Over the course of the year I’ll be sharing short pieces of fiction set in the world of Death of Magic, some of which offer insight into the characters of the game. This story lets you find out a little more about Safelor and her thoughts about life in the city.
Safelor is a centaur matriarch, acting as leader and guide to her herd. While centaur herds are traditionally made up of a few extended family groups, Safelor has a history of adopting people who she feels needs her protection, regardless of blood relation – or race.
Unlike Garros, Safelor’s appearance has been fairly consistent since her initial conception – a chestnut mare dressed in green. The dark pattern across her face and back is a burn scar from when the Baker’s Lane community home burned down. The bandage and sling on her arm are from injuries sustained in the opening scenes of the game.
[Image: A page from a journal with a drawing of a zeppelin at dock, several coins, and a portrait of a small, fluffy, ferret-like anthro character wearing glasses, a bowtie, and a vest.]
Another character design progression, from a first draft in 2014 to the current version.
Garros is a close friend and ex-lover of Jackin. Like other merfolk, he gets around the city via the canal system, with occasional use of crutches in walking areas. Some merfolk can afford wheelchairs, but they’re a rarity in the outer city.
Designs for Garros have changed a lot since his initial conception, particularly his clothing. His original outfit was purely practical, but it was quickly obvious that it didn’t match his personality. His final design of short sleeves with a tailored waistcoat is casual yet classy, reflecting his level of education and charismatic nature. The kilt is a logistical choice more than a stylistic one – merfolk obviously don’t wear pants, but as most other races do it’s considered more genteel to wear something below the waist.
Swimming around the city via canals while fully dressed causes less problems than you’d think. Merfolk have long since perfected the art of waterproofing fabric. They refuse to explain how.
Six month’s progress – pictured above are two animated gifs of Jackin, the first from September last year and the second from last week.
There have been some minor changes to the design of her face and pants, but mostly the quality difference is from a change in lineart and much better animation. Figuring out a character’s ‘idle’ animation, the one that plays all the time, is a real challenge. They need to look alive, but they can’t make any large or sudden movements or the animation becomes distracting. For example, the Jackin on the left is flexing her hand and flicking her tail very obviously, while the Jackin on the right looks far more natural and relaxed.
Throughout the year I’ll be writing short bits of fiction to explore more about the world of Death of Magic, the people who live there, and what their lives are like. Some will be letters, entries from history books, or journal entries. Others, like the story below, will be vignettes from the point of view of characters from the game. This first story gives an insight into life in the mer community in the outer city.
Take a look at our first teaser trailer for Death of Magic, initially shown at GX Aus.
Let us know what you think in the comments.
GX Australia was awesome fun – thank you to everyone that came!
It’s such a different experience to go to an event where everyone is on the same page, where being open minded about each other’s differences is just what people do.
We got to meet a huge spectrum of people, and it was wonderful to see people’s faces light up when they heard about the story we’re making – I am so much more stoked about working on this project. I think we’re making something special, and I can’t wait to see it done.
People, we are at war.
We are being starved, brutalised, bullied and robbed by the very monarch who should protect us. Our enemies are already at our doorsteps – ignorance, hunger, poverty, fear. Yet Her answer is to fill our streets with military Automatons, heartless stone monstrosities who can no more understand our plight than could a sword.
Our homes are entered without warrant, our fellow citizens arrested on spurious charges, in many places free assembly itself is denied. They call our peaceful protests “riots” – with the one hand raising monuments to celebrate the struggles of our past, and with the other striking us down for daring to voice the struggles of our present.
Rationing and austerity keep us huddled, hungry in the dark, while the Dragon in her palace feasts on our suffering. Efforts to protest these restrictions are met with harsher and harsher laws – but I tell you that these are not laws at all. They are frameworks for crime. Any empire whose laws sanction, rather than control, the evil among its people, is an empire whose hope is lost.
What more must we lose before we speak up against these injustices?
Why can’t we acknowledge what already exists? How many more of us must disappear for us to notice that our sisters and brothers, our neighbours and friends, are dying!
The time for negotiation is past! If we wish to regain our natural born rights as living, sentient people, then we must fight for them!
Every hand, paw and wing is needed. Join us!
– one of a number of pamphlets illegally distributed in the inner city, Age of Marnys the Kind 498
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