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6 basic elements of character designing in video games

By Pallavi Kanungo,

Defining a character and bringing them to life are two important elements of character designing.

Characters are usually designed with the help of 3D design apps.

Just like in fiction, we all have our favourite video game characters. Starting from Super Mario, Lara Croft and Pac-Man to Pikachu and Link, there is a plethora of them. Therefore, character designing is a crucial element in the field of video or online gaming. There are specially trained professionals who create these characters. In fact, experts believe that a game’s success depends a lot on character designers.  

Basic elements of character design 
There are various aspects of character design in online or video gaming. Here is a low-down on a few of them which are crucial.  

Defining a character 

Before designing a character, the game designer first needs to define the character and determine his or her personality. The first thing to address is where the character is from (time period he belongs to and his location). The next step is to choose a name and decide the physical traits like hair colour, complexion, height, etc. The virtues and flaws of characters must be distinctly highlighted. Finally, the most important characteristic to decide upon is the character’s motivation behind undertaking the journey or adventure.  

Bring the character to life

Once the backstory of the character is set, it’s time to endow life-like features to the characters. The main design process includes creating a perfect human or animal-like character following proper anatomical structures and poses (facial expressions and movements). In fact, to build an actual and precise 3D model, the game designer needs to have a vivid knowledge of anatomy.  

Drawing the character 

The best way to sketch the character is to draw the outer structure, shapes and lines, followed by the inner anatomy and finally filling in the intricate details, like lip lines and eye brows.  

Designing the character 

The process of designing a character includes noting down 3 to 5 lines summarizing his or her traits apart from drawing or making its model. It also includes combining all the attributes and making it into the whole final draft. 

3D designing 

At this point, the game designers have a ready reference blueprint and are acquainted with the fundamentals of the design theory, making them fully prepared to start creating the concept art or 3D model. They take the help of designing websites like Autodesk Maya among others and finalize the designing process.  

Why character design is important?  
Characters are not just fictitious people who help in the visual representation of a video game, they are much more than that. In fact, they are the primary driving force who connect game players to the game plots. While a good character acts as a catalyst that helps gamers enjoy the game or fall in love with it, a bad character equally spoils their interest. Therefore, it is important for game designers to focus on learning the art of classic character design, understanding the basics behind it. They also need to focus on the concept art and then finalize it into a 3D representation.