Design Ananlysis (1/3)
I decided to collect a bunch of characters from the 3 main sources of inspiration and some of the similar art styles to see what common themes were present among them.
Comparing male characters we can see a strong theme of physical power, particularly in the use of wide shoulder muscles. In Dota 2 as well the characters often have the ratio between upper and lower body twisted to provided a larger chest (if they are to be brutish in nature). Ashley Wood tends to favour the opposite and put extra length into the legs to create tall and imposing characters, whilst Bob Rafei and Darksiders prefer more natural proportions (though of course with their own styles present in the musculature).
Clothing also seems to feature heavily on the upper body, with large chest plates and pauldrons. Ashley Wood and Dota also enjoy large armoured boots.
Female characters are a lot more sexualised in their designs across all inspirations and sources, and whilst novels could be written on the sexist implications of this (and indeed have) I will try to focus on how these design decisions affect the characters representation. For instance Darksiders and Ashley Wood both enjoy giving their female characters longer than average legs. Whilst this can be considered sexualisation, the added height can also connote power and/or agility.
In the female characters especially however there are a number of commonalities I would like to avoid unless my intention is to sexualise one of my characters. These include: High Heels (fashionable but impractical); spines made of spaghetti; breasts that could eclipse the sun (looking at you Lilith); bikini-armour/impractical clothing.