Development Zaddiary #2

MILESTONE REACHED: ADVENTURERS COMPLETE!

I have been really bad about updates on how Zadarra progress is going. That is primarily because life has been flipped upside down by COVID-19, and I have spent most of my free time hunkering down on art - mastering my Cintiq. Biggest problem solo developing is I need to triage a lot, and for the sake of expediency, I've decided more art less talking about the process, but there will be more process talk to come. That being said, I've already reached a pretty great milestone, which is completing the customers that will visit Zadarra's shop.

In the game there are basically five big art milestones:

1. The Relics you can purchase (complete) (sorry no post about that).

2. The adventurers that visit the shop (complete).

3. The Fate Cards (complete) (sorry again, no post about that).

4. The Death Cards (nearly complete)

5. Box art

I'm creeping towards the finish line with the art for Zadarra, and unlike Kingdoms of Immacus and Trolltem Poles, the art will more likely than not be complete before any stress testing gets started. It's pretty exciting to see it all come together, and I am really glad I went outside of my comfort space a little bit with the art style. Let's get into the nitty-gritty of the customers.

Enter, The Dragon Hunter

The adventurerI decided to start with was Harrick, the Dragon Hunter. In the lore, Harrick helps the protagonist in his journey to encourage the various kingdoms of Immacus to aid the Crystalynns in their upcoming war with Xenic and D'Dorian Star.

Although Harrick was an important part of the lore, and is by Yorri's side most of the journey, for whatever reason, I never drew him more than twice I believe when I created him way back in high school. I think it's because I became so enamored with Xenic and D'Dorian (angsty teenage years makes you fall in love with your villains I suppose). Anywho, I thought this would be a great opportunity to give Harrick some much needed love and update his look.

I kept Harrick's overall look and his iconic red shirt as well. I was averse to body hair when I was younger, but now that I'm over that, I gave Harrick some chest hair. I changed his gloves, equipped him with a pretty cool sword, and gave him a patterned fur-lined leather jacket. I liked being able to add a little more color to him, and I'm happy with the changes. I then polled people around me as to how they were feeling the art style.

I was a little outside of my comfort style with this. I used a sketchy brush, which was directly opposed to the sterilized clean lines I normally do, I left my line art black, which I normally color, the eye was this stylized pentagon-like shape, and the character design was simplified and not overly concerned with perfect anatomy or light direction etc. I wanted a style that made the process interesting to me and allowed me to feel more comfortable at the Cintiq. The people I polled liked the style so I decided to move on to the other customers.

The Katrenda Remix

Katrenda is Yorri's friend from their hometown of Dawnbrook. When I was creating all the characters from Kingdoms of Immacus, the first image I drew was of Yorri, Katrenda, the Xetzes, Viperus, and Chowruru. Out of all the designs, I was least happiest with Katrenda, and in subsequent pictures, I was always playing with how her outfit and hair should look. Ultimately, I settled on a particular look, which featured some hair buns and a pink dress.

Coming back to Katrenda years later, I grew a little cold to the idea of her pink dress. I wanted to break away from Katrenda being this pretty in pink princess type and instead, gave her an outfit more suited for adventuring with a little bit of flair. I kept a little bit of pink in her cloak, but I ultimately moved to a more earthy color palette for her to show her grounded nature. Brown for the earth, blue for the sky, green for the grass, and that pink/honeysuckle color for fire.

The orbs above her head remain. These are spell charges that refresh over time after each spell is cast. Here Katrenda has four major spell orbs and four minor. In the beginning of the Great Interloper War she will have three, so you see at this point, she has grown in her journey once she gets to Zadarra's shop.

The Future Crossovers

I won't go over every customer and their background, but Umoya is the main character of the Spirit Strikers game that is slated for future development. Her story line leads right into the Great Interloper War story line and so I wanted her included in the game to make the lore cohesive.

One thing I always focus on when developing a game is the story I want to tell. Then, I build the game and the mechanics around that story. Thus, I am always of thinking of ways to connect my different characters and the narratives that surround them. The future crossover characters is just one way to build the world and its lore.

The Narrative Aftereffects

Another set of customers present in the game are characters that are the product of a previous game in the lore timeline. The reason for their inclusion is so players who play all these games will see how their actions in the games they play affect future games.

Both Leluster and Raseed are products of the results from a prequel game that is slated for development. If games are played in the timeline order, players will get a nice surprise that they did some good in the world of Immacus when they see these characters.

It is important to me that Immacus should be this living and breathing world that continues to exist long after the player has finished playing the game. The narrative aftereffects are a part of this philosophy and Trolltem Poles actually carries this process further.

Final Thoughts

Now, if you are really interested in all the characters for Fate Weaver Zadarra and Her Unfortunate Misfortune, I'll have a link up soon enough that will give a brief bio and backstory of each one on the Fate Weaver Zadarra section of the website.

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