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Graphics for a game with a blind MC

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:42 am
by arty
Hey folks.

Dunno if such a topic exists already...if it does, please point me to it? I couldn't find it.

I've started working on my second VN, and for this one the main character will be completely blind. Now I'm wondering if y'all could help me brainstorm a possible style for the art of this game. I don't want everything to be just pitch black. But I also want to get across an aesthetic. I don't want it all to just look "normal".

My ideas so far were:
- Diffuse surroundings. The less "familiar" something is to the MC, the less defined it would be. So for example, when he goes to a new place he has never been to before, everything would be very diffuse. When he gets more familiar with it, the shapes become clearer.
- Generally "off" colours. Lots of white (I think lots of black would get too gloomy quickly) to fill in the "blanks".
- Blurry faces/bodies of other characters. Same as with the environments, basically.

Any thoughts, ideas? Would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Graphics for a game with a blind MC

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:16 pm
by verysunshine
What is the source of your main character's blindness? Is it something to do with the eye or something to do with the brain? Have they always been unable to see?

I think a system of surfaces with no detailing would work well. Blind people are still familiar with where objects are, but they can't detect some details. Perhaps unknown areas and the tops of rooms could be blurrier.

Re: Graphics for a game with a blind MC

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:26 pm
by Katy133
You may want to take a look at different games that have blind protagonists. Take a look at how they portray the experience of being blind. Here are a few examples:

Beyond Eyes: You can perfectly see the player character. She's in a white void, and should will be illustrated with watercolour objects. However, these illustrations can change with her idea of what the should looks like: The sound of running water can be represented by a beautiful fountain, but when she gets closer, it turns into an ugly sewer.

Perception: Character is in a black void. The player can stamp their foot/cane on the ground to show more of the area.

Stifled: Black void, with white outlines to show sound sources. The main game mechanic is throwing objects and speaking into a microphone to create echos

Scanner Sombre:This is different wherein the character has vision but is in a world that has no light. You use a device to create tiny dots of light that stick to surfaces of the environment in a rainbow pattern.

You'll also need to ask yourself questions about your blind character. Were they born blind, or did they become blind? Do they know how to read Braille? Do they carry a cane? I also urge you to (if you haven't already) watch Avatar the Last Airbender. The portrayal of the character Toph (who was born blind) strikes a lot of people as being well-researched and kept in mind for all her animation acting (in many scenes, she'll be the only character who doesn't turn their head to look at something when something unexpected appears, she will not notice posters, she will walk up to something and touch it to examine it, etc).

Re: Graphics for a game with a blind MC

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:11 am
by arty
Thank you for your responses!

My MC wasn't always blind. He lost his eyesight a couple years ago, so he still has memories of what the world is "supposed" to look like. He lives very far from the place and people he was familiar with now, though.

Thanks for the examples, I will check them out for inspiration! Beyond Eyes seems very close to the ideas I had.

I am actually working together with a blind person to make the portrayal realistic, she has been very helpful so far in answering any "technical" questions I've had. :)

Re: Graphics for a game with a blind MC

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:10 pm
by verysunshine
I like the Beyond Eyes approach too.

If you want more technical knowledge, I have notes from a neurology course.

Re: Graphics for a game with a blind MC

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:33 pm
by briarbun
I think that sprites would be a really easy and artistic way to convey this- you could have new, unfamiliar characters as just a popcicle stick like shape- and then characters the MC knows really well (like their parents or best friend or classmates) have a lot more detail in a silhouette. You could even convey that in colors like you were saying- white for a new "fresh" face, and other colors for known characters. maybe the MC learns that character X's favorite color is green, so their silhouette changes to green. Maybe they brush against their jacket and learn its leather- and this changes the silhouette. I think this is a really cool idea and I hope you keep at it!