Today we’ll write about the design process for the main villain: The Shadow Puppeteer!
Compared to the development of the Boy where the focus lay primarily on the physical aspects, the development of the Puppeteer was much more psychological.
When creating a villain you have to decide what makes him or her a villain and what «brand» of evil that is. With the Puppeteer we had to consider this: Is he aware of his actions and the consequences? Is he dumb? Is he intelligent?
As an example: An elephant stepping on an ant will not recessarily know that he is a murderer, but to the ant he is an antagonist (no pun intended).
But an intelligent evil villain will know exactly the amount of damage he is causing, and is more inclined towards taking pride in his actions. For instance: The evil and intelligent elephant would probably grab a burning branch and stick it right in the anthill.
With the Shadow Puppeteer we explored different designs based off of different kinds of «evil», from the dumb and comical to the mysterious and sinister. We wanted him to suit the world, but at the same time we needed him to stand out. Part of the character and his motivation is that he doesn’t fit in, and this needed to be evident in some way visually.
The story of the Shadow Puppeteer was not originally planned from some calculation of what would be most popular, but more from a sudden inspired feeling provided by the setting and theme. As we explored the thoughts of a character like the Shadow Puppeteer it was like he already existed and we were merely getting to know him.
In many ways the character already felt familiar, but nailing the details proved difficult. We explored different variatons and interpretations of the character, and tried to balance this with the development of the boys. The characters needed to be recognisable and have a good dynamic energy.
The Shadow Puppeteer is a more complex character than what people might expect, and we are confident that his character will be able to both amuse and unsettle, as you follow him through this fantastic and strange world.