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Thread: Team Chow II - Team Milk of Amnesia

  1. #27
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    Memo for tonight's discussion

    1, Cory has established a nice background story:

    In the beginning, there're 2 deities, the god of light and god of dark. they dominate 2 parallel universe, in one universe, the light god won; in the other universe, the dark god won. Eventually, these two universe start to merge, forcing the two side of the same character facing each other.

    2, we decided to go with the direction of tribal people meets animal. We want to keep the feature close to their conventional race (human, elf, dwarf...etc.), but we do want to have an animal/insect undertone to make the design look more interesting. draw elements from animals, insects, that's looks appropriate to their living environment.

    3, There's nothing specific assigned to anyone yet, everything is OPEN. sketch up characters from whatever race you find interesting, combining whatever elements from animal, insects, various different culture. But always keep in mind of form and function, make it realistic, and practical.

    4, We'll have to decide what exactly each of us wants to do by the end of next week, which is Sunday August 9th. We want to decide the world setting, character background story, character gender, race, age, class.

    5, We can go crazy with our design but do be careful with "high fantasy" requirement. Don't get too far away from the stereotype. it might be a good idea to ask Daestwen to look at our preliminary sketch later this week, and see if the direction is good. the last thing we want is creating bunch of awesome characters only end up being rejected.

    (If that's the case, we'll just go with it, and screw the requirements. we all end up with some cool portfolio pieces anyway)

    6, some ideas include: elf-insect-desert-thieves. mole rate dwarf, monkey human, seagull human, crayfish org....once again, we're not drawing a org that looks like a crayfish. but rather a org that looks like a conventional org, but has armor accessory facial structure that borrows elements from a crayfish.

    That pretty sums up what we have discussed tonight. Sorry if I missed anything... Please post your sketches, thoughts, ideas... This is the most exciting part of creating concept art, let's go crazy and have fun.


    PS: I just read the briefing again, looks like we CAN create our own race and class. So there's more room for us to get weird and crazy.
    Last edited by fluorine; August 2nd, 2009 at 05:01 AM.
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  4. #28
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    Here's something I came up today.

    Race: Swamp Giant (=Org)

    Class: Battle Bard

    Gender: Female
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  5. #29
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    flourine: That's really cool! I think her pose would look more dynamic if she looks up at the camera

    Random face sketches. More to come, for realz.
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  7. #30
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    I updated the pose, Nightblue, thanks for the suggestion.

    also add 2 facial designs.
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  9. #31
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    Failed DnD Character #1: Snizzik the Goblin Barbarian

    The ferocity of a cornered lynx, the power of a trapped squirrel.

    Tried to give him some snake features but ended up with a blizzard-ish goblin... ugh... next.
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  11. #32
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    All right, this is the direction I think we should go in. Weird. Tribal. Colorful. Humanoid, but blending the characteristics of many different types of animals. NOT a simple human-animal hybrid, but a new, unique species. I do not think we should go with plain humans.
    Perhaps the technology is too much in the stone age to fit with the high fantasy genre, but that can easily be fixed by incorporating some metal objects, I think.
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  13. #33
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    I think we are getting somewhere now. I actually like the idea of their weapons and such being more primitive than the other races. They are orcs after all. Orcs are stupid. Same for magic, I'd like to see them take a shamanistic/spiritual and/or music-based approach to magic rather than brainy high wizard magic.

    I also love the idea of natural armor! So that their clothing-based armor is more for show and light than the other races because they are naturally hardy.

    Orc. +10 natural armor. -5 intelligence. Matches cliche high fantasy feel for the race. But this way is unique!



    I would like to see them perhaps a little more bulky so that they feel more orcish. Also maybe a little more clothing/armor even though they are naturally armored. I think it overall needs to be a little more orc-like to sell it as an Orc. How to do that while keeping the originality I'm not sure. It will be difficult to find the right balance but I think you're on the right path. Now I'm getting excited about this project again.
    Last edited by Burtzum; August 3rd, 2009 at 01:41 AM.
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  14. #34
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    I'm thinking maybe we should work out a story, rather than putting too much focus on making new races. We could even use some of the original high fantasy races, just make sure the way they dress is weird enough to match the odd new ones.

