This week has totally been about armor sets. I’ve spent the whole week doing all the armor sets for the game, and it’s driving me nuts. I’ feel a fashion designer for virtual characters (on a side note, I think it’d be quite curious to collaborate with actual fashion designers on game character art). Let me tell you a bit about my process, just in case you decide to design your own armor set in the future. Really nothing special, but this point, I can’t think of anything else to write about, and my head is full of armor sets, so here we go…
Step 1: Research
One of my teachers once told me, being creative is like going to the toilet. You can’t poo if you haven’t eaten anything, even if you sit there for hours. So likewise, you won’t be able to come up with fresh ideas if you don’t ‘ingest’ new things. Basically, if you want your ideas to be good, you need to do a ton of research. But it is better to try at look at stuff that isn’t popular, or that not a lot of people use as inspiration – because then you’ll have different sources from everyone else. I went to the museums in London to look at the Japanese collections (there wasn’t a lot though), and also looked at a lot of old prints. If I were hardcore, I’d go to Japan. Guess I’m not hardcore enough :(
Step 2: Sketches
This is the most fun part! Here you take everything you’ve learnt from the research, and try to add your own twist or style to it. I just draw about a billion random designs on the paper and go crazy with it. Typically for me, only around 10% of the stuff is good enough to develop further. I also try to give all the boss characters a distinguishing feature on their armor or weapon.
Step 3: Finalize
I hate this part. This is where I actually have to draw it in Flash, and color it and rig it. The creative part is gone, now you’re just following blueprints. All-in-all it usually takes me 1-2 hours to do one armor set, depending on the detail. I have to do one for male, and then re-fit it for female, then after that, program all the parts that can be ‘dyed’ into a different color, so I can use the editor to re-color it and combine it into different sets (although the original colours are always my favourite).
Anyway, that’s my typical cycle of designing the armor for this game. Got time to spare? Want to have a go? If yes, then download the Sinjid character template here and print it out. You’ll have an A4 sheet of paper with grey character outlines on it. Now you go do your research, draw on the outlines with black ink, and then scan it and send it to me! I’d love to see what you come up with. Don’t worry if your drawing skills aren’t good – all you need is imagination! After two weeks, I’ll pick my favourite entry and put it into the game. Ready? Set? GO!