Each character for Diabolical! started as a sketch and Dr. McHavok was the first.
When I joined the project, Evan and I frequently met to talk about the game. Among the topics of conversation were my responsibilities as the character designer. We had a general idea of the kind of villains we wanted to include. Evan had even begun work on a Mad Scientist, but initially these were basic concepts. By continuing our conversations, the villains began to grow. They started to take on more personality and depth.
In Dr. McHavok’s case, we asked ourselves questions like:
- Where is this character from?
- What is his backstory?
- How did he become a villain?
- How did he acquire his skill set?
By asking questions like these and filtering them through coffee fueled, comedic riffing sessions, we turned a general Mad Scientist into Dr. McHavok: The Scottish Mad Scientist. This would become our formula for creating the remaining Diabolical! characters.
After our discussions, I used the ideas Evan and I came up with and translated them into digitally painted visuals. This was an iterative process, as every time we met, we came up with more ways to strengthen the characters.
Though some of these deeper questions may seem irrelevant to board game characters, it defined the visual voice of Diabolical! and helped solidify the overall tone of the game.