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Characters Without Boundaries
Our Creative Director, Matthew Grau, shares details about RedCat Multiverse character development
There are many people who believe that it’s easiest to create when there are no boundaries or constraints, until they actually have the chance to do it. In my experience, the creatives who’ve worked for and with me do best when you frame the box beforehand, so there’s something for their imagination to latch onto instead of spending loads of time figuring out where to start.
Giving someone a blank canvas and telling them to create a multiverse does not present an easy task. I’m a little weird in that I am an obsessive world-builder, so when someone hands me a sheet of paper and says go, I say, “I brought my own pen.”
I’m not a stranger to the idea of pulling in characters from a multiverse, because that’s what I originally did with League of Legends. We wanted to have a diverse set of characters with few boundaries, so I came up with ways to make them work together. While the lore moved away from this as the property evolved, under my direction, we started from a multiversal viewpoint.
That experience in hand, I just started to think of interesting, cool, and sometimes weird kinds of characters I could put into the game.
To give myself some kind of framework, I created eight classifications of characters. These types would also be useful in the game design, so, two birds. Out of my brainstorm came these eight categories and my notes more or less looked like this:
Abstract – Colors and music personified? Weird and count me in. What does the personification of purple look like?
Conceptual – Human concepts come to life? Ooh, could be deep. Control and Chaos will be good.
Dark Matter – A catch-all for the really unusual, because I’ll come up with some. Group minds?
Enigmatic – Weird supernatural stuff is my jam. King in Yellow? Spirits?
Extradimensional – Alternate Earths! Sweet! Differently evolved humans, some of different stock, some from other ecosystems.
Extraplanetary – Aliens. Aliens are cool. Reptilians, Grays, Annunaki, like Ancient Aliens.
Mythical – Need to have creatures from folklore! I want dragons. Miss Kitty Supreme says this is where I should put the cats.
Temporal – Past people. Future people. Past people from the future! Post-humans.
I’d framed the box with this list, which allowed me to begin brainstorming some rather unique characters. I had a space to direct my imagination inside each, making it much easier to find the good stuff. I’ll talk more about that in a future post.
In the meantime, I bid you adieu and thanks for reading. I’m going back to making an awesome game I hope you will soon enjoy.