We’re big believers in the power of customizable avatars to connect players to a game experience. Whether players choose to craft an avatar that looks like them irl, or is their polar opposite, it’s the act of choosing that allows players to invest emotionally in the game world. So when we started character design, it was important to be sure the overall system (theme) had the flexibility to stand up to some vibrant personalization (variation.)
We started with a very flat “cut-paper” look (built in Adobe Illustrator) and a set of damask wallpaper textures. We thought it was an interesting idea to “commoditize” the women by giving them all the same base dress and body, and then layering on the choice of six skin colors, six dress colors, six dress patterns, twelve hairstyles, and twelve accessories. A good math person could probably figure out how many permutations that could potentially generate. Pictured above is Marc’s favorite, the avatar we’ve been calling Prunella Blinkington.
Once a couple of dozen avatars were carefully crafted and duly “ooohed” over, we did a couple of sets of randomly mixed combinations which seemed to work almost as well. Which either speaks to the robustness of the customization system or is a shameful indictment of Marc’s design education. We haven’t figured out which yet.
Worthing and Moncrieff, LLC is an independent developer of video game stories founded in 2015.