{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

one topic edition 2014

CHARACTER DESIGN and

BIOGRAPHY


Wwise® is the most advanced, feature-rich interactive audio middleware for games, bar none. Whether you’re an indie or a multi-million dollar production, Wwise will work for you.

Coming up in version 2014.1 External Control Surfaces MIDI for Interactive Music Sampler and Synth Mac Authoring Linux Port Mixer Plug-in Framework LFO & Envelopes And much more...

* Visit www.audiokinetic.com for details © 2014 Audiokinetic Inc. All rights reserved.


Well hello there! Great to see another explorer challening themselves for an adventure. My name is Koan, the master herbalist in Artelia. I’m... what do you call it? Ah yes! A Spelldant. Just a fancy name to say that we carry a pendant with a spell entraped. Hmm... but you are not here to hear how we ended up wearing this pendant and why some were born with their spells. Go on now! Go and explore Eye For Games!

EFG May edition ART DIRECTOR

COVER DESIGN

EDITION SUPPORT

Rai Sewgobind

Frank Openty

The Last Tinker: City of Colors

Jerry Kline WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

Rémy van den Wijngaart Jessica Hébert

Nicholas Malmo

Geek Sloth Games

Joshua Calloway (EFG member)

COPY EDITOR

Richard Ruth Eye For Games is about game design & development. For more information you can contact us at: contact@efgmagazine.com

Jeremy Marks

Dewo Nurwicaksono Sean Allum Isaac Fosty

Nathan Kessler

Nigel Emmanuel Simon Cheng

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by print, photo print, microfilm or any other means without written permission from the publisher/author. www.efgmagazine.com


character biography by RĂŠmy van den Wijngaart

At first glance,

Atreidiele appears like any Eladrin, beautiful and elegant, were it not for her monstrous black arm.


While hunting and gathering for her tribe one day,

Terribly ashamed of her malformed arm, Atreidiele

Atreidiele came into contact with a necromancer

tends to keep it hidden under a cloak or cape. She

practicing his dark arts in the forest. The

has since switched to doing everything with her

necromancer attacked Atreidiele and forced her

left hand, barely even utilising her black hand as

to defend herself. During their frantic combat, her

if to deny its existence. This, of course, leads to

assailant cast a malformed spell that hit Atreidiele

numerous awkward social situations, which is

in her right arm. Within seconds, the dark energy

why Atreidiele prefers to avoid contact with others

scorched across her limb, eating away at the

altogether. She's insecure, shy, and untrusting.

flesh and transforming it, turning it black as coal.

Her

Her once graceful right hand swelled into a

otherworldly, but combined with her arm, it makes

claw-shaped shadow of its former self. Only by

her downright alien. Only when she is forced to

remaining calm and remembering her training did

use her black hand, such as during combat, will

Atreidiele finally manage to defeat her opponent.

she acknowledge her cursed appendage.

eladrin

origin

already

made

her

seem

Upon returning to her group, her fellow Eladrin were shocked and appalled by the monstrous hand. Her tribesmen treated her wounds, but the most skilled healers and wizards could do nothing to return her corrupted limb to its original state. As the days went on, Atreidiele sensed her people's sympathy turn into fear and even disgust. She stood out like a sore thumb among the otherwise perfectly beautiful Eladrin. People spoke only briefly to her, if at all, and whispered malicious words behind her back. Before long, Atreidiele couldn't cope with the staring anymore. She left the Feywilds in search of a place where she would belong or a way to restore her arm, fearing in her heart she would never find either. 5


AUTHOR’S PERSPECTIVE Rémy van den Wijngaart

Though technically a magical creature herself, Atreidiele

The initial inspiration for this character came to

harbours a strong dislike of magic and mages alike. She

me while playing Magic: The Gathering - Duels

hates black magic for what it did to her, and she blames

of the Planeswalkers 2013, which contains a

all other magic for not being able to help her. She used to

card called Crippling Blight. This card depicts a

pray to the Gods of Wilderness and Nature but has since

woman whose arms are being affected by some

fallen from her faith.

sort of magical disease. The contrast between a person’s natural beauty and the corruption by

While Atreidiele would rather just lock herself away from

malevolent magic fascinated me.

the world and all its inhabitants, she continues to search for a cure. Still, her nights are haunted by disturbingly

When

building

characters,

I

usually

start

tempting visions of death and murder. Deep inside her,

out with a character’s flaws, as I believe

she can feel the corruption relentlessly spreading. How

this is where the true drama comes from.

long before she will be consumed by it?

