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Character Design Diary: Devastation's Eve McAllister

by Thomas on April 14, 2003 @ 4:19 a.m. PDT

In Devastation's single-player adventure, players assume the identity of a character named Flynn Haskell, an atypical anti-hero who rises up to become the leader of a radical resistance team fighting for humanity. One of the most prominent and important sidekicks you will meet early in the game is a young lady named Eve McAllister. NovaLogic summarized their design outlines from their design doc and character archive and pasted together bits of those notes in a somewhat coherent fashion below. Enjoy...

Compiled by Barry L. Gibbs, Lead Designer

Eve McAllister

Vital Stats

Age: 24
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 118lbs
Hair: Auburn
Eyes: Green
Build: Athletic
Pigment: Very Fair
Distinguishing Characteristics: Thick Corrective Lenses.

Eve in a Nutshell
Eve McAllister is a lab technician who is a timid and reserved individual. She will be portrayed in the story to be so caught up in her work that she barely questions the ominous events that are taking place around her. Appearing to be somewhat naïve on first impression, we must portray her as a quiet intellectual with an above average IQ. Voice acting for the character will be important in this respect. Eve is to be very strong in character, and very resilient, so when she's put in a tough situation she rises to the occasion and personally evolves to overcome. She is not what you call a 'girly girl' or a 'butch girl' she is just a girl. She is both a mentally and physically tough female individual, who despite herself has no concept of her unique beauty. With her hair pulled back and glasses on she projects the timeless image of indirect coyness- the good girl, however there is quite possibly a wild, naughty girl waiting to come out from behind all this repression. Eve's transformation, along with the Resistance's rebellion, should be symbolically similar but not overly obvious from the narrative.

Conceptualizing
When we first started drafting early concepts for the Devastation freedom fighter characters there were a few standard requirements that we needed to stick with. First off we wanted a diversified team where each character stood out as an individual. They needed to embrace the youthful look and attitude of young adults is in control of their own lives. Finally the fashion of the clothes they wore played a big part in the development of each character. They needed a unique and fashion-conscious look that would make them look "hipper" and cooler, only not too cheery.

Eve McAllister was one of the earliest characters we started concepts on. We figured the best way to get a real beat on what we wanted was to head out to the local clubs and raves. We started in South Beach, Miami, which was a great place to find a very interesting and diverse crowd.

We decided to leave the camera at home because at this point we did not want to taint the creative processes with any solid imagery. The search for Eve was going to be a collected consciousness sort of thing. So we wandered around and talked with people, took mental and physical notes, then went to breakfast, where we gathered our thoughts and ideas. We knew when we were designing Eve that she was going to have to be memorable and appealing, but in an indirect way. To put it simply, she needed to look like a normal girl, maybe even a bit ugly in a sense- what some call stylishly ugly.

When it came to creating her overall appearance we thought she should have a more unique, exotic look rather than the traditional 'hot babe' look. Most of the female characters were meant to represent the funky, almost nerdy type of girls. The girl who gets looks wherever she goes, not just for her looks, but because she has a wicked sense of style and an attitude to back it up. That's what we wanted from Eve.

She was first drawn out to have a good, athletic build, strong, and a bit lanky in places like her arms, but not too overdone, and not chesty. She needed a long neck, and low, wide hips to give her that style we found so appealing. A wider than normal nose, with freckles and red hair just came naturally.

At the risk of being cliché, we agreed the most important element to Eve was going to be her big, cool-looking glasses. Glasses that exuded a sense of style that we needed her to look good in, and that would make her look like she was meant to wear them. We looked at different styles, and finally settled with classic black 1950's era Cat-eye specs.

After months of sketching and simple 3D models, we finally came across an ideal variation. We gave her 2 different outfits and 2 hairstyles.

Character Evolution
Eve is a character whose attitude, appearance, and personality evolves as the game progresses. We have designed a mechanism in the plot whereby there are three different looks and stages of Eve; Reserved Lab Technician Eve, Rebel Fugitive Eve, and Freedom Fighter Eve.

Lab Technician Eve is the gamer's first intro to the character. She has her characteristic deep red/brunet hair professionally pulled back into a bun on the top of her head, wearing her glasses, and is dressed in full lab scrubs, gloves, booties, etc. In the scrubs she is serious and professional, but with a somber demeanor and not much personality showing through.

Reserved Lab Technician Eve: Near-final pencil sketch and a computer enhanced Final Color Concept. "I should have called in sick to work today"

Reserved Lab Technician Eve: Completed 3D model render of a somber professional. Full lab scrubs, gloves, booties, etc.

As Eve evolves into a fugitive her personal attitude and style explodes outward with the way she outfits herself. With her lab outfit gone you can see the necklace and dog tag she was wearing close to her heart underneath the scrubs. This is a sentimental accessory that she wears to remind her of a departed family member she loved dearly. The clothes she is now wearing show the unseen side of Eve. With her exposed midriff, sleeveless ballistics vest, tight low cut sport pants and sneakers, Eve presents herself as an athletic, self-assured woman. She is still wearing glasses but has pulled her hair back with two buns on the sides of her head giving her a relaxed but earnest look.

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