A few years ago (for my employer at the time), I did some character art for a "run your own casino" Flash game. To my knowledge, the game never surfaced anywhere though. I seem to have done a lot of work on games that never saw the light of day. haha
The client requested male and female avatars with two different skins each. Given that the game was isometric, the avatars had to be constructed (and animated) in all directional views. This called for a LOT of assets.
To add more vector work to my portfolio, I revisited a concept from an old project. It was to be a side-scrolling beat 'em up in a 3D engine. I produced assets for a prototype stage (seen below), but I had also come up with some enemy designs. This guy was one of them.
At the time, I only had a few sketches of him (which I'll track down and scan), but I always wanted to complete his development. I'm also trying to add more vector work to my portfolio, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. I actually have a whole slew of vector stuff from client work, but they're in NDA purgatory.
Capcom announced a new fanart contest last month to commemorate the release of Darkstalkers Resurrection. The aim was to create an original character that would fit into the Darkstalkers universe. Entries required the characters name, monster type, fighting style, and physical description.
Coming up with a design for this one was pretty tricky. I wanted to come up with something different enough to distinguish itself and yet still meshed well with the other characters. I also thought it would be important to take note of all the characters body types, country of origin, and the monsters that inspired them. On top of that, the character's design should be able to translate well into sprite-form.
This quickly turned into a project tat required more time than I was really able to give it, but a gave it my best shot.
When researching monsters, I wanted to go with something pretty obscure, or at least, very regional. Something along the lines of the jersey devil. However, I'd also considered doing a Djinn-like character. In hindsight, that might have been a better way to go, but oh well.
What I eventually locked in on was a creature from English folklore of the Victorian era.
I could totally see a character like thing being, perhaps, a rival character for Demitri. Another monstrous nobleman of some sort.
In these first few, he has almost an early Batman-like quality.
Others have him simply as a some sort of devil, or enigmatic rouge.
Now these were really interesting. He's much more primal and demonic.
I figure that it'd be a nice balance to incorporate both his "dignified" and "feral" depictions in some capacity. Before getting to point, I explored more potential design cues for his monstrous qualities.
Those last two pictures made me think of another Jack. Violence Jack.
They share the qualities of a bloody thirsty force of nature sporting an untamed mane of hair.
That train of thought also made a few stops at the Devilman franchise.
Spring-heeled Jack has been described as wearing a helmet, of headgear of some sort (as seen in the very first couple of pictures).
And this one.
I wasn't 100% sure of what kind it was, but if I included it, I wanted the silhouette to be Devilman-esque.
However, Mumm-Ra was a big contender for helmet inspiration.
I eventually settled on his face being framed purely by wild hair, as opposed to a head piece. I still wanted a similar silhouette. In the case of Mumm-Ra, those strips of cloth also had the dynamism I wanted (regardless of what length of hair I went with).
Mumm-Ra also had the perfect cape. I didn't want my character's cape to be just a typical one that connect at the upper back.
The way Mumm-Ra's cape attaches at the wrists was the best way I could think of to adapt whatever that is (cloth? hair? fur?...) running along Spring-heeled Jack's body in this picture.
And now we come to the fruits of my labor.
As you can see, I couldn't get a complete illustration done before the deadline. I scanned my pen sketch and did what I could with it before time was up. Including an illustration was optional, so I decided not to worry about it too much.
I like the overall end-product ok, but I think his outfit is just so-so. The face might be the best part.
Below is the copy I sent along with the submission.
Character draws inspiration from the mythical "Spring-Heeled Jack." His attire loosely resembles that of an English nobleman with the addition of a tattered black cape connected to his wrists by gauntlets.
His face sports the look of untethered, primal aggression of Violence Jack and Devilman.
I had no idea of what to put for "Monster Type." I couldn't find any source that stated that specifically. Devil and bogeyman had been thrown around loosely. Bogeyman seemed close enough.
For his "Fighting Style," I looked for something exclusive to his region. I came across something called Bartitsu, an English hybrid of numerous other styles. It was pretty much an early form of mixed martial arts.
His name comes from Henry de La Beresford, an Irish nobleman once rumored as being Spring-heeled Jack.
Though I now have another addition to the long list of concept illustrations I've yet to finish up, I do think that this was a nice developmental exercise.
Marking my second participation in a "Game Jam" session, Empty Jar Productions collaborated with Products for Robots to create the 2D Action-RPG, Geometry Saga. It won best game going on to compete in Mozilla's Game On Competition!
Geometry Saga is an episodic series chronicling two warring factions: Vibrance, the color nation of heart and Pale, the monochrome nation of logic. In the first session, "War of Heart" the Pale nation seeks to overtake Vibrance and seize the power source known as "The Heart."
The gameplay featured in the trailer provides a peek a one of the playable "Vibrance" characters. As developments continues, I'll be providing sprite animation for even more!