Character Designs

  • Hello! You might remember one of the threads I started not too long ago on character backstories. I'm still working on fleshing out some of my characters through words, but I'm also in the process of trying to draw them all so that I can get down their designs. I'm looking to see how I can improve and also to find some inspiration. So I wanted to know if you allies could lend me a hand.

    Here are some questions I have:

    Should characters be "fashionable" at least in the eyes of the creator, so that the creator's personality comes through in the deigns, or should characters have vastly different styles of dress depending on their own personality or awareness of fashion?

    Is it OK for some characters to look similar or should they all be distinct?

    Do you prefer eccentric designs (unnatural hair color, dramatic clothing, unusual styling, etc.) or do you prefer designs that are grounded in reality?

    Do you like the design of a character to reflect the time period of the game they are from or should designs attempt to be timeless (by that I mean not adhering directly to the style of and one particular era and there by not giving away when the design was made)?

    What is your favorite character design and why?

  • Global Moderator

    Glad to hear that you are making progress!

    For me a good thing to look at are similar works in different media. I love the look of many final fantasy characters, why? They are distinct from each other and stand out both fashionwise and personality wise. I like characters that kinda have their own style in a way, at the same time I dont think they should go "too crazy" unless it fits the world. I look at characters and think "is this something that would be wearable in this world?" Like you dont want to see a guy wearing a futuristic sci fy spartan suit in a caveman game (just to point out extremes).

    I like when a "positive" person wear bright colours and if the world they live in are a bit "magical" and "different" from ours its okey for them to have a bit of unusual styling. Likewise if its someone being "evil" and cast spells etc you kinda expect them to wear darker cloths, like a robe or lots of belts and so on. It would be weird to see a evil person in bright short and tshirt (unless perhaps for some plot twist).

    I think characters and what they wear can really sell me a world.

  • @Lotias Thanks for your input! I've been thinking a lot about the use of color in my designs and your thoughts helped a lot. I've been a little torn on how to use color in the designs because the characters in my game aren't good guys per se. They aren't outright evil (at least most of them aren't), but their goals aren't to save the world at large or anything heroic like that. They're just out to expand their territory and improve the economy of where they live (also to crush their enemies but that's more of a secondary goal). The characters are all government employees, so they aren't really acting out of a desire to complete the objective, so much as of wanting to get paid. Because they aren't traditional heroes, It's hard to dress them like traditional protagonists, but I also don't want to dress them like villains because that's not who they are.

    These are some of the designs I've been working on. The designs are for the character's plainclothes, what they wear at work or in public. So nothing they would wear during an event, ritual, or combat. Those outfits would have a lot more flair and have more unique aspects to reflect what activity they were meant to be worn for. (Also I know that I'm not very good at drawing, I haven't drawn in like a year and a half and I've never taken any classes on art, so my skills are pretty basic.)

    This one is a concept sketch of 3 sisters that are important characters in the game, 2 are playable and one is a support character. I wasn't sure about their colors. I ended with purple and pink. Purple because of their mystic abilities and because they have ambiguous morals. (Their more loyal to their employer and to each other, than they are dedicated to upholding good morals.) I chose pink because of their outward projection of femininity, they're actually pretty tough, and one of them is a bit sadistic, but they all try to put forth an image of being proper. I don't usually draw in this particular style, but it's faster since it uses less details, and I just wanted to do a preliminary sketch of what they might look like. The only concrete details I had were their skin tone, body types, and hair color. Everything else was made up on the spot. As such these designs are likely to change, but I like them for now

    This on the other hand is more of a formal character design sheet. This character had the most concrete image in my head before drawing. I knew her body and hair type as well as her eye color and shape. What it came down to was styling. This design is for what the character would wear normally outside of combat and before the game started. I think it communicates more about who she is as a person. Her clothes are based off of current fashion in the country she lived in for a few years before the game began, which is meant to reflect her desire to return there. But her styling is also a bit more American than the country she is trying to emulate, so I hope that both of her backgrounds are reflected in the design. Her hair was the toughest part, curly hair is difficult to draw, and I actually did it quite lazily here, I just wanted to give the hair a look of texture. The braids on top and poof on the bottom are a result of her trying to find a balance between practicality and style. Curly hair is kind of a pain in the ass (I would know, I have it), it gets in your face all the time and frizzes up really easily. And in this character's line of work in would be a hindrance. So to combat this, it's tightly braided at the top and is free at the bottom, so it doesn't get in her face or distract her but also shows the hair's natural texture. As for colors, I've actually started coloring, but I'm not done so I decided to post just the line work. I'm going with shades of orange and blue, they're complimentary colors and I think mesh well with her overall aesthetic. Orange because she's warm, but blue because she's an intellectual and loves to study. Also blue because it's a bit somber like her.
    0_1507833234185_perenelle character sheet black and white1.jpg