To steal a music term, the hook of a song is that thing that, well, hooks you in and makes you wanna remember the song. So how does that pertain to design you ask? Well early on in the DA:I project I decided to treat the appeal of the characters I designed not through the eye of the beholder, compiling massive reference sheet of beautiful people and picking features I found appealing. Instead I decided to look through the lens of the narrative, and find their hook. I just found beauty too subjective, too mushy too, too, well lets just say I didn’t find it adequate. Luckily for me a lot of the talented people at Bioware believe in narrative so it wasn’t a hard sell to change the thinking and discussion away from “do I like what that looks like” to “does that visually say what we want”.
In the above example of Cassandra. Her hook is her power and authority. So then the trick was merely to use visual language to tell that story. I no longer had to justify what I thought was attractive. Her face became all about her aggression. Through the angle of her facial structure to the angle of her ears. It all became about giving her a strong aggressive forward visual flow.
— Casper Konefal (x)
Working beside this man for the last couple of years has been a highlight of my career. His insights, creativity and artistic integrity have been such an inspiration. He takes this approach to everything he does and his influence permeates Inquisition. Edit: and I should add, EVERY party member and many key NPC’s have received this treatment and I believe the results speak for themselves.