• Register
Post news RSS New Character Art for Hand-Drawn 3D Adventure "James - Journey of Existence"

I planned to redraw the main character for a long time, and finally have. But before animating him, I could use some opinions...

Posted by on

My Kickstarter for "James - Journey of Existence" (Kck.st) has only 25 backers so close to the end, which is a little embarrassing, when the beginning had so much promise. On the other hand, the new IndieDB page for "James - Journey of Existence" (Indiedb.com) already has 4 followers after about 24 hours of being up, so it seems an easy simulation of how a Kickstarter would play, given the growth in community rises at almost the same rate.

There were several things wrong with the Kickstarter campaign. One major one was the current quality of the game itself: the environments were bland, the animations were crude, and the character designs were lacking. Art is in the eye of the beholder and some have truly loved the game's style so far, but I can't argue with the masses. And here's my first step in fixing that: new character designs for James!

I said months ago that I fully intended to redraw James at some point (technically, the current version of James was finished back in September 2013). I exercised different styles, with outlines, coloring, and both, as seen here:


After some more thought (and after rewatching a fantastic animated video for French comic "Kairos"), I made the following design, currently my personal favorite:

James - 000 - 4AJames - 000 - 4BJames - 000 - 4C

Even better, I made a really quick gif animation to see James with a tiny bit of motion:


Notice the change in the eyes, the shading in the hair and clothes, the complex pattern in the coat that doesn't change as it moves (purposely done, I assure you). While still slightly rough around the edges, you can assume that this last portrait of James is what he will appear as in the final game...


... or I could also use ALL STYLES in different parts of the game, creating an entirely new aspect to the game...


Remember, the system for using hand-drawn art is the important thing in "James - Journey of Existence," and absolutely any style can easily be made, it just has to be drawn...

(you can also read this article on Fromdustscratch.com)


I think you are spot on with why the kickstarter fell short. Because backers have no guarantee that they will get anything out of giving you money they really need some eye candy or well presented ideas or information on what they are investing in.

Part of your design challenge is that may be trying to keep him overly simple since in your mind you are always worried about the amount of work animating the character. I suggest you try silhouette drawings first to see what you can do to make a clearly recognizable form unique for your game.

A lil guidance on that: Youtube.com

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
dust-scratch Author

Very interesting, thank you for the suggestion.

The main character (above) pretty well had a general silhouette since the very beginning, the only major difference is the face, and coloring/texturing the clothes. But the game will (eventually) have many other characters that would greatly benefit from this design method.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.