My fellow artists and I at Avalanche have been putting ourselves through a character design workshop. The character must first be a squirrel, muskrat, or badger and appeal to an audience of boys and girls age 7-11. The character should fill a "helper" role for the player in an action/adventure game. We started the first week with our initial designs and have been critiqueing ourselves and each other on how we can make him/her/it better the next week. We've also been putting our designs through four filters, one each week: Contrast, Novelty, Story, and Style. Week 1 was my initial design, inspired in equal parts by Phoenix Wright, and Sly Cooper, and named after the greatest private detective of them all. He mainly helps the player by analyzing whatever evidence the player finds in their quest. Week 2 I added more contrast to the design by (among other things) thinning the body, enlarging the head, moving the facial features from the center of the face and intensifying the eyes. Week 3 I combined the next 2 filters (since I actually missed a week), for Novelty/Familiarity I made the shapes more unique and tried to unify the squirrel elements. For Story I removed the coat and added a hat which I feel better communicates the background and personality of my squirrel detective. I've so far found the workshop to be extremely helpful and I feel like my design has improved. The final design should be done in the next few weeks. Head over the the Avalanche Blog to see everyone else's.