Opposites Attract

by Steve Bowler on July 21, 2008 · 4 comments

in art,design

More general design nonsense tonight (it comes back to gaming eventually, stick with me here), but I was smiling walking out of seeing Wall-E thinking about the character designs for Wall-E and Eva. On the surface, they’re simple enough. One’s a boy. The other a girl. One’s old. One’s new. But the comparisons just don’t stop there. They keep going, becoming a sort of design excercise. Almost every category is an opposite from the other.  Just make a list for one, and then make sure the other one is the opposite.

TWO STEPS FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK ARGH GET THIS SONG OUT OF MY HEAD

Wall-E

  • Boy
  • Old
  • Square
  • Warm (colors)
  • Rough
  • Dirty
  • Ground-based
  • Funny
  • Collects garbage

Eva

  • Girl
  • New
  • Round (ovoid really)
  • Cold (colors)
  • Smooth
  • Clean
  • Flies
  • Serious
  • Collects lifeforms

I’m entertained just wondering if this is what the designers worked with before starting the sketches for the characters, or if it just worked out that way.  I’m inclined to think that these characteristics are by design, since it’s such a pervasive theme running between the characters.

I was wondering if anyone in videogames was giving this level of thought to game design, rather than just doing some “cool sketches” for their characters as a sort of sounding board for the design process, when I remembered the Team Fortress 2 Blog, where Gabe and company talk about design goals in the abstract long before they get around to actually designing things.

I think this sort of planning goes beyond a GDD or just general design docs.  This is some very high level goal planning.  Anyone work somewhere other than Pixar or Valve who does this sort of thing?

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