Main character concept art

It’s important to me to make sure that the game’s protagonist has a unique and memorable appearance. I’d like her to be easily recognizable so that people can say, “Oh, I know that character, I know what game she’s from!” and tell her apart from other anime girls. I’d like Yandere-chan to be the “face” of the game, appear in the promotional art, etc.

I’ve teamed up with a talented artist who goes by the name of “aea” to produce some character designs for the game. I’m not sure how many revisions we’ll go through before we nail the final look of the main character, but I think the first draft looks absolutely awesome, so I wanted to share it:

Image

I’m hoping to wind up with a character who has a signature trait that makes her easy to identify; her personal trademark. I asked aea to design a character with unique silhouette, and in this design, he’s given her tufts of hair on her head that resemble horns, or perhaps bobcat ears. It definitely achieves the desired effect; I can’t think of another character she could be mistaken for!

The “horns” also carry the added bonus of making her look slightly devilish, which suits a serial killer. However, is that too on-the-nose? “She’s a bad person, therefore she gets devil horns.” Is that how it comes across? Or, is it subtle enough to not invoke that kind of reaction?

My philosophy towards the school uniform is the same as my thought process regarding the character; I want it to be unique from other school uniforms, so that people can instantly recognize what game it’s from when they see it.

I’d like to ask you what you personally think of this design. How do you imagine this character? How do you think she should look? Keep in mind that her primary objective is to be stealthy and inconspicuous. With that in mind, should she look as plain and non-threatening as possible? Or would a sinister, almost “predatory” appearance suit a stealth game about hunting and killing? I think this design strikes a nice balance between the two – but what do you think? What would you change about it?

What does this mean for character customization?

My desire to have a main character with a memorable appearance runs contrary to the concept of allowing the player to customize the character and design his own Yandere-chan. I understand how fun character creation is, but I would highly prefer to give the game a “face”. Ask yourself this: If someone sees a screenshot from Yandere Sim, how will they be able to tell what game it’s from? If someone sees a customized Yandere-chan, how will they be able to recognize what character she is or what game she is from?

This doesn’t mean that character creation / customization is entirely out the window, but it’s not the option I’m currently leaning towards.

Please share your thoughts and suggestions!

70 thoughts on “Main character concept art

  1. The long bangs look nice, but if they cover Yandere-chan’s eyes, the crazy-mode will be all that much harder to see.

  2. Imo I think that the protagonist needs Pink hair, because it just fits for being yandere. Some animes have pink haired yandere girls, and you can see when you google image yandere alot of the results will have pink haired yandere girls, so it just fits.

    • But, through imitation you are reducing the unique traits the character has. Do that too much, and the character is not recognized; or worse, mistaken for someone else (“Oh look, it’s a game about Yuno!”).

  3. I love that design. It took me a while to though, but now that I’ve been looking at it for a few minutes, it’s her. This is Yan-chan. The uniform is neat, the red and black, and the four leaf logo as well. And I am in love with that short hair style. Tell aea s/he did a damn fine job.

  4. I’d go with a more obvious modern double breasted jacket with a collar/lapel. It almost comes off as a hoodie as it is now.
    I love the hair. You’re doing great work.

  5. The hair over her eyes also gives her a shy/stereotypical “loner” look. Kind of fits with her love from afar kind of deal. The short hair version I love the most.

  6. Yes, it is important for character to be Idiosyncratic.
    But i, personally, do not like these “horns”. Can you, at least, give the ability to change appearance in the game to the some degree? I would much prefer Hime cut or something similar to the current placeholder character.

  7. About the school uniform:
    Judging by your previous screenshots, blood will be visible on the models. So, it is logical to make uniform color scheme in such a way, that blood would look good on it. Dark gray + red do not work, in my opinion. Visual contrast is important.

    >How do you imagine this character?

    I am imagining her wearing some kind of hairclip, if haircut is short. You do not need to make these horns to make her face unique. Just add some interesting hairclip, that holds her hair asymmetrically.
    And, as people mentioned above, eyes are very important facial feature for yandere. If hair will obscure eyes, she`ll look more like kuudere, than yandere.

  8. Anybody here have the ability to make it into a model? I think we’d all like to see her in full 3D. I also like the hairclip idea.

  9. FFXIV miqo’te.jpg

    Honestly doesn’t fit with the overall theme, looks more like a fighting game or hard fantasy character. The ‘horns’ look like a tryhard ahoge, hair+face is too dark for someone trying to stealthily off people without being noticed. The artist seems to have missed the point of high school yanderes, and the commenters seem to have no idea what a yandere even is besides ‘crazy gurl who kills pplz’.

