Tuesday, October 7, 2014

McDivot Character Concepts

How can you have a gopher living in a golf course without being inspired by "Caddyshack"?

You can't. But this was my directive.

When Fairway Solitaire was still in development I was asked to create a gopher character. He should be both mischievous and cute at the same time. He should have qualities that evoked something positive from the audience. 

I don't know how animation studios handle character development. In fact everything I did with McDivot from concept to animations to story development I did in complete blissful ignorance. I had no idea what I was doing but I still knew I could do it. This was something I've always wanted to do.

I felt that my career had been built up to this kind of thing. So when they asked me if I could do it I said yes. I didn't know if I could but I just wanted to. No one told me I couldn't.

I started with a bunch of rough sketches with different looks. For reference I used both photos of real gophers (pocket gophers and ground squirrels) and also cartoon gophers for some inspiration.

These are what I came up with.

 After running these by a small committee and mixing traits from 2 or 3 of these guys this is what I came up with.
I wanted to name him Verco after my late cousin. I like the name Verco and Verco Gopher had a nice ring. It was slightly alliterative without his first and last initials being the same. Eventually his name and his looks would evolve over time.

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