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Boomzap Interview Series - Character Art in Boomzap games


Boomzap is an expert in the Hidden Object Adventure genre and has created so many memorable characters that stay in every casual gamers' hearts. Princess Sophia from Awakening series and Dana Knigthstone are just two of the many examples of how professional the team at Boomzap are in terms of creating good-looking and impressive characters. Let's take a look on the process behind the scene on how Boomzap has sucessfully  achieved this.


Which character is the hardest one to design?

Myls Bunagan: For me, creatures are the hardest to design. The challenge is how to do something different and out of this world but not too much that people won’t be able to recognize it and relate to it.

Mark Taduran: Out of all the characters I create, usually the hardest to do is the one that becomes the main “face” of the game. As in the Dana Knightstone series, “Dana” became the hardest one to create. I spent quite a number of revisions just to come up with the final character design. Not to mention, she will be a recurring character in the sequels and so consistency in appearance is a requirement.

Janette Ramos: Characters are always great fun to make, but for me the hardest ones to draw are the ones that require accurate anatomy and are required to be painted in different angles/poses but still look like the same character.


Which character Is your favorite in terms of appearance?

Myls Bunagan: I like the Scarecrow from Otherworld 2. I like how he was created, and that he’s not your usual “scarecrow” and yet his character was justified.

Mark Taduran: Dana Knightstone and most of the male and female protagonists (and a few antagonists) in the Dana Knightstone series. I just love creating good looking, fashionable characters.

Janette Ramos: I love the Dryad and the Pixie from Otherworld 1 and 2. I’m a fan of dark fantasy and these characters were a push in dark fantasy character design. I love how their anatomy and clothing are unique.


You have included several non-human characters in your games as well. Was it difficult to design those since you need to use quite a lot of imagination?

Myls Bunagan: The number one rule is to always know the fundamentals. Say if you wanted to draw a werewolf, you should know the basic dog anatomy. When you have this knowledge it’s easier to get creative, and play with the already existing shapes and create a unique design.

Mark Taduran: Usually, since i do a lot of stylized realistic characters, I use the same steps and principles when I draw the animals. There are a lot of references we can get from Internet, the only challenge is to always make your character design with a “character”, original, interesting and somehow unforgettable.

Janette Ramos: It was not “difficult” as much as “challenging” and I know those words seem to mean the same, but designing these characters were more of challenges where the artist must gather their own ideas, as well as references and similar existing designs from other artists, and then the artists must ask themselves, “what can I get from and how can I improve on all these great ideas and come up with something fresh and unique?”


Is it frustrating to choose the right costume for your characters?

Myls Bunagan: Not at all. This is fun to do but also very challenging because costume design will say a lot about your character. Your character could be a scientist and that would impact his posture his clothing his hairstyle.

Mark Taduran: It takes me a lot of time to research on costumes for the characters. I scour the Internet and yes, sometimes, it’s frustrating. But once I start drawing and and painting them, the frustrations go away.

Janette Ramos: It’s not frustrating, but sometimes it does take forever to get the right look that matches the character and the setting of the story. But once you’ve nailed it after a long time of research and decision-making, it always feels good to see the final product.


Many developers include similar-looking characters in many of their games. How can you come up with different ideas all the time and make each character very different from the other?

Myls Bunagan: When designing characters, we usually start with something plain -and then build up the design from there. We take inspiration from nature, elements, objects, and even existing fashion. Nature has such interesting shapes and form we like to include them in our design.

Mark Taduran: Experimenting with different approaches and styles in drawing and painting the characters. Make the style somehow out of the box but still visually appealing to the players.

Janette Ramos: We always gather a ton of references and existing artwork from other artists to see what has been done and what can be explored further. Thankfully, having a team of bright artists means you can gather and combine a lot of fresh ideas.



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