How should I say this? Well, we were caught, and we are guilty…
Let me rewind to the beginning. One of the goals of designing Omicron Protocol, for Brendan and I, is to make sure the game is as representative as possible of the diverse group of people we have living in a modern (even futuristic!) multicultural big city. We have spent a lot of time thinking, planning, and doing a lot of research into cultures, genders, races, orientations, etc… that we originally knew nothing about, just to make sure that the characters we add to the game are not caricatures or stereotypes of a certain group of people. As we expand to the characters beyond Peacekeepers and Survivalists, you’ll be seeing more and more diverse representations of people you might not be familiar with immediately, and we hope that through this game you’ll get to “meet” and learn about that different culture through these characters.
With that said, one of the aspects of “diversity” is the anatomy of a character. As many of us know, sci-fi and fantasy art often depict a very select variety of body types, and nothing else. For men, there’s a little more variety, but most of them are either very buff, or very fit, or some sort of skinny/small type (for rogues and such). For women, the represented body types are even more restricted, and it’s pretty atrocious as most will have very unrealistic body proportions. Don’t get me started on female clothing and armor in sci-fi/fantasy… So with that in mind, we designed our first 2 factions with body types that are on the more average to fit side, without falling into the usual tropes.
Artemis is very tall and athletic, modeled after a combination of our favorite athletes. Pai is a somewhat average sized SE Asian lady, modeled after someone very special to Brendan. Bolt is small but fit due to her military training, modeled after a female former military acquaintance. And Seeker represents a curve-model lady, modeled after an actress from a popular TV show.
With that said, when we created the illustration that you’ve now seen quite a bit of, one thing we didn’t catch was how Seeker was represented in the art. It took a friend pointing out that one of our ladies seems to have “gravity-defying” anatomy for us to realize our mistake. The mistake was not catching it sooner and not insisting on modifications until she was back to her original body type.
Thanks to some rework, Seeker has been restored to our originally intended body type.
It’s a few subtle changes, but I think it makes a difference. And after this, we will be ever vigilant on making sure any characters we intend to be curvy or full-sized stay that way. All our digital assets will be updated, and we’ll slowly replace our print ones as our budget allows.
Speaking of curve-model ladies, as a bonus, here’s an upcoming character from the Red Dragons, “Little Jenny”. What do you think of her?