[GM Note] Behind the Development: Hope of Gray, ‘Isolet’

Greetings Raiders!
This is GM Dakaris with some behind the scene info on the upcoming new Hero Isolet!

We know that many of you had been wondering about Isolet so we have prepared this ‘Behind the Development’ notice to give you an insight on how Isolet came to be! Hope you enjoy!

Part 1. Settings

“Isolet, the Coven Sister of Ophelia and the Executioner of Pandora”

In Chapter 10, Crow meets Isolet, who turned out to be an associate of Pandora. Why is Isolet, a member of the witch association and a coven sister of Ophelia, siding with Pandora? For what purpose did she join Pandora, and what task is she performing?

“The Witch with a Kind Heart”

Isolet is a character who agonizes about walking the path she walks now. After suffering the loss of something precious to her, Isolet was overwhelmed with great sorrow and hatred, which lead her astray and down the wrong path.

Although she continues on believing that this path is the right one, deep inside her heart, she questions if it truly is right. She believes that she will find her own path one day, but it seems now is not the time to reflect, as she will soon face many difficult situations, make difficult choices, and grow through these hardships.

Isolet herself is uncertain if she will choose the ‘path of the executioner which she thinks is wrong but inevitable,’ or ‘the path of good which she contemplated.’

Isolet’s apathetic tone and actions are simply defense mechanisms that she deploys to prevent getting hurt. She opens a part of her heart to someone like Rose, who approaches softly with the intent to communicate openly. She pushes away the person at first but starts showing her true, warm side after accepting the person. However, only a handful of those who approached her were accepted.

“Isolet’s Remaining Story”

Pandora will play an important role in the upcoming stories that are related to the Empire. Among the agents of Pandora, Isolet, the executioner of Pandora, will also play an important role. Furthermore, Isolet’s relationships with various other characters will help her grow into a unique, multifaceted character.
One of the key features that make Isolet stand out is her use of Technomagic apparatus via Pandora’s technology even though she looks like a witch and utilizes witchcraft.

Part 2. Artwork

“Isolet’s Design Keywords: Witch, Cold, Dark, Detached”

Ever since the beginning, the development team had decided to make Isolet a ‘witch.’ Since the concept of Isolet was quite clear, we naturally came up with a character who wears a wide-brimmed hat and a robe, which are typical witch-y items.

King’s Raid already has two witch characters: Cleo and Ophelia. We wanted to make a witch character who’s quite different from those two existing characters, so we went on and gave Isolet a darker color theme that gives a colder, detached aura. Our objective was to make sure she looks different from Ophelia, who is her coven sister.

We designed the first concept art above with that in mind.

Since we had decided to make a character that is deeply involved with the Technomagic Kingdom and uses a celestial globe as a weapon, we incorporated stars and machinery in her design. Since we needed various designs in the first concept, we created different versions with a bright color palette and took a slight departure from the original settings. We decided to go with the fifth version and started developing the design.

In the next stage, we polished the overall silhouette and focused on enhancing the details to further refine the concept art. Since the character’s overall concept is already set, it already resembles the final design. The difference from the previous stage is that Isolet’s legs are more revealing in these versions.

From here, we focused on the character’s concept and atmosphere. We wanted Isolet to give off a more serious vibe than ordinary witches. To emphasize this, we minimized skin exposure compared to the previous concept, reduced the color variety for the outfit, and darkened it. Furthermore, we mixed more white in the blue/purple parts that were the point colors so that they have a more pastel tone.

After finishing the overall silhouette and outfit design, we proceeded to weapon & hairstyle design.

We had decided that Isolet will wield a celestial globe, and since we usually think of a staff when it comes to witches, we designed a weapon which is a combination of a staff and a celestial globe. During the process of designing the celestial globe, we created and edited many aspects, and we combined machine-like elements that fit the Technomagic Kingdom theme.

For her hairstyle, we believed that it must fit the character’s overall concept (dark, witch, etc.) rather than her face. Since Isolet’s character concept and her outfit are rather dark, we decided to have her hair dark and cover her face. From then, we made several versions.

