It’s time for another Developer Workshop! This week, we’re focusing on Boots, another playable Hero in our upcoming campaign, The Songweave Tapestry. Join us as we explore a tragic moment in her story.
SETTING THE SCENE
When we first meet Boots in her character introduction
, we learn that she has a knack for getting herself into places she really shouldn’t be. In this case, she’s been snooping around and digging into the Riftkeepers’ affairs. She returns home from this particular outing to find her adoptive father, Thom, dead and he workshop where he raised her has been burned to the ground.
Our campaign author Peter Chiykowski wanted to feature the moment where Boots is forced to choose between her own emotions. “I love scenes where you see a character struggling with competing emotions–and where they make a choice as to which emotion to feed. In Boots’ case, she’s wrestling with the grief of losing Thom, the guilt of knowing she likely provoked the attack on the workshop, and the anger of hating the Riftkeepers on a whole new level.”
As you’ll see in Eric Weiss’s riveting story about Boots’ origins
, she chooses to embrace the anger, and almost tries to smother the grief and the guilt by taking off on a vendetta quest that takes her to unexpected places.
Boots’ illustration, like Cecyl’s, focuses on a moment of drama, intense emotion, and profound loss. The challenge for our art team was to introduce Boots visually without taking away from the tension of the scene. We knew we had o include her goggles and iconic crossbow. We also wanted to represent her own time spent in the workshop by designing her corset, pants, and boots with utility in mind. You can see in the image below different ways that our team tried to accomplish this.
We felt the image on the right focused on Boots’ contemplation nicely, but at the expense of her defining features like the clockwork crossbow and toolbelt. Likewise, the left image showed more of her equipment, but we didn’t feel it captured the ruined workshop well enough. We decided to use the middle image, as it shows the ruined shell of the workshop and it provides a clear parallel between her crossbow and the gears and clocks in the shop.
EMOTION THROUGH COLOUR
Once we settled on a basic design, our team could begin introducing colour to bring out the finer details of the scene. Like in Cecyl’s illustration, we wanted to use lighting as a dramatic element of the scene. Unlike Cecyl’s bright image, however, we needed to use dark colors and contrasts between oranges and browns to hint at the inferno which destroyed the shop. By focusing on lighting in this way, our art team could highlight drama and tension in the scene rather than sorrow.
With this base colour and lighting scheme set, we could add in even more fine details to the scene. Most obvious are the soot coating walls around her, but if you look closely, you’ll also notice that some of it has actually gotten smeared on Boots’ cheek and nose. There’s also this really cool contrast between the shiny gears of her crossbow and the charred ones littering the shop. It’s these little details that really help bring the story and scene to life!
In this scene, we get to see Boots in her most vulnerable moment, still asking herself, “Is this my fault?” She’s forced to choose between her own conflicting emotions, a choice that sets her off on a quest to some truly unexpected places. We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into her story and will join us in continuing it with The Songweave Tapestry!