Let's revisit our shopkeeper, Sage. The first draft was cute and professionally done, but it lacked something style-wise. And this will get deep into design psychology, so if you're into that, read on!
The first version has its own style, and maybe it's just me, but I find it unsatisfying. I compared it with our Teacher and the Adversary, and I realized what I liked about them was an understated style, with heavy outside lines, and simplified shading.
I believe this style makes the characters more engaging, possibly even leaving more room for you to relate with them, as your imagination fills in the missing detail. Isn't this what the brilliant cartoonist Scott McCloud describes as iconic abstraction?
The point, I think, is when you encounter the character, some things happen in your mind automatically. You make an unconscious identification of the person's mood. You know at once if you like the person or not. And the most fundamental reaction is saying it's a person at all! How do you look at lines and shading and conclude that it represents another person, with thoughts and moods of its own? Or do you conclude it is not a person, but a non-verbal communication of the designer's inner thoughts, through a fictional but relatable intermediary person? You could really get lost in the psychological nuance, but back to the original point, I thought this character just needed to be at the simpler end of the range of illustration styles to convey the right feeling.
I hope Sage looks like a fun and welcoming person, so you'll enjoy browsing the Firecracker Fight fireworks stand, and she'll even help make you happy to trade a few coins for those M-80s and cherry bombs that make blasting through level 13 so satisfying!
Of course, we're still packing black powder into our firecracker tubes, so remember to subscribe to the weekly email, and you’ll know when the game will be live on the App Store and Google Play!
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