Carrot Character Mock up Design Iterations

Moving on from the Logo design I decided to re-address the characters, looking primarily at the Carrot Character. So I started by sketching out some possible characters. There are a few various styles and some are more pleasing to look at than others. Whereas some are more suitable than others.

001_OriginalCarrotDesigns002_Carrot and Silhouettes003_Carrot and Eyes

From here I moved onto iterating the various parts that would make up the face of the carrot. Breaking down the Eyes, Mouths and Noses, and creating multiple variants until the final design emerged its weary head.

Carrot

This now gives me enough information to begin the basic final design of the Carrot character, but I still need to give him a personality before moving onto the final render. Watch this space!

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Carrots Help You See in the Dark

So, character list created now for some research.

First, some visual research thanks to Pintrest and Google Images I have collated a good amount of visual reference of both Carrot Characters and plane old Carrots. This will greatly aid in the design of the Health and Zombie versions of the Carrot character (watch this space)

Here have a look!

Is That a Vegetable?

Original Vegetrouble Poster
The original Vegetrouble Poster Design

So… one of the fundamental mistakes I made during the initial design of the game (more specifically the characters) was an assumption on the classification of my Vegetables. Initially I had designed characters based from… a Potato, a Carrot, a radish, an Onion, Broccoli, a Pea and a Pumpkin. There are some mistakes in there as some of them are not VEG!

So I need to look into my food a little further if I plan to make this accurate. One of the main reasons for this (aside from the game title being Vegetrouble) is that this will allow me to expand the initial idea into other food groups for sequels. Anyway enough of that old stuff for now.

Now onto the important part, the research. Of course, there are a lot of things we eat that we may think of as Veg but let me tell you… tomatoes, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Sweet Peppers and many more are not actually Veg. I always believed in the classification based on a simple couple of rules, if it grows above ground and carries its own seeds, it’s a Fruit. If it grows in the earth it is a Veg. This is still a good method to use as it is fairly accurate. However, following these rules, where would you put things like Broccoli, rhubarb, Lettuce or Peas for example? This is what prompted me to begin researching vegetables (oh the excitement is just bursting out) so I could just find out what was appropriate to use and what wasn’t.

So, after some reading up and generally researching around the exciting world of Fruit ‘n’ Veg, from a botanical stand point you can define a vegetable as all other parts of a plant that are not the seed areas. This includes the leaves (like you find on a cabbage, sprout, or lettuce), the stems (such as rhubarb or celery), the roots (like carrots, spuds or radish) and even the flower buds (cauliflower, broccoli).

All this research has lead me to the following list of potential characters for the game.

Carrot
Pea (solo or in pod)
Potato
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Broccoli
Radish
Lettuce
Sprout
Turnip
Parsnip
Yam
Onion
Marrow
Garlic
Leek

 

Bibliography

Today I Found Out

Wikipeadia List of Vegetables

Vegetable Research & Information Centre

Processing the Design Process

So I thought it would be prudent to upload my personal design process, much like many others, I follow a simple 8 step process. But first let me tell you that I have been looking around at some other design processes today and surprise surprise, they all have a very similar trend, I’ve found that the Design Council sums this all up in a handy little guide and description on their site. It breaks down the design process into 3 areas (Discover, Define and Develop) that are easy to remember. The 3 D’s are then broken down into sub categories to help you get to grips with this process of working. Below is their process and a link to the original. I strongly recommend having a full read through the original because they also break down each of the sub categories to help you better understand all these stages.

I will upload have uploaded my design process soon, but rather than just uploading a written list I’m going to create I have created a design and presented it visually, when now It’s done you’ll find it Here.

Introducing Design Methods | Design Council

Discover

Creating a project space

Observation

User diaries

Being your users

Brainstorming

Fast visualization

Choosing a sample

Quantitative surveys

Secondary research

Hopes and fears

Define

Assessment criteria

Comparing notes

Drivers and hurdles

Focus groups

Customer journey mapping

Develop

Character profiles

Scenarios

Role playing

Blueprinting

Physical prototyping

In The Beginning There Were Veg… and Fruit and Berrys and Seeds and…

So, When I initially started playing with the Idea of developing the Vegetrouble game (a game born from a 24h game jam event with a few Uni friends) I started with one of the most fundamental mistakes, I turned on a computer and opened some software, from there I started to develop characters. Now despite my years of practice and ability to do this, we all know that it is a mistake and something that should have been started on paper, well to be honest it did kind of start on paper. You see, I started designing some basic characters for the game on paper and then delved into the software and progressed from 4 characters into 7 all digital 2D final designs and was never really fully happy. You see, when it comes to the design process I have a rather large lack of confidence, primarily with my ability to visualise on paper (sketching). I have now realised that this is a primary opportunity for me to better my visualisation skills.

Moving on, I begun to develop the game in the same manner with little regard to the initial stages that would ultimately help direct the project and give it drive. I have been through stages where the initial idea has changed, where the aesthetic has altered and even been forced to change mechanics and even the target platform due to not fully realising what needed to be done and just wanting to go and make something ‘cool’.

Well, no more of this nonsense, from now on we have a new slate, it is clean. There is nothing but an initial idea and some residual memories of a past incarnation. This blog will now serve as the archive for the entirety of the project, pass or fail. You will see everything, from initial ideas, mechanics design, level design, character designs, props and objects, menus, GUI’s HUD’s, planning, research, user testing, documentation and presentations, I could go on, but you get the point.

(This project and the development blog are created to aid my students with effectively managing and evidencing a project. Just do the work!).

So, the time has come to get on with it.