I feel like I often see other creators talk about how they can spend days working on each creation, making sure that they get every little detail right and extensively using stickers, patterns and accessories to make something that is completely and utterly unique. I do not have the patience for that. I find myself often pumping out two or three new creations pretty much every time I turn on the game. But I think I’m getting ahead of myself. In order to understand how make new creations in SoulCalibur VI, I should probably start by explaining my history with the game and how I got into it in the first place.
I should probably start by explaining my history with the game and how I got into it in the first place.
I am not a big fan of fighting games. I like the idea of them, but I’d much rather sit down with a good platformer or RPG. As such, the SoulCalibur series first popped into my radar when I heard that Link from The Legend of Zelda series (one of my favorites) was a guest fighter in the GameCube version of SoulCalibur II. I thought that was neat and looked into the series a bit, learning a little about the lore and how character creation had become a big part of the series’ identity. However, I still didn’t really get into SoulCalibur at the time and it remained as a series that I idly kept my eye on without paying too much attention to it. That is, until a couple of years ago when I was looking through the PlayStation store and noticed that the most recent game in the series, SoulCalibur VI, was on sale for a good price. I knew the entry was some kind of reboot of the series and figured it would make a good jumping-on point, so I basically said “Why the heck not?” and got the game. I quickly fell in love with the characters and story, though I’m still a bit iffy on the actual gameplay (again, I’m not really into fighting games), so I ended up spending most of my time after clearing the story modes sitting around in the character creator and just having fun making whatever random ideas popped into my head.
It didn’t take long for me to decide to hop onto the internet to try and find a place where other people shared there creations online, and Google led me to the SoulCalibur Creations subreddit, where I lurked around in the shadows for a while, enjoying seeing what other people were able to make in the game, but I was not confident enough to share anything that I made in return. I was like that for a while, just quietly playing around in Create-A-Soul without sharing my creations or interacting with the SoulCalibur community in any meaningful way. It was during that time that this site was created and the monthly Design Challenge began. I saw this as an opportunity to finally start sharing my creations online, by making a portfolio on the site and submitting my first entry to the design challenge. The theme that month was to make a non-canon sibling to one of the canon SoulCalibur characters, so I decided to make this character:
Purgatorio, the brother of Inferno and the first creation I made for the Design Challenge
Now, if you’ve never seen this character before and you can’t find his picture in the Design Challenge gallery, don’t worry. This is the first time I’ve ever publicly shared him. Why? Because I froze. As excited as I was to finally get involved in this community and start taking part in the monthly challenge that was still just starting up at that point, I couldn’t get myself to actually do it. I got as far as the profile creation entry on this site, and as I was trying to pick what creations to put in my gallery, I panicked. What was I doing? There were so many creative and talented people already a part of this community, and I was just a novice who couldn’t make anything even remotely worthwhile. I had no place doing any of this and was better off just keeping my lame creations to myself as I had been doing. I panicked. What was I doing?
I panicked. What was I doing?
Obviously I was wrong and that was not a healthy way to think, but my anxiety was going into high gear and there was nothing I could do about it at the time. But at least that was an improvement from the month before, when I hadn’t even gotten as far as making an entry for the challenge or attempting to make a profile yet. And the next month I managed to do even better, finally working up the courage to make that profile and submit my first proper entry into the Design Challenge. I even started sharing more of my creations over on Twitter. However, I was still far from comfortable doing so and my anxiety issues still had me thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be doing any of this. After all, I’d still hardly touched some of the more technical aspects like patterns and stickers and I felt there was no way I’d ever catch up to the level that others were at with that stuff. This is the part where I finally start explaining my design philosophies.
This is where I finally start explaining my design philosophies.
So, how did I overcome my anxiety issues and lack of patience in order to master the technical skills of character creation? Simple, I didn’t. I decided to work with those problems instead of against them, and make them my strengths. My anxiety makes it difficult to share anything based off cultures that I’m not a part of for fear of getting things wrong and accidentally offending someone? I just do the research to make sure that I make things as authentic and accurate as I can. I don’t have the patience to craft a technical masterpiece with the same level of detail as other creators? Well, no one ever said that I had to. Sometimes less is more, and there’s no one way to express creativity.
I decided to work with those problems instead of against them, and make them my strengths.
When I start a new creation, I try to go into it with some kind of concept for what I’m making (or I just mess around randomly until a concept finally comes to me). Often these concepts are built around trying to mesh together seemingly conflicting ideas, such as “demonic schoolgirl” or “cowboy mummy”.he two examples I just
The two examples I just made.
Though not all of my creations follow this pattern, I find that is often a good way to come up with unusual character ideas. Once I have a concept, I find that the design often falls into place naturally, or falls apart completely as I lose track of what I was making in the first place and end up scrapping it entirely to work on something else instead. To be honest, I don’t mind when things don’t come together properly. After all, I’m just throwing ideas at the wall until something sticks and one good idea amid several that don’t turn out well is still worth it. At the end of the day, I’m just here to mess around and have fun.
At the end of the day, I’m just here to mess around and have fun.
If there’s anything that I want you to take away from my experiences, it’s that you shouldn’t be afraid to express yourself in your own way. Even if you don’t think that you’re as good as others or can’t do what they’re doing, don’t let that stop you. At the end of the day you are you. So let yourself be that person and don’t be afraid to be.