Monday, 29 November 2010

Character Design Research: Final Fantasy

When it comes to character designs the video game series Final Fantasy has had a host of characters with interesting design points and great lasting impact.

This design for a villain from Final Fantasy VIII incorporates many interesting points such as the head dress featuring the use of horns and shells. The elaborate jewelry and scarring on the character's face makes for a good point of interest for the background of the villain. The slender and soft features also make for a good contrast to the villain's personality, all this creates for an interesting character which players would enjoy battling with and finding out information on.

This design for one of the heroes from Final Fantasy X features many interesting design points in several places. A notable feature is the colour scheme is predominately red and grey giving the character an ambigious alightment to either good or evil, this is heightened by his face being obscured by the coat and the sun glasses. The streaks of grey in the character's hair also suggests that this character is quite old, often when old characters are cast as warriors in games they're either the source of wisdom or used as comedy reliefs, this character obviously isn't a comedic relief. The extra detail on the shoulder and the waist helps build upon the fantasy setting, once again little touches such as the jug attached around the waist and the use of the coat as a sling for the warrior's arm creates intrigue for players. Overall a mysterious looking figure that possibly hides both wisdom and power.

This design for a minor character from Final Fantasy XIII carries a very corporate aesthetic about herself with a mix renaissance/17th centuary military attair. The extensive amount of detail on the coat doesn't really add much to the character, the whole outfit really just depicts a glorified bureaucrat with extra detail. Perhaps the most interesting point it the way in which that the hair is styled to be long and free flowing which creates a contrast against the professional, formal outfit. Whilst some nice ideas have been put into this design it doesn't really come of as significant, the grey colours also make itall the more forgettable. This design shows that extra detail does not make a good design, it's hard really to name the good aspects of this as it is quite boring to look at visually.

This design for a supporting character from Final Fantasy X-2 creates a very sexualised aesthetic. First the bright colours used are often associated with desire and lust, this coupled with the revealing costume epthasises the sexuality even more. The clothing has mix of eastern and french performance influences and smaller details such as the heart tattoo adds to the overall presense created by the character. This design is a huge contrast to the previous one and is a lot more interesting upon the eyes purely for the brighter colours, it's fusion of influences make it more intriguing visually.

This design for the main hero of Final Fantasy VI is breaks away from the norm, first of all it' one of the few leading female characters to have appeared in videogames but also that her design does have a large amount of sexual appeal (with the most amoutn of skin being shown are the shoulders and facial areas). The long flowing blonde hair along with the sweeping cape create a very whimsical aesthetic, this coupled with the colourscheme make the character seem almost princess like. The pose that she's in also suggests a slight sense of fragility.

what should be taken away from looking at these more fantasy based characters is that colourscheme plays an important part of interest in that it can represent alightment, sexuality, power and so on. I also found that large amounts of fine detail does not make a good design and that impressive and well thought out ideas can be brought down purely by their own origins of influence (such as the bureaucrat design). Choice of clothing comes from the background of the character and should make sense for the character to wear but such also be imaginative if you want to capture the players attention to make them want to play the game more.

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