Development Spotlight: Medusa August 13, 2015 22:48

Hi folks, Walker here with our first blog post that goes beyond the strict news and informational format we have been using so far.  We’ve been working on a content schedule for a while now in order to give you guys a little more insight into our design thoughts and process, and I’m happy to present the first entry in our spotlight series: Medusa.

Some of you may have noticed that our Medusa (along with the other Gorgon sisters) doesn’t exactly follow the established model of what themes are usually explored for her in games, film, and literature.  When we are designing a new character for Arena Rex we like to look at a couple of things before we even really get started and the first of them is “What is already out there?”  

In the case of Medusa, the short answer is “quite a lot” and so we really wanted to take our time with this character and model and make it something special that adds a new wrinkle to the idea of who or what Medusa could be.

The primary concept that really drove development of our Medusa character was the idea of Medusa as anathema to Athena.  According to Ovid (and others) Medusa was cursed by Athena.  After her eventual decapitation her head was affixed to Athena’s shield.  Our Medusa, after her fateful run-in with Athena, took the head of Athena’s favored bird, the owl, and fixed it to her shield as a taunt to the goddess.  When we examined the idea of a Medusa that mirrored Athena, we knew we had a strong concept to run with (for Nick’s sake, I will avoid turning this into a 5 page essay on Medusa and mirrors).  

The other idea that really struck me personally was the idea of using classical veiled statuary as a basis for our Medusa.  Medusa is known in myth for her terrible visage, and her gaze capable of turning men to stone.  Full veils are uncommon on miniatures because the face is a focal point for painters and can turn pieces into a real showcase.  

A well done rendering of sheer fabric in miniature has always impressed me personally, and I thought that if we could find a way to pull off a very thin classically styled veil it would be a great opportunity for skilled painters to really show off.  At the same time the crest and hairpiece would evoke a classical Greek helmet in resting position, and would give us the focal point needed to keep the miniature in balance.

Benoit took a really challenging concept and did a fantastic job of executing it. We knew that whoever we asked to sculpt this model would have their work cut out for them, and he came through with a piece that really reflects the concept we had for the character and brings it to life. As a side benefit, it means that our original hope to keep all of the Gorgons with the same sculptor bore out, and they really make a nice set beside each other.

Check out the Medusa mini here.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing more about some of the ideas we focused on when developing Medusa as a character for Arena Rex.  Keep an eye on this space for a bit more about Medusa and her sister Gorgons in the coming weeks, and a whole lot more about everything else after that!