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Nine Classes, One Destiny...

Tian Long Ba Bu — or TLBB — is one of the most successful MMOs in China.

Author: TLBB_EU

Contributors: sanzaburo,Moto8,

Animating pets

Posted by TLBB_EU Wednesday June 16 2010 at 1:07PM
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Please introduce yourself:
Hello everyone, I’m one of the illustrators of TLBB, my name is Qi Wang and I’m delighted to be talking to you about TLBB.
Pets in TLBB are seen as a way to not only have a loyal sidekick, but also to help the character destroy an enemy. When designing these pets, did you have a brief on how they should look to the player? If so, how many concepts did you go through before you were happy with the results?
Before designing a pet, we will sit down and have a meeting where everyone gives input and contributes their ideas. Once we’ve chosen some of the best ideas, we then present what we feel is the perfect image of a pet going from the brief. Throughout the design process, there are a number of points we need to take into consideration such as whether or not the design is popular, which style looks best, how the pet will look like after levelling up and so on. It’s difficult to say exactly how many concepts we go through  before we’re happy because we go through so many stages of inspiration and different stages of scrutiny, that it can go round in circles at times.
One of TLBB’s main aspects is the pet system used in the game. As a designer, did you want to create fiercer looking pets? Or were you already aware of the levelling up system that the pets would have in this martial arts MMO?
In actual fact, there is a huge variety of pets in TLBB and we don’t only treat them as followers, but as weapons who can cause serious damage as well as fight for players throughout the game. Each pet has its own attributes that contribute to experience of the game whether it’s for looks or for assistance to the player.
What was your biggest challenge when creating these pets? Which one are you most proud of and why?
The trickiest part of the design process is conceptual. As there are more and more pets in the game, it becomes more challenging to find breakthroughs in design and originality. So far, the categories we have are cute, funny, cool and ferocious. As time goes on, there could be more categories to fill and as one of my main tasks is to design novel pets, it will give me more scope for different pet designs. More recently, we designed cool looking zombie pets, but my personal favourite would have to be the Beast which is seen as a Chinese legend that possesses might, strength and good looks.
Are there anymore plans in place to create new and exciting pets in TLBB? What sort of inspiration will you turn to as an illustrator?
We are indeed doing a lot of experimental work, and we believe the pets will bring everyone a brand new experience.  There’s a lot happening right now and I can tell you that in the future, there will be a number of unique features about the pet system. Let’s just say camouflaged predators are tough to see and a ring leader usually has a following.
Many Asian cartoons, characters, films and illustrations have a very different feel to the western markets. How do you feel your designs will be interpreted by Europe and what is your main goal as designer when creating such characters/creatures?
In my opinion, whether it’s Asian cartoons or Western cartoons, everyone agrees on visually beautiful designs. Although some opinions will be different to others, our goal remains to design good looking pets for players.
The pets in TLBB all have their own identity and can be improved throughout the game, very similarly to the actual characters themselves. When designing these pets and knowing that TLBB has a genuine martial arts feel to it, do you feel the need to compete with other Chinese styled MMOs?
Competition is everywhere and although there are similarities in other Chinese styled MMOs, making our game stand out is the main objective when we design pets. You will see that all our pets have something different, but there’s nothing wrong with healthy competition as this will only make us progress and make TLBB better.
For more about the pet system, please visit: pet gifs and pets introduction sections on the official website.
Do you have your own pet in TLBB? If so, what is your preference? Is it effective for you?
Yes, my pet is a bunny but don’t be fooled by how cute it is because it can cause some serious damage. There are some rare pets in the upcoming expansions of TLBB that I’d love to get my hands on, let’s just say that Bruce Lee’s spirit comes alive TLBB’s at some point. Sorry I can’t say anymore!
Finally, if you were to name the following pets as your own, what would you call them?
  1. Mantis                  >         Flying General
  2. Dinosaur              >           Prehistoric Overlord
  3. Boar                      >           Plump Saemon
  4. Crocodile            >           South China Sea dragon
  5. Monkey               >          Heavenly Monkey
Thanks for your time ~! writes:
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