Welcome back to the devlog. Today I want to talk a bit about a few of Machiko's clothing designs as a continuation of the character design series I started last week. Outfit for Nekodeito were one of the things I had the most fun planning and designing in conjunction with the concept illustrator critterpunk, I think mainly because I got to indulge a lot of my own preferences and tastes in the process.
Last post, I showed off Machiko's "default" outfit, her T-Shirt and Boxers. In reality, these aren't hers at all; they're borrowed from the player character the day she moves in. On the original character sheet she wore a cute pair of panties, but these got paired up with a different outfit in the end. The boxers were better for the story, and were more in line with her personality. When choosing something to wear, she'd like something comfortable and loose above all else, even if it isn't exactly a perfect fit.
The shirt hangs over her shoulder for two reasons. One, because it's sized for a man a foot taller than her, and two, because I had been reading Jahy-Sama at the time. My specification for boring grey boxers turned into much better contrasting red chequered pattern, and what was a graphic of a fishbone on her shirt turned into a parody logo, which I'm kind of a sucker for. Machiko's the kind of girl that unless she had to go out, would probably wear this to bed and not bother changing when she got up the next morning. Plus no one ever dresses up just to be around the house, so something with a carefree feeling like this felt realistic.
However, I still needed something to put her in for outdoor scenes. I couldn't have her going out with the player character just wearing underwear (or could I?) I started thinking of putting her in something like overalls and a T-shirt that fit properly, but those turned into a plain longsleeve sweater, then turned into a ribbed one with the sleeves cut off. It'd probably have to be quite baggy to fit her chest, so I had it tucked in, which in turn tightened it and emphasised her chest. I think the words I sent to my artists to describe to look were "boob tent".
Her shorts originally were speced as some strange, super high waisted K-Pop dancer thing that sat higher than the bellybutton, but became a little more realistic in the outfit designer's interpretation. I had these paired with black thighhighs. Chlorophill sent me an early version of this sprite once it had flat colours for approval. I polled three friends to ask "should the thighhighs have a darker band around them at the top, like 2B fron Nier: Automata?" All three of them said yes, and so I asked and graciously chlorophill granted the request. There is a three to four inch demilitarised zone between the shorts and the top of the thighhighs. I felt this was important for peace, as was just a little bit of the elastic biting into her legs. She has a cute pair of white slip-on shoes you'll never see in the game!
I'd love to write about some of Machiko's other outfits, but I can't spoil everything either, so sadly that will have to do it this week. Next week I might finish the series talking about some of her expressions and personality, or some of the technical side that powers it. Or maybe both. Probably both.
Today I want to look over some of the influences that went into designing Machiko's look for Nekodeito. Why? Because I have no shame about using the devlog to talk about cute anime girls. To start, here's one of Machiko's finished sprites from the game:
How'd we get here? Well as I talked about in the first devlog post, Nekodeito's genesis was hearing my adjutant welcome me back in a mobile game. Machiko's hair takes cues from Mk23 in Girls' Frontline but not a lot else. I liked the bounciness of it and wanted something similar. It was decided early on that fluffiness and pettableness would be core components of her design, and so emphasised this by asking for soft bangs to frame her face.
I wanted to her hair to use natural colours, and so started looking at real life cats. Particularly I looked at the Birman breed, which has creamy-gold hair that then darkens where it's colder on the ears, tail and face to different latte and black coffee shades; like a Siamese but ten times fluffier. This too was integrated into her design, stretching her hair almost to the knees, flaring it out to a great volume, and giving it a gradient that ran to a dark chocolate colour. Icy blue eyes were a natural pairing.
Supposedly in Burma, this breed of cat has a bit of mythology behind it, but I can't find sources in the native language. Regardless this influenced some explanation of how cat girls exist in the story universe, which I'll try and expand upon another day.
I opted for thick, spiky white ear fluff to contrast the dark colour of the ear, like what Yamashiro from Azur Lane has, but this worked better in the character designer critterpunk's chibi style than in did in sprite artist's chlorophill's semi-painted style. It got toned down appropriately for the sprites. The tail kept the puffed out appearance at the tip, which is meant to be slightly evocative of a lion's.
I sent through some measurements with the original character design brief for her height and proportions and so on. As they sketched, the boobs became a bit larger than what I intended, but ultimately I was happy my original specifications were ignored. When the character design was sent to the sprite artist, the boobs once again grew, and were further emphasised by the outfits, but with this too I was pleased.
That just about covers her physical design. Next time I'll go into some of her outfit and clothing designs, and perhaps after that talk about what went into designing her expressions and personality.
Hey, welcome to the devlog for NoGooD. I'm a one man show right now, and I'm making a dating sim with an original catgirl character. I thought it might be interesting to start by talking about how I came to do all this.
On August 30, 2018, I was stuck on an eleven hour train journey with a chest infection and a fever. I was shivering and sweating at the same time and my phone battery had long gone dead. Sleep was pretty impossible with the carriage rocking around so I started having these fevered thoughts and imaginings the whole journey as my head was braced up against the window. Among them were a whole load of ideas for stories, and turning these stories into games of different kinds, because everyone thinks they have a great idea for a game. I got home and stayed in bed for eight days straight, dying.
On the ninth day I felt a bit better so I started writing. I went through phases of writing a couple of hundred words, and then scrapping the idea and moving onto a new one. I was chasing higher concept ideas that would have involved a lot of characters and scenes ultimately have been too expensive to implement well on a limited budget with no experience and no connections. I had a couple of ideas I thought were good but then I reread them the next day and they were terrible. There was a lot of sitting in front of a blank word document. It was all becoming frustrating. I just couldn't come up with something viable.
I then opened up a mobile game, and a character on the homescreen affectionately greets me, calling me her 'darling'.
It was a very comforting feeling. A very simple feeling, but a very warm one, to have someone who's happy to see you no matter what. I went down a gear and wrote about a simpler premise. I started to quite like my script and found I felt good writing a comfy romance. The working title was Nekodeito – Cat Date – because it was a dating sim where you went on dates with a catgirl.
Now it's January and the name has stuck. Nekodeito is a story about sharing simple moments together, bonding, and falling in love. It's about giving your heart to someone and having that affection returned in spades. And I hope that everyone will fall in love when it comes out.