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Characters in video games are the driving force behind the gameplay and help direct the plot and storyline. Such a critical component of the game requires equally important art assets to bring the characters to life, which we can accomplish through added visual elements that help the character fit into the game’s overall theme.

An example of this could be using assets to support the time frame that a game is set in. For instance, a medieval-style game will likely have characters with appropriate medieval clothing and weapons.

After the characters have been initially thought out and designed by the artist, we can sketch a silhouette of the character. The silhouette sketch is an integral part of the character conception process as it communicates many features about the character, such as:

  • Physical features: Details like skin, hair, and high-level details like beauty marks can help the character look more natural.
  • Subtle features: Features such as the character’s build, pose, or facial expressions can help the player determine which character to select in the game or communicate the character’s intentions regarding the storyline or plot.

If you have ever played a game where your character had to make a real-time decision of whether another character was a friend or enemy, assets likely impacted your decision. Features like clothing, pose, and facial expressions of the character can be used to influence the player’s decisions.

Instructions

The image of Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn helps show how physical appearance can help create a character that influences and supports a game’s storyline.

Move to the next exercise when ready.

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