Today, I would like to talk a little about our Main Heroine, Mira.
Mira shares many traits with the stereotypical sheltered-princess archetypes. She is next to clueless about the outside world, has been taken care of all her life, and grew up loved by everyone around her. One main difference between Mira and a regular princess is that she kicks ass. Born with an extremely strong affinity to the elemental water as well as being a genius in swordsmanship, not many people can take her on in combat. While this may contributes further to her arrogance, she is ultimately a very good natured girl and will help anyone in Thalassa that needs her help. In short, she may not always say the nicest things but deep down, she always means well.
Designing Mira has been an incredibly interesting experience for myself. In the initial concept, Mira’s character was intended to be a male. However, as the theme of the actual game is based on the main character’s relationship with his/her elder sister, this quickly became impossible. The main character of Project Helix needed to be someone that greatly admires his/her sister, and during the initial test run the male character became extremely difficult to script. Ultimately, it just makes perfect sense to change the main character into a female. The scripting of the male character was awkward to say the least and half the things he would say regarding his sister made him sound like a total wimp, whereas in Mira’s case all the scripts would be, in my opinion, much more suited for the atmosphere that I am trying to capture.
Sprite Courtesy of のんびりまったり
Thanks to のんびりまったり, I was able to obtain 56 different emotions for Mira, 8 of which I’ve shown above. This allows me to convey Mira’s emotion a lot better than a stale image of her and it also allows the players to connect with Mira on a much deeper scale. Words can only go so far without pictures, and this was precisely the kind of facial expressions that I needed for my main character. Many of the other playable characters and important Non-playable characters have around 8 to 16 different emotions, which I find heavily limits how much emotion I can put into their scenes.
Many players, when they first start the game, may feel that Mira is cliched and one dimensional, which is completely fair. She is designed to be that way from the very beginning. However, she will go through many life-altering events and struggles that will actually shape her character. I am a firm believer that in a RPG, the main character should not have too much character in the very beginning. By building Mira’s character throughout the course of the game, the players are able to better connect and understand her.
There are many other things I’d like to discuss about Mira, but I think I’ll just leave it at that for now. The snake dungeon is finally finished, and is fully playable barring any overlooked bugs. I will discuss the dungeon in tomorrow’s post.
Until then, thanks for reading!