A game like Dragonica is just BEGGING for tons of art-submissions, so I interviewed Barunson Interactive and managed to get some exclusive concept art and designs JUST for you people:
1. Can you describe the design process for the four basic character classes? [The Thief/Assassin (left) has always been one of my favorite pictures.] Do you have a detailed list of features before you create each character? Do you have "muses" like real people or story/anime/TV characters that inspire the design of each character?
[Barunson:] We had begun character concept design with a consideration of making an animated film out of Dragonica. [Wootz! Kaye was gonna suggest it if they hadn#DY#t said this.] Thus, even NPCs and monsters have roles and relationships in the plot structure. We created a storyline where all four characters; warrior, magician, thief, and archer, gathered together with their respective reasons and purpose. Sometimes they cooperate and sometimes they fight for their personal agendas based on the storyline. We have worked on designing the four character classes based on this adventure storyline. In the game, job class starts from 4 kinds and each of them grow through 2nd, 3rd, and 4th job changes. We did lots of surveys with images of each jobs and set up each character based on that.
All graphic artists have brainstorming meetings in teams or parts which each of them belong to. When there is a project-order, they focus on researching within their project-scope, and even when it is not their area of expertise, they freely voice their opinions. These ideas gathered like this are often evaluated and reviewed by the task-owners or experts, and then implemented in projects. Also, if we encounter a case where we need ideas from not only graphic artists but also all staff from development team, we gather ideas from all of them.
Concept Design Team Manager: It would be Sophia the banker (above). She#DY#s very calm and faithful. Well of course she and I are different genders...
Art Director: Rony the Archer Marksman (left): First of all, he#DY#s very good looking. Girls go crazy about him. Even enemies have crushes on him for his fabulous looks. [Mm... K still thinks Assassins are hotter, so the rest of you gals can have Rony.]
4. What were some of the inspirations for the design of monsters in Dragonica? Some of them (e.g. tree stumps, angry-sheep and sharks walking on land are hilarious and completely unexpected as "monsters".)
We tried to make somewhat friendly animals into monsters. There are also so called common fantasy monsters in Dragonica. However, we wanted to use cute and lovely animals like Woodi [K wants a cactus-Woodi mug], sheep, starfish, and crabs to create a lovable feeling.
Once, there was a Sushi monster. We prepared it with an ambition that it will make a hit, but designers’ opinions have been split. Many designers said that it was too cute and did not seem like a monster. As a result, Sushi monster was disqualified as a monster and is currently jobless. :-p
NOOOOOO!!! BARUNSON, BRING THE SUSHI-MONS BACK!!!!