Iíve been meaning to write something regarding character design in video games for a while. †I donít think Iím really qualified for it, nor do I think my intelligence is strong enough to even let me think such things. †Even so, there are some things that bug me with a lot of character design. †There are some good things, yet there are a lot of bads or whatever.
† † †Usually I tend to be really open minded and adaptive in regards to which direction the artist/designer of a game takes with his game. †I can easily tell on the spot if a game is for me or it isnít for me. †If iím not really feeling the aesthetics Iím not going to play that game. †Itís okay if a game isnít catered to my tastes but at the same time Iím not going to ignore my criticism regarding your incredibly bad choice of art direction. †For instance;†
Hey look, itís the boxart for Hyperdimension Neptunia, a pretty popular (?) RPG/lite Visual Novel that spoofs the game industry I guess. †Disregarding itís abysmal combat (played it, beat it, itís shit.) , the art direction pisses me off. †Itís obvious that by first glance of the boxart and with about a few good hours into the game, the cast of the game (the female cast) just seem toÖnot differentiate itself in regards to body proportions, facial expressions or their general outward appearance. †If it werenít for the games (abysmal) dialogue I would never be able to really tell apart between cute girl #234345 and cute girl #127634. †Iím not going to say itís lazy, because it isnít. †Itís quality art and the audience that NIS is selling this too are going to love it. †Me? †Iíd just consider it mediocre. †Thereís nothing unique, clever, or stylish about it. †Itís justÖmediocre.
I think Disgaea has the same issues that Neptunia has in that some of the characters seem to share the same template in regards to body proportions, but what Disgaea has over something like Neptunia is that the Ďcharacterí the game possesses really displays a lot of external emotions. †The characterís body expressions are popping out, theyíre overflowing with charisma and charm that something Neptunia doesnít have. †ÖI really like Disgaea. †Good game.
This is the character art for the Japan team from The King of Fighters 97. †Iím using this piece of art to give a better visual representation at how I would usually like the art direction of a game to go in. †Compared to a lot of other fighting games and my thoughts regarding them, what separates KOF apart from the rest is itís ability to have itís art to be generally consistent and contemporary. †The characters, while some bizarre (Benimaru is a stretch yeah.), are entirely believable/relatable in itís aesthetic and manage to keep itís consistency sequel after sequel, even going as far as to maturing the characters along with their design. †They donít stray out itís contemporary archetype but at the same time they arenít afraid to reach a bit more with itís direction, with characters like Duo Lon and the Orochis. †Good art, I guess.
SooÖyeah, I really like character design. †There are the goods, the bads, and the things that manage to stay in the middle. †When Iím not exhausted I could muse on this more lol