Monday, December 17, 2012

J&K - The Road to Daxter - Part 1

One of the characters I had a hand in developing that turned out to be among the most lauded is Daxter from Jak and Daxter. He won the Best Original Character Award in 2002 at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California that year. Something equivalent of an Oscar in the gaming industry. There was a lot of excitement about this when it happened.

I developed the look of Daxter over an extended effort providing a large variety of designs and approaches. A completely original design which I developed without any visual reference. Contrary to the text of the announcement Naughty Dog issued upon winning the award I might add. This is where the journey started. I'll be following up in days ahead with much of the work I did up until Daxter was finally realized. I generated more concept designs for this one character than perhaps any other character I worked on in video games. I won't be showing every design I created. Some of them I'm not happy with but the ones I feel good about I'll be sharing.

The road to Daxter started here with the sketches...  


Pat Caldora said...

So at first, Daxter was designed as a fox/squirrel. Then later, on he became more bipedal and more weasel like.

What made Daxter's personality funny was Max Casella's voice for the character. He reminds me so much of Timon from The Lion King.

I love the designs Charles!

Charles Z said...

At first when I started focusing on the character he didn't have a name. He was referred to as the sidekick. He went through several different phases as far as the kind of animal he would be. You'll see what I'm talking about as more drawings are posted.

The voice did make a difference as far as establishing Daxter as a unique personality. The animators at ND also did a fine job.

He was intended at first to be something of a small character that would perch on Jak's shoulder. He wound up being a little bigger than originally conceived which worked out better I'd say.

Glad you like this Pat and thanks for your comment.