Character Design

When I started my character I looked at basic model poses. The following images helped with the pose of my character. I also did some quick sketches.


I then proceeded with creating my character on Photoshop.


Styles and Features of Games and Characters

Styles of Games

I’d like to have my game in an RPG or open world style, or featuring elements of both. Some examples would be the games from the Elder Scrolls series and the games from the Grand Theft Auto series. An RPG game is a role playing game which is usually set in a fantasy environment and it focusses on choice and direction of the story. An open world style game is usually in third person and it allows the player to explore a created world in which the character plays in and does activities. The environment features lots of points of interests and includes a lot of NPCs.



Typical Look of Characters

Most playable video game characters are human and they can usually carry items found throughout the game, like objects needed for later levels or which can help the player with a bonus and continue through the game easily. This can be represented on the character with a rucksack and/or with an icon on the screen. A lot of characters can wear multiple clothing which can either be obtained as a collectable or obtained from an in game shop. Another way in which characters look is the view the player uses. Characters can be used in third person or first person. Third person is viewing the character from a small distance behind them. You can see all of the character this way. First person is viewing the character from their eyes and looks around like someone would in real life.

Typical Look of Backgrounds

Typical backgrounds of old games are a plain solid colour background or pattern. Modern games usually have the sky and the ground, since they are more or less set in an open world.



My Character

The personality traits I would like my character to have are:

  • Heroic
  • Adventurous
  • Sc-fi
  • Warrior
  • Smart
  • Charismatic

These are reference images to help define my character.

Generating Animation Ideas

How A Character of Myself Would Look

For this project I will be making a game character of myself so I could take features of myself and change them to fit the game world, for example if it was a science fiction style game I wouldn’t exactly be wearing everyday style clothes. I could also change my style slightly to what I’d like it to be. I would most likely make a game based on reality/cartoon or a game based on science fiction action.

For a realistic cartoon style game I would look and have features and accessories like:

  • Black boots/loathers
  • Black or blue jeans
  • Black/blue jumper
  • Black/white/blue shirt
  • Black jacket/trench coat
  • Denim jacket
  • Shades
  • Gelled back hair
  • Black bag
  • Watch

For a science fiction style game I would look and have features and accessories like:

  • Future style spacesuit
  • Guns
  • Future style guns

Idle Animation Ideas

For a realistic style game I have idle animations like:

  • Looking at a watch
  • Looking around
  • Scratching head
  • Tapping foot
  • Clapping/Rubbing hands
  • Cracking knuckles
  • Sit down

For an imaginative style game I would have idle animations like:

  • Float in the air
  • Star jumps
  • Handstand
  • Spin weapons in hand
  • Sleep

Signature Move Ideas

For a realistic style game I would have moves like:

  • Strong punch to chest and/or face
  • Strong kick to chest and/or face
  • Multiple punches/kicks
  • Use items from the environment to attack – stones, sticks, poles

For an imaginative style game I would have moves like:

  • Throw enemy
  • Super punch
  • Super kick
  • Grab and throw around
  • Fear

Gameplay Trailer Ideas

For my game the trailer would feature:

  • Soundtrack song relatable to the game
  • In game footage
  • Cinematics
  • Look of character


Animation Game Research

Idle Animation

An idle animation is when in a game the playable character does not perform any actions. In a lot of games, the characters just stand still but that makes characters emotionless, so a small piece of animation is added where the character, for example, could turn around or do a flip. Sometimes, likely in more modern games, audio is added. Some idle animations are considered easter eggs.


This idle animation is of Sonic tapping his foot while waiting for the player to continue.


This idle animation is from GTA V, where the playable character looks at things that pass by.

Signature Moves

A signature move is usually a combat move where the character would have built up a metre of some kind or has had a certain amount of combos, and cause a devastating attack on the enemy causing huge damage. These are most typically found in fighting games.

This is a signature move from playable character HBK from the game Smackdown Vs Raw 2011. The player would have had to built the move up with several combinations of successful hits. The player is rewarded with the slowed down, dramatic, finishing move, which gives a high chance of winning the game.

This is a variety of signature moves from characters of Injustice 2. The glowing blue barĀ  at the bottom is when the move is available after a variety of successful attacks. The bars at the top show the health and it also shows how much is depleted after the signature move.


This is the trailer to my favourite game, Fallout New Vegas.

