Posted by: Travis | February 23, 2009

Katafray Project: Designing Fegari

Fegari Duskrunner

Fegari Duskrunner

Firstly, allow me to apologize to both Blogatelle and my fellow writers for my protracted tardiness; I have excuses, mind, but none which are particularly compelling or grandiose. The world outside of Azeroth tried to eat my soul and did so by devouring the greater majority of my free time for a long while. Nevertheless, I’ve not forgotten my Blogatelle responsibilities and will endeavor to more timely in the future. Scouts honor.

I’m saluting now. I swear.

Now, for those you still reading; this relatively short entry is devoted to how I came upon and developed the aesthetic of Fegari. If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to begin by offering a summary of my fellow writer’s own methodologies before presenting my own; keep in mind that these are my impression only, how I perceived their posts. This is simply the gospel according to Travis, and my fellow writers may choose to disagree with me; this is simply how I perceived their posts.

If you go back to Sean’s post concerning the design of Katafray, you see how he arrived upon her portrait by first creating an elaborate laundry list of adjectives and personality quirks appropriate to the character and which Sean felt had visual resonance. Then after deconstructing each potential feature option he specifically picked attributes he felt displayed those qualities. For Sean, visual design seemed to be an analytical pursuit; carefully measured and deliberate with (nearly) all points weighed carefully against the others.

Jess in her post detailed how she arrived upon Eme’s visage by what is arguably the most common method of avatar design; simply picking the features which appeal to you most yet which still seem true to the spirit of the character you’re wishing to create. For Jess, visual design seemed to be an organic and instinctive process; a mixture of personal preference and discovery of the character’s appearance by carefully-guided whimsy.

In Pixilated Executioner’s entry regarding Asrai’s depiction you find the happy medium between Sean’s approach and that of Jess; he had a few key points he manipulated her appearance toward, but rather than spending time considering the nuance of each detail he simply cycled through what was available until he found a combination of features that felt appropriate to both his preconceived desires and an instinctive sense of what the character should be. For Pixilated Executioner, visual design seemed to be an endeavor involving both the right and left hemispheres of the brain; vague analytical discourse weighed against the deceptively-simple paradigm of whimsical instinct.

And for me, you might ask? Well, if you’ve read my overly long treatise about the fundamental creation of Fegari, you’d know that I didn’t actually spend any time or thought at all on her appearance; she came in to my head fully formed. The details had already been decided.

Fegari began as an extra in a series daydreams born of concerted effort to make my first concept for the Katafray Project a functional character; the racist mage named Tilda. After failing to get a good grasp on the original concept, I finally noticed that in all of my daydreams there was a night elf priestess sitting quietly somewhere behind Tilda and I began to explore this strange being who insisted playing cameo in my daydreams.

My subconscious had already given Fegari a shape and form; all I had to do when I went to the character creation screen was to input the proper series of features that most closely matched the original image I saw in my head. That’s all she wrote. I suppose if I had to summarize my own process, I’d say I represent the far end of whimsical design; entirely organic and whimsy in as much as that my imagination conceived of Fegari as a complete being before I ever had to put thought to how she should appear. An effect not unlike hitting a mental ‘Randomize’ button; Fegari appears as she always has and how she was always meant to.

By the design gospel according to Travis, the Katafray Project members break down as follows where visual design is concerned;

Analytical | <- Sean <- Pixilated Executioner <-> Jess -> Travis | Organic

And there you have it.

(Did I just summarize my fellow writer’s posts so as to actually have meat and text in this post? Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. You can’t prove it! Neener, neener, neener!)

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