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Character Creation: The Phoenix

By 14 September 2018Blog

Today we’d like to show the step-by-step process of creating a new character for Wild Assent! When deciding on the next addition to the world of Ralavar, we ask ourselves, “What does the gameplay need, how would that fit with the story we’re trying to tell and will the final result be an exciting addition to the game?” The answers to these questions are not always quick, but they sure can be fun!  Speaking of fun, making a Phoenix was an easy choice for us. We needed more support creatures for players to choose from and the Phoenix was a natural choice to create some unique and interesting mechanics. In addition, the Phoenix is a fairly popular creature, and it’s never a bad thing to add something to your game that people are already familiar with. For story, the Wilds is a vast continent of myth and legend and the Phoenix fits perfectly with the rest of its denizens. What’s more, its inherit trait of being unkillable allows for entertaining interactions with some of the more colorful characters in our world.

Now that we had our next creature, we needed to design it to fit its support role. We started working on its skills and stats for both the Arena and Hunt modes. Resurrection was a no-brainer, but leaving it at that would put the Phoenix in an odd damage-soaking role. To offset that, we gave it a reason to need the Resurrection with its Soothe ability, allowing it to heal at the cost of its own health. For the Hunt mode, we made the Phoenix uncapturable until Resurrection was burned, giving it longevity regardless of what the Seekers wanted to do with it. We had our starting point, so we began testing the Phoenix until its balance was where we felt it should be. Everything was coming along nicely, so we requested our illustrator to come up with a concept for the miniature as well as illustration for its creature card. The concept needed to not only look cool (and like the pre-existing creature we had chosen), but include details in line with the skills the Phoenix has in the game. This is the concept our illustrator came up with:

After we approved the concept, our illustrator was given the green light to continue with an illustration for the Phoenix, producing the image below.

At the same time, we sent the concept art to the sculptor to create a 3D sculpt based on the concept. For the Phoenix, the pose was already in the concept, so it was ready to be given digital life:

With the sculpt complete, we were ready for production. The 3D file was sent to our manufacturer for approval and then creation of a master model. After our approval of the master, mass production could begin. The Phoenix was finally in out of our heads and in our hands:

The miniature above is the same gamers will find in every box of Wild Assent! Its details are crisp, its pose dynamic and it looks every bit as awesome as creature of legend should. Miniature Painters have gotten a hold of the Phoenix, giving it the fiery paint job such a quality miniature deserves:

The Phoenix was fun to create from start to finish. Keep an eye out for the mythical firebird October 16th on Kickstarter when we launch our campaign for Wild Assent!