Games For Good

For our final year 15 credit group project, we were given the breif to make a game that conveys a social issue. For our game, we chose the issue of poor government spending.

Monstera is an RPG city builder focusing on the ethics of good economic leadership, set on an alien spaceship civilisation. Throughout the game you will be faced with the choice to either sustain the cities ecology, boost the economy, or benefit yourself individually.
Citizens of the Monstera space station will come to your office to request funding, and it is your job to decide whether the funding will benefit the community, or if it is not worth the cost.

My role in the team was Project manager and Lead character artist. I had the job of creating the main bug alien characters, as well as some environment design and various asset creation.

I wanted the design of the characters to be cutesy and endearing, so that the player feels most guilt for however their actions harm them.
This is also why for the facial features of the bug, I ultimately went with the more expressive, humanoid face, so that I could better convey the emotions the characters were feeling, as that was an important part of how the game functions.
They would be almost a narrative foil to the UI elements, bringing a empathetic motivation to the player.

Here is a mockup of the characters with the UI and the blendshape animations

For the animations, expressions were an important part because they conveyed a significant part of the gameplay, where they must react positively or negatively to the players actions. For this reason, I used the blend shape workflow to produce difference expressions in zbrush, then port them into maya to be animated with the rest of the rig. These were very fun to do and I think they really amplified the stylisation of the characters and gave them a lot of personality.