Idea Development Sketchbook page 20
I worked with our concept artist to research appropriate clothing for our character that would both be practical and look good. I first found a site that listed things to or to not bring on a portage trip; this ruled out obvious things such as jeans but also brought attention to clever tips such as avoiding dark colours since they can attract mosquitoes. The list for things to bring was much more straight forward as it simply included warm, water proof and comfortable clothing.
Something that we wanted to achieve in terms of the design is to try and keep the character relatively ambiguous in terms of their features so that they would function as a simple vessel for the player to put themselves into rather than have a defined personality of their own. We applied this by focusing on generic clothing and obscuring the face with head-wear such as hats or hoods. At first we didn’t want to lean towards any specific gender but soon realised that it would be difficult to create a human form with a non-specific body shape. We decided to use a male figure as that would encompass a larger portion of our demographic but still we don’t want to over exaggerate any male features.
Once we had created a list of possible clothing items, we grouped some of them into whole outfits so that they could then be drawn up as some concept art. Below is some of the concept art that our artist (not me) produced based on the research.
- The first design was definitely too casual and not appropriate for the activities that the character will be doing but I liked the simplicity and the colours as they would translate well to the pixel art style.
- The second design iterated on the first by changing the hoodie to a more robust winter coat. While this change was for the better, we all felt that having green clothing could create an issue where the character blends into the forest background.
- Design three focused on canoeing for its inspiration, looking at a middle-ground of safety and casual gear. The colour scheme is works well but we thought it might be best avoid red as it is not considered to be a relaxing colour.
- The final design is a mix between snow and water proof gear; the overalls would be appropriate for wading through water and keeping warm in snow. Our research suggested to bring a different pair of shoes for canoeing and walking but we didn’t want to have the character need to change shoes every time they get out of the canoe so decided to use shoes tailored for the walking sections. In this case, we used snow shoes since our game will likely include some snowy areas. Also the hat is known in Canada as a toque and is obviously used to stay warm. This colour is best of the design as it uses calming colours that will stand out in the environment.