concept art cont

7 Nov

After a bit of thought, I came up with an interesting wrapper for my game. You control a character who flys through space. As you relax, bad thoughts are pulled out of your mind and rendered on screen as monsters or enemies. You have to control the character (through head tracking) and concentrate on individual enemies to get rid of them for good.

Sounds quite lovely. The whole idea of sucking bad thoughts from your mind is from the film Forbidden Planet. Charlie pointed this out to me and that the whole science fiction angle might be an interesting one to go down.

My trouble now was to create good looking characters for the game to make it fun and interesting. This took a while.

At first I was looking at the japanese games Loco Roco and Katamari Damacy for artwork inspiration.

Loco Roco

Katamari Damacy

These games share a similar artistic approach, very colourful and simple graphics. Their colourful nature suggest immediately that they are very fun and playful games. This is what I wanted to communicate straight away with my artwork. But, trying to emulate the japanese style for odd characters didn’t work too well for me. They have a knack for creating these playfully simple and lovable characters as its part of their culture. I tried to create something along the lines of loco roco but the characters didnt work too well.

It’s okay, but it’s not something im truly happy with. So I had a rethink.

Instead of japanese artwork, I looked at some cover art. Amee suggested to me that I should look at some cover art for the super furry animals. The art work is done by Pete Fowler, and has the kind of stylistic vector charm mixed with some realism in the form of textures that I was looking for. This suits me well as vector artwork isnt my strong point, but I can make a mean texture so merging the two together could give me an interesting graphical style. Also, the characters for the following albums art work dont really have faces, just suggestions of faces. If you look at my previous concepts, you can tell that faces arnt my strongest point.

The cover art that I was looking at are the following images.

Phantom Power

Hello Sunshine

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

As you can see, Fowler mixes vector images with some texture overlays (admitedly they are vectors too, but you can see my point). He drew the kind of characters that I was after too. Very simple, yet stylistically good looking characters that are instantly recognisable. Thats the kind of thing that I wanted, so I set upon creating some characters myself.

I was looking at these images and instantly saw the potential for a giraffe.

And so was born the space giraffe as the main character. He floats upon a cloud in space fighting brain monsters. Kinda wierd but I like it. The faces with the characters was what I was having the most trouble with before hand with the previous characters, so this time, taking inspiration from Fowler, I just hinted at faces and used negative space to create the eyes. That’s all I needed really, simplifying the faces right down I got this.

Much better.

I shown this to a few people and after talking about it with Amee, she said that space giraffe needs a space helmet, how else would he breathe?! But instead of a realistic one, he needs a fish bowl type comic space helemt, and that’s exactly what he got.

And now we have a great space giraffe. The monsters look nice too I think, simple, yet they look enough like a typical monster so that people get what they are straight away.  I need to vectorise them and put textures on them, but I think it’s a nice start.

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