In this weeks character lesson with Justin we talked about variance and how variance in shapes helps create more unique character designs to turn a smiley face into a real character that has got a story and history. By changing some straight lines into curves and adding variation in angle, length, thickness and shape we would be able to create characters unique to a world we set them in if we apply the same rules throughout the whole designing process.
He also advised us to choose our influences wisely and use them in a subtle but clear way and to go for something big like the difference between dwarves and elves in the lord of the rings where every single detail shouts where they belong to which leaves the viewer in the satisfied position of being able to tell them apart easily.
Important points to consider when creating the character are:
- the history
- representation, what race
- who are they as a person
- where do they come from
- world view, what's wrong with the world
- what are they going to do about the world?
- where is it set (local area)
- factions, allies? enemies?
- what is the achievement at the end
- how does the process of progress work
- what mechanisms does the game use?
The task was to imagine a character who is part of a specific setting; ours was monsters and heroes in a 1950's B movie taking over New York and in my final idea, a party girl in her 20's is the only "lucky" survivor in a New York, that has been run over by all sorts of gruesome monsters and aliens and has to fight her way out to try and clean the city up again. As a first person shooter the player doesn't see the character much except for the hands. Every time a monster falls the player can chose to loot it and add it to the armor of the girl which is still wearing her party dress, but it comes at a price. Every piece of monster turns the girl gradually into a monster herself, inside and outside until the character by the end becomes much harder to control and turns out to eventually take over the city herself, game with a twist. The inspiration for that comes partly from the shadowrunner book and game series in which the people live in a postapocalyptic world and broken limps get replaced with metal, which turns people into cyborgs where only a certain percentage of metal is tolerated by the body, otherwise it turns into a emotionless killing machine. This topic can be found in Captain America as well as Steve's best friend Bucky who has a metal arm, is a gruesome killer due to memory erasing techniques employed by Hydra.
For the character project I will have to design a robot that looks fairly human as the main character and Justin gave me the ideas of looking into Japanese robot design and cars, as I wanted something with a speedy design that looks authentic. He also mentioned Tron and how the character could morph into different shapes but would need resources or energy for that. The core would stay the same but it could have stuff wrapped around it depending on the situation and that I should look at materials used and how I could apply them to my designs. We also talked about scale of the robots to each other, the world and how it would affect their relationships.
Justin advised me to not go for rolls as it limits the character but rather go for flying with certain limits like energy and resources.