Apr 162014
 

I just created a full image of Nia from the smaller portrait used in-game.  It’s mostly just for fun, but I’d like to do the other characters too.  Anyway, it was a nice break from writing.

A black woman in a denim jacket, purple shirt, and jeans.  She is waving "hello."

Nia, waving “hello.”

Dec 292012
 

Hey folks,

Now that I’ve done the character design for Chinyelu (for now, it could always change), I thought it might be nice to post a quick tutorial on how to make a short fro like hers in Inkscape.

When I first tried making a short fro, I used the method in my previous Afro tutorial, and it didn’t work very well at all.  For very short styles, the individual curls aren’t as visible, so it’s better to just give an impression of how they look rather than actually drawing each hair.

Ok here’s how Chinyelu looks with no hair:

short fro 1

To start all we need to do is add the basic shape of the hair, closely following the contours of her head.  Note that I have also added a slight blur (about 1.5).  I also set the opacity to about 75% so her skin still shows through slightly.  This can be adjusted depending on how long the hair is and what works for the image background and skin tone.

short fro 2

The “trick” to this is in the next step.   Continue reading »

Dec 202012
 

I am going to try to start posting smaller, more frequent updates as Nia’s Journey continues to progress.  Today’s update includes a sprite for Chinyelu.

Chinyelu

If the armor looks a bit familiar, it’s a heavily modified version of the default hero’s armor from RPG Maker XP.  How do you think it works for her?

Aug 272012
 

Manyara in her adventuring outfit.

Manyara has gone through a redesign since she last appeared on this blog.  As her character has evolved her style has changed as well.  Character design is one of my favorite parts of working on this project.  I expect this process to continue throughout development, as I’ll need to make all the aspects of the character, from visual design, to writing, to gameplay all fit together into a believable whole.  This includes thinking about how characters will change depending on their experiences during a particular playthrough.

Story-wise, I think we all prefer characters with some level of mystery or hidden depth.  Still, I appreciate the value of using visual design sometimes to make it easier to identify a character’s role in gameplay.  For example, I intentionally gave Nia a more “neutral” look as she will have different development paths depending on the player’s choices.

Manyara, on the other hand, hopefully now looks like the swashbuckler she is at heart.  I originally envisioned her as someone who was bored with her life and didn’t feel sufficiently challenged being a small-town guard.  Of course, people who don’t like their job tend to move on given the opportunity…

Special thanks to Fuzzimo for the leather texture!

Apr 192012
 

Alright, I think I’ve got it!

Manyara with coily-textured hair.

My best effort at a coily-textured afro.

The following explanation will probably only make sense to more experienced Inkscape users, but this style is a bit too complex for me to do a full tutorial at this point.  This texture can be achieved using a combination of several Live Path Effects. Continue reading »

Apr 162012
 

If you’re interested in drawing Afro-textured hair for real (as in with a pencil & paper) check out this tutorial over at Learn to Art.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this kind of “coily” hair texture in Inkscape without drawing it freehand.  I’m getting close to a solution, but it may be a while before I can put together a tutorial.  So far, it looks like my version is turning out more cartoony than realistic—which is actually just right for the visual style I am going for.