Before starting my research I had defined the base story and characters here, I'll be going over the characters to just define and round them off before starting to design them and giving them life.
In the game there are 3 main characters, 1 minor character and 4 enemies. Below I'll be giving the descriptions of the characters and their role in the game, this will give me a better idea of the characters I have to visualise. Things to remember during the design stages is that the game is based in a Medieval Fantasy setting so the art style and characters should adhear to this base concept but should also try add something new to the mix.
In the Kingdom of Fantasia on a beuatiful summers evening, Princess Fairly is taking a stroll on the balcaony over looking the vast land before her. Suddenly a crack of lighting fills the air and a thunder booms, the Evil Wizard Devioso appears before her casting a spell and making a cage appear around. Devioso summons his pet dragon to lift and take the Princess back to his home in the forest. As the dragon flys away with the Princess she let's out a cry of help as she does Sir Gutsy hears whilst guarding the castle gates and gives chase to save the princess from the evil wizard.
Player Character: Sir Gutsy
Sir Gutsy is the bravest and most loyalest knight of the kingdom. Strong and quick with his Sword Sir Gutsy is always prepared to rise to any challenge for his kingdom. Devoting his life to protecting the royal family Gutsy is determined to make sure no harm comes to them, skilled in battle from fighting beasts and monsters Sir Gutsy is the best knight to take on any adventure.
Player's Goal: Princess Fairly
Princess Fairly is the kindly Princess of the kingdom, beautiful and gentle she is the heir to the throne of the kingdom. Always dressed elgantly and kind to animals, she secretly hopes that one day Sir Gutsy will notice her.
Player's Enemy: Evil Wizard Devioso
The Evil Wizard Devioso is wicked and hideous. With strong abilities in Magic, Devioso can create almost anything at his will, through long periods of living in the woods lonliness has warped his mind and made him selfish.
Minor Character: King Noble
The good King Noble, is ruler of the kingdom. Being a Kind and gracious King the people love him and he cares about his daughter more than anything in the world.
Whilst these descriptions arn't that massively indepth, they give a fair description of the characters such as their personalities and their roles, whilst this doesn't narrow down an exact appearance for the characters this does allow me to develop a range of designs. I also kept the character bios more simplitic for particular reasons, Gutsy isn't more indepth as he acts as an avatar for the player to participate in the game and put the player in the role of gutsy. Fairly is merely an objective for the player, explaining that she is the princess of the land and he is a loayl knight of the land gives the whole motive for the game, ergo there is no further need to try add character to the princess as she is merely the objective. Finally Devioso is as he is due to the fact his only ole in the game is serve for the purpose for the objective. Yes there will be a cutscene in the game but only to set up an explanation as to what the player's goals are. The reason I chose to develop my characters in this way is that I follow (the creator of the katamari series) Keita Takahashi's method of building a game as mentioned in "The Meaning of Videogames" by Steven E. Jones (Routledge, 2008) "Takahashi's stress on smplicity and fun as elements missing from most of today's games gestures toward non-gamers and casual gamers". Takahashi is also quoted as saying "games can be as stupid as they like as long as their fun." I also agree with this.
I feel that this is a good approach as the game isn't that indpeth in terms of story and really focuses on the gameplay and artstyle. Overall I'm confident in these characters and can't wait to start developing them visually.