This trailer is of another game I really enjoy, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Game Reviews

Saints Row 2


Saints Row 2 is an open world action adventure game released in 2008 and set in the fictional city of Stilwater. It was developed by Volition and published by THQ. The game is based on the character who is known by the name of Playa or Boss. They are a member of a gang called The 3rd Street Saints. The plot of the story to this game is full of well written drama where the Saints aim to reclaim their crown as the city’s criminal underworld rulers. It features returning character Johnny Gat and many new characters such as Shaundi, Carlos and Pierce. The game, at some points, show the story of the Saints’ enemies – The Brotherhood, The Ronin, The Sons of Samedi – and how they are struggling to keep hold of their power against the Saints. This is a feature in the game I really like. Outside the main story, there are lot’s of features and activities the player can enjoy themselves with. There is Taxi, Insurance Fraud and Mayhem just to name a few. The environment in Saints Row 2 is brilliantly reworked compared to the first installment. Many parts of the city have been completely redesigned so it seems fresh and new. There are a variety of people with different cultural backgrounds and living in different environments. There are goths, gangsters, hipsters, yuppies and more. This all adds to the immersion that it’s a real populated city. I rate the game a 9/10.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV is a 2008 action adventure open world video game set in the fictional Liberty City, which is based on real life New York City. It was developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. The game follows the story of Niko Bellic. An eastern European who has just arrived to the city to stay with his cousin Roman. He soon learns that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and the American dream is harder to obtain than he first thought as he is dragged into the city’s criminal underworld. The environment is very dark and gloomy as it shows the bad side of the city. Corruption, hatred and racism is noticeable and cultural divides have a strong impact on the city. Examples are the biker gang, The Lost MC and the LCPD. The game has a variety of interactions which makes the city’s environment more life like. The player can buy weapons and eat at restaurants, and also hang out with friends. What I like the most about GTA IV is its story. It’s very dark, serious and realistic which is what I love to see in games. A serious moment in GTA IV would be the time where Niko robs the bank with the McCreary crew. What was improved with this title compared to previous games was the immersion, like the size and look of the city, and NPC behaviour. I rate this game a 9/10.

Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 2 is a 2005 FPS developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It is the second installment of the popular first person shooter, and the first to be released on console. The game is set throughout WWII from the perspectives of Russia, UK and USA. The environment of Call of Duty 2 is very accurate to what it would have looked like during World War 2. There is destroyed buildings, ditches and trenches. A lot of the colours are dark which is suitable to the environment. What I like about this game is the accurate storytelling yet adding its own spin, with good dramatic moments, like the time where a tank drives right over the trench the player is in. Something improved with this title was the addition of regenerating health which was a huge feature wanted by the fans. I rate this game a 8/10.

Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon is a 2012 racing game developed by Playground Games in association with Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studios. It is set in Colorado where the player competes in the Horizon racing festival. The environment is very life like to what Colorado is known by. There is lot’s of desert areas, blushing forests and fields, with long stretched roads. I think the environment in this game is beautiful. What I like most about this game is the variety and amount of customisation options available. There is over 300 cars with many colours, engine types, bumpers, wheels, spoilers and stickers. I rate this game a strong 7/10.

Animation Evaluation

This project’s animation was based on stop motion, where myself and Corey learnt many techniques, and looked at many different examples of stop motion, such as Aardman Animation. Our animation was inspired by the popular cartoon, Peanuts and we produced it on an application called Stop Motion on an iPad. To keep the material stable we used blu tack and a tripod. Me and Corey tried to achieve a simple yet really enjoyable animation. I think we achieved this extremely well as we came up with many ideas on how to perceive it that way. There was keeping the characters in one frame and the delicate thus far effective names of the characters. Additionally, there was the simple background cutout. What I really liked about our animation was how humorous the plot was. What I didn’t like was that the background didn’t take up the frame of the animation. Some improvements would be adding more scenes and showing the names of the characters. Overall, the animation was a success.

Completed Stop Motion Animation

This is mine and Corey’s finished animation based on the Peanuts cartoon. It features the same characters and background that we designed earlier. We used an application on an iPad called Stop Motion and used a tripod to keep it stable. Additionally, we placed the cutouts on a flat surface and stuck it down so nothing went out of place. Corey took each individual frame while I moved the characters along the background. I think the background worked better with a cutout than a photograph because I felt that the characters could interact with it more. The research helped a lot with this animation as it gave me ideas of techniques to use, such as characters jumping out of the frame and returning somewhere else, like at 5 seconds to 9 seconds, when Joe is looking for Bark and Peck. Keeping things for the animation simple made it very effective and I felt it was original. The most effective thing was probably keeping the characters made out of one frame. What I liked the most about our animation is that it is humorous. To improve the animation, I would zoom in so the background takes up the entire frame. I would also show the names of the characters at the beginning.

Finalising the Animation

For my animation project I have partnered with Corey and we have gone with an animation based on the Peanuts cartoon. We finally decided to go with a mix of my first and second idea and some additions of Corey’s.


Joe is taking Bark on a walk in Liverpool, along with Peck the bird. Before hand, Peck and Bark wanted to roam free so Peck grabs the lead and lets Bark go. They both run away while Joe tries to find them. In the end they end up taking Joe on a walk. Just for a change of heart :).


We decided – instead of using a photograph – we would use a background of the Liverpool skyline, but still keeping it simple. We thought Liverpool would be a better location to base the animation on, because when we were in Liverpool we had a greater chance to cause mischief and misbehave; just like the characters in the animation.