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Happenings and wonderful things.

Street Fighting Men

Growing up, Street Fighter was my go-to at the arcade.

Having no gaming skill to speak of, getting knocked out in the first fight or two was the story of each quarter. But it wasn't enough to deter my love for the bright colors, the insane characters, and demolishing an entire car with nothing but your bare fists! This is a personal project, sheerly for the wonderful memories and the world warriors who helped create them.

The interesting part of this project was unifying the four designs. I started out with six rough sketches; T. Hawk got cut because he ended up being redundant due to Ryu and Dhalsim, Vega got cut because he's a guy in a nearly blank white mask. Having narrowed the field down to the four, I started developing all the faces simultaneously. I immediately fell into the trap of feeling confused about my goals and unaccomplished as the hours added up.

Ditching the other three, I chose to focus on Akuma one evening. I couldn't have made a better decision to work a single character to completion. I now see that I was struggling to keep my abstractions within a ruleset for the sake of unity, but I had no ruleset to speak of. Akuma became the template by which the other three were built. With a single point of reference to refer back to, I was able to bring the project to a satisfying conclusion. 

M. Bison represented the biggest learning curve for me on the project. I had started out with a much more accurate representation for each character, but quickly realized the style did not allow for superfluous information. Some things just don't matter with these characters. With M. Bison, everything from the bridge of the nose up to the beginning of the cap is largely irrelevant information. He has no pupils, sure, but half the characters in this game don't either.  This got me thinking like a caricaturist: pick the most prominent unique features and blow them way out of proportion to make the character 'read' correctly. Giant chin, giant hat, giant teeth; you know who it is. 

M. Bison represented the biggest learning curve for me on the project. I had started out with a much more accurate representation for each character, but quickly realized the style did not allow for superfluous information. Some things just don't matter with these characters. With M. Bison, everything from the bridge of the nose up to the beginning of the cap is largely irrelevant information. He has no pupils, sure, but half the characters in this game don't either. 

This got me thinking like a caricaturist: pick the most prominent unique features and blow them way out of proportion to make the character 'read' correctly. Giant chin, giant hat, giant teeth; you know who it is. 

An exercise in geometric simplicity, Dhalsim came together almost instantly. My only struggle with this character was trying to give him ears for the rings to slot into, until I realized they were not needed. The face paint makes him look like a volleyball, and that makes me happy. 

An exercise in geometric simplicity, Dhalsim came together almost instantly. My only struggle with this character was trying to give him ears for the rings to slot into, until I realized they were not needed. The face paint makes him look like a volleyball, and that makes me happy. 

EYEBROWS. I played with a couple different configurations for Ryu's signature headband, choosing to settle on one that simultaneously featured the cloth and obscured the mouth area, which it turned out was redundant. Ryu's face is pretty much always a scowl; we know he's in a focused/bad mood, the eyebrows say it all.

EYEBROWS. I played with a couple different configurations for Ryu's signature headband, choosing to settle on one that simultaneously featured the cloth and obscured the mouth area, which it turned out was redundant. Ryu's face is pretty much always a scowl; we know he's in a focused/bad mood, the eyebrows say it all.

The idea that started this project, Akuma is the only character I ever played and thus the only character I ever got any good at when Street Fighter 4 dropped. Of all the characters, I feel this one was the most successful. I've had several peple tell me this guy reminds them of Samurai Jack in a good way. I can think of few higher compliments.

The idea that started this project, Akuma is the only character I ever played and thus the only character I ever got any good at when Street Fighter 4 dropped. Of all the characters, I feel this one was the most successful. I've had several peple tell me this guy reminds them of Samurai Jack in a good way. I can think of few higher compliments.