Beyond the Elves: Areen design work

So since I let slip that I’m planning to pick up a female gnome for the Beyond the Tree cast in the coming future, I thought I might as well offer a show on where her character design is going. Areen, as she’s named, is a to me rather interesting character – especially since there was a short period where she actually existed on Earthen Ring as an actual character. Ultimately I don’t like the warrior class at all so to some degree it was doomed to fail, but I still had regrets about leaving Areen behind since I thought she was a great character and had already started growing into something more than what she was created as. Rather than trying to find ways to juggle two characters at once (something I hate doing) I was simply suggested to put Areen into Beyond the Tree instead.

Interestingly enough, swapping out prior character concept Mora for Areen actually made things far more streamlined and sensical, so it seems an improvement all around.

Like most regular characters in Beyond the Tree, I wanted Areen to have a very distinct look and feel to her – you can make immediate guesses of who she is and what she does simply based on her appearance alone – she should also preferably remain rather recognizeable even in a crowd.

Areen has struck me was, interestingly enough, being both a very typical Gnome and a very atypical one at the same time. Similarely, while being cute she’s also somehow tough in an interestingly contrasting kind of way. It’s one of the things that endeared me to the character as I was enacting her (along with some of the awesome animations she had, fishing notably). I have kindof missed her, so it’d be good to have her back around in some capacity.

One of the main problems I foresee with Areen is, well, size – being a gnome female of average size makes her under twice the height of Tiny.. and barely knee height to Hani. It’ll provide some interesting issues with camera angles in the coming future I think, though it might also set up for all manner of acrobatics Areen might have to acomplish simply to hit someone anywhere other than their shins.

Ultimately, she’s not done yet. This is still Work in Progress and while her model is somewhere where I’m feeling it might be mostly done, she still lacks both a skeleton and a complete set of morphs. There’s also a few issues I’d like to look into but aren’t sure if I can fix or how I’d go about doing that (there being a shadow behind her eyes being one). Still, I thought people might appreciating seeing a glimpse of her already.


4 Responses to “Beyond the Elves: Areen design work”

  1. 1 Moltrazahn
    February 3, 2009 at 11:10

    Looking good, i still think Blizz would have a much nice game if updated to the degree your makeing them in. However thill that lovely day, ill keep watching these here ;P, on a side note, gnome.. Looking good πŸ™‚

  2. 2 bamflux
    February 3, 2009 at 11:52

    Looks great. Very unique looking character. Going to be nice to have a new race in the group πŸ™‚

  3. 3 Aux-Ash
    February 3, 2009 at 21:28

    She looks very promising, it will definantely be interesting to see a gnome enter the comic

    On topic of her only hitting the shins of her opponents: This is why gnomes would be so incredibly dangerous in melee. The key to winning (or surviving period) is to keep avoiding getting hit. Which is best accomplished by having good footwork and being out of reach of ones opponent.
    Gnomes are however always out of reach to anyone taller than a dwarf (even if they stand toe to toe with them) and can completely negate their opponents footwork by attacking the least well-protected part of the body (the feet and legs). Think about it, if something as tall as a a gnome would come after your feet how well would you be able to protect them? You can’t lower a shield that far down and parrying below the waist is borderline impossible, only moving the feet away from the gnome (ie. retreating) would protect your ability to move.
    And attacking them? Their heads are so far down anything taller than a dwarf practicaly have to bend over or sit just to get their own weapon to get close to it (kind of like attacking someone who is lying down). All the gnome would have to do is sidestep and either lock the attacker’s weapon to the ground with her own or swing herself up on the back of her enemy (shadows of the collossus style πŸ™‚ ).
    Naturally, it is easier said than done. But my point still stands, if she uses mobility and her size she won’t need fancy acrobatics to defeat her foe.

  4. 4 Nhani
    February 3, 2009 at 22:37

    I have no doubt it’d be effective, really – the point is more about whether it flows and is visually interesting. Chopping at someone’s legs might be a fully viable tactic (I’m sure it’d really hurt for one!), but it tends to make for a pretty silly image. I think she’ll simply have to do a fair bit of shield charging – both on ground and leaping – and yes.. Shadow of the Colossus is a good guideline.

    It does provide a challenge – for all her towering size, Hani is still in the same general size class as most of her foes. Areen won’t be, and that creates a whole world of both trouble and opportunity for visuals based on the difference.

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