For the characters within my game, although there would only be the player, there would be other non-player characters within the game itself which the character will either interact with to some extent or merely observe. This would be his friend which the player would find the characters friend during the second area of the game (i.e. the second floor) within one of the bathrooms before venturing out to find the route back to the library blocked by one of the shadow beings. This would then lead you to the other areas where you would come into contact with the other NPCs of the game, the Doctors, Nurses and wounded/ recovering soldiers. These characters wouldn’t acknowledge the player in any way, and simple serve as a window into the daily routine that was happening one that particular day, almost acting as a real-live movie.
Choosing the Era:
When it came to deciding the era that I would then base my characters off of, I initially choosing between the 1920s, 40s and 60s, as they were some of the main eras in history in my opinion as well as being several decades between then and now. My logic in this would be that if the time was greater, than people living during that era may well have died between then and now, however this would be more likely with respect to the earlier decades. With this in mind my logic still stood with the 1920s, however I didn’t feel that that was a sufficient enough reason to choose that era, and so I decided to choose the 1940s due to the outbreak of the Second World War. This is because many men would’ve gone to war and been grievously injured which would result in them being sent home for treatment that couldn’t have been provided near to the front lines. Alongside this, many locations such as colleges, universities and large manor houses were used as auxiliary or military hospitals which would again fit in with the overall game idea. People died too soon during this war which could be a reason as to why they are still around till the modern era, as they aren’t done living, or have loved ones which continue to live and they feel they need to protect them.
After some consideration about the appearance of the player character within the game, i was initially going to include something along the lines of a typical attire consisting of a plain t-shirt, jeans and a pair of trainers. However, the more i thought about this, the more i realised that there would be no need for the physical appearance of the character, as there wouldn’t be any point during the game that the player would see him. With this information present, i felt that i was able to divert my attention away from the characters appearance, and towards the appearance of characters that would be visible to the character such as the Doctors, Nurses, Patients and Shadow Beings.
The doctor will be male due to the gender inequality of the era where men were generally in these types of positions, as well as they were the only figure that came up when I was searching for reference images to base my designs from. The doctors will be of ages ranging from 30s to 50s and so will have a different hair colours (Black, Brown, Blonde & Grey etc.), as well as body compositions (Thin, Average, Large) among other accessories such as glasses however they will all wear similar uniforms. All will wear an overcoat which will be buttoned up and unbuttoned in other cases either fully revealing or concealing the shirt, tie and belt beneath. Ties will be different colours however not too bright (Yellow, Lime, Pink etc.) as to seem out of place, as well as pens being carried within their left breast pocket. The actions which they will be carrying out will range from talking to other members of staff, as well as taking notes on clipboards (as seen in picture). The main case with this type of character is variation, and as they will be appearing in several instances throughout the second and third floors of the game, there should be a variety too choose from including elements previously stated.
(See sketchbook pages 62 – 63)
As previously stated, the year in which the characters will be based off of will be the 1940s, and so men will have the predominant role within this industry. The Nurse will again have the same uniform throughout each variation, with the only difference being the action they are currently performing, as well as their facial features and hair styles. These should follow a similar style as seen in the character sheet below, however they could either be longer and tied up or cut shorter to show a clear difference between each nurse so that they don’t appear replicated. The tasks which they will be performing will consist of carrying trays of medicine (i.e. beakers, syringes and food), as well as helping recovering soldiers walk around either in wheelchairs where they would be pushing or on crutches where they would be assisting. Hair colour as well age and body composition should also be elements that will vary from design to design, consisting of some nurses having blonde hair, others being older and more mature as well as a difference in body weight. Height will also be a factor that will have to be implemented and should vary between nurse to nurse so that as previously mentioned, they don’t all appear to have been replicated and altered slightly.
(See sketchbook pages 62 – 63)
Wounded & Recovering Soldier:
With the fact that the usage of the university during the Second World War was a military hospital, the main population other than doctors and nurses will be patients, mostly soldiers having returned from the war after being injured. Again, as previously mentioned in the other paragraphs, all the recovering soldiers will be wearing the same attire which will consist of a light-grey hospital gown/ pyjamas which will only be altered depending on their injury. They will also be a range in ages between twenties to forties, again with hair colours such as black, brown and blonde. The only defining features between each other patients will be their injuries will broken or amputated limbs (legs & arms) and also head injuries which will require bandages and slings (See pages “64 – 65” for examples). Patients with severe injuries like amputations will need to be in either a wheelchair or using crutches, both of which will need accompanying by a nurse (see paragraph above). As seen in the example below they will also not wear anything on their feel other than socks which will also be the same colour as their scrubs/ pyjamas.
The Shadow Beings are the simpler elements of the NPC design due to them being silhouetted human figures with a mist/ foggy aura around them to allow them to stand out from the other NPCs referenced above. With this NPC they look completely identical apart from the eyes which are a racing red tone, indicating the good being who wants to help the player escape, and a bush green tone which indicates the more evil and malevolent of the two beings. They do not speak and instead simply gesture the player towards them, and it will be up to the player as to which one they want to trust and follow, as due to the level design (See Environment/ World Design) there will only be two routes available. The eyes are designed to stand out from the rest of the body and are shaped to make the being less menacing, as well as appear approachable or non-intimidating, this is so that they will still jump out at the player but not too little that they aren’t scary at all.
Header taken from: https://pixabay.com/en/fantasy-fog-creepy-mystical-mood-2847724/