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Mirandus Mon…errr…Tuesday: The Art of Character Creation

March 17, 2021
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Note: As the title hints, this is typically something that would be released on a Monday. However, the delay in minting for some NFTs led to this being pushed on a Tuesday morning instead.

Typically, when a game is developed, you only really see the final product. Most of the time, you don’t really get to see behind the scenes to see what the development process is really like or understand the decisions that shaped the games you know and love.

This is why today is the first in a series of Mirandus Monday updates that will focus a bit more on the technical aspects of game development, and a bit less on the story and the world. Today, we are speaking with Craig Matchett, about character design in the world of Mirandus.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Craig is a character design legend. When he came onboard a few weeks ago, we published a blog post outlining some of his work in Outer Worlds, Battlefield Hardline, Dead Space 2, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, and many many more. Craig is at the top of the character design industry, so speaking to him about the development of Mirandus can shed light into how the character design process typically works and how we are doing it differently.

To start, lets examine one of the character models used in the early Mirandus pieces. This piece is so interesting because it highlights the fascinating fact that this character, low-poly though it may be, worked perfectly for some of the original pieces from a top-down perspective, but is entirely unsuited from a first-person view. The inclusion of hands, which are so very vital for a first person perspective, make the proportions look out of whack. This is one of the things that Craig has been working on this week, as well as the introduction of gendered models to allow users to represent themselves within the world of Mirandus in the way that feels best to them.

The result has been this re-envisioning of the characters.

One interesting fact about these models is that they use the same basic skeleton and apply different meshes. This means that there will be a great number of actions, animations, and mechanics that can be easily reused between genders. This will lead to a massive savings in assets used to create the game and cut down on a great deal of development time and even game footprint.

Speaking with Craig about this is fascinating, because his experience extends throughout the video game industry. With a high-polygon character for an average AAA game, there will be millions of polygons all expended to create a character that simply drops directly into the Uncanny Valley and looks obviously fake while attempting to be photorealistic. This sort of graphical spoon-feeding of the imagination manages to make games LESS immersive than if the users’ own imaginations were to create and fill in the details.

Moving to a low-poly design like this has several other significant benefits. Firstly, it allows lightning-fast iteration. The Mirandus development team can build out and test whole new concepts and game mechanisms when other developers would still be working on poly shading for their smallest monsters. This also enables very quick pivots if a new design opportunity presents itself. It does not take much for the human mind to perceive emotion and to humanize a simple design, which can then become extremely relatable. This can be compared to the Uncanny Valley situation of a near photo-realistic design that cannot express emotion correctly, like those you see in so many AAA games we have all seen over the years.

Over the years, gaming has become very “hand-holdy,” as if AAA gaming companies no longer trust their users to be able to follow along with their imaginations and they must feed them EXACTLY what they want them to see. This lack of trust carries into so many areas — they don’t trust you to own your assets, to share your games, or to create your own in-game experience or world.

This is what sets us at Gala Games apart…we trust you and depend upon you to help us build the world that YOU want to see. As gamers, we are united by the cause to give gaming back to the rest of the gaming community. United by play and a passion for excellence, Gala Games will never waver in its mission to revolutionize gaming!

NFT Drops!: Now that the Fulfillment 2.0 system is live and we can begin adding things to the store, we have resumed the release of buildings for Mirandus! Today, some node operators will be awarded with the release of new buildings for Mirandus that should begin hitting the store sometime next week!

There is a LOT more coming for the Gala Games ecosystem, so make sure to keep in touch, watch the Discord ( and get ready for more interesting news! Follow Gala Games on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or in our Discord!