Monday, October 10, 2011

Hero Tower Defense Tuesday: Day 8 - Character Creation

Go here to read the Day 7 of Hero Tower Defense Tuesdays.

This week we're going to take a look at Kevin's WIP human female design, talk about character creation, and answer some related questions that are likely to be asked after reading this.

Kevin has started working on the human female character which I know some of you have been waiting for. It's still early in development though and we're making adjustments as we go. Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for some additional information and concept art he's working on. He'll also be starting on some hair styles and is interested in some suggestions for them from you guys. Here's the latest version of the human female character:

Early render of a human female in full plate armor

You might notice the usual characteristics that distinguish a female from a male are absent in this initial image. We intentionally started out this way because we want to be sure that you can easily tell the difference between the genders just from their contour and shape even when they are fully suited in armor. This is important for being able to glance at things quickly and knowing exactly what it is.

Male characters can also share a lot of the same features that are typically used to identify females, e.g., long hair, light colors, etc so we don't want to be restricted by these things by fixing them to a specific gender for the sole purpose of differentiating them from eachother. Another thing that falls into this category is having all the females showing a lot of skin regardless of how much armor they are wearing. To me that's a cheap way out for making a female identifiable in heavy armor.. or lack thereof. It makes more sense for lighter armor to look that way since it allows you to be more agile.

Another reason we don't want to restrict specific colors, hair styles, etc to genders is because we want there to be as many options available as possible during character creation so you can create the characters you want. We're still figuring out what you'll be able to customize exactly but right now we're thinking race, gender, skin color, hair style, and hair color (remember this is just for your character, not their armor, weapons, effects, etc). We would like to have some facial features as well at some point but it's a lot for a little so it's not a high priority right now.

Now I'll address a few questions that are bound to be asked eventually:

"What about eye color?"

The style Kevin is current going with doesn't really involve significant detail to the eyes so they are generally just black ovals. They will be quite small as well so only a few colors would be really be noticeable and the rest would kind of all look the same as those.

"Can I change the character's height, size, or proprotions?"

This is very unlikely unfortunately because all our graphic assets are sprites and changing any of these attributes, even a little, would cause all kinds of conflicts with the armors and such.

"Will you see the hair when wearing a helmet?"

This is an interesting topic because it's one of those simple things that is actually quite complex to implement. As of right now we are going with no visible hair while wearing a helmet, even if you have long hair. However, we would allow you to turn off the helm graphic without actually unequipping it and thus still taking advantage of it's stat bonuses.

The reason for this because you'd not only need to create the hairstyle itself but you'd also need to customize every hair style for every helmet in every angle and that adds up to a lot of work very quickly for something that isn't really that significant.

Although something that just came to mind is maybe we could have just a generic "long hair" look while wearing a helmet and that would be applied to all long hair styles and their share their color of course. Shorter hair styles would just show no hair while wearing a helmet. A problem you might realize though is that if your character has a ponytail and it switches to this generic "long hair with helm on" look it wouldn't be in a ponytail anymore. A possible solution could be to just have a couple different "long hair with helm on" looks to cover the majority of the hair styles but we'd probably only start with one for now. We'll have to see, I'm rambling now though so I'll stop there :P

As always feel free to leave us feedback, give us suggestions, ask us questions, or just let us know what you think in the comments!



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