Character design has a special place in game development. It is the act of filling the game world with people, making it lively and dynamic. The main character that the player will control is his or her virtual avatar, which forms a strong emotional connection. Therefore, the creation of characters should be approached as responsibly and creatively as possible.
It can be very difficult to create an authentic hero. The artist always runs the risk of unknowingly repeating other characters from famous games or making a character that is too expressionless and boring. How to protect yourself from such mistakes? Are there any tips for cool character design? Let’s see what we managed to find for you.
1. Think over the Details
Even if you have to work on creating simple 2D characters without any special visual delights at first glance, this does not mean that you will be able to do everything quickly.. Even the most seemingly simple character requires a lot of work. His or her appearance should immediately evoke certain associations or emotions. For example, rounded shapes are usually used to create good characters. The bad ones are usually angular. It sounds pretty primitive, but the whole emotional aesthetics of the characters is based precisely on the correct use of elementary forms.
As for complex 3D characters, each of them must have enough detail so that the player can easily form the first impression. Everything matters: details of clothing, posture, physique, facial Subsequently, when the character is animated, the next part of the work is to create characteristic movements, gestures, postures and facial expressions. Animation in character design plays no less role than the creation of the model itself. Poor movement work can completely ruin the impression of a visually perfect character.
2. Create a Character with a Story
There is nothing more flimsy than a character without a past in the truest sense of the word. It is history that defines the character and shapes personality. Of course, this does not mean that you have to create entire stories for each model you create. But the main characters definitely need a little description of what happened to them before and how they came to their current situation. It immediately brings the character to life incredibly.
For example, in the legendary game Heroes of Might and Magic, there are no separate models for each hero as such. The figure that moves around the map has an appearance in accordance with the faction, and we can see the hero’s face only on his or her portrait. However, they each have a short but very interesting story that makes them personalities and makes them easy to distinguish from others. They evoke emotions: sympathy, anger, disgust, horror, suspicion, etc. Players approve or disapprove of their life path and choices. And it serves as a great connection between the hero and the player.
3. Play with Color Shades
Color is very important for understanding not only the atmosphere of the game but also the individual character. It is clear that the antagonists are usually dressed in dark and dull colors, while the protagonists prefer light and bright ones. But besides the unambiguous options, there are more complex ones. Characters who previously acted in the name of evil, but now took the path of correction, require a special approach in the selection of colors. The same goes for characters who are not what they appear to be. With color, you can try to tell part of the hero’s story.
Character creation is not easy. But it’s worth it: the cool heroes of the games are remembered for a very long time and are strongly associated with the name of the developer. If you have doubts that you can create a character on your own, and a freelancer is unlikely to understand your request, then the best way is to find a character designer for hire in an outsourcing firm. There are usually specialists with extensive experience and deep knowledge of the gaming industry. It will not be difficult for them to shape your idea into a suitable character and endow him or her with all the necessary qualities and traits.