Atlus has released a featurette from art director and character designer, Masayuki Doi. In it he discusses the creation processand all things that he considers for a character. It looks as if Atlus is really going all out for the upcoming Trauma Team game for Nintendo Wii. Here are some words from Masayuki Doi and below are images, some which are in a nice comic book style. The images show some real insight on how a person can be turned into a character. One day they may even make you into a character! Enjoy and continue to lookout for Trauma Team coverage.
The Creation of Character
Masayuki Doi – Art Director & Character Designer
As a developer, it’s always exciting to come up with something new. I believe the sensation is similar to what people feel as they’re about to play a new game for the very first time. In the last featurette, I talked about the visual aspects of Trauma Team from the art director’s point of view. Today, I’d like to go over the process of character design, using CR-S01—a skilled surgeon and one of the six protagonists in Trauma Team—as an example. I hope I can convey to you the same excitement I felt when I created this character.
Dr. Derek Stiles, protagonist of the Under the Knife titles, is probably the most recognizable surgeon to fans of the series. Dr. Kimishima was added in Second Opinion, and Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Blaylock were the main characters of New Blood. With this many surgeons already in the series, we spent a great deal of time figuring out what kind of character the surgeon in Trauma Team should be.
The game’s multi-story structure was the deciding factor. We needed each of the six protagonists to have a strong personality and presence, or else some of them would be overshadowed by the others. If you were working to create a title with a single storyline and only one protagonist, you wouldn’t be so concerned about this, but it’s a crucial element for a game like Trauma Team.
What kind of characteristics will appeal to the audience? What will make this character stand out? If we can’t breathe life into our creation, it’s nothing but a failure. After many discussions and brainstorming, we came up with this:
He’s a doctor with outstanding surgical skills, but not working for any particular hospital. In fact, he is on death row for a crime he allegedly committed. Because of his skills, however, he is summoned from the prison to perform a difficult operation. At first he seems to be devoid of emotion, but as he interacts with other doctors, he slowly regains his passion for life. His appearance is completely opposite that of a typical hero; compared to the protagonists of the past titles in the series, he is more of a solitary specialist.
How’s that? Doesn’t it make you want to know more about this character? Now that the character’s concept has been established, it’s up to the designer to create a solid image that visually expresses the character’s traits.
He stands quietly by himself, yet there’s something about him that draws your attention. At the center of his well-chiseled face are his captivating dark red eyes. You see him wearing a pure white straitjacket (there is a meaning behind the color white, but I can’t disclose that information here) underneath the white doctor’s coat.
We wanted to incorporate all the elements we had of him into the design, and make sure we would get our message across to everyone who saw this character… That’s how CR-S01 came to be.
From there, CR-S01 took off and started moving on his own in the event scenes and operations. And once the game is released, he will completely leave our hands and mature as a fully-fledged character in each player’s mind.
This is our general process of character creation. We have six protagonists (and many other characters) in Trauma Team, and we put our utmost attention to each and every one of them. It is our wish that as you play through the game, you come to like at least one character.
Finally, I’d like to mention the contest that we held at E3 2009, in which the prize was to have the winner made into a character in Trauma Team. Congratulations to Mr. Charlie Malone, and thank you for providing us with the photos! We did our best to make the character fit the game’s art style while retaining the features from the reference pictures. This character is one of the patients, so you’ll have to save his life with your own hands!
Thank you very much for your continued support! There is still much to be revealed about Trauma Team, from inside info straight from the development team to new screenshots and movies. Stay tuned!