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  • The Aesthetics of Unique Video Game Characters

    [05.20.10]
    - Shaylyn Hamm


  • Chapter 3: Methodology

    3:1 Introduction

    The project explores the methodology of designing female video game characters that fit within certain requirements, such as an art style and time period. Design principles exist for artists to plan unique and grounded creations, whether they are characters, environments, or any other kind of asset. The goal of this project is to follow an effective process that will encourage unique and appealing female characters that fit the style and artistic specifications of a given game. The information gathered in for this project will suggest whether or not females, designed with the same considerations as their male counterparts, are well-received by both male and female audiences.

    3:2 Testing and Data Collection

    Testing will gather data relating to the viewers' reactions and opinions regarding the characters' features and personalities. It will be necessary to determine what percentages of the viewers enjoy the characters, which features they prefer, and what their overall impressions are. This information will suggest whether or not the characters are well received by their audience. Data will be collected via surveys, which will be distributed via several media, including e-mail and by hand. Testers will consist of both males and females aged 18-35. Questions will be formatted for both full sentence answers as well as the Likert Scale.

    The project intends to determine if characters designed following specific design principles, which are proven to work with male characters of a similar theme, are appealing to both female and male audiences. While people within each of these demographics certainly have their own personal preferences, the characters should not be overly unappealing to either group.

    Sample survey questions

    • On a scale from 1-5, how would you rate the overall appeal of Character A?
    • Would you enjoy playing Character A in a video game such as Team
      Fortress 2?

    Chapter 4: Results and Analysis

    4:1 Responding to Feedback and Refinements

    As early as the character design phase, I began posting my progress in the project on several websites in order to hear feedback and suggestions from different kinds of gamers. Many of the suggestions I received helped me improve my models by offering ways to make their features more distinctive. I was also able to gauge how attractive they could be and whether certain aspects of their design had had a positive or negative impression on the viewers. Below are links to the webpages where I posted my artwork for feedback.

    Facepunch.com:

    Steam Forums - Community Content:

    deviantArt - from my gallery (chemicalalia.deviantart.com):

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