Ars Harmonia Concept Art
I did pretty much all the art for this game, and I wanted to share some character designs as production art I did for it because we worked really hard making this game!
So I was first given a list of the cast and also setting details. It’s a fantasy setting but in a place very much like contemporary America, so I wanted the characters to look like people you could actually meet, particularly to make the main character stand out as this stranger from somewhere else.
Fira was the first character I designed. I really like Fira a lot as a character and my aim was that she was this ordinary, cute high school girl who is kind of mature for her age and in a lot of clubs at school.
Finding a look for the main character would prove much harder because it needed to look professional, practical, mysterious and unique all at the same time!
Fira came out super-cute. I think she’d be a nice person to hang out with haha! I go for simple art for concepts. There’s no point in wasting time on making character designs super presentation polished because they’re not going in the game, you may need to do many different ones and when it’s a small team, people can ask you directly pretty easily about details as and when its needed!
Next I concentrated on our demon girl [I’ve removed all spoiler names from images in this post in case you didn’t play yet!]
I first designed what she looked like before she was a demon, then copied that lineart and built the demonic features on top. I was really happy with this design, but the problem was brought up that the crystalline growths would be hard to model and rig. So I redid the design with smooth, flowing growths instead:
The look of them was kind of inspired by the “Sacrifice” Cie’th enemies in FFXIII. The original idea for giving her crystalline growths was to do something interesting and distinctive with the concept of “ice demon”. Also. a thing about me as a designer; I am neither a goth nor a punk, but if you give me the slightest opportunity I will design goths and punks because I think they’re awesome.
Next, I designed Erich, or…tried to…
I fundamentally misunderstood Erich as a character while skimming the information given. I’d been told he was the tallest character, and I knew he was a scientist who enjoyed kind of gorey stuff as an artform… So I assumed he was like this…middle aged creeper.
This wasn’t what was wanted from the character, however. Bishop wanted him to be younger, more late-twenties kind of aged, and to be a trustworthy confidant and a likeable comic relief, so I redesigned him to be more fun:
The crocs are a fun detail; I remembered a news report when crocs were the big trend about nurses being told they couldn’t wear them because they build up static and potentially damage the delicate and vital electrical equipment in a hospital, so they seemed like a perfect choice for a kind of iffy doctor!
So, then we got Jamison. My idea for Jamison was simple: He’s the “perfect” boyfriend by standards of a teenage girl, the most popular guy in school and very charming, so I looked at members of currently popular boybands like One Direction and based him on that look.
So finally, the main heroine. Smart and professional, but dressed in clothes she could fight in, a mysterious stranger who looks foreign no matter which country she’s in. I based her face on interesting looking mixed race actresses. I wanted a grey and purple theme because she’s kind of off the scale of conventional human law and morality and hard to discern.The short trousers with boots give her an interesting silhouette.
The theme of 7 needed to be somewhere on her person, so I gave her that tiepin in the shape of the kanji for 7.
So we get the production art for the cast looking like this!
I coloured them in a comic bookish sort of style rather than just cel-shading, since I only needed to do one bust portrait per character I could spend a lot detail on them than the portraits in Vacant Sky!