Sunday, January 26, 2014

Character Portraits & Customization

For some odd reason, I forgot to post my first tests about character customization. Let's just get into it right away.
Any good RPG must include a powerful in-game character editor allowing the player to create a unique character. Since we are about to spend hundreds of hours role-playing a character, it seems fair that the game provides a mechanism to customize the appearance of our player character. This is especially important in a story-intensive RPG such as Bloodhunt. But what should I customize? How deep should I go?
The following mockup portrays a first approximation of the character customization screen. It focuses on the character portrait (the mirror of the soul?). From top to bottom, we can choose a different type of face shape, hair type, eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth (also there's a category for adding accessories which is not included in the screenshot). Note that most portrait parts include a square button where we can edit the color in a color chooser window. 

Also, I spent some time working on the different portrait parts. The following GIF shows some of the face variations that I can create with the different parts. 

There are still some issues with the body and face integration (a fat body may not fit a thin head, and viceversa). Also, the hair and accessories (glasses, pierciengs) are tricky to position. A possible solution is to use placeholders, but I should investigate a little further before advancing the customization mechanism. I'm still at pre-production so there's still time to do some research, prototypes and tests.

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