For Atreidiele, I chose the eladrin race (from Dungeons & Dragons) because of their love of nature and beauty, and their collectivist culture — a female eladrin would be severely affected by this alienating corruption. The choice to have it be her right arm was a conscious one also; disabling her main hand would further throw her off balance by forcing her to change her combat style and social graces. This also offered interesting gameplay opportunities. The final element, the idea that the corruption isn’t just of the body but also of the mind, came naturally. I suppose I have a weakness for characters struggling with an overwhelming darkness originating from within. Atreidiele has

6

really grown on me since her creation.


Jim Raynor Starcraft


from the game The Last Tinker: City of Colors

Koru Name:

Koru

Gender:

Male

Birth Place: Residence: Race: Hair Color: Eye Color: Skin Color: Occupation: Hobbies: Primary weapon(s): Primary enemy: Associates/sidekicks:

8

Unknown City of Colors: Outer District Tinker Red Green Blue, caucasian Street kid Tinkering, smashing crates, and whistling Hands, able to apply or shoot various colors The Bleakness Tap, Biggs, Bomber, Color Spirits


“The greatest power of all is to inspire others. Always remember that.” In

Tinkerworld,

everything

is

made

out

of

color,

Though he can be mischievous at times, Koru is a good kid

paper, and glue, from rocks to plants to living things.

and never runs off when someone needs his help. What makes

Everything can be built from these basic things, as long

this all the more important is the fact that people in Colortown

as the idea behind it is strong enough. Everyone who

haven’t exactly been friendly to each other lately. As things

lives in Tinkerworld is practically an artist, but the most

worsen over time, the city eventually attracts the attention of

gifted of them are called Tinkers. They have a deep

the Bleakness, the most destructive force in Tinkerworld. In the

and fundamental connection to the materials that form

following crisis, Koru has his hands full rescuing people and

the world and can shape and manipulate them with

searching for a way to save the city. His actions unintentionally

unparalleled skill.

inspire everyone around him, and so he ultimately cures the broken soul of Colortown.

One of them lives in Colortown, where the best color in Tinkerworld is produced. Koru, a young street kid living

Koru learns much about what it means to be a Tinker in that

in the city’s Outer District, has always had a knack for

time, and it looks like the future holds even more adventure

tinkering, though he has no idea of his full potential until

for him. At some point in their lives, all Tinkers set out on a

one of the Color Spirits tells him. Not that it changes

journey to learn about the artistic culture of Tinkerworld. Koru

him much. For Koru, the important thing is to have

has never set a foot outside of his hometown, but the prospect

fun, whether that means rushing across the districts’

of excitement and adventure certainly appeals to him. And as

rooftops at breakneck pace or putting together a quirky

usual, his journey might be more important than he thinks.

wizard outfit for one of his friends. Always accompanied

News from beyond the island city suggest that the Tinkers have

by his best buddy Tap, he gets himself into all sorts of

slowly been disappearing and that, in fact, he might even be the

trouble, and enjoys every second of it.

last one.

9


Originally a household robot, Rock was transformed into the fighting robot Mega Man when Dr. Wily turned his creator’s inventions into weapons of destruction. He has the ability to create his own version of his enemy’s power upon defeating them, giving him equal ground against his opponents.

He will always jump into action when needed without hesitation to protect the world. No matter how many times a new threat rises he will never give in or give up on the endless cycle of evil.

He is unable to hurt humans and will always believe that a person can redeem himself from his wicked ways, although this can also be considered a weakness for being too naïve.

11


from the game Samudai

WHEN PROBLEMS led to a different but unique design A Geek Sloth Games dev-journey When we started with the idea for Samudai we wanted to make something inspired by Super Smash Bros. but with a twist. We had the idea that the players would start on logs in the water facing each other.

This scene had an obvious eastern style, but we did not want to use ninja since we felt that they were being overused in the last couple of years. Since the win condition was that you had to knock your opponent into the water the connection with cats was quickly made. Still no real clue as to what our hero cat would look like we drew inspiration from 90's cartoons and especially Samurai Pizza Cats and the idea for Samudai was born.

One of early designs was made to show the samurai inspiration for the character, including full armor and a mask/face paint.

