Hey there Zoobsters!
Our three year anniversary is almost here, and the celebrations start today with our Insight Blog, this time focused on the Character Design Contest and 3D Skin Design Contest winners! These were both made by you, the community, so let’s take a look at what it took for our team to make these come to life in our game!
This was a first for us in Zooba, and we couldn’t be happier to share this insight with you! Two members of our team that worked on these projects, a Game Designer and Game Artist share their insight below!
How was it working to create the first ever community Character Design?
Iza: A blast! It is very exciting to get to know how the community understands ZOOBA’s gameplay. Having characters designed from their point of view is really valuable so we can understand them even better.
Marco: It’s fantastic because this proves that the game is alive and walking by his very legs inside the community. We create for them, and now they for us. And this makes us one.
Did the progress take longer than a normal character to create?
Iza: Not really, in fact it was shorter because we already had a clear direction for its design given what the player had thought for it!
Marco: I don’t think so. After the contest, we adjusted the design to fit into our production. And this is a normal process.
What was your favorite part working off of a character that was already conceptualized?
Iza: The fact that we were pretty sure this was something that the community would love! It was something that we made together with a player, so it has a special meaning for us.
Marco: I loved directing and being close to the whole process, but my favorite part was seeing the animation team and the Voice Actor bring him to life.
Can you explain more about Max’s skills!
Iza: Max is the first character in the game that can drop other players’ items with his active skill. Also, his passive skill makes him faster inside bushes, so the player will feel like a sneaky thief: hiding and attacking, strategizing with the bushes on the map to embush opponents and steal their items! With his Primal Skill equipped, he is even better: instead of dropping one item, he drops every type of item an opponent is carrying. It is a unique gameplay, perfect for players in a trickster mood!
Marco: The best way to play with him is by hiding and attacking. He is more like a rogue, trying to catch what he wants from the enemies during the attack.
What is your favorite thing about Max the Raccoon now that he is finished?
Iza: Definitely his pickpocket ability, combined with his background story: he steals only to trick and make fun of his zoo friends, but he always gives back what he took. He might be annoying, but he has a good heart.
Marco: He is charismatic, he is not always the good guy, but you still love him.
Which characters would you say he is similar to in the Zoo?
Iza: Edna, most definitely. I can see both of them uniting to wreak havoc, disturbing a calm and composed Quinn.
Marco: He reminds me of two characters, Nix and Echidna. Nix because of the charisma and Echidna because of the villainy.
Which characters do you think he would work well with in the game?
Iza: Characters who synergize well with droppable items, and others with high mobility or stealth-focused gameplay. Certainly Nix, Elaine, Romeo, Larry and Earl, to name a few.
Marco: A fast character like Nix, for example. He does his dash and drops the enemy’s items, and Nix picks them up.
How would you describe Max in a few words?
Iza: Annoyingly adorable.
Marco: A mischievous, rebellious, misunderstood, and “potentially dangerous”, good-looking guy.
Steampunk Jade, was our first 3D skin community chosen skin. How was the implementation for this?
Marco: We needed to tweak the mesh and fixed a few issues to adjust to our pipeline. It took only two days of one senior character artist.
Is this something that we would do again in the future?
Marco: We would love to! It’s good when you feel that you are part of something. This also increases retention because you care more when you create something.
What is your favorite thing about Jade’s new skin?
Marco: Her broken glasses and her hurt eye are a clever narrative touch to deliver a resonant character.
More celebrations are to come over the following days so make sure to keep an eye out in-game and our social channels! Check out our Facebook Group and Discord Server to join the discussion with our community of players! See you at the Zoo!