Tag Archives: character

Oddworld and Malcolm X

Lorne Lanning, creator of Oddworld, in an interview with Wired:

I wanted to drive inspiring characters who felt low, like I did, who was in deep crisis, but by just sticking to it, they could prevail through a way that was almost entirely empathetic and not aggressive. We didn’t want the stereotypical musclebound hero with a gun. I was never a big Schwarzenegger or action fan. It never inspired me.

Stranger was a tough character with a different kind of dilemma. The reason he doesn’t like guns is because his whole life he’s been sought after and had to disguise himself. That was inspired by Malcolm X. He was an amazing figure and in the movie Spike Lee does this scene where he’s in prison and straightening his hair with acid. This older guy schools him and say that’s not him, he’s trying to be something he’s not. That’s a pivotal moment, where a strong, brilliant character feels so overwhelmed that he tries to be something else, but when he accepts who he is he becomes something amazing.

Worth reblogging Lanning’s stance on education through media.

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The problem with humanoids

Scott Benson, animator of Night in the Woods, as quoted by Polygon:

I think working with animal characters, which is something I’ve done in animation work for years, you can identify with it a bit better. If we had made Mae a really specific person with a specific ethnicity and weight, and all this different stuff…

I think a lot of people can see themselves in Mae. If we were hyper-specific with our humanoid characters, it becomes more and more exclusive. There is something really inclusive about more abstracted humans.

When people draw fan art of Mae, everyone makes her look different. They make her look like themselves. That’s exactly what we want.

I had a lot of trouble writing Splatoon. I’m still not sure it delivers the intended message, or is any good for that matter.

I started with the nugget that games can simply be games, ignoring the fact that the slight variance in asexual character design could be implied as male or female. This thought led me down a rabbit hole. If gender can be construed, what about skin tone, ethnicity, sexuality, political ideals, spirituality? Where does it stop?Humanoid character design, however slight, is a delicate thing.

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Welcoming to new players

Ben Kuchera, Polygon:

In most games of this genre you earn currency which is used to buy items, potions and buffs that make your character more powerful. Picking the right items at the right time for your character is a huge part of both League of Legends and Dota 2.

They were discussing the idea of removing the item shop altogether, and one of the game’s designers was becoming, as Browder put it “emotionally distressed” at the idea of removing an aspect of the game that’s a key part of the genre.

There were people on the team against the idea of an item shop and a gold system, as they just allowed those in the lead to remain in the lead and crush the other side. It added a layer of complexity that may not be welcoming to new players.

Worked well for Hearthstone.

I’ve been dreaming of a cross-over title since the original Warcraft III teaser, initially mistaking the rain of the Burning Legion as Zerg.

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