Greg's Design Blog

A collection of posts by game designer Gregory Carslaw, including mirrors of all of his blogs maintained for particular projects. A complete index of posts can be found here:
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A Wizardy Interlude

United Kingdom
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As the kickstarter launch looms 404 has been getting an increasing chunk of the attention on this blog, but today we're taking a quick break. Sean just got done with a bunch of character sketches for Wizard Academy and I wanted to share them.

Nyvetta has consistently been everyone's favourite character. Each of the characters has a reason that they do not know any of the spells at the game start, hers is that she accidently turned herself into a bear and has refused to turn back. As a student of physical perfection there's a lot to love about being a bear, but it does present some obstacles to traditional study. I really like the first sketch here, I'm not sure why a bear should have antlers, but somehow it just feels right. On the other hand making the model fit on the board and be straightforward to make is pretty important, which would lead to one of the other three. Four is quite nice, I like the confidence in the stance, which feels like it should be a part of the character.

Klicks, the alien pyromaniac, probably has the broadest brief. In isolation I might like the one at the bottom right most, but it eats into Nyvetta's schtick if there's someone bulkier than her running around. I see a lot of potential in the second sketch since that orb could look good modelled solid or have some cool fire effects in the static art.

Susue (Who was Susie before an unfortunate typing error) is quite a fun character to play with. I always liked the notion of her as a bit oblivious, walking through dangerous places and getting away with it through misplaced confidence. It also works as the creepy child who knows too much thing. I quite like the first pic here, it's got a cool "Alice in wonderland playing with forces she shouldn't be" vibe to it. Eleven is also awesome in a different way, more of a Hermonie vibe to it. Though I should stop contextualising all of this in terms of other characters, that's a sign of a limited imagination Many of these stand up on their own.

Now this page is loads of fun, I mentioned that while I know what abilities the characters need from a game balance point of view I'd be happy to work them around other designs. Not every ability will suit every character, but for any possible character there's probably at least one ability that'd suit them. On that basis I mentioned that I'd quite happily ditch any of my existing characters in the face of an interesting sketch that stood out as great so there's a bit of an excuse to play here.

The laws of physics still apply though, so the birdbrained wizard doesn't work so well because of the mechanical difficulties in modelling the cage. It is cool though. I really like the shot at Smiley in 2. I hope that wizard academy does well enough that we can afford to include that character in the game (Him and Irini are stretch goals.) I also personally quite like seven and nine - I'm not sure if seven is how I'd imagined Irini but I want to use it for something, I like the blasé look of the thing.

What do you guys think? We're picking a few of these sketches to be taken forward to full character designs and there are more to come for the remaining characters. I'm feeling pretty good about having Sean designing them at the moment.
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Subscribe sub options Tue Sep 3, 2013 1:51 pm
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