12


Our second design featured that character as a ronin but it still did not feel quite right yet. We needed something a bit more heroic and accessible so we came up with this last design. This design was perfect for what we had in mind with the game, and we soon agreed that this was the direction that we wanted to go. After a few weeks into the development we ran into some issues with our programmer. We were busy starting up the company. Apart from the game we needed to address things like NDA and work contracts. We set up a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that stated that the idea's used for Samudai would be confidential, and we didn’t foresee any problems with that. After a while however, we learned that our programmer had no intention of signing or doing anything that would help promote our studio. He wanted to quit and use what we had made so far for his own projects. Legal wise there was no possible way to stop him since we were not an official company yet.

Thinking of a way to continue we decided that we should drastically change the design and gameplay mechanics to avoid any claims in the future. After a while we came up with a totally new style and design for the characters. We finally settled on this one.

We were very happy with the design, and it felt more unique overall. Even though we had some problems, we got our perfect design in the end.

14


HIRO Title: Samudai

Hiro is a samudai; a champion, chosen by the

Affiliation: The Light

gods to be their earthly incarnation. Serving as

Appearance: Leather Samudai Armor

the benevolent god Bakeneko's avatar, Hiro has no

Special Feature: Wears a Bandana

concern other than to achieve his goal. Hiro fights

Haircolor: Black

for the side of good. Locked in an eternal struggle

Eyecolor: White

with his nemesis to decide over the souls of the

Element: Earth

lost and ultimatly bring them to the light.

15


community porftolio

JOSHUA CALLOWAY www.ninjacart.darkfolio.com ninjacart@gmail.com

16

Š Joshua Calloway. All rights reserved


character biography by Richard Ruth

Keilan Yin Yamaguchi Name: Keilan Yin Yamaguchi Titles: The Orchid Princess, The Rebel Prince, The Tigress Bitch Race: Human (Kyugan) Birthplace: Kyomi; capitol city of Kyuga Setting: the world of Amman, the setting for the novel The Sellsword Prince.

18


Story Keilan was the eldest daughter of the royal presiding family in the Kingdom of Kyuga. Known as the Orchid Princess, it was her duty to wed a strong princeling from another royal family and serve as advisor when her husband came to the throne. However, for the young girl Keilan, life was not to be so easy.

Keilan is now a young girl hell-bent on revenge. Her family, known as the Lands Yamaguchi, has fallen from favor and been usurped by another royal family. Her father was executed, her mother and sister brutally raped and murdered, and Keilan herself was tortured and raped before being released. As a result of such harsh but traditional, treatment she has sold her family fortune and spent the profits on the services of mercenary companies. With this army of sellswords she has amassed, she has marched from one end of Kyuga to the next. In her crusade she has pacified dissident families, absorbed loyal lands and publicly debased and executed any heirs of Lands Tsinchan, the new favored family.

She has endured much since being cast out, even going so far as to develop an addiction for the Manaeis root - a very powerful psychedelic drug. Yet, she has not yielded in her devotion to her ultimate goal: to bring her family name once more into favor with the Highest Sovereign. She knows the Highest Sovereign is ever watchful and would send spies and cutthroats to end her. To combat such espionage she surrounds herself with the captains and officers of companies that have also fallen from favor.

Her right hand, a young (but not too young) Captain Marvarin Casaelis, is himself one of the vandiman, or the Exiled as they are called. Together their shared hatred of the Highest Sovereign and the Guild of Measures ensures a level of brutality not commonly seen from mercenaries and freeblades. Keilan knows beyond that shadow of a doubt that she will once again take the throne of Kyuga. What she does not know, is what will come next?


article by Jessica Hébert

who is?

LARA CROFT

“I don't count poison darts and triggered entombment your average child's tea party. I feel we should lend this some respect.” –Lara Croft, Tomb Raider 4

The story of the legendary Lara Croft goes back to the release of Tomb Raider for Sony’s Playstation. Inspired by Indiana Jones, the Core Design development team made the protagonist into a woman. This made a huge impact within the industry, since at that time there were few leading female characters. Originally she was supposed to be South American, but developers felt it would be best if she were British, and her name was changed from Laura Cruz to Lara Croft.

20


Lara is a determined woman that refuses to let anything stand in her way. Always courageous and resourceful, she will, with the release of 2013’s installment in the franchise, be even more relatable than previous installments in the game, ensuring that players care about her.

Considered a sex symbol in the video games industry, Lara has undergone design modifications to be more appealing to women. The exaggerated curves of her body were scaled down to be more realistic, emphasizing Lara’s athletic prowess. Her clothing has been changed to reflect a more modest Lara.

