Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

Creative Futures- Adaptation, Early Character Design.


In our Adaptation task (blog 1,blog 2) I have previously focused on Environment design for some of the arenas in game Gladiator styled game. Although I haven’t been tasked with character design I thought I might sketch up what the Ultimate Gladiator might look like on the game in my own opinion. To do this I had to gather some background research for gladiators and what their actual apparel was, this brought up many different interpretations of the style of a gladiator as they ranged vastly in armour on battles.

spartangladiator-by-soul71-on-deviantart_76e9f#2glad#1glad(images: image 1, image 2, image 3)

As you can see the image of a gladiator varied, this could be due to region, status, rank, battle choice, weapons, helmets, chainmail and so much more. For me to design my gladiator I would have to find a balance of what is right and realistic to wear. It worth noting that this is my top level gladiator style design I will be doing not the bottom or average to begin with as im sure bottom and middle levelled gladiators may have rags or little amount of armour.


This is what I have in mind so far for character design. A well armoured fortress looking gladiator which would represent fear into other opponents and also status due to the design or the armour. I decided on armour plating because as you can see in all 3 of the referenced pictures I have they involve some sort of plating, I used straight lines and contour lines to separate the pieces of plating or make them 3D which adds realism. The choice of the bolts (dots around edges of plates) was a personal preference of my own as I think it makes the armour look well made and reinforced to the viewer. The spikes I added as a little extra thing to possibly boost the players statistics for attack as I suppose they are big enough and sharp enough to impale another opponent if needed, but not too many spikes as otherwise we would end up with some sort of gothic metal rocker instead of a gladiator. Another reference used from one of the pictures above was the inclusion of chainmail, chainmail is a light meshed armour which was expensive back in the roman era and only just introduced in there own style when adopted from the Gaul’s in northern Italy after battle. So chainmail certainly represented high status and top gladiator as it wasn’t easily made or cheap. The Gloves I decided to also armour plate as this particular Gladiator would be very strong and hold a large sword so protection of the hands would be needed, whereas most other gladiators would have either leather gloves of some sort of just bare hands for the less ranked or the dagger wielding. Then the Helmet, now the helmet is always going to be a tough one to choose as there are so many different designs on a helmet, roman legions wore the helmets with the open front like this:


But also in my previous pictures they cover the face, the idea of covering the face was so that your opponent could not see your expressions or even eyes to give no indication of your moves or feelings. I liked that, so as a top gladiator I thought a covered face was appropriate to strike even more fear into the opponent. The iconic Tigris of Gaul from the Gladiator film had the clever design of a pull down mask of a expressionless human face which was being surrounded by a Animals mouth.

###trigirs of gaul

With progress I can certainly improve this but as it hasn’t been actually tasked to me to do character design yet I will put this to one side momentarily, but there was no harm in doing a quick sketch of my ideas to give me a slight edge when it comes to actual character design as I already have an idea of what I want. was a really interesting website as it explained to me something I didn’t realise, that Gladiators had ranks and different types, this was very useful as now I could use these names and styles in my game to model different levelled characters. I am yet to focus on props for my character as you can see there are no weapons or even a shield on my drawing as prop design is another design process I would have to go down to piece it all together, but the choice of the spear, long sword, dagger, short sword, mace or axe would be another thing to choose. And then the choice or shield or no shield, shield type, big, small, rectangle, square, circle, coat of arms or not, colours (semiotics) and so on. This would be a process which needed much looking into and much work focused on but its good to get started so I can show my progress in the design process.

Author: Jason Pook 3D

Current student at Hull School of Art and Design studying Games Design.

2 thoughts on “Creative Futures- Adaptation, Early Character Design.

  1. Pingback: Creative Futures- “Adaptation”- Environment Drawings/Progress Design. | PHASEgaming

  2. Pingback: Creative Futures- Adaptation- Props/Objects/Vehicles | PHASEgaming

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