Friday, August 29, 2014

Dream Arcade: Process...The Characters

I'm getting pretty excited for the upcoming Dream Arcade show for Light Gray Art Lab! We're about two weeks away and I wanted to start peppering my blog with some of the process work that went in to this giant ass project for my game.

I'm going to start by talking a little about the characters and the development of the "story" for the game. I tossed around several ideas around what I wanted to spend a solid two months drawing, animating and fussing over. The characters and story were very organic and a change to one shifted altered the other.

Essentially the game format is a platform style and pick up collectibles game. I wanted to make a world that was overly sweet and cute, but you played a horrible monster character that bullied and destroyed the world. So basically you played a bad guy. I landed on the concept of a cookie world and you were this brutish baker.

My original sketches for the "baker" basically looked like a prison chef. I thought the idea was just too funny of this brute savaging these cute little characters while running through a cute cookie world.
I picked my favorite heads, cleaned them up a little and started playing with the color palette. I really loved the guy on the far left. I think that was the idea I had in my head the whole time.
This was basically the first pass on the body and I loved it. Maybe I should have sketched a few more ideas...but I just really wanted this to be the guy I animated for the main dude. Along the way I was also sketching the other world characters and something just wasn't meshing. I started to dislike the cookie and candy world idea as I drew characters. I also didn't like the idea that this guy just ran around killing cute cookie cops and sweet/sexy fairies anymore. The drawing above reflects the sketch where I changed him to be an ice cream man instead of a chef.
Sketches showing some ideas around the game's cute cookie and candy characters as well as cute/sexy fairies. Keep in mind you would have been killing all these characters. Ha. After I decided that the game took place in an ice cream world, I named the main character "Ice Cream Carl" and the structure of the game really changed.
The game now became an adventure requiring you to save the three ice cream princesses of the Ice Cringdom. I wanted each princess to reflect a little bit of personality of the flavor of ice cream they were. Vanilla Princess is very pure and elegant. Strawberry Princess is a little wild and debonair. Chocolate Princess is sexy and seductive. I'm not overly crazy about the Jessica Rabbit similarities with Chocolate Princess, but I didn't notice it until after I drew her and I was running out of time to design new stuff.
You begin your journey by having the Neapoliking instruct you to save his three daughters. I wanted to incorporate all three flavor influences in his design. 
The game allowed the artists to create three enemies. A walking enemy, a floating enemy, and a flying enemy. Since you have to traverse three different flavor worlds, I wanted to dedicate one enemy to each world. I think overall this will really make each world feel really special. I will get to more of the world design later. The Vanilla world takes place in the sky. I chose the flying enemy for this part. After several designs I went with the "Cone Drone". It's cleverly disguised itself to blend in with the cone and ice cream surroundings of the vanilla world. It flies at you with it's deadly cone spike. For the strawberry world, which takes place in a molten jam filled volcano, we have the floating enemy, the "Berry Bomb". These spiky pests float around the tight tunnels and hang from the cavern ceilings in the volcano waiting for the right moment for you to come across them to get exploded. Lastly the "Cocoa Creepers" of the dark, underground Cocoa Caverns. This one started out as a part of another design path I went down where I was creating all of these rotten teeth monsters called "Sweet Teeth". I abandoned that idea, but one of the designs was altered a little and became the final design for the walking enemy.

Next up I'll talk about the world design...

No comments: