I’ve been meaning to draw up some more sprites for Rumors of War for some time now, with my main reasons for not doing so being time constraint. I have had time to do some reading on the subject of ancient clothing, though, and I hope the next wave of characters will have more realistic (if only vaguely so, due to limitations) and varied appearances.

The primary factors involved in each character’s appearance are their flesh and hair tones, the design and color of their clothes, and the design of their hair. I’ve struggled at various points with each, of course — natural flesh tones can be hard to match with hair, difficult to make visible, and more importantly, I don’t want a whitewashed cast. Visually, it’s incredibly boring to me if everyone looks the same.

It’s difficult to make certain hair and clothing styles translate well in the sprite comic medium. I’ve tried a couple different approaches, and I think typically the largest obstacle is the space I have to work in. Complex hair styles don’t tend to work well. I usually go through several iteration of everything but the most basic styles.

(“Bald” is a favorite hair style of mine. *snerk* Nice and easy, that one.)

There’s another factor I forgot to mention, and that’s the number of colors per character. In an attempt to keep the visual clutter to a minimum, I try to limit each character to no more than about eight colors — with two flesh tones and two hair tones, that leaves me about four colors to use in designing their outfit, which often (but not necessarily) complement their skin and hair colors. It’s a complicated process.