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Author Topic: Detailed Character Ideas  (Read 1829 times)

Milo

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Detailed Character Ideas
« on: October 23, 2013, 08:33:31 PM »

Hey everyone, I'm new here but I thought it would be fun to contribute my own style for the characters. I'm getting super excited to finally play the alpha and I know there's going to be a lot of work to get it to beta. I remember reading that much of the art is place holder, and the devs were in talks with artists. Well, I'm no artist, but I couldn't wait to see the new assets, so I created some concepts in Illustrator and Photoshop.

I've been watching Blitzkriegsler's (http://www.youtube.com/user/Blitzkriegsler?feature=g-high-crv) letsplays on Youtube to get a feel for the game. I've noticed in many management sims players care a lot about their little colonists (or prisoners, or dwarfs, or whatever), but the art is rarely very detailed. This makes sense because much of the player interaction takes place from a birds eye view and it would be time consuming and costly to draw sinister little mustaches and other details for the player models. I think it would be cool to zoom in and see your little dudes wandering around, doing their business, and visually be able to distinguish them from each other. I feel that it would add  more to the connection between the player and the colonists. Anyway, here's some examples that I made:

Space Odyssey https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/OdysseySuit.png
A very cunning hat https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/CunningHat.png
A dignified getup https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/Dignified.png
Give it to me straight, doc https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/DocCoat.png
Hazmat https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/Hazmat.png
Ribbed Merc Suit https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/RibbedMercSuit.png
Slightly less safe https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/RibbedMercSuitNoHelmet.png
The Walter https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/TheWalter.png
Mr. Toughguy https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21837777/RimWorldCharacters/ToughGuy.png

I also think an even bigger benefit of differentiating the characters is communicating to the player what their job is or what they excel at, visually. I would imagine that there would be a ton of clothing that fits all jobs, or characters that are "jack-of-all-trades," but if you set one to be only a doctor, maybe this specialization would be indicated by his coat, and bonuses could come with it.

Anyway, I'm having lots of fun working on these, and feedback would be great! I made some barbed wire texture, and sand texture to go along with the character's style, but they look terrible. I'm much more of a user experience designer than a line artist or pixel artist. Next I think I'm going to make a interface reskin concept :)
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salt1219

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Re: Detailed Character Ideas
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 08:40:05 PM »

i like your concept art, very well done.

for me i think having just a few head details like hair, skin tone and such is enough.
the rest i kind of want to imagine for myself, maybe have a few basic colors to represent their clothes
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Milo

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Re: Detailed Character Ideas
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 09:02:54 PM »

for me i think having just a few head details like hair, skin tone and such is enough.
the rest i kind of want to imagine for myself, maybe have a few basic colors to represent their clothes

I gave it a lot of thought, and the one thing I was concerned with was exactly this. Sorta like legos, the simplicity of the art/tools forces you to come up with your own narratives, which can be a big part of the fun
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salt1219

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Re: Detailed Character Ideas
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 12:57:23 AM »

@Milo I would be interested in seeing your characters in some fan art.
They seem well developed, maybe a short comic?
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Milo

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Re: Detailed Character Ideas
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 07:46:46 PM »

@Milo I would be interested in seeing your characters in some fan art.
They seem well developed, maybe a short comic?

Well thanks. I'm just doing it at random for fun
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AspenShadow

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Re: Detailed Character Ideas
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 08:45:09 AM »

Personally a very small change I'd love to see in the game is a toggle between Male and Female symbols. You can randomize a character until they have nice stats but now your Jenny is more of a Jeff and he's got the trait Pregnant, genders don't really have much meaning besides naming and character investment at the moment but when relationships come into play they'll be far more important.
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Milo

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Re: Detailed Character Ideas
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 08:39:48 PM »

Personally a very small change I'd love to see in the game is a toggle between Male and Female symbols. You can randomize a character until they have nice stats but now your Jenny is more of a Jeff and he's got the trait Pregnant, genders don't really have much meaning besides naming and character investment at the moment but when relationships come into play they'll be far more important.

I've decided that I'm going to revisit the characters based on the feedback I've gotten so far. I think their individuality should be a little more subtle and up to the player's imagination, as per what @salt1219 mentioned. As far as the survivors you start off with, I get the feeling that something much more substantial and interesting than the current system is in the works.

In my opinion a system that would serve the storytelling really well is one that would force the player to choose from a small roster of survivors, say 8 or 9, while escaping the ruined ship. Each character should still be completely random, but they should all have meaningful strengths and debilitating weaknesses. The reason for this: RimWorld is a survivor story, not an expedition. In an expedition, you would choose a diverse team composed of skilled and well-adjusted individuals, and the fun would come from the pure act of creation, discovery, and so on. Prison Architect isn't the best example because your staff is completely neutral, but that's a game that runs along these lines. Managing their relationships and satisfaction isn't an issue (except for the prisoners themselves, obviously).

In a survivor story much of the excitement comes from the tension between characters, and their inadequacies at performing the task at hand, such as scavenging, working together, dealing with harsh or dangerous environments, and any other tribulations. I'm blanking on a good game example, but the movie "Flight of the Phoenix" and the show "Lost" come to mind. Oooh, or "Battle Royale", one of my favorites.

So back to what I was saying, the current system in Rimworld allows the player to, in an obtuse way, build a roster of survivors that fit the needs and their plans of the player. I believe this is counter-intuitive for a survivor sim because as a player I always want the best outcome, so why would I ever choose anything but the best survivors? I would keep hitting that randomize button until my survivors are just the way I want them, and then start my world. What I suggested, where the AI storyteller chooses a small lineup to choose from would force the player to make tough decisions about the strengths and weaknesses of the colony, and then the resulting experience would snowball from their.

I believe this would lead to vastly different and interesting playthroughs. Maybe Classic Kassandra chooses a lineup that gets along really well, but is prone to more mental breakdowns. This would result in maybe a more stable colony during the calm points, but increased difficulty during raids.

Thanks for the response :)
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