Sunday, 28 July 2013

Joaquin Driscoll

Alas, it has been over a year since the last Art of Scoundrels post! However, since this is going up on my own art blog, I figured it would be worth a cross-post!

"Continuing from where I left off with Orcha Marstice, here is the long-displaced concept post for the co-lead in my Scoundrels story series, Joaquin Driscoll!

When Orcha was first conceived as an orphaned character who lived on the streets, she was written to befriend an old homeless man named Salty Sam. Sam used to be a pirate, but had fallen on hard times and lost his ship. Orcha, fascinated by him, kept him company every day, talking to him about his time as a pirate. Her optimism and energy, despite her living conditions, reminded him of the better things in life -- and as a result, Sam slowly recovered from his slump, gained a new ship, and gave Orcha a home on that ship, fulfilling her dream to become a pirate. Together with their crew, they sailed around the world and had many an adventure.

I wanted Sam to carry over to Scoundrels, somehow. While Sam was a human in the original tale, the sci-fi setting of Scoundrels opened up infinite possibilities. I wanted him to be an alien. The hunchbacked, ragged qualities of Old Sam lent themselves well to an avian type of creature... and what better bird species to take on the role of a pirate than parrots?

Now, parrots are pretty cute, but Sam was a menacing, grisly old dude. The giant, humanoid parrot idea gained some raptor-like qualities, including a set of razor-sharp teeth, at the cost of true feathered wings. The species was named Ittada (Ittadae, pl.), from the order Psittaciformes.

Yes, seriously.

Orcha was going to be doing some traveling, and she needed a companion. While Sam was quite spry for an old codger, he didn't have the endurance to leave his ship for long periods of time. This necessitated the development of a new character who could cover the role of Orcha's full-time companion -- Sam's young adult son, Joaquin. Sam himself went on to become the character of Heamor Driscoll, Captain of the Driscolli. As Heamor's role turned into the aged "king" of the Driscoll tribe, he gained less menace and more of a "wizened" look, covering himself entirely with a cloak. His design became significantly less "hokey pirate parrot" and more "alien pirate raptor." He has a cool helmet, because that's apparently what signifies one as Captain on an Ittadan vessel.

His final design is a combo of these two. His suit and boots beneath the cloak still have the same design as the latter image.

The task then became to create Joaquin as a younger, stronger, and more mobile version of Heamor. His back was straightened, his chest puffed out, and his colors brightened. The initial concept of Heamor as intimidating and fierce was passed on, thought toned back -- Joaquin is still young, and as such hasn't quite earned his stripes and sharp edges yet. His armor is still shiny and relatively undamaged. I wanted him to look both swashbuckling and militant, a product of his rigid culture, yet personalized in his own unique way.

Initial pass at Joaquin, after several color concepts.
Joaquin and Heamor's capes became a cultural tradition of the species, who lack wings (though didn't always!). It was passed on to the designs of the rest of the surviving Driscolli crew.

Driscolli Crew: Gaien, Chora, Aenita and Tristain (who walks around naked. Not really, he just hasn't been finished yet.) Note that Chora is larger than the males. Aenita is still a juvenile, but as an adult she'd also be larger than both males.
Joaquin's triple-barred plasma pistol, The Upstart. He loves to tinker with it. It... doesn't work very well.
Final design.
Jo went through one more design phase in which he became more simplified, his face became less parrot-shaped, and he gained a pirate sash. I worked on both Orcha and Jo simultaneously, to help them balance one another. They share the same shades of red and blue, as well as one unique item that unifies them specifically as a team.

And that's that for Joaquin! Look out for more Scoundrels design posts down the road!"