In order to get emotion and personality across during conversations with the villagers, we are creating a set of portraits for each of the villagers. Each of these portraits will display a different emotional state.
Here is Wizard Abernathy in a few different poses. Out attempt for each is to convey a different emotion, which along with the text will help paint a picture in the minds of the player. Wizard Abernathy is normally a pretty happy owl who will talk your ear off but sometimes gets a bit preachy and judgmental.
The first thing to do is to establish the villager in questions. Who are they? What is their job? What sort of personality do they have? After asking and answering the right questions, the next step that Christine likes to do is some quick sketches until she has something she thinks fits the character. Then it is on to actually drawing the basic or neutral character portrait.
One thing that we want to do with our villagers is to try different things. We didn't want them all to be just humans or just creatures. We plan on making some different choices with who our villagers will be and have been taking inspiration from a variety of sources. Hopefully to surprise and amusement of the player.
Here are some sketches for the Curator. He is sort of the collections NPC in the village. We are not completely sure which one to go with so would love to hear any opinion your might have. The horned cat is a character we are trying out as one of the lazier villager in town.
Making sure that the in game image and the portraits are very similar is very important. The connection between the two should be easy to make. We had a pretty good idea of the sort of character and appearance that the mayor would be. You can see that the face sketches are all very similar with just minor differences between them.
Trevor the Imp was supposed to be a bad guy only. But we discovered we liked the idea that as a wizard you probably wouldn't just deal with normal villagers. He is indeed wicked and sort of mean but you can totally make him your friend. Well, as friendly as an imp cam be.
That's it for portraits for now. We will definitely have more to show later on as we continue to expand on our villagers.
Thanks for reading.