My absolute favorite character that I’ve created with Black Desert’s standalone character creator has been a Sorceress that initially began as an entry for the “Beast” competition being held by Daum. However after working on the character for over two hours I started to tell myself stories about what she’s like and how she ended up looking the way she does. Nothing definitive like a role player’s character bio, but a general sense of who she was that made me feel sympathetic toward her.
Was she born with this deformity? If so, how was her childhood and what affect does it have on her now? How does she deal with the way people look at her, the way they treat her? Does having this fantastic power as a sorceress change the way she sees herself or how others see her? Or maybe it wasn’t at birth, maybe it was an accident. As a sorceress she’s certainly working with powerful magic and something could go horribly wrong. If so, how did she look before the accident? Did the people in her life treat her differently afterward? How did that affect her relationships and self-image? Is she more reserved in her practice of magic as a result or more reckless?
This humanized the character I was working on and so after my first night of designing a beast, I went back a second night to try and soften some of the harsh edges and make sure she was passable as a woman albeit one with unusual features. And in that I think I was successful. I may have to make a few more adjustments before the game goes live, but I have a good foundation for a unique character look, one that may incline me toward playing the Sorceress first and relying on her as a kind of main character for my account “family.”
Below are a few pictures that illustrate the difference between the preset I used and the first iteration, the “beast,” as well as the changes I made and the final result. I’m really pleased with how she looks in the creator and looking forward to getting in game so that I can see if she looks just as good or if more changes are necessary. The goal is for her to look passably human, albeit imperfect. That’s exactly why I like this character creator to begin with, the allowance for “ugly” lends itself to greater immersion and storytelling opportunity for the player.
This first picture is self explanatory, it illustrates the difference between the preset face I chose and the final result for the Sorceress. I really wish I had done more documentation along the way but at least I have a beginning, middle, and end.
The character creator allows you to “grab” different sections of the face and move them but I found it much easier to select the area and then use the sliders on the left for better control. To really distort a face you need to use all three sets of sliders which moves the selected region along the x, y, and z axis, rotates the region along those same axes, and increase or decreases the size.
The image on the left was the first iteration, she was the “beast’ I had designed for the competition. When I went back and made some changes, most of them were meant to soften the face a little and make her more relatable, more human.
The number one thing I had to do to accomplish this was to look at the character from every angle over and over until the whole face looked passably human. These two profile pictures illustrate the “beast” version (left) and the changes I made for the final character (right). The biggest changes were in the mouth and around the eyes. When I was making the “beast” I only looked at the model facing forward which is why the profile on the left looks so distorted.
And here’s the final image! The clothing she’s wearing here really finishes the look but I think it may be a cash shop option. If so it will be one of the first things I purchase, especially if the Sorceress becomes my main. It reminds of something out of Mad Max or any other examples of post-apocalyptic tribal wear.
Are any of you looking to enter the “beast” competition? What do you think about playing as an “ugly” character, is that something you would do or do you prefer more traditional features for your characters?