While working on my game development I strictly kept in mind both my genre: RPG and my target audience: 12+ of both gender. As such I looked at what I would need to incorporate to successfully make the game and interest the market of my choice.
(For more on that, click: Here and go to slide “An Example…”)
The art style I have chosen is cel-shaded as that is both the most common for my genre, but is also edgy and colourful while still being able to easily convey emotion like photorealist does so well.
While designing the individual characters I had to keep in mind the climate, which extremely hot and unforgiving with little to know shade and the individual tribes. This is important as I couldn’t very well have my characters wearing sweaters – that, and it is also an RPG which almost always requires a rustic, or even anglo saxon look.
(The Default Avatar.)
Though the Player’s character will be customisable, I did make sure to draw a default Avatar (both male – right and female, left) for promotional material. This is to ensure that the Avatar is included as much as possible, as they are a key figure in the story of the game.
In development I changed very little of the Avatar’s look, besides hair width, and the outfit; whereby I took away some of the armour I had started to draw as although they are the protagonists guardian – their “sentinel,” I did not think it was too realistic for a character to wear too much metal in such a bad climate.
This is the protagonist who is forced to set things in motion after his brother is taken. Due to his important role, I wanted to give him an edgy look – to make him stand out and insert as much character into him as possible.
With his Class as one of the Priest’s governing the game’s protective barrier, he was born with the power to transform into a wolf, giving him partial power over the suns rays.
(The Protagonist’s other form.)
Earlier on I made the Protagonists other form very plain but decided while drawing him, that it would aid Player investment to make him more recognisable, as such I added the front part of the Protagonist’s hair.
I also decided to use less shading on his face, to avoid him looking intimidating, or angry.
(The Lost Brother.)
While designing the Protagonist’s brother, I wanted to make them look like the exact opposite of each other – not just because the Protagonist is representative of the sun, but because the Brother is the second Priest holding the barrier in place – the moon.
Like the size differences between the sun and moon, I drew the Brother to be shorter and far more slender. I also wanted to give him a far more gentle look, the opposite of the Protagonist’s rougher exterior.
Again, I changed very little from my initial sketch, to my finished design but to make his shoulders slightly larger, edit small outfit details and to give him a thinner face.
The first possible member of the Party, the Healer – or “Witch,” was drawn to be petite and weaker looking compared to other Units, as she is not a physical fighter.
The Healer’s speciality would of course be that of a medic, however due to that Class’ focus on Magic, it can also interlink into more advanced forms of spell casting and elemental powers, which could make for a good unit later on despite her having the weakest Stats to start out with.
The Fighter is another easily sought character, appearing early on in the game. The Fighter is a Unit that focuses on Strength, without much ability to perform Magic or having Resistance to it.
Knowing that, I wanted her to have a wild, untamed look to go along with a strong, outspoken personality.
From my first sketch I have her larger gauntlets and thinned down not only her hips but her face, since I wanted her to seem more mature.
This Units speciality will be his Skill and Defence Stat, as he – and his Class, use mostly weapons, such as the sword he carries on his hip.
I originally had The Warrior and Fighter siblings, which contributed to him choosing weapons over hand-to-hand combat, but figured that there was enough family issues already and the idea was scrapped, through they do still know each other despite being from different Tribes.
(The beast Tamer.)
The Beast Tamer Class is one of the rarest in this game and as such, this Unit will be one of the few to use it – making him an advantage if his Skill Tree is used right.
Due to his Class I wanted him to have a simplistic appearance and made him young as a juxtaposition to his nature.
Between my first sketch and me finishing his design, was to change his hair style slightly and add more layers to his clothes to add just a bit more complexity, so his design did not appear boring or half hearted.
The villain of the game, who steals the Protagonist’s brother in order to return to her position of Priestess. She is an apathetic character who cares little about others or their suffering.
From the start I wanted a female Antagonist – a beautiful female Antagonist because I wanted her grace and delicate body to hide the ugly in her.
Again, there was little change between her sketches but to giver her a thinner face, stretched out her ears, and give her a long body.
Due to the harshness of the environment, Merchants are a dying breed despite the demand for clothes, tools and weapons. These four are all from different Tribes and all located well within their homeland, so it is imperative for the Player to keep well stock up on items such as Potions, Armour and Weapons as once they are out, back into the wilderness its a long way to travel back.
(Full View of Environment – the Floating Island.)
Initially I wanted my floating island dome like; almost like a parody of a flower however during development I figured that, that would be especially hard to make and would also cause some problems in-game, so I scrapped it.
Due to this small problem I started to practice with the look of mountains in CINEMA 4D, to see what other things I could do.
(Base of the Island in CINEMA 4D.)
I eventually designed it to be flatter, with less raised panels. I then also added support discs which aids the island in its gravity.
The contents of my island will look like above, with the oasis in the middle, where the inhabitance gather their fresh water, fruit and herbs. The well of water spreads out with four individual lakes, which serve as both something to guide a lost travel to – or form the oasis, but can also Restore HP.
The land is obviously separated into four pieces for the four Tribes. Around the edges is the birds eye view of the Mountains; where the Tribesman live, inside the coves they have made from years of digging.
(For more information on the environment click: Here.)
For my game I want it – despite some of its content and themes – to be bright and colourful, with an emphasis on the blue of the sky and the orange of the sand; the dryness and humidity.
How undeveloped the society is will also play an important theme with how few materials they have to work with, and everything they have to make, which is why everything is so minimalist.
Due to how little science there will be (Alchemy practices being the only thing developing,) magic is growing and also a large part of the reason the Tribesman haven’t died yet from the conditions no the Floating Island.
Crystal harvesting will also be very important, as they are used as a medium for magic and healing.
From left to right: common Healer’s Staff, Bronze Sword, Dragon Hide Gauntlets, Fang Necklace, Herbs, Crystal Pendant, Alchemic Symbol, Spell Book, Steel Earring.
(Example of Protagonist’s Levelling Up Screen, sketch.)
Demanding on what the character did to gain the EXP which Levelled up, is where and how many points they get for the Character Stats.
For example, if the character was defending another character when they gained the EXP, they will gain points towards their DEF Stat.
(Example of Protagonist’s Skills Tree, sketch.)
Every time a character levels up they are allocated three points to spend on Skills, which advances them onto other lines of Skills in their Class.
The more times the character will use a certain skill, the higher the Level that Skill becomes.
(Example of In-Game HUB, sketch.)
Once a Unit is engaged, the screen will zoom into that particular character, where the HP and MP indicators will become visible and the Combat Menu will become available.
Attack: To attack with the weapon Equip, or to engage in Hand-to-Hand if without.
Defend: To defend themselves, or another Unit.
Skills: To activate one of their Skills from their Skill Tree.
Items: To use something in the Convoy, such as a Potion, or to Equip a Weapon. (Note that this will take a turn.)
Call: To call out to a nearby Unit for help, or Healing (depending on how is closest – if there is any Units nearby, and if they are not otherwise engaged with the enemy.)
Map: To view Map of terrain.
(The Start Screen.)
I used a picture I made for the background and blurred part of the screen to add on the text. I included the title (The Sentinel) and the skip option to make it seem more authentic.