For this brief I decided to work on creating a character. At first my idea was broad, until I decided to hone in and treat the brief as if it were for a specific game; I chose to act as if it were a champion design for League of Legends (as a MOBA it is generally quite character heavy).
First I created silhouette based thumbnails for potential ideas, before taking a few that interested me and working them up into potential ones to take forward.
I then took the design I wanted to move forward with, which was a young man with an invasive crystal limb which was spreading throughout his form. I took inspiration from Japanese fashion for his look, and mixed all these concepts into the final design. I also looked up at some existing mask designs, taking inspiration from African and Japanese mask styles when workout out what to place on his face.
I worked up a moveset plan for how he would function in game. I imagined this character to function as a high mobility, high damage, low durability character. A glass cannon who uses his abilities to get into the danger and deal high damage to a single target, but puts himself at risk by doing so.
The crystals on his arm are every growing, threatening to consume him. By engaging in combat, the crystals are damaged and hinder the growth and corruption of his body. As such, most of his abilities involve crystal shards in some form, which I imagine as the breakings of his gem infected body to prevent his own death.
Q - Upon an attack, crystals lock the opponent in place whilst Hesson is replaced by a crystal replica. The real Hesson leaps backwards as the repplica explodes into damaging shards.
W - Hesson dashes forwards and impales a target, thrusting them into the air before pushing them off of his arm with a small explosion of crystals.
E - A passive ability. Each hit that he deals smashes off a bit of crystal, increasing his damage but decreasing his auto attack range until they repair. Can be fixed faster with ability use.
R - Ultimate. Hesson backflips and smashes down onto the ground with his crystal arm, before launching his arm upwards out of the ground and flinging impaling shards towards enemies ahead.
With the moveset finished I moved on to designing a work up of how he would look in game. During this section I found myself re-evaluating several of my previous ideas. The original plan was to have a mask obscuring the face, but I found it to be huge and obtrusive and eventually just decided to cut it to a jaw shape and place it around the neck. I struggled with the crystal look for a long time, before eventually finding a way which worked for me through marking each section out and flat painting it, before adding some light and damage detail.
Mid way through I realised my perspective was off and so decided to restart the piece with a better angle, which greatly improved my feelings on how I felt it wasn’t working. I also went back and fixed the shadow as when I first placed it it just did not make sense.
After finishing the design I took the extra step and decided to work up a splash piece for the character. I did a lot of thumbnailing before settling on an idea.
When looking at the final version, I found a few things that I wanted to change.
For a start, the image felt a bit stiff, his hair suggested a bit of wind but nothing else added much movement anywhere. As such, I altered the eye smoke and tried to add a bit more flow to the sleeve. I also heightened some of the light emanating from the crystals and added some contrasting read lighting from the right hand side to add a nice contrast.
The crystal arm and sword stabbing the crystal arm just lost itself and looked off, so I scrapped it entirely. To try and limit the amount of smoke in the piece, I moved the foreground and background crystals and tried to add a “victim” to the piece to suggest the aftermath of some sort of confrontation ,and add something extra to the piece.