Monday, October 29, 2012

[Valanas] On Character Design

Over the course of the past week, me and my collaborator have been hard at work brainstorming character ideas that we hope will represent the personalities and ideal play styles that will go into the setting itself. As we do so, and we fall closer to the "big picture" we'll infuse a lot of the elements of Anime that help make them so popular and help make the setting its own.

Though for now, let me explain some of the inspiration that is going behind the character creation, and what you can look forward to seeing in the game setting...

When looking into the different styles of character creation, I have looked at some of the most popular manga authors and artists and read about what really made them interesting. The one the jumped out at me the most was Tite Kubo who is well known for his Bleach Manga.

The Tite Kubo uses a number of techniques to really flesh out his characters, primarily taking into account the fact that people are not always what they seem to be. This has always been a running theme in the past, and something that I feel people in general really enjoy.

For those familiar with personality tests, and the Pace Pallet Test in particular, you'll also find this is very familiar. To make it even better, you can see a lot of characters who may have similar abilities, but personality always helped flesh out the character in ways that really made things both entertaining and rewarding.

When putting together the Iconic characters, I took this well into account, with each character having both a surface element and an internal element.

Take for example Niah Kunai, a woman from the Moleki Bloodline who has a unique affinity for speaking with spirits and finding lost artifacts. Over the years she has been a bit of a trickster, getting in trouble whenever she could and gaining a bit of a bad reputation.

Despite this, what many would not know from her care free and playful attitude is the fact that she has a sweet spot for those she calls "The Lost," which often includes homeless children, or anyone in particular who would be considered an underdog who had been abandoned for things that they could not control. She strives to help these people, typically children, to help them find a home that would have otherwise not been there.

This motherly attitude is her primary driving motivator in many of her efforts in the world of Valanas. As her story develops, people will learn why this is the case, and how it was that she acquired a lost erinyes spirit as her Moleki Familiar, who has been significantly altered by Niah's overwhelmingly loving and playful nature. The spirit now is a mirrored reflection of this mentality, and the demonic spirit does it's best to insure that Niah doesn't get in over her head (at least not without having a bit of fun!).

So going further into development, what are some of your most favorite personality profiles? What elements did they portray externally and how did that help to hide their inner most desires? How drastically different where these two elements, and how did it add to the enjoyment of your character?

And for those interested, what kind of personalities would you like to see going into the Valanas World and ideally what play style do you feel would best fit that personality (Chosen between Investigator, Paragon, or Specialist?)?

Till tomorrow, I hope you all have a great day!