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Character Styles | Furoticon Ending?!

March 2, 2017
in Games, House of Tail, Other Games

Hi

Hot Progress

house of tail character concept design tisserand adela furry possum deer

Did another pass on the visual design for the main and supporting cast. I believe the count came out to be 22 total characters. There were a lot of interesting design considerations and I feel like I leave everyone out of the loop too much when we discuss it behind the scenes (happens almost everyday.) It’s neat stuff to think about and I like talking about it and hearing others’ thoughts, so why not?

Visual Style

One of the issues with drawing a larger cast is the strain it puts on the visual ‘style’. This is hard to put into words, but by style, I mean how you can draw the same characters in different but consistent-between-each-other ways. Think of things like Disney where a cartoon duck or bear head will be in the same style regardless the show or movie, Ms. Pacman being Pacman with makeup and a bow–Minnie being Mickey in drag, Sonic the hedgehog proportions, how you can tell a character has the Pokemon-look, or how every pony in My Little Pony uses a similar base template and perspective shots.

What I learned is that the more characters you have to draw, the more it pushes the limits of a style. And that some styles are geared toward accommodating this, while others not so much. The assumed goal is making visually distinct and striking characters. And, avoiding those moments when you have trouble telling who’s who.

I played around with styles and choose one within my ability to keep consistent and that will animate well. But it’s not without its drawbacks–the characters in the above pic are a possum and deer. You can see where I made the possum look more possum like, but I felt it breaks the style too much. I showed it to a friend and they could not guess its species. Hopefully with colors it will be more clear, but it’s also a question of: why does it matter what species a character is in a fantasy setting? Does every furry character need to fit into a specific representation of a specific species? Can see arguments for both sides. Forced to pick sides when designing, gotta be mindful of it all and do our best. Made a big list of species to pull from, but I doubt we’ll hit everything as it clashes a lot with the setting and world-building.

Questions of style. Big topic, lots to say, but I need to get back to finishing the game.

I’ve been working on maps this week. Will show you next time.

Furoticon

This really took me by surprise.

Furoticon’s ending. They’ve released their final set, Climax. Apparently, their work on the online video game almost bankrupted them. It’s a lot to take in and think about.

There’s a fascinating journal by Seppel that goes into a surprising (and much appreciated) amount of detail here:
http://furoticon-online.com/furoticon-online-is-dead-tail-kiss-studio-closing-soon/

And here’s an earlier journal where the developers talk about the end of the physical card game:
http://furoticon.com/index.php?a=1024

It’s incredibly sobering. I remember when I first found out about it at a convention many years ago and was able to convince some friends to try it out by signing up for a draft tournament. Hardly anyone understood the rules, but it was great fun. Out of all the adult furry games to review, this is the only one I know for sure I could write multiple articles for–from the silly experiences of playing a competitive game in person, to talking about deck construction and game design.

Hate to see them go. We wish them the best.

*Comment (1)

  1. Sadly, they’re not the first to have this kind of major mishap occur that killed their development. I remember a decent sim, Breeding Season, that collapsed in a hail of finger pointing and rage. There are many lessons to be learned from these incidents.

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