For the first development blog of Stubborn Horse Studio’s upcoming game Prometheus, I’m going to go through the process that we went through for some of the concept art.  Our concept artist Stefan, aka Navetsea, has done an awesome job of defining the look of the game’s characters and has helped set the visual tone for the game.  Currently Stefan is working on concepts for the game’s weapons.

First up, the main character.  Even though the game is in first person, having the quantum state clones running around meant that this would be the character the player saw the most of, so it was important to get a good look down for her.  In the end this is what we came up with:

I decided I wanted the game to have a clean technological look like Mirror’s Edge or Portal instead of dark and gritty.  The character herself, being raised in the facility to prepare her to use the Prometheus device, has kept in shape.  Even though she would be sent into dangerous areas on her missions, she wouldn’t need any heavy armor.  The Prometheus device automatically rewinds a quantum state on death, so she has no fear of it.  The emphasis on the design of the suit has therefore been placed on speed instead of protection.  The Prometheus device is built into the suit, and her only interaction with it is through a small control panel on her wrist.

With these guidelines in mind, Navetsea came up with two designs for the character:

His idea was for a skin tight cat suit with circuitry integrated into it.  The pattern on the left design’s chest was inspired by the hexagonal pattern I wanted to use for the wrist control panel as well as the “recyclable” sign to simulate the center of power.

It was a good place to start, but I felt the Evangelion look of the skin tight suits didn’t quite fit in.  Even though the character wouldn’t be armored I felt she should have at least some padding for the physical requirements of her missions.  The look I imagined would take the design elements of things like bicycle pressure suits to provide some impact protection as well as make it look like the suit had room for the Prometheus device to be built into it.

With these directives, the next two concepts Navetsea provided fit perfectly with what I had imagined:

Navetsea integrated more padded elements into the suit, and further refined the look for the fourth design.  I decided to go with the design on the right, with a few changes.  I liked the boots on the left design better, and the chest had an upside down heart shape emphasizing the breasts, but not in a good way.  I asked him to change the chest area and the boots.  The design ended up looking much better:

Navetsea also flipped the hairstyle to provide more balance to the asymmetry, since most of the design like the wrist control panel and chest design were on the left.

With the final line art approved, I asked Navetsea to come up with four different color schemes for the suit so I could choose one I liked and we could refine it.

Using a process of elimination, I removed the second image, then the fourth, then the third.  It was a close choice between the first and third images, but in the end I decided the contrast between the lighter and darker tones in the first image fit better with my vision of the game’s world.

For the final design I had Navetsea recolor the suit in the three different color schemes of the game’s corporations.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the process we went through to develop the concept art.  I’ll also be posting dev blogs about some of the design and programming challenges that came up during Prometheus’ development, so stay tuned!  If you’re curious about any other parts of a game’s development, please let me know in the comments!  Thank you for reading!

3 Responses to “Dev Blog 1: Evolution of a Character Concept”

  1. Stefan says:

    I’m happy to be part of this cool project, I can’t wait to see the character in game ;)

  2. Indefiance says:

    Great Job guys…really liking the look here.

  3. Edward says:

    Great work, the character looks totally sweet! =)