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The Fantasy Art of Tradewinds Legends - Random Character Generator

Tradewinds Legends is a trading game and fantasy role-playing game set in a mythical world of magical happenings being commonplace, magical trinkets for sale in every port, and genies everywhere. The fantasy game art is cartoony, colourful, and captures the "Arabian Nights" and mythical Far East stereotypes very well. Facial expressions for all characters also greatly enhances storytelling in lieu of actual animation. This Tradewinds Legends fantasy game art page examines the random character portrait generator and has sample portraits from the generator.

The Fantasy Art of Tradewinds Legends

Overview of the Fantasy Art of the Tradewinds Games

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Tradewinds Legends uses a portrait randomizer to create fantasy-style portraits for non-playable characters encountered in-game, as well as for characters for its "open play" mode (where you play the game without following any particular storyline).

The random character generator creates characters by choosing facial features from a database of artwork. The variables are Class, Gender, Nationality (African, Arabian, Chinese, Indian, and Magical), and Career, and these constrain the availability of various elements.

At a glance it may seem that the game can crunch out an infinite variety of random character portraits. But while you can generally keep clicking the "New Character" button until something appears that appeals to you, sometimes, the randomizer just wasn't given enough content for a particular combination of Gender, Class, Nationality, and Career.

The Magical Nationality is a notorious example. "Magical" characters are genies, and comprised of stone-men (lower class), blue and green genies (middle class), and living golden statues (upper class). For the class-gender-nationality combination of Upper Class Female Magical, the generator only has enough data for one portrait type, that of an old woman. Keep clicking frantically and one minor detail facial might change.

This, of course, is an extreme example. However, if you experiment with it, you will find that certain combinations simply don't produce an expected variation, or the results look just like that of another combination of variables. And sometimes, even when Class, Nationality, and Career are the same, one Gender may have interesting results while another might just turn out Middle Class Merchants. On the upside, there is effort put in to reflect the four variables for other nationalities and for clothing choices.

While not exhaustive, the selection our gallery is fairly representative of the random character generator's strengths and weaknesses.

Tradewinds Legends is definitely worth a look if you're curious about, say, what makes one face look happy and another look sad; or what makes one portrait look Arabian while another looks Indian. By changing the eyes and the mouth slightly, even if the viewer is not consciously aware of every change, the mood of the character is altered.

In the two pictures below, can you spot the differences that make the 'regular' Nandi look even happier? (Answer)

Nandi cropped for comparison with Nandi happy

Nandi happy

comparison of Nandi facial features

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