Philosophy of Creation: 3R14N Edition

Updated: May 22

I’d like to start out by talking a little bit about my general design philosophy. As I’ve said before, theme, color and detail are the critical elements that I consider when I create a character. Character creation for me is an exercise that takes several days at the very least and probably 50% of my process happens off the computer. I often do a lot of historical research, looking for small details in period costume that I can replicate. This is essential in achieving a high degree of detail -which is critical to theme- which in this case is really just another way of saying story. Detail is what gives a story believability. And story is what gives a character life.

Detail is what gives a story believability. And story is what gives a character life.

Generally, I design in phases. In the first phase I design the entire outfit, head to toe, and adjust the character’s build to suit it. In the second phase, I tweak all the colors, including the character’s hair, skin and makeup (makeup is a hugely powerful tool in this design suite that many people seem to neglect). I usually prefer a more muted palette, as the game itself has a slightly washed-out quality. Then in the third phase I apply all the patterns and stickers (also a hugely powerful element). The add-on items I try to use in unexpected ways. It is not unusual for me to use all three on a single piece of equipment. This can really create an impressive piece with that “How’d he do it?” quality that I’m always striving for.



I selected this character above, M4R1, to discuss –not because she’s necessarily my favorite, but because she displays many of the features that define my aesthetic and as an example what can be done with a character utilizing very few pieces of equipment. She was actually one of the first characters I created in Soul Calibur VI and was based partly on a character I had created in Soul Calibur V.


She’s clearly an Automaton and I wanted to preserve that, but I also wanted to transcend the design limitations of the class by giving her a flesh-tone face and torso, which really warms her up and gives the character a more sensual, “standard pleasure model” impression. This was done with full-face makeup and the zipper sticker (x2). Her eyes are dark, but looking closely you can see that they are dimly red, as if lit from within.


The hands are particularly bad with this class, but they are easily hidden with gloves. Again, using stickers I was able to contour the contrast lines more elegantly to the wrists. The rest of the body is covered in “pocket” stickers –one of the few 3-D stickers and very effective for both coverage and texture. She’s white because the illusion begins to fall apart when using color, as it does not apply evenly when covering the whole body.


These stockings/shoes are usually a little clunky for my taste, but they work well enough here. Two more pocket stickers wrap to the sides while leaving the back of the legs exposed, revealing a fishnet pattern (black and white criss-cross, turned 45 degrees) and the shoes take on a saddle shoe-like quality with the new sticker. The once matronly stockings are thus given a bit of a sexy makeover.


Finally, the add-on items. As I often do, all three are committed to a single piece to make one, dramatic showpiece. In this case, two cylinders and a pair of earrings were used to create a kind of spinning memory drive. Here I exploited a phenomenon where overlapping items with certain patterns occupy the same 3-D space force the game to quickly transition between them. Results can vary depending on the pattern and colors, but here the effect is of rotational movement.

I exploited a phenomenon where overlapping items with certain patterns occupy the same 3-D space force the game to quickly transition between them.

Can you believe I’ve heard some people think Soul Calibur VI is a fighting game!?

Can you believe I’ve heard some people think Soul Calibur VI is a fighting game!?

Well, that’s OK; I’ve realized by now that I play most games the “wrong” way. But it’s been so nice to interact with a community who also finds fun in injecting some personal creativity into their gaming. Like many of you, I’d imagine, this has led me to seek out other games that might have robust character creation suites. Sadly, there aren’t many. Hopefully, forums such as this will prove to game developers that there are a great many people who love to play games this way and encourage them to send us more in the future. After all, we are the dreamers of the dreams…

After all, we are the dreamers of the dreams…
 

Blog contributed by the 34R1N, make sure to check out their profile by clicking on their name above. Interested in sharing your own philosophy? Reach out to us here.

Subscribe for Blog post updates

Thanks for subscribing!