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Darkness Revealed Update 23 - Designing our First Boss! (Part 1)

Hello, everyone! How's it going?

In our last updates, we showed our main character's updated looks, and the process of reinventing him. Having a character that was able to navigate both in the adventure and in the thriller sides of our world was a big deal for the game.

Today we'll still be talking about graphics and character creation, but this time showing the creation process of the game's first boss! Scared already? ;)

A First Draft

When our story's first act was written and rolled out for graphics production, we had the challenge of creating a monster that clearly looked like a fish, but also had some very subtle human and mechanical characteristics. After looking at references, we started sketching some basic silhouette and linework studies. If you look from the upper left of the image below to the bottom right, you'll see the evolution from rough silhouette all the way to mostly final linework art.

It took quite a bit of iteration to get it just right. The boss had the human/mechanical feeling we wanted, but still looked a lot like a fish. We wanted its horns to be somewhat mixed with its flesh and not made out of bones. It was also important that its face felt threatening but still had human elements (such as the nose-like protuberance above his mouth). With a final sketch in place we went on into detailing a black and white version, with light and shadows. 

Detailing and Coloring

The next step was figuring out the boss' volume by determining its internal shading, which also allows us to increase or decrease focus on certain aspects of his design. The main bone structure, for example, was more subtle on the original linework, but we thought it looked cooler after receiving more emphasis from the lighting, while his face ended up being darkened to make him more mysterious and menacing in a non-physical way. The veins or wrinkles around the eye were also intended to make him look a little more evil. Finally, we also wanted him to retain his "fleshy" look, so we made the horns and bonelike structures really integrate with the body. You can't really tell where bone ends or flesh begins.

When we were done with the B&W version, we moved on to colouring him.

Although being still mostly monochromatic, this red version on the right would already allow us to test the design under the game's realtime light engine, which would give us a general idea of how it would look in the game. This step is important because the realtime light already creates shadow and hightlights on its own, so its important to balance that out in the sprite itself. 

That's it for today guys! Next week we will show how we further improved the boss and his final look! 

Did you like our concepts for the first boss? We'd love to hear you opinion! We are always hanging out on Twitter and Facebook, so feel free to stop by! Or, if you want to receive these updates complete and before everyone else, sign up for our Golden Chest

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