Designing the Collaboration Costumes

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta

Hello, I was the Nintendo costume collaboration designer for the Bayonetta Wii U port, my name is Yong-Hee Cho. For this blog, I’d like to talk about the design process for creating these costumes.

It all started one day when Kamiya walked up to my desk and said, “Hey Cho. Draw Bayonetta in a Princess Peach outfit for me. Thanks.”

He walked off to leave me thinking to myself, “P-p-p-princess Peach and Bayonetta? How am I supposed to find the common ground between these two characters!? They’re like night and day…”

At the same time, I was intrigued, and wanted to try to design something for two characters that different.

So, she was the first character I started out with. I decided to first just draw Bayonetta, so I’d have a base design to work off I could “dress up” in other costumes.

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(Really, it’s not necessary to go this far, but… I wanted to.)

Next, I put together some various costume ideas for Kamiya to look at. Right now, we’re still at very rough concept art.

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Personally, I thought it’d be fun to rearrange the Peach look a little bit, but Kamiya wanted it to be as close to the original as possible, so we ultimately went with (F).

He also requested two revisions:

  • Don’t let her hair down like that.
  • Attach a Mario charm somewhere.

 

This is how the Mario charm turned out.

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Here’s what Bayonetta looked like after I incorporated his feedback.

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I used this Peach to make the Daisy costume (Daisy has Luigi instead of Mario, of course).

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The next costume I did was for Samus Aran of Metroid fame. I’m really into mechanics, so I had the most fun designing this costume.

Here’s the first piece I drew.

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When Kamiya took a look at it, he said he wanted it to be the Powered Suit from the first Metroid game for NES. The original Metroid is around 30 years old now so unfortunately there’s not a whole lot of artwork to base my design on. I ended up just studying the game sprite and package art. This is how it turned out.

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It’s supposed to have more of a retro look. What do you think?

 

As I designed these costumes, I would think, when we have the player transforming into Peach, wouldn’t it be cool if we could change game play up somehow as well? Then, one day I thought, what about having Bowser’s punches and kicks be used for Bayonetta’s Wicked Weaves? I pitched the idea to Kamiya and he said “sounds good, do it.” The next idea I thought of was having Samus Bayonetta change to her Morph Ball. This, unfortunately, didn’t make it into Bayonetta Wii U, but… it did make it into Bayonetta 2! Thinking of these little extras is really one of the rewarding parts of working in games.

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Here’s what the Morph Ball looks like. Those red parts are kinda based on the 8-bit graphics of the first Morph Ball from Metroid.

 

Last is Link. I don’t think this costume was a grand departure from his design, so Kamiya approved of it quickly. All of these costumes, however, needed to be run by Nintendo as well.

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When I gave the designs to Nintendo to check, I was worried about how “kid-friendly” Bayonetta looked. Like, I didn’t think it’d be a good idea to show too much cleavage, you know… but when Nintendo looked at my Link design, they actually suggested to me to open up her top a little more… Wow.

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Here’s what the final approved design looked like.

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Overall, I think I was able to keep Bayonetta’s personality in these new arrangements, so I was pretty pleased. Each costume comes with different sounds and visual effects as well, so be sure to check them out in both games. Thanks for reading! See you again.

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Ruminations on Character Design

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hello. My name’s Cho, I did character design in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

I was in charge of enemy cyborg soldiers, sub-characters, boss characters, etc.

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Some enemy designs.

Up until now, the world and characters of Metal Gear have been designed by Yoji Shinkawa of Konami’s Kojima Productions. I’m sure this is something most of you already know; Shinkawa-san has a lot of fans from around the world, myself included. As a designer, the biggest challenge I faced during this project was to create characters that would belong to both the established Metal Gear Solid universe and a fast-paced action game like Rising.

As a seasoned fan, I felt I already had a decent understanding of Metal Gear, but now that I had to look at things from the eyes of a creator, I went back and played through the series one more time. My time for clearing The Boss Extreme in MGS4 was 3 hours and 2 minutes, in case you want to know.

You won’t see these characters in the actual game; they were just rough ideas that helped us decide designs.

You won’t see these characters in the actual game; they were just rough ideas that helped us decide designs.

At the start of development, we were free to throw out any ideas we thought would work well with Metal Gear Rising’s world concept. This is probably the best part of the design process; ideas really seem to just flow. It is the time where anything you hit upon that you think might be good you have to push for. After this stage, you start working on basic design layout.

For this entry, I’d like to talk about an enemy cyborg named Mistral.

Initial designs for Mistral.

Initial Mistral designs

Mistral’s initial concept came from Kenji Saito, Rising’s director: “I want tendril-like-objects to come out of this girl, and
I want her to fight with them like a whip!” In previous MG titles, most female characters follow the formula of a mysterious, alluring femme fatale with a tragic past. I wanted to design Mistral in the same mold.

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More Mistral designs.

Mistral done in a Mannequin theme.

Mistral done in a Mannequin theme.

I thought about having a cyborg-enhanced body, like Raiden, and a slightly sick-looking face would work best for her design. More than that, however, I wanted something somewhat perverse/weird, so I started rethinking her base design and tried something new.

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More Mistral tests.

Then we put about a dozen dwarf gekko arms on her that she could detach and recombine to create her main weapon. After this was approved, we finally had Mistral’s prototype. Next, we did some fine tuning by iterating on colors and cyborg parts. Personally, I wanted Mistral to be wearing a helmet, but Saito-san said he didn’t want to hide her face, so we lost it. The final design we decided on was a more “human,” sexy Mistral.

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Mistral full view.

Once we decided an overall look, we started on details. Rising is full of cyborgs and other mech-based characters that need to be carefully detailed, otherwise things fall apart in 3D-modeling.

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Mistral details.

This is the final, fully approved body shot of Mistral.

This is the final, fully approved body shot of Mistral.

So there is a glimpse into our design process for a character. While Mistral is an enemy character in Rising, she is one who bears a tragic past that players should be able to feel for. I hope you’ll like her when you play the game.

It won’t be much longer until the release!
Be sure to get your hands on it.

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