    Then again,
    >/v/
    >deviantart

  10. Personally, I think her design and the design of the uniform should be more plain. Red and black is a shortcut for making your character look “in-your-face” edgy without really trying, it can work with good designs, but it’s generally considered as a bit of lazy way of saying “this here character isn’t one to fuck with”. Moreover, I’m having trouble envisioning an entire school of students wearing a red and black uniform daily. The same thing about ears/horns, it’s just not too subtle. For me, it inspires a “Loveless” look, but that may just be me. They could probably look well after being toned down a bit.

    For me, the essence of the yandere genre is the shift of a character from an ordinary girl to a psychotic killer. That shift wouldn’t have the same impact when the girl in question already looks this menacing.

    But then again, my opinion is my own, and it all boils down to how exactly you want your own game to be. What style is it going to have? Inclined towards realistic or stylized? Slice-of-life or persona/danganronpa?

    Thanks for your attention.

  11. My thoughts:
    Red and Black is not a good colour scheme ever.
    The hair horns do indeed go too far and come across as “she’s bad so she has horns” needs to be a little more subtle, perhaps by making her hair a little more messy with parts that just happen to be where horns would be, though that would only be a good idea if you intend to make her an unpopular girl.
    The uniform jacket is a bit too outlandish.
    I assume the gloves will only be worn when you are actually out to kill rather than being part of the standard outfit.

  12. That design doesn’t fit with the setting at all.
    She looks more like a try-hard shonen protagonist.
    Also, the fuck is up with that knife?

  13. I would prefer to see the characters be more down to earth. Maybe it’s the placeholders that are influencing me, but I’d prefer for the actions to be weird and outlandish, in stark contrast to the visuals, which if left clean would make for a nice whole.

    Also that knife, what the fuck

  14. Design as-is is too “on the nose” – looking like she does, no one’s really going to be surprised when she starts getting blood everywhere. Recommend at least one of: loss of gloves, loss of horn hair (or the ability in game to take scissors to them), uniform color scheme change (something that would contrast red)

    Re: character creation, I’d suggest initial releases with just the one model, and a final release with character creation. Or something. Gives Default Yan-chan time to become iconic and popular, gives the character creationists what they want.

  15. I thought she was just going to look like any other school girl but this is literal edgy mc-edge OC. Just have a regular school girl and some character customization like glasses and bows and such…
    I don’t want to play as a human fem shadow the hedgehog

  16. Just make her look like a normal schoolgirl, designs like these just don’t look plausible at all.
    The placeholder character looked much nicer in my opinion.

  17. I’m digging the bobcat/devil look. If she has a cute personality, nobody could mistake her for a bad person, and they’ll complement her tufts like she’s a cute cat. Maybe make the tufts angle up a bit more, and it’d be perfect.

    My one suggestion though; normal school uniform with a single trait, not some over the top costume. While it would work nicely in a fantasy game, what’s being “advertised”, so to say, is a normal high school life. Of course, a short skirt is always fine, but a little moderation on her dressing would be amazing. Maybe have a keychain or phone strap with something unique on it, like a bobcat head or maybe cartoony scissors.

    • Ah, I forgot one thing; have the costume in this blog post as an unlockable costume. A normal costume for the first playthrough should be mandatory, but an interesting alternate costume for subsequent playthroughs should definitely be considered.

  18. Looking at it one more time with a fresh eye, I’ve also got these concerns:
    This type of a bobbed haircut, short enough to leave the neck exposed, is actually considered a pretty sensual one. This can be beneficial or not, depending on whether you want Yandere-chan to be sexualized and to which degree.
    This super short skirt doesn’t really work well for concealing weapons underneath it. If weapons are to be stored on the character model and/or under the skirt, it should really be a bit longer. In earlier threads you were posting screenshots of the heroine from MGX who stores scissors under her panty strap, so I imagine this to be the case, right?
    And lastly, I’m concerned with these gloves. Hopefully they’re not a part of the uniform, but something Yandere-chan wears personally for that special occasion when some slut needs to be shown her place. In that regard, those gloves could sure fit with the design, but they give her a kind of “professional” look. I mean, they’re almost identical to Agent 47’s gloves. Maybe a better idea for a more “everyday” look would be to have her wear more oversized, ill-fitting leather gloves, or perhaps even latex gloves. The latter also leaves place for a classic “pull on the base of the rubber glove and let it go with a clap” animation, which I can imagine to be fitting.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading.

  19. This is way too over designed and I am having trouble imagining a character like that in a High school setting. I can understand the idea of wanting to have a recognizable protagonist, but I really think it would be best if you went with a plainer approach.

  20. Everything about this design is awful. Even the shiv.
    The artist also needs to work on his or her proportions, because they’re all wack.

    • /v/ has also come up with several dozen of other tweaks and recolors. We’d better wait for Yandev to actually make another thread before dumping them.