Lara’s story changed with the release of Tomb Raider: Legend and the 2013 reboot Tomb Raider. She is still the adventurous Brit, but with some changes in her background to fit new installments of the Tomb Raider series. Before Legend Lara was born on February 14th 1968, the daughter of

Lord

Henshingly Croft, 10th Earl of Abbingdon and Amelia Croft, Countess of Abbingdon. At age 16, she discovers a copy of National Geographic with the name of Professor Werner Von Croy on the front cover, a name she remembered from a lecture he gave at her school. This triggered in Lara a desire to accompany him on his travels. Due to the strong impression Lara made on him, and a check from her father, he gladly accepted.

Lara was supposed to wed via an arranged marriage to the Earl of Farrington, but at the age of 21 a plane crash left her stranded in the Himalayan Mountains. The tragedy forced her to learn how to survive on her own. 21


This experience transformed Lara. She rejected the cozy life she was supposed to live to travel the world. She gained vast knowledge of ancient civilizations and discovered archaeological sites of great interest. Her parents, wishing she would come back to the life she rejected, disowned her. She then turned to writing to finance her travels. After Legend The story of Lara Croft changed to give her more personal tragedies, including the death of both parents at a young age. She first lost her mother after a plane crash at age 9, surviving alone in the Himalayan Mountains. After that, she rarely left her father’s side and traveled with him to multiple archaeological sites. He eventually disappeared in Cambodia when she was 15, never to be seen again. Tomb Raider (2013) The reboot of the franchise takes Lara back to her younger days, making her an inexperienced 21 year old graduate turned archaeologist.

Lara’s physical attributes have been made more modest, and her clothing covers much more skin than it did in previous games. She has been designed to be a young, relate-able, college aged adventurer. Initially she is very timid and fragile, but over the course of the game she becomes much more self-reliant and confident in her own abilities. Lara grows over time from an inexperienced archaeologist to a fierce survivalist.

22


WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE

CHARACTER? Jeremy Marks “Blue Mary and Iori Yagami, fighting game characters from SNK. Mary because she’s an anti-stereotupe grappler that’s not based on the boring Street Fighter II Zangief model, and Lori because he looks like a cross between an emo/goth/glam rock band member, which I had not seen ‘round 1995.”

Dewo Nur wicaksono “Mike Haggar. This badass wrestler is a powerhouse. I love Haggar’s piledriver. It’s true there are others with similar moves but to me Haggar is the original one.”

23


SEAN ALLUM www.elohprojects.com

24

Š Sean Allum. All rights reserved


25


character biography by Sean Allum

HIMSA

"The Mini Yeti Assassin"

inspiration I used to work for an independent game company in Tustin, California. Once a week our art team would pick 3 words from a bucket and each of us would create a character design based on the words, hence “Mini-Yeti-Assassin.” At the time, I was really inspired by the concept work done for Kung Fu Panda 2 and I wanted to capture the shape and weight of Po without calling too much attention to his character. We didn’t often choose inspiring combinations of words, so I was really pumped when I got the opportunity to not only paint a diminutive yeti but I also had a nice foundation for his costume. I was so impressed by the final product that it took my character designs in a new direction and opened up an avenue that I have continued down over the past five years.

background story Let’s first give this guy a name. “Himsa” is the

from the fear he stabbed into humans whenever

Sanskrit word for violence and since the yeti is

he confronted them. One day while stomping

from the Himalayan foothills in India and this

through rice fields in the Chinese lowlands he

little one happens to be an assassin, I think

met an old man who confronted him. Himsa

it suits him well. The Yeti as a species pride

charged the old man and quickly ended up face

themselves on their hulking size and incredible

down in the shallow waters. He was fascinated

might so young Himsa definitely experienced

by the man’s lack of fear and ability to

some challenges growing up. He was bullied

overpower the yeti’s strength. Over the seasons

and left out of his tribe’s annual games and

the old man and Himsa became friends. They

was disgraced by the Elders who denied him

shared a similar past and a mirrored fate. Himsa

an attempt at his Rite of Passage. Furious, he

taught the man all he knew about the legendary

abandoned his tribe and wandered the vast

mountain range and in return the old man

Himalayan mountain range living off the land

fashioned weapons and imparted the dark art

and hunting young mountain goats. Himsa

of the assassin unto the yeti. After many years

would descend from the snowy peaks during the

together Himsa departed China and returned to

spring, invading and frightening villagers from

seek vengeance on the Elders of his tribe. He

India to Afghanistan to China. Anger corrupted

became the Mini…Yeti…Assassin!

