Good day to you Blightmare followers! This Andrew coming at you with our first art blog post! I’m excited because today we’re going to be showing how our protagonist, Blissa, came to be. She’s come quite a long way since she was first conceptualized, and sometimes when you are just starting to make your main character, you are unsure what you are trying to achieve. Should she be cute? Should she be pretty? Should she be more rugged or tomboyish? What sort of item does she wield/use (if any)? What is her motivation? How does this affect her visually? There are many more questions to ask, but we only have so much time.

So first off this girl (who didnt have a name yet) was based off of my daughter named Lilly. I had thought of a game design idea that involved no combat, but still had enemies. It was about a young girl who had a large bug net. She could latch onto large bugs with this trusty net and her gameplay style would change with each and every different type of bug she was attached to. Only 1 bug could be obtained at a time, so the decision of which bug to latch onto at which time, would be the main form of problem solving for the game. I had originally called her Lilly Bug (because that was my daughter’s nick name) however the name changed as we got deeper into her story. Soon enough we agreed that the levels this girl would be traverse would take place in her dreams, which also meant that it could take place in her nightmares. This stage set the main visual design for our little heroine.

After locking down where she was, it made it a bit easier to decide on what she looked like. If shes in her dreams, then it would make sense to have her in her pajamas or a nightie. I had chosen a nightie instead of regular pajamas for convenience purposes. If she was wearing bottoms that had pant legs, then I would have to worry about where her leg joints met with her pelvic area whilst animating. However, with the nightie, all those joint locations are hidden and therefore enables me to more freely animate her without having to worry about if those parts are moving properly. So, from there the nightie was decided upon. Then came the unkempt and wavy hair. If she was sleeping through these dreams/nightmares then her hair must be a bit of a mess from all the tossing and turning. I’m sure we are all familiar with the term “bed head”. 

Then finally came her colour scheme, which had a few variations before we had settled on one. We knew she needed to stand out visually, the players eyes must always be able to tell where she is on the screen at all times. So we ended up giving her the vibrant and warm red hair that she has today. This worked out well since her hair was her largest section of colour on her character design and the backgrounds were chosen to be more on the cooler side of the spectrum. In the dream levels she would soon be traversing over blue-green forest glades and brush, to then be in a dark purple abyss of a nightmare level. In each scenario we felt that her hair (or character altogether) popped enough to be able to navigate through these 2D obstacles. From that point forward her net also became orange, since her net was essentially a part of her. We kept her nightie a teal-like cool green so that she could still feel like she belonged in the world she was in.
Finally a name had come to mind. I felt that it needed to sound like a real name, but still be unique enough AND relevant to the story. So she was named Blissa, to help contrast the despair and fears that she would unfortunately have to encounter in the darkest and most vulnerable parts of her mind.

So that is the origin of Blissa! I think she quickly stole the hearts of our team as we soon started to pin down her story and learn why these things were beginning to happen to her at such a young age. In all honesty, the story seemed to craft it self as we started putting it on paper. That’s for another blog though 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed! Thanks for your time, and I hope you and Blissa have some fun and character changing adventures in the future.