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NCsoft's City Of Heroes/Villains Issue 9 Breakthrough Gives You Wings

Developer Diary – "Inventing Wings" by Character Artist, Jay Doherty

Wednesday 18th April/...NCsoft release a designer diary by Character artist, Jay Doherty of Cryptic Studios, in which he talks about the design process and offering players a huge variety to invent in the next free update:

Hey, I'm Jay Doherty, and I am a character artist for City of Heroes. One of my specialties is inventing wings for City of Heroes and Villains, and I am here to tell you how it all goes down.

With each new content update that has come out over the recent years, I always saw players making their own threads on costume pieces what they wanted, so I decided to start a thread on the City of Heroes several months back asking players what they most wanted. Within about two weeks 10,000 requests were made. So I started chipping away at the ever-growing requests. Obviously one of the cool aspects of City of Heroes is the ability for characters to fly, and not surprisingly one of the biggest requests was that players wanted wings. So wings are what they got.

It's safe to say that wings are one of the most difficult player costume pieces to make for the game. There are two basic "rigs" for the wings which we call internally "Bat" and "Eagle." Depending on the wing; the proper rig will be used. When designing our new wings, I had to make sure that every wing looks good both in its flying state and resting state (You will not understand the giant pain in the butt it is to do that). The hardest wing to make was the Angel, just because it was the first one I made (we introduced Angel and Demon wings first as part of our Veteran Rewards program). One of the coolest things about being a character artist is making sure everything looks tight and I wanted to make sure that every wing looked different from far away and close up; so to achieve that I tried giving every wing a distinctive Silhouette.

So as I mentioned already, the first two wings that I designed were the Angel and Demon wings. The higher-ups really liked how I and the animation team implemented them so they beat me until they got some more. So to date we have created ten wing sets: Angel, Demon, Dragon, Burned, Bone, Bat, Cherub, Insect, Tech, and Fairy. Here was my thought process on each of the different wings.

I wanted the Angel wings to be very natural and bird like. The Demon wings had to be elegant, sharp, and vampire-like, whereas the Dragon wings had to be big, bulky and tough looking. The Burned wings are supposed to be for undead and monstrous characters, but just in case they aren't undead enough for some players, I made the Bone wings. The Bat and Cherub wings aren't supposed to be real world practical; they are more a cutesy accessory. The Insect wings turned out pretty bad-ass because our animators made them look like real buzzing wings. Why a robot would need wings is beyond me, but the people wanted them so they got Tech wings. Oh, and I made the Fairy wings for all the really good little girls out there in CoH land.

And what better way to give these new wing sets to our players than through our new Invention system! So if you want to look cool and be the hip guy or gal on the block, get out there and start inventing. Enjoy!

About NCsoft Europe

NCsoft Europe (NC-E) is headquartered in Brighton, England and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online games. NCsoft has already successfully established itself in North America, Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand. NC-E began operations on 1st September 2004 and serves as a central hub for all NCsoft sales, marketing and distribution operations in Europe, via its European distribution network. NC-E launched Lineage® II in November 2004, City of Heroes® on 4th February 2005, Guild Wars on 28th April 2005, City of Villains® on 31st October 2005, Auto Assault® on 13th April 2006, Guild Wars Factions on 28th April 2006 and Guild Wars Nightfall on 27th October 2006. More information about NCsoft Europe can be found at

NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, PlayNC, Lineage, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Auto Assault and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. Jumpgate and NetDevil are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetDevil, LTD. City of Heroes, City of Villains and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cryptic Studios, Inc. and NCsoft Corporation. Cryptic Studios is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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