his heart and he gained a great satisfaction 27


article by Isaac Fosty

CHARA DESIGN VS GAMEPLAY MECHANICS: a comparative review of TES games

In RPGs such as The Elder Scrolls license, character

While Morrowind NPCs would take their time to give

design is essentially reflected through dialogue as non-

you quests, explaining clearly what happened to them,

playable characters (NPCs) talk with you and let their

or requiring a certain level of disposition to speak,

personality unfold. From Morrowind to Skyrim and Elder

and then telling you exactly where to go and how to

Scrolls Online, game engines evolved to allow more

get there, this completely changed with Oblivion. Fast

performances such as having fully voiced dialogue and

travel and quest markers are usually blamed for the

NPC acting while they speak. But while the quality of

disappearance of this dialogue depth, but I would also

immersion has increased in some aspects, it decreased

blame voice acting in this regard. Voice actors must

in others.

be paid and when you have a budget and hundreds of NPCs to get lines for, you might want to get rid of what

In Morrowind, NPCs either stood somewhere or strolled

isn't absolutely necessary to keep. Of course, life being

in the streets, not even being able to sit on one of the

in the details, it's all the unnecessary parts that make a

many chairs found in homes or pubs, and dialogue was

game much deeper, and characters too.

mostly text-based. You would sometimes hear them

28

tell greetings as you passed by them, which gave some

In Skyrim, a few quests had the NPC give you specific

more life and allowed to stick a voice to the text. Oblivion

instructions or lead you to the place where you had

was a huge turn, being fully voiced, even allowing NPCs

to go, but often you couldn't even figure what NPCs

to talk together as they met. Skyrim did more of this

expected you to do without looking up to your journal.

by adding acting to the NPCs, allowing them to perform

While quest design was enhanced by acting, characters

certain actions and much more complex scenes for a

were getting more straightforward and it took personal

greater dramatic value.

effort to see more in between lines and acts. I no


longer experienced the love at first sight I had for some Morrowind’s NPCs because I could feel the purpose behind the dialogue. This leads to The Elder Scrolls Online, which has some of the worst character design I have ever seen since the 90’s. Not only do all the characters act like obvious plot devices, but they are completely stereotypical and mainstream. They are likeable but you've already seen them all: the scholar genius who can't pull a lever, the womanizer thief, the good-hearted pirate with her monkey pet....There is nothing deep, nothing knew, no controversy, you gotta like the good guys and hate the villains. There was no risk and no ambition despite an engine and universe allowing deep, enjoyable struggles.

According to Lawrence Schick (ZeniMax Online Studios’ Elder Scrolls Online loremaster) “In a game, gameplay always comes first,” while according to Marc Albinet (Ubisoft’s Game Director and former game design manager for Assassin’s Creed: Unity) all elements of design (characters, story, mechanics) are on the same level and must be created together in synergy. Different people, different views. But chara design isn't only influenced by gameplay mechanics. I think it is no wonder that Morrowind is still considered the best Elder Scrolls game by many players: the size of Vvardenfell was smaller than that of Cyrodiil in Oblivion, or Skyrim, allowing more detail. As the Skyrim DLC Dragonborn shows, a smaller world space allows a more focused character design. As a conclusion I would quote advice from Franck Sauer: (Fresh 3D’s coowner, creator of the upcoming Outcast Reboot HD) “Make it small, make it good.”


character biography by Isaac Fosty

Llerevas Llelo Name:

Llerevas Llelo

Birth year:

3E54, Hearthfire

Birthplace:

Mournhold

Residence:

Suran

"I personally wish my slaves to be proud of what they are, to be aware of their worth, and live in dignity. Honor is all they will ever have, and no one should ever take it away from them." — Llerevas Llelo, On Morrowind Slavery

Gender:

Male

Status:

Kinsman Serjo Hlaalu-Llerevas Llelo

Height:

5'3" (1.63 m)

A topic as delicate as slavery isn't to be taken

Weight:

132 lbs (60 kg)

lightly. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, slavery

Dunmer (Dark Elf)

was present and rendered simply, without any kind

Black

of glorification. In a game such a Tear, set in the

Eye color:

Red

capital of slavery in Morrowind, it seemed crucial

Skin color:

Grey

to preserve this aspect while developing a story to

Slave trader

explore on the side of the abolitionists or on that

None

of the slavers. Of course, a black and white vision

Silver tongue

could be a simple solution, but would the tale be

To raise up the condition of slaves but

so hooking if the player knows in advance that the

prevent a ban on his business.

good guys are good and the bad guys are bad?

