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 »

Sep 272012
 

Last week I saw Angela Davis speak at Spelman College, and it really got me thinking about how to deal with the relationship between art and reality.

In the world of Nia’s Journey, I don’t want to reproduce the same forms of oppression that exist in reality because I would like people to be able to play and have fun without going through the same issues they experience every day.  So, in that sense it’s an escapist fantasy, but at the same time I do want to explore the idea of oppression and particularly linked oppression.

Linked oppression was a central theme in Dr. Davis’ talk–she tied in the U.S. Prison-Industrial complex, the Palestinian-Isreali conflict, and racism in the women’s suffrage movement as fundamentally similar, and in fact, connected.

To my knowledge, linked oppression hasn’t been explored much in video games, and it seems like a relatively uncommon theme in other media as well.  Too often we only “see” oppression when it’s explicitly directed against ourselves.  I would like for Nia’s Journey to help make that connectedness a little more visible, even if only in “fantasy” form.