Philosophy of Creation: 3R14N

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.