Race: Hair color:

Occupation: Combat style: Primary weapon(s): Goal:

A good story requires surprise, and it is the very purpose of a character such as Llerevas.

This peculiar merchant is not exactly good and not exactly bad either, he is a mer (elf) of compromise, seeking to increase society's respect for slaves without loosing credibility in the eyes of his peers. Llerevas was born in a wealthy family of small 30


nobility, but he wasn't really interested in the merchant caravaning business and sought to find his own trade, which he found in slavery. He was shocked by the sight of slave pens in Tear and the life conditions of slaves in general, but after finding out that some abolitionists were only seeking to control the lives of those they were meant to free, Llerevas was well-decided to find his own solution. He studied the topic of slavery thoroughly until he discovered ancient laws that would allow him to raise and educate slaves to turn them into precious butlers or bodyguards, loyal and dedicated. He tailored them to the needs of his clients, from which he expected they'd show respect for his work – the slaves.

His quest was tedious and sometimes bloody, he survived some assassination attempts from extremists, ordered some other ones himself, and decade after decade he gained a good reputation of being a serious and efficient trader. He managed to make a new place for slaves, away from deadly labor, ignorance and

who rely on slaves to cultivate their fields and feed the

starvation, but also became more chill as he knew he

country), that there is no easy solution when a whole

would never be able to help them all. He does his part

nation is involved, and that those who show good

and distrusts anyone calling themselves a savior, for

intentions can be worse than those who don't hide their

he sees the act of saving as one of abuse viciously

evil when their true motives are brought into the light.

disguised as something good.

He is a wise character whose talent is to understand the people around him. The walking mass of contradictions

Llerevas is meant to show that even the politicians

and frustrations that he is slowly stirred into a calm

who have desires of change can be powerless in front

charisma, the kind of temper that is required for one

of lobbies that control the economy (here, the Dres,

who silently carries a burden much larger than himself. 31


character biography by Nathan Kessler

Melissa Sietham Melissa Sietham loved her son Zach like any good mother should, but she was often far too controlling. She was there to kiss the scrapes on his knee but would also make sure that he’d never get hurt again, dispatching anyone she saw as a threat to her son. This continued until Zach went to college; soon after she became ill. After months of her son going to college as well as taking care of her, she passed away from her illness. A bitter-sweet moment for Zach, as he feels that he can now take control of his own life and move forward, but Melissa has other plans. Even in death she cannot let go of her son and haunts him trying to keep him from moving away and abandoning the most important person in his life, his mother.

32

“Even in death she cannot let go of her son�


33


article by Nicholas Mamo

Snowball in Motion article by Nicholas Mamo

Step by step. We plod through life. One step after another, it never ends. As we go along, we aren't left unaltered. People, places, experiences - they all modify our perspective, they remould us into something different, someone else. Step by step we change. One moment in time we're somebody, next moment we're transformed. We're snowballs in motion.

Background

premise, it goes looking for adventure, only to

In Winter's Light, the snowball is the unlikely

realize one thing - it can't survive being far from

protagonist telling its own, unique story - a

that which shaped it in the first place - snow.

reminder of our daily struggles. Hidden behind the weak, fluffy white stuff lies a stronger power -

Design

the power emanating from hope.

Just as a snowball is the product of its surroundings

34

and

environment,

we

are

the

Small and insignificant, the snowball blends into

product of society. Seldom do we stop to think

the environment and becomes one with it. At

about how we're essentially the same as everyone

the same time however, it remains alive on its

we pass by everyday. The snowball is one with

own mission, its own journey - a life among the

snow, distinguished only by its unique dream.

unremarkable environment.

Fashioned by snow it can't stray too far from it.

How much white stuff can a snowball stand seeing

Just like a man's path, if the snowball wanders

in a lifetime? Like us, it's looking for adventure; a

too far from its roots, it slowly dies off. We reap

goal in life, something to keep it going. Under this

what we sow, but our daily experiences change


us far more than we admit. As the snowball rolls through, friction takes its toll and snow remodels it. It's the fruit of circumstances; the seed which gives rise to the strength which allows it to break down barriers and hold its own against obstruction.