    This is a character design assignment after all - heavy on personality, personal history, and all that. Race is part of the identity, but imo it's just as challenging to create unique/new characters with conventional races as making cool new races that make logical sense.
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  15. #35
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    Thanks, Burtzum!

    I would like to see them perhaps a little more bulky so that they feel more orcish. Also maybe a little more clothing/armor even though they are naturally armored. I think it overall needs to be a little more orc-like to sell it as an Orc. How to do that while keeping the originality I'm not sure. It will be difficult to find the right balance but I think you're on the right path. Now I'm getting excited about this project again.
    Nightblue felt the same way. I'll play around with the design some more, especially the head.

    Edit: Nightblue posted while I was looking at the thread.
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  16. #36
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    I'm not a good writer, but here's a frame of a story. Feel free to ditch it and write better ones

    Four character A, B, C, and D - and their dark versions -A, -B, -C and -D. one for each of us.

    In his early adventures, Character A has once come in contact with the dark mirror and seen another dark, terrible world through it. Terrified, he goes into hiding and lived like a regular villager for a few years, until Character B, seeking the secret that's hiddin in the mage's tower, tracked Character A down. Character A was reluctant to help at first, but was compelled to do so by character B through charm/reason/whatever. As A and B make their way to the tower, they met characters -C and -D, who tried repeatedly to stop them. A and B eventually found the dark mirror in the mage's tower, but had to fight -C and -D in front of it. A and B both got pushed into the mirror, and they came out in a darkened world, where they found their bizzaro versions -A and -B being the dark lord that is seeking to destroy the land completely. They also gained unexpected help from C and D, the good version of the villains they met in their world, and the four banded together to ultimately defeat -A and -B.

    A and B can be traditional high fantasy races, and C and D can be new races. These characters can and should be different, but there need to be unifying elements on A, B, -C, -D as well as -A, -B, C, D to make them look like they are from the same worlds. (for example - say the real world has a color theme of bright-ish red and yellow, the shadow world could be less saturated or cooler colors, etc)
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  17. #37
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    I did some more sketch, based on insect/sea creature silhouette.

    I agree with grace, I think we need to focus on the general background and personality here, instead of creating an exotic looking race. We're doing "characters", not "creatures". If we could come up with a story that we all find interesting, then we might be able to create characters with strong personality.
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  18. #38
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    Ok, I read Nightblue's story several times. It's a pretty good frame so far, and fits into Moai's light/dark parallel universe setting.

    1, character A used to be a famous wizard/warrior/cleric (whatever class you want to put her) from a good family (maybe even royalty). She's a good friend with the Mage who processed the dark mirror, a portal connects the dark side. They grow up together, and eventually fall in love. The Mage however, processed the dark mirror for too long and eventually turns evil. Little by little she felt that something is wrong with the Mage, and eventually witness his crazy experiment. Disgusted she tried to run away, but instead hit something resulting the experiment goes wrong, and the Mage got sucked in to that dark, terrifying world. and because of the unexpected event, the mage's tower and the villages around that area was destroyed, inhabitable, filled with monsters (good place to level up~) Feeling betrayed, guilty, personally responsible for Mage's the tragedy and the death of all those people, she went into hiding, throw away her fame and wealth, living amongst common people. Character A is the normal hero type, his AD&D alignment is Lawful good, which makes him suitable for Paladin or Ranger. Her counter part -A is Lawful Evil.

    2, The reason character B was searching for the dark mirror wasn't revealed in the beginning. He was constantly changing the story. I pictured this person was lay back and cynical on the surface, cracking inappropriate jokes at the most inappropriate moments, as if he doesn't care anything or anyone, especially himself. He build a war around himself, and always disguises his feeling with jokes. But deep down, he's holding a terrible secret and obsessed with the idea that only the dark mirror can help him with it. (and no...I haven't figure out what exactly is this dark secret). A and B would be a complete opposite in personality. A is the hero type, honorable, respectful, caring, sympathetic, always willing to help others. B is practical with street smarts, looking after only his own interests. the Only reason B team up with A is because she's the only one who actually see the dark mirror and presumably know how to make it work. B's alignment is neutral good. his counter part -B is neutral evil.

    during the course of the game, A and B will have some chemistry. B doesn't know A is the Mage's Lover.

