Thought I’d share the part of the process I’m most involved in. Designing the characters for this game went through a few iterations. At the beginning I took a completely different approach to what I usually do and decided to put down some shapes straight away. The main brief was small, cute and something that would look fun jumping around, ideally with a tail.
Basically I just put down a medium-ish sized brush and just let the shapes come to life. Fleshing them out and adding a bit of colour led to below.
There were some ideas there that I could have gone with but wasn’t entirely happy with any of them. So I went back to square one and the good old, old school way, just sketching out various ideas. Eventually, my fellow devs came to decision to work on something based on the Monkey King after much discussion. This led to the last line of designs.
I decided I liked something between the two on the bottom left and so developed these into below, which is what the final design looks like.
With the final colour version being:
At this point one of my fellow devs gave me the feedback that this was too cute, and wanted something ‘cooler’ and less ‘chibi sized’ which led to:
However, we had already built the prototype and when we implemented this version, it turned out to be too large for the spaces we had already worked out, and shrinking it made it far too small to see it details, rendering it a little weird. Realising that it didn’t quite fit the aesthetics we had already established with the BGs and the platforms we went back to the ‘chubby’ version.
However releasing that the colour of the larger design had more contrast and looked much better than our ‘first final’ design, I translated that over. And so the ‘final-final- design turned into this:
The process definitely taught us compromise, and not to have the game itself be slave to the art (also true vice versa).