  21. If you change the colors from red/black to something along the lines of the high school uniform that you posted a few updates ago and get rid of the gloves, this design is great.
    That said, I really think you should consider making character customization a higher priority. While I don’t particularly dislike the hairstyle in this art, I would very much prefer the ability to change it to something longer. I think a compromise here would be good.
    I believe that the best way forward would be to create an iconic base character like you have here but give players the option to customize them at their own initiative. Rather than having a customization window come up when you start a new game, perhaps you could tie character customization to Yandere-chan’s bedroom mirror or closet. I think this would be a good way to keep the character unique while giving interested parties the chance to change hairstyle/color, eye color, skin color, etc.

    Once again, thanks for the hard work Yandev.

  22. At first I thought this looked alright but the more I look at it the worse it seems. Other people have already outlined some of the problems: it’s too outlandish, the horns are too much, the blood won’t stand out on such a costume, the hair covering her eyes hides her expressions.
    One thing I’d like to mention is that in designing a school uniform you need to look at it as a uniform, not just a costume for the heroine to wear. This first struck me as looking more like some kind of military uniform from a bad high school shounen series than a school uniform. And that “shiv” just looks ridiculous.
    I think for the purpose of the game a different colour scheme is necessary; the girl isn’t just some insane edgy murderer, she’s a girl who becomes increasingly yandere over time. Contrast should be an important part of this, so instead of looking so immediately menacing, I think bright colours and an innocent look would be better suited.

    As for an identifiable character and silhouette, while I missed the thread about it this time, the image anon posted earlier, while still having issues, does a good job of that.

    The hair is similar to a himecut but dishevelled, giving it a unique and deranged appearance. The single tuft of hair sticking up doesn’t give an immediate impression of menacing horns. While obviously this fails at looking innocent at all, it gave me the idea that her looks could change throughout the game depending on your mental state and how you play. If you go for a pacifist run you could remain looking innocent, while becoming an unstable murderer would move your looks closer to something in that image.

    In any case, I don’t think aea’s design is a good choice at all.

  23. I don’t like the design at all, really. I was actually a big fan of the way the placeholder model looked; I think the protagonist should be the most normal-looking girl possible. Obvious indications that she’s yandere really detracts from the point, in my opinion.

  24. I agree with pretty much all the other comments about how it doesn’t fit. The horns are out of place but I could see them fitting if your character got crazier and crazier. Personally I would prefer longer hair. The outfit is definitely too over top and should look more normal. Should contrast red like others have said. A few characteristics that stand out from other girls would be fine. She doesn’t have to look too different from every character for people to recognize her. If anyone plays the game and they see her they will recognize her in other places. A base character is good but I think small changes to your look should definitely be aloud. Though I would prefer a lot more if not full customization. I like what the artist created but I don’t believe it fits.

  25. Partially related: What about the possibility of altering your look depending on what you overhear the victim talk about? (For example, liking tans, piercings, blondes, this or that hair style…)

  26. I don’t really have a problem with having a “face” for the game, but I do see a problem for people who sort of wanted to role play their type of girl into the game. In my eyes the girl kinda looks like a loner, so what about the people who wanted to look like that stereotypical popular girl with perfect straight hair, you get my meaning right?
    How about using that model as a default, but allow some variables to change, sort of like Shepard from Mass Effect, we all know his default look but the game still allows for some customization for people who wanted their own rendition of Shepard in the game.

  27. I personally love the horns in the hair. I can agree with you wanting her to be recognizable as a silhouette, but also with people wanting to be able to customize her. So, my suggestion would be to take the Pokemon X/Y route to customization. Make it so she has the little horns no matter what, but most of the rest of her can be customizable. That way the hair still makes her recognizable, but people wanting a more regular outfit, or longer hair or something can get what they want as well.

    • I really, really don’t see the point of the horns. You can have a character that looks iconic without dumb stuff like that. Look at Agent 47. He’s just a bald guy with a scowl, yet he’s incredibly recognizable to anyone even passingly familiar with the games, no matter what outfit he’s in. He manages to look like a normal person, which makes sense considering his job, while also perfectly visually representing the role he plays.

      This current design really doesn’t do that, in my eyes. She looks more “sassy troubled girl sidekick” than “secretly a jealous murderer”.

    • Hell no, the horns are awful. If she’s customizable, he better not fucking make every hairstyle still have them.

  28. If people still want character customization but you want Yandere-Chan to have a face, then why not just customize Senpai-kun?

  29. I honestly really don’t like the hair tuft “horns”. It looks way too silly and overly grimdark, I’d much prefer a design that looks like the shy asocial girl in a dating sim game. This looks TOO original for a game that’s supposed to keep the appearance of a dating sim, it makes it too obvious it’s a game about doing evil things. It just doesn’t have the same charm to me, she looks like a goth girl from a western fighter game or something

  30. Since the /v/ archive is currently unavailable, could you post the tripcode you use so we can identify you in future threads?

