How to beat eggs: Our technique on character design

Our little eggs have a story to tell! Every single detail and aspect about them has a specific meaning, tied to the whole universe we built around them. We would like you to join us in today's cooking lesson, beating eggs! a.k.a. our tecnique to design each of these cute tiny eggs! We will share Mateo Robayo's experience in designing our characters through a short interview (woohoo!). As you can see, these are the final designs for each egg, but there's a whole story behind their creation.

Let's set ourselves a year back (more or less). Our game was quite different, since we had no concept and no narrative around it. At that time, it was all bout a king that ruled the eggs, and the characters were thought to represent a continent (Asia, Europe, America and Africa). This original design resulted in various flaws, not only there wasn't a real story, but their body was incoherent with the expressions. If we wanted to change the faces with the bodies, it wasn't possible, since nothing fit together.

Later on, Mateo joined the team. At first, he wasn't supposed to design characters, for he was intended to create some items for the eggs to collect. The team really liked the feeling that his drawings and style generated, which he describes as inspired by The Powerpuff Girls and Adventure Time. Mr Alpaca had decided to create a new story around the characters, therefore that night they asked him if he could design new eggs, so the overall art concept was consistent throughout its elements.

Sir Archivald Lohan

The new characters would have their origins in this first egg, Sir Archivald Lohan (V.2). He came from some descriptions provided by the team. Since there was a whole new universe for these eggs to live in, Mateo took the information from his temper, ambitions, habits, and the chicken this egg was intended to come from (which determined the eggshell color). This version was more like a general with medals. With this new design, the game started to look a little more cartoony and childish. At the same time, there were plans for an egg that hasn't been added to the game yet, and it would be a female egg, called Mei Ling, who would later be transformed to Kai. This character was forgotten when Eggorias (the game's universe) was created. New regions and areas were spawn and the setting became more Medieval. The new concept changed the idea of this second Sir Archivald sketch, which remains the only egg designed outside of the new Eggorias.

Kai Zion Fiyah

After these changes in the story, and the new information about each egg, Mateo created Pinterest boards for each characters, were everyone could share visual references related to them. The greates collaborations came from Raúl, Sandra and Mónica. With all of these elements, Mateo sat down and read over and over the character descriptions, drawing many sketches for each egg. From this process, the third version of Sir Archivald was created, and the second version of the other three eggs. These versions had much more detail in comparison with our latest version, their faces remained too small, "when I designed them, I didn't realize how bad these expressions looked on them, which we could tell when we tested them in-game", says Mateo. The problem was that their faces were hard to notice from a distance. He was asked to fix this issue. In that moment, he noticed that there were many details in the egg's costumes, so he redisigned them to give a greater priority to their faces. This is why the final versions have bigger expressions, with wide eyes, bigger noses and beards. But then, something funny happened. Their mouths wouldn't work, therefore every character had to wear a beard to cover their mouths. This is why it was important that Kai Zion Fiyah didn't have a defined sex. This egg didn't have a beard during the whole creation process. Running a lot of tests, none of the mouths satisfied the team, so it was decided that every egg would have a beard (hopefully for now!).

Little Asgard

Since the story came first (which was something we learned the bad way), the egg's clothing and colors were tied to this narrative, which was constructed by many members of the team. The descriptions of each zone and the Pinterest boards were the starting point for every detail on each character.

Sir Archivald Lohan had to remain a knight, he wears metal, but silver wasn't a color option for his armor. Gold was a better option for him, which represents his area of luxury and wealth. His personality is tied to power and egocentrism. He lives in the air, therefore he uses aviator goggles, and his armor seems a lot lighter that his previous design (V.3), which had pointier ends and too many right angles. The final version looks a lot more aerodynamic and curvy, and covered a tiny part of his body, which allows him to fly with ease. This character comes from inspiration of the austro-hungarian empire's culture, and visual elements from Saint Seiya and steampunk/aviator aesthetics.

Oswald O' Vengerplants wears barely any clothing, in contrast to Sir Archivald. He lives in the woods, meditates a lot, his eyes are white because of his spirituality, and contrasts brown and green in his body, representing nature. He's more of a depiction of the south and central american culure, emphasizing on the Amazonic region. This explains why his design shows a meditational and spiritual aura, since he believes in divine things, which explains the tattoo on his forehead, just like amazonian tribes. He's got different sized eyes to show he's a little crazy. He takes elements from the Avatar series and the Atlantis movie, among other productions.

Little Asgard belongs to the ice, which explains why blue and white are the dominant colors for this character. His clothes had to represent a tough personality, but being cute at the same time. To achieve this result, he has elements to make him look strong, but pretty, like the wings on his helmet, or the look in his eyes, which tries to seem defiant, despite how adorable he is, he's not just a tough viking, he's got a soft and cute side. With his helmet, hammers, and clothing, he shows he's adapted to the cold weather. This clothing is raggedy and tied together with a rope, related to the norse mythology.

Kai Zion Fiyah belongs to a very conceited and beauty-centered society, which is the oposite of Little Asgard, who doesn't really care about his aspect, but only on how strong he is. Kai's focused on his beauty, he wants to look pretty, and that's why he pampers himself a lot and wants to remain clean. This egg's designed to look neither manly nor feminine, but something in between, he wears make up and has a flower in his hair, inspired by Mulan, and even the Avatar series; he takes inspiration on the asian culture.

Oswald O' Vengerplants

Once these designs were ready, they were vectorized, and their initial color palette (V.5 in Sir Archivald and V.4 for the rest of the eggs) was adjusted to the background colors, the game arenas, since they could go missing among the colors of their surroundings, or even dissonant with everything else. For the final version, Sandra Falla corrected these colors and added the lighting and shadow touches. At this point, our little eggs came to life. It's important to highlight the relevance of having the art in service of the overall game experience, which explains the need to adapt these designs to the game's mechanics, like the adjustments in their face expressions and the details in their wardrobe (but this is a topic to be extended in a future post).

Now you know. If you really want a delicious and foamy cream from beating eggs, you should always try, and try, and try again (and look at many different references at the same time!). Stay focused on what you desire to create, and let constant creativity and effort break through. Be patient, you'll have an incredible result in the end!