Defy Reality. Own the Planet.
Here is the third blog in the SSX Character Inspiration Blog Series written by Producer Sean Smillie, looking at two characters – Moby and Psymon.
Right out of the gate Moby was a major challenge. I really enjoyed how he’s changed over the last few SSX games, but what to do with him now? One of the key things to keep in mind when developing characters is their relationship with the game itself – it’s very easy to lose sight of how a character will be affected by gameplay.
When it came to Moby we looked at his role in the game: cold weather specialist. We knew right off the bat that his clothing should reflect that, that it should be obvious to everyone that this is a guy who can withstand extreme temperatures. As things progressed his appearance began to hit home. I love how he represents a big, powerful guy, someone who can take the worst nature has to offer, shrug it off and keep going.
Things really clicked when we began working on his bio and the digital comic. We discussed Moby being someone who would venture out to a place like Antarctica to see if his gear could take it. This evolved into Moby being an individual that looks to push himself and constantly try out new ideas. In the past I always thought of Moby as a unique rider - he always struck me as someone who was smarter than everyone else. I love where we ended up going with him - the comic speaking to how far he will go to test out his ideas, the color and style of his gear and the overall vibe he projects. It's an interesting take on a character that's been a big part of the SSX universe and I hope people are digging it.
Psymon has always been one of my favorite characters (along with Zoe of course). We went back into the SSX archives and dug around and there has been quite a bit of change to him over the years. We wanted to do something interesting with him and it would have been too easy to just slap some spiky hair, tattoos, and chains on him and say 'he's done'.
Part of evolving the franchise was taking the characters in new directions. I like to think about where he would be a few years from now, how this new Psymon could evolve and change.
The basic idea for the new Psymon stemmed from a motorcycle trip I took through Washington State. Passing through the small town of Concrete I checked out a wicked little motorcycle shop where they build sick custom machines. The place really stuck out in my mind because it had a great, non-pretentious vibe to it; this is where serious bikers go to get their rides.
Returning home I began bouncing ideas off of Rees Savidis (assistant producer and co-writer on all the comics). We developed a backstory that had Psymon building muscle bikes and during the winter, hitting the back country. I really like the idea of him escaping the glitz and glam of organized events and getting all hardcore and gnarly in the back country. We saw him working hard, making kick-ass bikes and happily left to his own devices until Zoe shows up and aggressively gets him to join up. His new look came from endless discussions of what he would be doing, what he would evolve into and what his look represents. Psymon proved to be a very tough character to tackle. We explored numerous design influences in an effort to bring him into the new SSX and to fit with the emerging cast. I like where he's at for the start of a new SSX - be cool to see how he will evolve in the future.
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