The characters (part 1)

Akhaar soshor, guys!

Today’s article is going to cover one of the subjects we hold closest to heart: the characters.

The Genomia project had 5 main characters: 2 playable ones, Artico and Naida, and 3 Bifronts. None of them had been completely studied from an artistic point of view (seeing as we hadn’t had the time), and most of all couldn’t be appreciated by the 16-30 year old players, given their “Disney-ish” look.

Also, between 2017 and 2018 we were right in the middle of rewriting our story (we had seen its weak points with the Genomia demo) and considering the complex themes and the complete revisitation of the
protagonists and antagonists, the idea of developing the game’s characters as less “cartoonish” and maybe a bit more “cinema” came naturally.

Let’s add also the need, seeing the meagre results of the Genomia demo, of rewriting all the animations and character control programming from scratch, and there you have it: the ideal conditions to start
everything all over again!

For X-light we developed 4 main characters: Rise-S and Faith-S (both playable), Selius-V and Vogan-V (the antagonists). Each of these characters was first developed in writing, where we described their
characteristics, aspects, origins and flaws. With such a solid base, we were able to develop along with Gianluca (the concept artist of X-Light) those that would become the appearance and aesthetic of the
characters. But then we asked ourselves: what do we need to do to make these characters the right compromise between emotional depth and playability? Where do we start?
The answer? Their eyes! What had to “capture” us immediately was their eyes, and in general, their expressions. After all, doesn’t that happen in real life every time we meet someone for the first time?
Their eyes had to communicate a lot of the characters, without however knowing them yet. And we didn’t want to stop there! The expression defines so much of the face and its proportions, that we were able to
build the lines of the rest of the body. But we’ll talk about that later.

It may seem we’re exaggerating, as we are starting from the origins, and that this all has little to do with subjects such as jumps, various abilities and skill-sets, but we believe you should always start far to get
even further!

We’ll be back soon with the second part on character development!


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