Week 2: 2D Character Concepts

Good news everyone. We will be designing our own character for our 2D platform game assignment. After reading through the brief, I went through a few slides that were provided by Britta for an overview of what I would be learning from this assignment. The different elements in this are definitely challenging so a lot of research would need to be done. I am extremely excited and so far this is what i have below.

Mood Board
Mood Board: Main Character

My Character is named Meepoo at the moment and she is basically a cartoon caricature of myself. When i first created this character, it was for some silly comics I doodled in my sketchbook. I ended up using this character design because it was simple and also original. When I first came up with the design, my main focus was on having cartoon like features to be very expressive in a one frame comic.

More Meepoo Concepts

She varies on design for her body because she can be taller, shorter, have a solid block of colour or have a hoodie. It really depended on what situation she was needed for. As seen above, I played around with her expressions and body language to show how in one frame she needs to convey a obvious emotion and/or idea.

Colour wise, I was going for bright blocked colours that had no transparency, however the actual sprite may have transparency on the line work so it blends in nicer with her setting. At the moment, I’m going with her design where she only has a solid colour on her body. Since I don’t have a background design yet, I assume that this might help her stand out because the rest of her is just white with line work.

This character was also originally inspired by many cartoon characters such as Mario, Kirby, the cast of ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’, the cast of “Adventure Time” and so on respectively. With a mix of my style, the character eventually became an easy design that I would be able to draw quickly or with heavy detail. In my comics, Meepoo is often drawn very quickly so lines are not cleaned up and are perhaps more inconsistent. In general research, I took a look at a few character designs (like the ones mentioned above), to see what makes them effective as characters and why they are so recognizable.

This will be interesting to convert her to fit a game’s needs, especially when I want a majority of clean lines for the overall design and look.

I also had a look over some suggested articles for general research including how to make a game, software needed, how to make game art and so fourth:





Game Review: This week’s class focused heavily on game’s that have value. I was introduced to Tiltfactor’s game, “Layoff” during class and boy was it surprising.

Narrative, character representation, game environments are only some of the underlying rules to creating values in games.

How challenging was it to discover the value of the game?  At first glance, it comes off offensive and degrading. Players are taking the role of upper management and need to cut jobs in order to make profit for the company.  The game play is simple and similar to Bejeweled or Candy Crush. You must match up specific workers to layoff in return for an increase of profit, however each worker comes with a backstory which provokes empathy. Unemployment is a big and sensitive issue to people in a unstable economy therefore this game came off as an insult like this issue was just a bygone joke.

By creating this controversial game however, brought light to this serious topic. People started to notice how effective  it was to get attention because it was so absurd. A game based of a real life crisis brought out the empathy of people which made the topic of unemployment resonate with us.

It wasn’t challenging to discover the value of the game once you actually play it. The visuals and advertising make it so questionable that it does come off unappealing. It is only when you play it where you realize the underlying message the creators had weaved through the entire project.

This value of having empathy reminded me of how one’s choices can affect others. This is important to me because like the domino effect, when one crashes so does the rest. For society, having empathy means to have emotion, to feel. If we feel something and have a passion rise within us to contribute to the world then we can make an impact. Even just talking about unemployment, seemingly a small act can bring awareness to the issue, let alone making a game that makes us deal with our conscience and ethical morals.

After reading a few backgrounds for the workers, it made me more focused on laying off people who were more capable than others, those who were benefited. Since there was no time restraints, I was able to read through and focus on each worker’s story  rather than the profit meter on the right. It was no longer about gaining a high score for profits you made for the company and much more about having empathy for those in need.

Graphics: 7/10

Nice graphics and very simple, nothing too over powering but also not too interesting or new as a repeated base is used for each character. The layout is similar to Bejewelled and Candy Crush.

Sound: 6/10

It is a repeated loop of music which makes game play more upbeat and lively but nothing too influential in terms of something new or different from other looped music that other games have.

Story: 8/10

The story is simple but effective to raise awareness. It definitely brings in the element of being a real serious situation happening around us.

Controls: 8/10

There are smooth controls using the mouse for clicking on each character or hovering over them.

Replay Value:8/10

It is user friendly and challenging because of the context it uses to base the game off. It makes you think after playing for a while rather than to just let you blind fully follow the set rules and follow a set formula. I defiantly recommend this game to bring awareness to the issue but in terms of replay value, for a while it would be fun but will become repetitive and familiar.




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