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Evolution of "Big Bear" Character Design

A while back we posted the following concept image highlighting a couple of the main characters in an upcoming project.

Character Concept

Soon thereafter, we realized that the bear character on the right wasn't very memorable compared to our other hero.  We asked our artists, Justin and Kim, to recreate the character.  The following is their account of the design process...

Big Bear 1

“Big bear” is a playable character for our game, and is the brawn of a two man team. His role would be the primary bruiser, slow, lumbering, powerful and straightforward. His first design theme was a straight up bear, with a baseball cap and a wrench. He contrasted severely with the smaller character in looks, as well as play style.

At first his bear theme was perfect on paper. He was different in every way possible compared to the smaller guy. But when it came time to design the overall theme of the game, getting a bear to make sense in a team whose other member could throw sound like a weapon, was tough. We liked his bulk, but we needed to change his appearance.

Big Bear 2

We kept the general “V” shape that most body builders have and mixed in some alien features similar to the smaller character. Since the smaller character had a more agile, unimposing appearance, his features didn’t translate well into a bulkier frame without some changes. We liked the broad shoulders, big chins, and heavy extremities, but also needed to introduce the strange 3 eye face and body suit/flesh.

Big Bear 3

At this point, we needed some kind of back story to source character detail. We threw around the idea that both characters are from different “castes” or classes of their race. The Brute came from some form of grunt specialization, while the smaller character would be a magician type. For the Brute, we gave him some tattoos, which he probably got during training, hazing, or some initiation ritual. We also gave him a hood, stemming from an executioner’s mask, and wraps around his fists. We needed him to convey brutality, while maintaining the same race as his buddy.

Big Bear 4

In his final redesign, his big feet stuck with him, they gave him the support he needs, and his tattoos were placed with more purpose. Unless the game changes drastically in theme, this is the design that you’ll most likely see punching someone in the face.

Big Bear 5

 

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