I’ve got a full interview from Sean Velasco, the director of Mighty Milky Way, coming up for you tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s one of the more choice comments from the piece, one that I’m afraid might end up buried under the rest of the text of the full post. When asked about the process of designing a female lead in a game, Mr. Velasco had this to say:
“We like our characters to be attractive and appealing, but it’s important to let the personality dictate the look. It’s easy to make a sexy-looking design, but not necessarily an attractive character. Discerning audiences can tell the difference, and it’s easy to turn people off.”
That’s an distinction that I’m not sure a lot of us keep in mind. It seems that a lot of developers are big on getting attention for their work by throwing a “sexy” lead in their games, but in the process, their characters lose the potential to provide genuine charm and personality. To me, being “sexy” means appealing to our baser instincts, while being “attractive” means forming a genuine connection to the viewer through something more sophisticated. It’s not impossible to create a character that is equal parts sexy and attractive, but it definitely takes more skill to pull that off. Most developers seem content to just go one way or the other.
Or at least, that’s how I see it. What do you think? Do you find it hard to connect with overtly sexual characters on a more personal level, or do you find it easy to get sentimental about characters that you lust after first and learn to love second?