With this post, we wanted to take a step back and show you what we’ve been up to with our character creation tech, and how that led us to make the skin tone changes that we did.
It all started with our belief that great storytelling includes having memorable characters that leave a lasting impression on our readers.
As we began to explore how we could create more visually unique characters on Episode, and we became super excited about the possibilities, we also started to see the limitations of our current tech. Here are some character concepts that our artists mocked up during this time:
In order to create unique characters like these, we had to find a way to give our characters’ faces more form, dimension, and structure – and the only way to do that was to deepen our shadows and brighten our highlights to work within the limits of our existing color shading technology. With the additional color range, we can now add new features like freckles, scars, beards, and more that would be able to show up on various skintones.
When we originally set up the new skin tones, we actually kept the core colors the same. All the changes went into adjusting the shading on the body, and the specific color highlights and shadows to better reflect the contrast we needed to achieve.
However, we were a bit too drastic with our changes to the body shading, and the release didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped for. So, we went back to the drawing board, and so here’s where we’re landing after some more explorations based on your feedback:
We’re now in the process of testing these out (and finalizing the updates to the character creator – including fixing our naming convention inconsistencies), and plan to launch these updates early next week.
Once this shading update goes live, we then plan to spend time focusing on the rose and gold families to finalize those looks there.
Unfortunately, at this time, we are not planning on bringing back the original colors because of the challenge they pose for us in supporting a wider range of unique looks. We hope you can understand this decision as we pursue the opportunity to help you make the most memorable characters possible.
With our next update, we should be closing the gap between the original set and our final colors on Limelight, and appreciate your feedback and patience through this process.
As always, please let us know your thoughts below.
The Episode Team