On Game Character Design: Time to Put the Pedal to the Metal
Whether you select Donkey Kong to race and throw around bananas in Mario Kart or take a lot of time creating a photo-realistic wastelander with a lot of cool scars in Fallout 4, well-developed characters are essential to any game because they serve as an emotional bridge between the player and the screen. Most players prefer to specialize in a unique character that matches their gaming style or simply because they like the vibe of the character.
This phenomenon is known among gamers as “maining a character” and it can be seen in a variety of games such as League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, Dota2, and others.
Following up on the last DevBlog, in which we revealed the first weapons in the game, we are now converting one of the characters envisioned in DevBlog 02 into a 3D model through Blender.
After rendering the Metal character, we added elements to distinguish him from future characters such as the Punk and Rapper featured on DevBlog 02, but also to make him easily identifiable as the Metal Guy. As a result, we added a guitar, and were quite picky about the aesthetics, but after a few attempts, we were able to create one that everyone in the team loved.
The first design was simply how we imagined a metal guitar, with no specific model in mind, but it ended up looking very similar to a famous model, which led to the second guitar design attempt.
The model B.C. Rich Warlock was the inspiration for the second attempt. It has a unique jagged shape and two humbucker pickups. It was designed in 1969 by company founder Bernie Rico and is still in use today. Kerry King of Slayer and Chris Poland of Megadeth were among the notable users of this guitar model.
The third attempt was inspired by the Flying V, an electric guitar model introduced by Gibson in 1958. The Flying V offers a radical, “futuristic” body design. The initial run of Flying V guitars was unsuccessful, with fewer than 100 being manufactured and sold. Some players, such as blues guitarist Albert King and rock guitarists Lonnie Mack and Dave Davies, gravitated toward the unusual design and helped popularize it years after it was discontinued.
The final iteration of the guitar is inspired by the Flying V’s sibling, the Explorer, which was also manufactured by Gibson. The Explorer, like the Flying V, was unsuccessful, and the model was discontinued in 1963. However, after competitor Hamer Guitars had success selling similar designs, Gibson began reissuing the Explorer in 1976. The Explorer was especially popular among 1970s and 1980s hard rock and heavy metal musicians.
We finished the character design off with tattoos and patches to make it more unique. We went with heavy-metal-themed tattoos and for the patches, we opted to use disguised references to famous metal bands.
Over the next few weeks, we will be implementing animations for the Metal Guy character and also its interaction with the weapons showcased on the DevBlog 03.