Perfect World International: Localizing the Venomancer
In our continuing series of of developer journals discussing the ways in which the developers from Perfect World International are localizing the game for the North American market, we take a look at the Venomancer in a number of different incarnations.
The Venomancer is the pet class of Perfect World International. Being a part of the Untamed race, they have a strong kinship with the animals of Perfect World. Venomancers come in various forms, their most common form being that of a fox.
This is one of the original concepts for the Venomancer class for the Chinese region. The first thing you’ll notice about this character is the strong “earthly” theme to her. She’s dressed in tribal attire that puts a heavy emphasis on her race’s connection the nature. While alluring, we felt that this character was a little bit too “soft” visually and doesn’t really capture your eye.
This is the first draft of the Venomancer class for the US. You can see an immediate contrast between this character and the Chinese version of the Venomancer. Her armor is definitely a bit more “scandalous” than the Chinese version’s armor. Her body posture is also more provocative compared to the Chinese Venomancer’s passive stance. One detail that I particularly enjoy about this piece is the red gems that are subtly placed on her neck and back of her hand. Equipment in Perfect World International can be socketed and I thought it was really creative for the artist to incorporate that thought into this character’s armor design.
Upon receiving the first US Venomancer image, we felt that her face didn’t really match her demure. Her posture seemed very posh and proud but her facial expression didn’t reflect that. The second revision that we received seemed to match the character more accurately. Her eyebrows are de-emphasized and her facial angle is more upturned. You can get a sense of disdain from her gaze which I think gives her a stronger overall presence.
We released and started utilizing this piece of artwork in Fall of 2008, just in time for Halloween. We wanted to show a more “gothy” side of the Venomancer class. We wanted a very marketable figure but at the same time stay true to our source material. This is a more modern version of the Venomancer. A mix of leather and steel, tattoo’s and piercings are there to punctuate her sense of individuality. Uniqueness and customization are some of the key driving factors for Perfect World International so we wanted to stress those points indirectly through our artwork.
Perfect World International is an MMORPG that is very much dissimilar to most of the other titles out on the market. Not just because the game is deeply rooted into a mythology and lore that isn’t often explored by western audiences, but because the art and style of Perfect World’s core is just so unique.