Plus, its creator details how the game's roster evolved from first concepts to final warriors
Hello! I’m Masatomo Ina, Director of Dark Eclipse.Today I’d like to walk you through how we created our game’s characters, and reveal some exciting new game features in the 2.0 update!
Dark Eclipse is a VR strategy game born as a result of our team’s desire to create something totally new. We decided early on in development that the characters, their stories and the world they lived in had to be just as unfamiliar and exciting and the game itself.
To make thing even more of a challenge, we’d planned to release overseas as well as here in Japan, so we wanted to retain a Japanese style which would still appeal to a worldwide audience. Importantly though, we also decided that creating designs we genuinely enjoyed ourselves, should come first before any other factors.
On that note, allow me to introduce the early makings of a few of our Dominators – the powerful entities that roam the world of Dark Eclipse…
Shulaia’s concept theme was a female assassin. We knew we wanted one of her special skills to be a stab with her sword, so you can see she already has her swords in these early versions below.
Our designers tell me that at the time, I said I preferred the top right version. So we took that version and made her look a little younger, which is the version you see on the bottom right.
We’re especially proud of her dress of fire.
Ejin’s concept theme was curses and phantoms. You can see in the art below that our ideas were quite varied at first.
We brushed up his design from these initial ideas to better suit his special skill of cursing a targeted area, and dealing damage to enemies within the field at the end.
In particular, we took the arms and shoulders of the Ejin second from the right and added more features to further accentuate his special skill.
The concept for Intis was one fantasy cliché we couldn’t pass up on – the devil. And it was a challenge to reinvent him in an original way.
At first, Intis had dragon legs and 4 wings, the version you see at the bottom. However, we changed course to make him look smarter with the version on the top left, as the original design made him look much stronger than all the other characters. Then, however, he looked too weak. So we gave him more muscles on his upper torso, and ended up with the version on the top right.
Finally, we brushed him up with cuffs and more emissions.
Here is the rather popular Raina, who shows up in quite a few of the game’s art pieces.
Fun fact: Raina’s name was derived from a combination of my last name and “samurai” like so: Samurai-Ina > Samuraina > Raina. Below is the first design of Raina that came from his concept theme: a mechanical samurai.
From here, we amended his design so he could perform his special skill of spinning his dual blades. We made it so he spun with his collar bone as the pivot. Below are some rough sketches from that point in the process.
We also made it so he sticks his feet into the ground to support himself while he spun. With a few more brush-ups, we came to the final version below.
Now I will introduce to you the making of the characters we call our Heroes.
Sakura is probably the closest to being the main character of our game. Her initial concept theme was that of a female samurai.
As you can see, her hair was long in the beginning, but she ended up cutting most of it off.
We also took care when choosing her weapon, which is one of her most unique features.
Sakura also has a backstory, and is the princess of Milzarya (her story will be coming to the game in the future!).
When the great catastrophe the Dark Eclipse robs her world of all order, Sakura struggles on, burdened with the task of bringing hope back to her people. It was from her design that her story was born – a princess fighting vigorously for her people in the face of disaster.
However, I’m quite sad to say the cat face on her shirt did not make it into the final version.
Sultan’s concept as a muscly burly craftsman is my personal favourite. We explored quite a bit when thinking of his design, as you can see below.
Following some initial sketches, we began to put more emphasis on him being a craftsman.
We almost finalized the design with the version above, but our designers brushed him up even more nicely.
For the grand finale, let me introduce you to the very first character that was created as concept art for our game. A character who I must say has quite a big place in my heart.
This character was the result of us deciding that we should create designs we personally loved, with a touch of Japanese style, and not just what we thought people would want.
This character has yet to be named, but do look forward to meeting them in our game someday.
I hope you enjoyed that glimpse into our creative process for Dark Eclipse. Now though, I’d like to announce that from today a new patch is available to all players, adding an exciting new Ranked Mode and three new playable Leaders.
With the 2.0 update, there are now two queues you can join to find your next battle: Casual and Rank. So long as you have 2 Heroes and 4 Dominators in-game already, you can access the ranked mode and challenge other players.
With the rank queue, you will be matched with people close to your skill level (rank point) if possible. Note that this may result in the matching time taking longer.
With the casual queue however, people with largely different skill levels may be matched with each other, which makes the matching time shorter. Also note that players in the Rank queue will not be matched with people in the Casual queue.
To keep tabs on the very best Dark Eclipse players, the top 100 players in ranked mode can be seen on the leaderboard, and you can even see the Leaders these strong players like to use.
As rewards, we’ve also prepared some hand skins, which you can only unlock if you participate in ranked mode. Please have fun with it!
With the addition of new Leaders, the meta is changed, helping players to counter pick characters and formulate new strategies. Every new Hero and Dominator adds to the challenge, variety and fun! So, who are they?
A carry Hero with the skill to heal her allies and damage enemies with an area of effect, making her close to invincible while active. She’s easy-to-use even for beginners.
A powerful tank Dominator that passively increases its attack power and can use its ability to damage and stun enemies from afar.
An assassin Dominator that can confuse and hinder enemies with its high mobility, warping instantly to an enemy to attack, and just as quickly withdrawing.
Dark Eclipse is PlayStation VR’s first MOBA which you can play for free right now. Get involved and join the fray by downloading it from PlayStation Store.
Missed our Dark Eclipse rundown? Get up to speed on the dark fantasy world of Oldus right here.
For more information on upcoming Dark Eclipse news and content, stay tuned to PlayStation Blog, check out the official website, and follow the devs on Twitter @DarkEclipseVR.