    3, Character C and D was created by the Mage who used to own dark mirror. When he fall to the other side, C and D, serving as his slaves were left behind to guard the mirror, after knowing A and B's plan, they work relentlessly to stop A and B from reaching the Tower.

    4, On the other side, the Mage first seek out his own counter part, trying to distroy him, but the first attempt failed. The good mage with his good minion +C and +D run away. Knowing A and B is going after his mirror, the Evil Mage seeks out their counter part -A and -B, hoping they will stop A and B's course.

    5, the Evil Mage eventually managed to kill the Good mage. +C and +D escaped.

    6, loosing their home and Master, C and D went on a revenge trip towards the Evil Mage and his minions. and on their way, they ran into A and B. after some initial confusing (even fight), they end up combine forces.

    7, the 4 eventually defeat the evil ABCD plus the Mage, witness the merging of 2 worlds, and become new gods ... YEAH~~~totally Baldur's Gate Style!

    8, if the 4 characters are supposed to form a team, they should carry out traditional AD&D classes:

    -A front line fighter/Paladin/Barbarian,

    -A offensive Wizard/Sorcerer,

    -A defensive Cleric/Druid (healer)

    -A Long range/sneak attack Thief/rouge/ranger (also responsible for unlocking treasure chest and disable traps)
    Last edited by fluorine; August 3rd, 2009 at 03:52 AM.
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  19. #39
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    So, here are my thoughts on the story and character outline that Nightblue posted. I've already shared these with her on MSN.

    -Character A is now an older character. His discovery of the dark mirror took place many years ago, when he was much younger. He is past his prime and perhaps a bit grave and haunted by what he saw in the mirror. Despite his age, he is still very powerful. Perhaps a spell caster of some sort?
    -Character -A is also old and powerful, but evil. I haven't really figured him out yet, though.
    -Character B is young and ambitious, forceful and persuasive. I imagine character B as female.
    -Just as character B persuaded character A to seek out the mirror again, so did character -B pursuade -A to make use of the mirror. She acts as his adviser, but is actually quite manipulative. The villainous plot, whatever it is, that revolves around the mirror is probably her idea.

    I'm still thinking about how C and D and their counterparts fit into this.

    And now some thoughts about the issue of designing a strange new race and focusing on the story.
    Of course the story is important. Of course creating strong characters to go with that story is important. That's the main point of this activity, as we all know. However, it is my assertion that the goals of creating a solid backdrop and interesting personalities and of creating interesting new races are not mutually exclusive. Nor do I agree that what I'm doing in creating these new races is simply creature design, rather than character design. I'll admit it, the "swamp orc" I created up there is more of a generic member of his race than a unique individual. However, once I have the look of the race established, then I can modify that base to create any kind of character I please. I can make a young, wistful, traveling swamp orc. I can create an old, weary, bitter swamp orc. Or any other character type you want. Creating the look of the race is just the initial stage of designing the character.
    Plus, since this team was formed (or at least since I joined it and started partaking in the discussions), or idea was to create a new race and then make characters from that race. Before the topic was released, we planned to create a new alien species and have our characters be members of that species. Once we got the topic, we decided to take the generic high fantasy archetype and tweak it, changing the races to make them more interesting and unique.
    I was really excited about that idea. Burtzum has made it no secret that he also wants to go strange and unique and different for this activity. Why the about face? We of course need to focus on the backdrop and the roles the characters will play in the story. But does that mean we need to abandon the direction we were going in earlier? I don't think so. I think our earlier idea, the creation of new races or modifying existing fantasy races in interesting was, was what made this project fun, and what made our approach different from the rest.
    I say we stay with it.

    (Cool designs, fluorine. I like the moth girl!)
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