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.