Character design, Uchikoshi shout-out, Steam
One of the really fun things to do in game development is creating characters, starting from their profiles and backgrounds all the way to actual character art. Like any creative endeavor, character design is a reiterative process. You almost never get it right the first time.
One character we spent a lot of time on is Miho. We stressed over the tiniest details (more like I kept bugging Kuromai for revisions...), such as the blush on her cheeks and the shadows cast by her hair.
Very early on, we used expression sheets to help us narrow down the look we wanted for Yu and Miho, since a sketch or two doesn't tell us enough about the characters.
Aside from the expressions, another thing we paid a lot of attention to are the characters' silhouettes. In music, you can tell a song is good if you can recognize it by its first couple of seconds. in character design, we use distinctive silhouettes to help us decide whether the design is something we want to use.
Selecting outfits is not much easier. We go through various options before choosing the ones that go into the final design.
We keep an extensive record of all the production materials we've used throughout development, including very early designs such as Eiji with an eye-patch and GUNTHER with flamboyant hair. If you wanna see them, you'll have to wait for the art book. :P
Design a character
Now that we're talking about character design, we might as well touch on the reward level attached to it. If you choose the THRONE pledge reward, you get to be deeply involved in the creation of a character of your choice, going through the process we've detailed above.
The character you create can be in the game for additional dialogue (like those in the Sanctus settlement), or to advance the plot to some degree (e.g. they may hold an item you can use to get a favorable response from the former Durchhalten you're trying to recruit).
For example, one of the THRONE backers told us that Eiji resembles his older brother and that he wants a character related to Eiji. We can do that in so many interesting ways without interfering with the game's plot, especially since Eiji's chapter is already done. Our main option would be to introduce someone from Eiji's former nomad group, whether a follower who appreciates what Eiji had done for him, or maybe a friend who had to go separate ways. This character may have a hint for you when you're stuck, or he could even block your progress unless you do an errand for him.
Zero Escape creator shout-out
For backers and followers who haven't heard, this update is also to let you know that Uchikoshi-san gave us a nod on Facebook and Twitter (in English and Japanese)! We wouldn't even be here now pursuing our dream to make Exogenesis without Zero Escape, and as fans of his work. it's the best gesture we could wish for!
Here's another piece news for those who haven't heard - Exogenesis has been greenlit on Steam in just 7 days! We can't thank you enough for voting and telling your friends about our campaign. This is a victory for ALL of us!
Now, if only we could fund the game... :)