Along with the development of Coffee Noir, the vision about some characters has changed. The decision to improve some illustrations was mostly dictated by plot changes. Thanks to the changes in concepts, we tweaked the visual layer of the game so that it would become an integral part of the main hero’s investigation. From now on, the player will experience the story through the rich spectrum of clues and meanings hidden within animated illustrations. Britt Gammalkvist is the best example of this technique. When we were modifying this character, we asked ourselves: what artistic means of expression should we use to enrich and complete Britt’s story? We chose: colour, valor, detail and animation. According to this scheme, we made the following changes.
Earlier, it was decided that Britt is an elegant and confident businesswoman, who is not afraid of taking risk. Therefore, she should wear light colours that are full of life to emphasise her independence. We resigned from boring, predictable brown and picked elegant navy blue, which symbolizes seriousness, discipline and work. Now, she presents herself in daring makeup and stylish jewellery that shows her material status.
We also fine-tuned the place where she resides. Because of who the character is, we decided to add more detail in her office, such as organizers for documents and trophies, indicating good organization and success.
What’s more, the illustration was set in motion a little. Due to limited time, we had to prepare a simple, but meaningful animation. Britt smiles slightly, breathes regularly and seems to be a calm person, but the nervous hand movement introduces some dissonance. The player subconsciously sinks into the story and searches for a hidden meaning.
To sum up: in the game development process, the artistic decisions are almost as important as correct optimization. Small changes are inevitable, but the primarily accepted convention and the way to convey the plot must be coherent. Otherwise, the end product is not a legitimate creation, but a cluster of elements that do not fit each other. As Coffee Noir developers, we are aware of this dependence, so we try our best to polish the game in every aspect. We hope that through small changes that we currently implement in the game, Coffee Noir will become an even more amazing and absorbing story.