Updating Centurion

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Updating Centurion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:58 am

Centurion is one of the earliest of the NPC characters that was developed for 'Heroes and Villains' - his basic look and backstory were created at the start of September 2012, within a couple of days of the shutdown announcement for 'City of Heroes', as part of the preliminary Plan Z development work.
Right from the start, the concept behind him has been that of the classic superheroes from the Golden Age of comic books - quite a lot of the characters, groups and historical events of the game world have been created to reflect concepts, themes and trends in real life comic books - and Centurion represents the first wave of superpowered heroes from the late 1930s and early 1940s who helped to define the whole genre.
Because of this, he was given the traditional bodysuit, cape and briefs of the period, with a simple two color pattern for his suit of dynamic red and pure white, with gold accessories - the gold being there to give a feeling of "superhero royalty", as well as to recall the shiny metallic style that was popular in classic pulp sci-fi, and - along with his bracers - to give an impression of armor as a reference to his name. The wreath symbol on his chest was intended as another link to his name via a classic ancient Roman emblem.

Centurion_01.jpg
Centurion 01

His backstory also mixed those classical references with sci-fi, aliens and an element of fantasy regarding the nature of his powers, all of which were heavily used themes in the Golden Age of comics - and in addition he was given the common mythological theme of the hero as an orphan, foster child or foundling.
The complaint from some fans that 'City of Heroes' was perhaps a little too Earth-bound and lacking in the more cosmic elements found in comic books was also one of the factors behind his creation, so that right from that start, 'Heroes and Villains' would have those missing elements deeply embedded into its lore.



However, after this original costume was designed, various image tests showed that from a distance, the red and white became somewhat blurred, leading to him giving off a softer pastel impression, which caused him to blend into group pictures when surrounded by some of our other characters' costume designs, when his status as one of the oldest and most powerful heroes should mean that he stood out even in a crowd of his fellow heroes.
To fix this problem, it was decide to add blue to his color scheme - not only because it's a traditional color of good and heroism, but also because the figurehead male characters of other comic book universes - CoH's Statesman, DC's Superman and Marvel's Captain America - all use combinations of red and blue in their outfits, so it felt like a very suitable combination to use for our own male figurehead.
As the pure white color was also associated with light and heroism, it was used to replace much of the original gold in this intermediate costume design.

Centurion_02.jpg
Centurion 02

Because of other developments in the lore creation, his original wreath symbol was set aside for use in another part of the universe, and it's shape was instead modified to become a stylized rising phoenix, to tie him deeper into the phoenix symbolism that's been a part of the game lore from day one.



Although it was a patriotic look, and Centurion is an American, the red, white and blue color scheme began to feel not only a bit too Earth-bound, which was something that the character was meant to avoid, but the development of our specifically patriotic supergroup - the American Stars - also meant that Centurion might end up being mistaken for one of them, as their outfits are all naturally variations on red, white blue with various configurations of stars and stripes patterns.
Additionally, the remaining gold and silver elements were giving the character a sowemwhat disjointed look, and the outfit wasn't quite coming together.
To solve this problem, it was decided to swap out the white for the original gold, giving a red, blue and gold color scheme, making him distinct from the American Stars supergroup, while also keeping the traditional red and blue combination of comic book male figureheads, and returning the "superhero royalty" feeling from the first costume design.
A small element of white was retained by adding jewel-like decorations to his belt buckle and cape fastener, while the pattern on his suit was adjusted slightly so that the lines better complemented the angles of - and additionally, to add some bulk to him, but without distorting the natural proportions of his body, he was given a pair of armored shoulderpads, which also acted as another armored reference to his name.
The final version of his logo - created by Matthew "Rigger" Keller from the official HaV forums - kept the 5 sided background frame from the intermediate logo design, symbolizing the Cosmic Force that gives Centurion his powers, along with the phoenix theme, but now transformed into a more abstract wing symbol.
The pattern on the torso of his suit was also adjusted to better compliment the angles of the logo.

Centurion_03.jpg
Centurion 03

Further lore developments also led to some adjustments to his backstory - mostly just name changes to emphasize the classical Roman theme a bit more, and some locational changes to better fit in with the even broader cosmic setting that had grown beyond the original concept.

The completed in-game model of Centurion can be found here.

More information on Centurion's backstory can be found in the Characters section of the website.
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Re: Male Issue

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:22 pm

I know I've brought this up before with the last release of male character models but I feel it's necessary to bring up again. The crotch area is just too pointy. We don't want HaV's players to create the in-joke that all the unarmored males were either porn stars in their last careers or are now striving to be the newest member/s of 'The Ambiguously Gay Duo'. There's nothing really wrong with those individual backstories, I just don't think we want the entirety of Heroes and Villains to be known for it.

The male area needs to be a little plump overall and not pointy. A shape like this athletic supporter would be much better on the eyes. http://www.runningunderwear.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/athletic-cup.jpg
I hope this helps.
You're really gonna want that cowbell. :P
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Re: Updating Centurion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:28 pm

It's just concept art - compare it with the in-game model :P
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Re: Updating Centurion

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:28 pm

Golden Girl wrote:It's just concept art - compare it with the in-game model :P


Ahh, okay. I didn't click on that picture for a closer view so I didn't know the male model had been updated. Thanks. It looks much better. :)
You're really gonna want that cowbell. :P
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Re: Updating Centurion

Unread postby Rigger » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:08 pm

Please thank whoever "metallicized" the gold in the logo. It looks much better that way.
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Re: Updating Centurion

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:44 pm

Rigger wrote:Please thank whoever "metallicized" the gold in the logo. It looks much better that way.


Okay.

Thanks. 8-)
You're really gonna want that cowbell. :P
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Re: Updating Centurion

Unread postby Rigger » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:27 am

Blaze Rocker wrote:Okay.

Thanks. 8-)


*glare*

:D
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