I have entitled this 'Phil, thoughts please?' as I would really like to have Phils input on the design element of this project. Of course, Alans opinion means just as much to me, however I will be seeing Alan on Tuesdays to discuss this project and so I don't want to pester him on here as well. ;-]
I've been doing quite some browsing around in an attempt at establishing a 'world' to base my character design in. Of course, this world can't be just any world, I want it to be interesting to me so that I will be able to enjoy this project. The problem here is I keep asking myself whether it's better to find a world/story and create an original character design for that world, or take a pre-existing world and character, and take that character into a whole new genre. Kind of like what Tim Burton seems to be doing recently by taking things like Alice in Wonderland and making the story and characters darker and different. Of course, for me the latter seems like an easy way out. I really don't want to be doing that, but at the same time, it's easier for people to judge it, especially if it is something like Alice in Wonderland, as everyone knows the characters from that.
For some reason I have it in my head that I want to do some form of Cyberpunk/Steampunk type character. I've avoided these genres up untill now, and would really like to explore them a little. I've been looking mostly at Manga/Anime for inspiration for stories and worlds to situate my character in. But really, it would have to be a very main stream one in order for as many people as possible to know of it.
Here are a few I've been looking at for this.
Firstly, Ergo Proxy. It's an anime series about a domed city wherein Humans and Andriods live together. A virus called the Cogito virus is spreading around the androids causing them to become self aware and not serve their masters any more. The government are developing a new form of humanoid called 'Proxy' whom are said to be humanitys last hope for survival.
It is a Cyberpunk/gothic style.
One of my main concerns here is that in the story all Humans have an android with them. That is part of the world. So in actual fact, if I made a character for this world, I would need then to produce an android so that it would fit with this.
A Manga I've been looking at, named .Hack ; simulates a virtual reality world. Wherein people can hook up to it via virtual reality headsets and explore a 3D world. Somewhat like MMORPGS of today, however you are there in that virtual reality. You can create your own character and quest and such. One of the mangas is about people becoming stuck in that world and not being able to log out of it. If they were to die in the virtual world, they die in real life.
The style of this manga is very fantasy, far from cyber/steam punk. But it's certainly a point of thought for me right now as it gives the freedom to create an original character.
Also I picked up a comic book recently called ' Transmetropolitan ' which is a post-cyberpunk comic book. It's quite interesting but it's certainly not right for this project.
I have also been reading 'Zombie Survival Guide' recently. I really enjoy reading / watching things about zombie apocalypse, and it's certainly something I'd like to produce my own art for. I had thoughts of producing a zombie apocalypse survivor, but I'm not sure that it is the right time to be doing that due to the sudden influx in popularit over the 'left 4 dead' franchize by Valve. But then again, maybe it is a good time to explore that based on this popularity?
I am finding this quite the challenge though. I have to say, I'm trying to emulate 'real world' rules and guidelines by establishing a world or story that I have to base my character in. But in most cases the worlds and stories I am looking at are built for the main characters already in them. It would be near impossible to produce a character for them that isn't purely influenced by the one that already exists. This really makes it quite a task, wherein I have to find fully fleshed out worlds such as the ones from Avatar or Star Wars which are few and far between, and in most cases these worlds are part of huge franchises. Whether this is a bad thing or not I do not know, perhaps talking further with Alan regarding this tomorrow will shed some light.