Friday, August 5, 2011

Back from the dead!

Well. Summer class. Let me tell you: summer classes are not to be underestimated. I knew being a grad student was going to be intensive but I got kicked in the shins repeatedly over the past few weeks.

However! I have still be working, albeit it at a little more muted pace. So I'll be dumping a few sets up here in the next little while. Today I am posting some character design I've been doing.

I've noticed a trend in video games, where you have this caucasian male twenty something with brown hair that we're all supposed to identify with. Well, not me - I'm a blonde female twenty-something and any time someone threatens to make a character I'm supposed to identify with there's a shit storm. But I digress.

So I started out trying to think of a cool character that wouldn't be caucasion/ brown hair/ hooded sweatshirt. I'm not sure I've succeeded, but it was an attempt to think about a different sort of character. I decided to go black/ ambiguous minority. I also didn't want to make him completely ripped, because games are stacked with characters that are incredibly muscled. Like, comically muscled. I'd prefer a character I have some chance of feeling like I could be the person (well, if I was a dude, but being a female gamer is a trove of weird issues that I don't even want to think about wading into on this space.)

What have we got so far? Non-white. Non-steroided. It's a start. Next up, what sort of character is he? I thought about it a bit and I like the idea of ex military turned mercenary, maybe vigilante-esque. Think... Oceans 11, Guy Richie, that sort of thing. And I don't want him to be an elite killing machine. Maybe he's combat trained, but more of an agility pistol sort of guy. If he's not a combat specialist what is he? Maybe... a tech. Like a computer guy. Maybe it's 50/60 years in the future and rather than mechanics, hacker types are far more useful in picking locks, hotwiring vehicles, etc...

This is how I think things through, sort of an example of my stream of consciousness. So we've got a lot of useful information now:

Race: Minority mix/ African American leaning
Age: 30-ish
Build: Lean muscular
Occupation: Ex-military tech specialist. Hired merc, possible vigilante agenda.
Alignment: Chaotic good most likely
Time period: 50-60 years in the future

Hm. We need a name. I like "Donovan Wallace," so that's what I'm going to run with for now.

Let's get drawing!

Some potential face shapes - you can see the edge of my notes about personality on the side.

I look at photos of actors and things to get an idea of what I want. I think I used 3 different actors here, I try to make it not look like anyone specific, but it helps keep the ideas consistent. Plus with actors you can find pictures at different angles of the same guy which is very convenient.
The Donovan on the right is getting a little too beefy. Also maybe a little old, think it's the hairline. Just trying some different poses to get a feel for the character. If one of the many sketches work out it could make a good basis for a finished digital piece.
Clothing concepts.
So now I'm trying to figure out what he'll wear. We know his occupation, given that he's ex-military we can range from very military influenced to very casual. Lots of freedom, so I'm trying out a range. I'd think he'd still be a little military influenced in his look, since that tends to stick with you - probably not too movement restrictive; utility, comfort and protection are important.

Now that I have some ideas, let's flesh them out:
Donovan # 1

Donovan #2

Donovan #3

I actually like number 3 best. It's pretty casual but the colors are interesting and not something you see as much in games. Usually it's pretty gritty, so the red/orange is nice and goes well the the skin color. I also like that the gun holster and tightness of the sweater carry the subtle military feel I wanted. It might be a little Nathan Drake though, unsure. I also like that this one feels "normal" but still futuristic enough to fit into a near future aesthetic. They probably won't be wearing moon boots in 60 years, but you never know.

That's a wrap for now.

1 comment:

  1. Love your clothing concepts, you make it look easy. Also, I agree w/ #3.