by Sako on February 9th, 2016

Spareware's project lead Sako Salovaara and game artist Tommi Helin introduce you to the character design in Spareware.

Why are the players robots?

We got tired of the obscurely emotionless humans who just slaughtered countless numbers of innocent little robots. Don't people want to play as the good guys every once in awhile?

What kind of iterations the characters went through?

Because the player characters are silent robots built from random pieces of metal and technology found around the city, we didn't want to spend too much time on designing any specific characteristics for the robots. The player can choose the look themselves as they are the ones who assemble the robots. We've just been having fun designing all kinds of cool and funny parts.

A thing we worked on a lot with the player visuals were the shaders. We had to make them clearly visible and distinguishable. Especially the health ring and aiming lasers.

How did the character design affect weapons or abilities?

It really didn't. The mechanics that we had in mind affected the character design more than the other way around. We wanted the players to be able to change parts of their character in between levels. The characters being robots fit for that purpose more than anything else.

Still the robots and weapons are quite similar to each other. All the parts in the robots and weapons are made of scrap and day to day machinery found around the city. That's why your robot can have a television for a head for example.

What NPCs are there?

Besides the enemies, HelOS plays a big part in Spareware. HelOS is this huge AI that controls every function of Helsinki. HelOS was actually the one to build the robots and call them to the Core. The players have to free HelOs in order to stop the Vote, which at first seems like a pure direct democracy, but might not be actually beneficial to humanity.

Next time Sako and Tommi will talk about the enemy design. Don't miss that!