of all the experience of the game.

The Magician first design

First animation for the pre-alpha build

His design was basic and he had really a few distintive elements, and that’s why the team took the desition of rethink the whole character so that these faults disappeared once and for all.

 

The Magician’s background

In order to renew the Magician we first centered the efforst on the foundations that defined him. The team already had an idea and base development: The Magician was a charismatic person, someone who avoided the sadness with an eternal happy attitude. This premises were striking, but it lacked elements that tied it to the floor, that justified it. for this is always  good thinking, for example, in the nationality of the character, how was his parents and family, his economic and social status. A lot of new elements borned through this excercise, like that the Magician was a wealthy person, was raised for a remote family, his interest on illusionism started for the dark reality of his childhood, among other details.

When you work the characters this way, it’s so much easier characterize them, and in my line of work, design and animate them. With this information at hand it was simple determinate a list of the fundamental qualities of the Magician:

  • Refined and cult
  • Clever
  • Skilful and perfectionist
  • (…)

This list was translated into visual qualities, for design and animation.

  • Elegant
  • Agile and fast
  • Balanced and with fine lines of movement
  • Careful and vain

With this clear, we can finally work the new design.

 

First sketches

One of the things that I have most in mind is that, when you animate for videogames, the character have to be understable, and for that it most have design elements to  distinguish him, knowing that he will move later. A common practice is to work with silhouettes.

Possible silhouettes

After the team decided for a few of them, I started the handwork.

A gentleman

The elements the team liked the most were the scarf, hat, braid and coat. Given that the Magician was on a travel in the beggining of the game, a long and warm coat on top of his elegant cloths makes sense, and this,  plus the scarf and braid were showy when moving. Of course, this elements are consciously exagerated to a better view in the screen.

A gentleman, semi-colored

After a new feedback of the teamm I started with the final tests of the character, testing the design around different color palettes. Personally I liked very much the number 5 but we decided to use number 2 because it it looked more like a traveler and less like a magical goblin at the end of the rainbow.

Maybe some sort of powerup of special suit…

Gathering all the information to the point  I prepared to make the final render of the new Magician, showing his expressions and details.

Now our Magician is a beautifull wealthy young men 

To wrap things up

Part of the design elements were studied in an extens file of important keyframes, something like a movement study, but we’ll see more of that in the next devblog. However, I can show you now what we are doing with the character sprite:

Sprites comparison 

Thank you so much for your time, if you liked this devblog please share it and comment, what was your favourite color palette?

Follow us on twitter and facebook to be updated on new post, and see you next time!

 

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