It's easy for the snowball to give up on its dream and hopes, but it's the very choice not to subside on the pursuit of its goal that animates an otherwise insensate piece of snow. Down to its minimalistic design, the snowball isn't perfectly round. It's imperfect, tarnished from previous experiences and situations, but it's that same imperfection which gives it beauty and purpose.

The snowball is like us, looking for adventure; a goal in life. Through snowy endeavors its life is simply a chase towards an objective, one which it can never reach without leaving behind its essence - snow, and alongside it life. Winter is coming - it's time for the snowball to follow the light.

35


character biography by Nigel Emmanuel

Mersha Mersha is a terrible witch, a cold hearted, Age: Nationality likeness: Alignment: Likes:

Dislikes: Strengths:

Unknown

calculating, and obnoxious dark magician,

English (old/medieval English)

who lives alone in her witch tower. She

Villain

constantly grimaces and kicks up a stink

Her bow in her hair, succeeding in her ploy, odd

every time good news is mentioned or heard

smells (being a witch will do that), magic, gaining

in her crystal ball. Anything good makes her

power, and (secretly) the game’s hero Duckles

very angry, in which she then takes out on

Eggplants, intruders, flowers, and everything she

intruders or anyone who she can capture,

is not associated with.

turning them in to mindless ghost dolls in

Very intelligent and powerful witch and now has

which she uses as part of her evil army.

the innate ability of a spirit! Weaknesses:

She has fallen in love with Duckles – preventing

She once had an evil stepfather who took

her from defeating him with all she's got!

everything away from her, including her Mother, who cared for her dearly. Before vanishing, her Mother had given her a pretty bow in which she tied to Mersha’s hair as a token of a motherly bond with her daughter. Since then Mersha has lived alone for decades, inheriting the magic her biological father once wielded.

Since then, Mersha had become obsessed with her magic and became power-hungry, abandoning her heart (Mersha broke her heart in many pieces and hid them in secret places), making it stop beating and her skin,

36


purple and cold. Well...that is what she wants everyone to think; despite all the awful things she has become, she still wears her Mother’s gift in her hair- her treasured bow for what little hope she has left. Actually, she stopped wearing it until her encounter with Duckles and his victory over her.

In her spirit form, she wears the bow and allows no one to question her wearing it. She is angrier than ever before, wanting nothing more than to capture

"I've had a brilliant time voicing Witch Mersha. The amazing

Duckles and to take over the world. When she

thing about voiceover is you can act without any visual or

succeeds, she’ll finally be able to freely do as she

physical restrictions - the character can really take off. No

pleases... but in truth, Mersha is not so sure she can

one can say I'm too tall or too short or too big or too small

pull it off. After the fight with Duckles (2 years ago)

for a character. While working on this game I've taken my

and being devoured by her pet monster, she had a

inspiration from the amazing artwork Nigel sends me and let

lot of time to think in its stomach.. she is fully able

my imagination take me to the new worlds he and his team

to defeat Duckles, no problem, but she finds it sort

have created. I've even had a chance to sing some of the

of hard to hurt him and would rather capture him.

tracks for the game which was great fun. Outside of the world of Duckles, I look for as much variety in my work as possible

But why, the witch muses? Mersha’s spirit begins

- acting/singing/voiceover. I'm just finishing a play at the Old

to tremble when she realises why...she will have to

Vic and the following week I start a tour of a cabaret show

deal with him in an extra cunning way. The thought

I've written. While juggling these I get to the studio as much

of him begins to warm her heart a little... she will

as possible to voice different characters for games and audio

marry him!

books. What a great job!" - Pippa Winslow

37


Character design

Mersha

Interview with Nigel Emmanuel about the character design of Witch Mersha.

What inspired the story behind Mersha? Witch Mersha was actually a regular boss in a old game

a big bad villain's heart is great for kids and teens to

of Duckles that I made as a 16 year old. I wanted to

enjoy. We also wanted to give our crazy game a funny,

make a new Duckles game with an antagonist that was

unique motivation to defeat the main villian.

gothic/medieval-esque and like Castlevania's dracula. We were heavily inspired to go for the "Metroid-vania"

Who made the character biography (and design)?

style game-play and Witch Mersha fit the closest to

I made the character design and the original story. The

Dracula. Her tragic past was inspired by her being

team agreed on what should be left in and left out like

a lonely witch like that of Hanzel and Gretel; witches

parts that were too dark, too goofy, or too serious.

seem to have this bitter, obessed and revengeful quality to me. All these elements plus years to build on her

In the trailer we could hear Mersha. Who's the voice

inspired her story.