  31. She looks way too much like a serial killer. It would look a lot more realistic without the gloves and with lighter colours for the uniform (black and red are stereotypical evil/death colours), also the pose looks very ‘stand-offish’ like she were a delinquent looking for a fight rather than a shy/creepy schoolgirl. The tufts don’t look too bad to me and while I don’t like short hair much, that is only personal preference rather than a design flaw.

  32. I had an idea JUST now when you mentioned the stin bombs/itchy bombs. I think there shoul dbe a pacifist option too, where you can embarrass the girls and make the senpai hate them. Or perhaps pass the blame of really fucked up things to that person. I think you mentioned it before, but I just had a bigger idea.

    You can do some things like embarrass the girl in public, spread rumors about her, maybe steal her undergarments and then splash her with water, toss something on her like dog pee, not to get too gross, but maybe do stuff like laxatives, and then locking off bathrooms in the school, then alerting senpai about it so he can witness her embarrassment directly. Perhaps you could befriend the target, and then make her your best friend then betray her in some horrible ways in order to make her suicidal. I think befriending a target might be a great alternate mission. But the downside could be the longer your character is near her without a certain level of calmness, she might get irritated from hatred.

    I don’t know just some ideas!

  33. http://oi60.tinypic.com/10y2q2u.jpg I really like this.

    I think it’s really important not just for her to be definable by a silhoutte, but she needs (imo) to have her face visible. Really visible, due to the yandere mode. I think she should have a definable characteristic, but simultaneously needs to have her face visible at all times.

  34. In my opinion the red-black theme is overused and 3edgy5me. Don’t get me started on those horns. If you’re trying to force a character, I’d say go with this one that’s been linked around (http://oi60.tinypic.com/10y2q2u.jpg).

    I still think character customization should be an option, though. Why not make her the default character in the same sense Shepard in Mass Effect still has a “official look”, even though there’s character customization? I think that character customization would appeal to a bigger audience, but I also understand you wanting to have a recognizable character. I personally don’t like to have a “set character”, I like to make my own and I’m sure many other do.

    But hey, it’s you developing the game, not me.

  35. I will get straight to the point. Everything about this design is bad. The color scheme is horrible. The hair is retarded. The clothes are plain dumb. Customization is an absolute must. The need to have the character be recognizable through a silhouette is pointless. There’s no need for that, you can sell the game on its concept alone.

    I’m still looking forward to this game, good luck.

  36. I’d definitely prefer a memorable design over customization.
    However, I don’t like that draft very much. The “horns” look silly, hair covering her face hides her eyes and she has a way too dark look to her. The most important part about designing a yandere is that the character can look both crazy/dangerous and harmless/cute. Right now she mostly just looks evil™.

  37. Ugh, she looks so cliche though. Oh, the dykey haired fug bitch is creepy and alone most of the time? No wonder Senpai won’t notice her. And you say you want the character to be distinct so when people see screenshots of her, they’ll know what she’s from. But with that design, I feel like a lot of people would completely avoid the game entirely. I know I would.

  38. yanderedev, what are you thinking about all this feedback about yandere-chan`s appearance?
    I hope, we did not discouraged you with negativity and disparity in our opinions.

    • I think some very good points were made; the character should not look overtly evil or dangerous, because a Yandere character is supposed to have an innocent outward appearance. The character’s face or eyes should not be obscured by her hair, because much of the appeal of a Yandere character comes from seeing their facial expressions. The character’s outfit should probably not be too dark, because then blood stains would not stand out on her clothing.

      This initial illustration is only a first draft, and is not meant to be interpreted as the final, definitive character design. In fact, the character artist has already experimented with several new designs: http://i.imgur.com/3EgRI8o.jpg

      The appearance of the main character is something that will potentially change for months, until the concept artist has produced something that everyone is happy with.

      Of course, it might turn out to be a low priority, since a lot of people are strongly in favor of the idea of character creation / customization, which somewhat undermines the idea of spending a lot of time designing the main character’s appearance…

  39. New designs – I liek the middle head and all uniforms except the rightmost (too many buttons)

  40. Middle head and leftmost uniform are my personal favourites among the new designs. It’s only a black&white image from one perspective for each one though … hard to estimate how it’s look as a 3D model in the end.

  41. I agree with Regulus in that the hair covering up the eyes will make her yandere eyes less noticeable, but maybe this could work as a game mechanic; her appearance not being purely cosmetic but actually changing how Yandere-chan is perceived by NPCs. This hairstyle, for instance, would increase her base amount of suspicion she attracts from others since she looks kind of goth/emo, but because it obscures her yandere eyes, it would lessen the effect of a high Yandere Meter.

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