A creation of a new product is daunting challenge for any game developer and it is in pre-production where the basis of most of your ideas are developed. The creation of characters that populate your world are extremely important because not only are they going to be what the player ends up looking at the most often but also the character becomes the games mascot and spokesperson.
Over the last week, I have been working with Nicholas to develop some character concepts for Adventure. He did some concepts for me to look at, so that I could start the process of refining our vision of what the characters would be like in Adventure. I thought it would be useful to share some of the ideas I communicated with him explaining what and how to think about the concepts.
Character concept approach
- In developing character concepts there are usually main characters and supporting characters
- It is useful to give main characters names which personalizes the character to you the artist and provides an emotional connection. Use this emotional connection to give the character a personality.
- Focus should be on the main characters first, the the supporting characters.
- Drawing the main characters in various emotional states are also helpful (i.e. happy, sad, angry). It will also give guidelines on your art style etc and how to draw expressively for characters. Character sheets show these various states, poses are important as they will provide a way to carry the character forward to the future. Conceivably the character will not always be drawn by the same artists, so capturing as much detail of the original conception is extremely important.
- Thinking about the personalities of the character(s) are also important. Usually this will reflect the default look of the character. Does your character like pizza? etc..
- Manga novels (i.e. Bleach) are all built around characters concepts and the world. It is also a good source of character stereotypes.
- There is no harm in imitation so long as you put your own personal touch into it. Character tend to follow archetypes and although critics may be annoyed at the “another young boy/girl exploring an RPG world”, the “hero’s journey” is the basis of 80% of an RPG game.
- Characters developed should carry over to different mediums (i.e. plastic toys) as well as possible. Characters developed for games as in books are commercial and should be given the proper considerations in their development.