Amateur Illustrator – Articles » Blog Archive » Character Design

25 01 2009

There is a great article about the character creation process over on amateurillustrator.com by Ingmar Zahorsky.  These are some excerpts from it that I feel really open up “how” to make a character.

“In this phase you are going to define your character. This is done by asking yourself a set of questions that will help you learn about whom it is that you are going to bring to life.”

Defining character functions and personality through recording what you “know” of them already.

“Once you know your character well enough and are able to visualize what he might look like, start gathering some reference that will aid you in communicating your idea most clearly. Find the elements that will help you in the realization process.
If your character is an ancient warrior from a forgotten culture look up images of the Aztec, Mayan’s, Egyptians or other old human cultures. Research different types of armor, weapons, hairstyles clothing etc. This research will help you as a starting point to depart into unknown territory. It will be a proven launching pad for your own ideas.”

This is the reference phase – a launch pad to begin your own sketching.  This highlights the need for a visual “bank” of material for T.W.O.T.S.

Given some of the info in this article,  I’ll likely use this structure for my first character sheet production.

After that, I’ll reflect the process accordingly in my Term 2 Gantt.

via Amateur Illustrator – Articles » Blog Archive » Character Design.

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Make It Big In Games» » How To Pitch Your Game

25 01 2009

Just  picking up on a few pieces in an article by Joshua Dallman from GarageGames over on Make it big in games. Whilst this doesn’t highlight if there is a container for the pitch other than being simply “a pitch” it does have some points especially relative to me from a design standpoint.

“Platform matters! If it’s an arcade cabinet game, how will you leverage that. If it’s a cellphone game, or a web game, or a LAN party game, how will you leverage those. Miss this and nobody will notice. But include it, and get it right, it’s that much more firepower to ignite the flame of a go.”

This is about being aware of the target medium of the game, Xbox 360/ PC / Web / Handheld etc. This is perhaps the ultimate designation of function for the design.

“Know who your target consumer is. “Everyone” or “people who like racing games” does nothing but tell the publisher that you didn’t do your homework or don’t really understand the game industry. There is no one right answer to this or right way to do it, but it should be some blend of age/gender/hobby/lifestyle/game preferences and the range should not be too broad. If “9 to 90″ is your “target” that’s not really a target is it? You can’t help but hit it. Find something and aim for it. Then find ways to strengthen the pitch for that particular market.”

This highlights the need to investigate the gaming audience I’m seeking, and finding ways to define them. This is perhaps something I’ve been lax in recently, and I should look into more.

“Stay within your limits. A publisher is not going to pay for you to attempt never-before-attempted feats to see if you can. Where there is money, there is by necessity certainty. Staying within limits reduces the risk of failure for both parties. If you’ve never done networked games, don’t pitch a networked racing game. If you’ve never worked with physics, don’t pitch a game that relies on physics as a key component.”

Whilst I am not a whole developer, so the coding and physics discussed here don’t apply, the ethos of doing what you do and doing it well, as opposed to overstretching myself, backs up my decision to stick to and expand my 2d style.

via Make It Big In Games» » How To Pitch Your Game.