over actress? How did this process go? The very talented voice over actress is Pippa Winslow,

38

Mersha has an interesting background especially

who also sings (also featured in the trailer) and acts.

towards Duckles, but why did you or the team decide to

We went ahead and posted a job spec for Witch Mersha

let Mersha have these feelings for the hero?

and Pippa had applied for it. I provided the script and

It’s my crazy humor...a lot of games always seem to

Pippa recorded her amazing voice-overs and singing

have a main villain that wants to destroy the hero if they

at her studio, which was then sent to us and mixed in

got in the way. I thought it great to make Mersha want

our music studio (hopefully not taking away from her

to fall in love with the hero instead. She falls in love

talent). She has currently finished a play at the Old Vic

with him because of his unbreakable will to do the right

theatre in London and then she starts her tour of a

thing. I think a positive influenctial small hero, changing

cabaret that she has written.

For more information please visit, www.turbulon-interactive.com


“If this is all a dream, don't wake me up” -Cloud


Cloud Strife Name: Cloud Strife Birthplace: Nibelheim Height: 5’7” Eyes: Blue Hair: Bond, spiked Primary weapon: Buster sword Secondary weapon: Fusion sword Occupation: Mercenary, former Shinra infantryman First game: Final Fantasy VII Goal: Help his friends save the fate of the planet by preventing Sephiroth from achieving his goal.

Considered one of the most important characters of the videogame universe, Cloud’s first appearance was in Square’s 1997 hit game Final Fantasy VII. He can be found in many other games, movies, and novels, as the FFVII world was expanded to other media due to interest from players.


Final Fantasy VII

his eyes glow, like members of S.O.L.D.I.E.R., which is

As the protagonist of the game, Cloud appears as a

how he is mistaken as one of them.

former 1st class S.O.L.D.I.E.R., an elite warrior unit of the Shinra Electric Power Company. Now a mercenary for

Since Cloud believes he is a S.O.L.D.I.E.R., he wears

hire, he joins AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist group that is

their uniform during FFIV: indigo pants, sleeveless shirt,

trying to stop the Shinra company from endangering the

and one pauldron. In Crisis Core, Cloud is a Shinra

planet.

infantryman, and appears in a blue uniform with straps, a green collar, and metallic pauldrons. Later during the

Cloud is first seen as an arrogant and proud swordsman

game, he will get the S.O.L.D.I.E.R. 1st class uniform,

who cares more about his paycheck than the cause

as in FFVII. For Advent Children, his clothing design

he joined. Because of the mako poisoning and the

changes for another style made for combat. He wears

Jenova cells in his body, Cloud will later find that his

a high collar sleeveless black shirt with black pants and

memories were mixed with those of Zack, a real 1st

boots, and a black cloth covers his left leg and arm,

class S.O.L.D.I.E.R., and that he holds a fake persona

hiding his geostigma symptoms. Cloud’s clothing is

created by those false memories and by how he thinks a

also changed in Kingdom Heart. He wears a red cloak

1st class S.O.L.D.I.E.R. would act.

and dark blue pants, combined with belts. His glove has golden trimmings that look almost like a claw. He has

Features

a demonic black wing protruding from his left shoulder,

Cloud’s appearance and mind are changed throughout

which becomes his most distinctive trait. The wing

games and movie. His trademark feature is his spiky

symbolizes his connection to Sephiroth and the dark

blond hair, with one spike bigger than the others, making

power he uses.

him more recognizable. Even though it’s considered a trademakr, Cloud’s hair was made more realistic for the

His fake persona during the beginning of FFVII makes

movie Advent Children, to better suit the film’s artistic

him a cocky and selfish man that doesn’t really care

direction.

about what’s happening as long as he’s paid for the job. It’s when his true self is revealed that Cloud shows real

His blue eyes are also a characteristic feature that goes

concerns about his friends and the fate of the planet.

with the FFVII storyline. Due to his exposure to mako,

41


SIMON CHENG www.simonchengdesign.com

42

Š Simon Cheng. All rights reserved


43


EYE FOR GAMES

WE’RE WORKING ON A NEW WEBSITE DESIGN follow this progress on our Facebook page.

Profile for Eye For Games

Eye For Games character design and biography  

A collaborative edition focusing on one topic only; character design and biography. Check out what some of the designers and writers came up...

Eye For Games character design and biography  

A collaborative edition focusing on one topic only; character design and biography. Check out what some of the designers and writers came up...

Advertisement