The above is the final, completed artwork of Isolet after. I’m sure you are all familiar with this one as we revealed it several times already. 😀

Next is the final step in the concept art part: illustration. During the planning phase, we decided to focus on the atmosphere of Isolet and create an illustration that best portrays her character. We imagined that Isolet’s movement during combat would be minimal, rather than moving her arms or legs excessively, and would also look detached while using her skills.

For the three concepts, the first one portrays her presence, the second one portrays Isolet using her skill nonchalantly, and the third one shows her riding her staff, faithful to her witch concept. Among these three concepts, we believe that the first one best portrays Isolet’s atmosphere and character.

We are currently working on the final illustration based on the first concept. I’m writing this article in August, and unfortunately, we haven’t finished the image as of right now. For the completed illustration, please look forward to the GM note, patch note, or in-game after the update!

“Isolet’s 3D Modeling”

When it comes to fantasy, you can’t simply ignore magic and magical wands (or staffs)! As someone who loves fantasy settings, we were really excited to model Isolet!

When modeling, we have always prioritized the face before anything. It was no different for Isolet as well.

Based on the concept plan document and artwork, we proceeded to model the character to look detached, cold, and beautiful. Isolet’s face modeling took longer to complete than other characters. However, we are satisfied with the outcome as the resulting face looks nonchalant or sad depending on the camera angle; this face expresses Isolet’s complicated psyche effectively and fits the character very well.

Among the characters of King’s Raid, Isolet’s outfit is one of the darkest outfits. It wasn’t easy to make the darker parts darker. We were worried if such dark color would shroud the texture of the clothing, but it harmonized surprisingly well with metallic decorations and patterns—in fact, it enhanced the atmosphere of the outfit.

The hardest part in the modeling process was the weapon. Isolet’s weapon, unlike common bladed weapons such as swords or spears, did not have a clear front/back. We had to make sure that all sides of the weapon were modeled. We had to make sure none of the details are missed, and the challenges especially came from modeling the light of the center sphere, decorations that surround the sphere, and overall details that involve a large number of decorations on the weapon.

“Isolet’s Animation (Motion)”

When animating a female character, an animator can make use of pelvic movement to create sexy/entrancing motions using an asymmetrical silhouette. However, Isolet’s concept is not a sexy/enchanting witch. When working on the animation, we made sure that none of the movements seemed too sexualized.

Isolet is a cold, detached character who does not have a great range of emotions or motion. Because of this, there was a risk of Isolet becoming a dull, uninteresting character. We had to find ways to preserve Isolet’s characteristics while making sure that she doesn’t look dull.

We paid more attention to extra layers of details such as the path of her finger and hand movement. We also created a variety of motions that make use of her wide-brimmed hat. Note that we added the hat-related motions with the intention to portray Isolet’s alertness, defensive nature, hidden emotions, and other internal feelings of Isolet. Fufu.

Isolet’s weapon is another unique aspect of her animation.

Isolet’s weapon has a heavy Sci-fi theme to it and also shows Pandora’s technology. To do so, we animated the weapon as well. Her standard 5 Star weapon, Unique Weapon, Costume Weapon, and others all show different animation. We hope you enjoy them!

“Isolet’s Effect: Fire, Ice, Wind, and Barrier”

The concept for Isolet’s skill effects is the three elements of fire, ice, and wind, plus a barrier. Each skill shows three elements within a barrier, and each barrier also reveals those elements. Furthermore, skill 1 creates a four-sided polygonal barrier, skill 2 creates a pentagonal barrier, and skill 3 creates an octagonal barrier. We designed each barrier differently so that each of the barriers feels distinctive with different elements and shapes.

As we were working on Isolet, we found barrier effects to be an interesting new concept. At the same time, however, regardless of each barrier’s element, it required a lot of effort and expertise as an effect artist to design the shape of each barrier and think of how each barrier will be shaped/depicted/realized.

Part 3. Planning

“Isolet’s Battle”

Isolet is a Physical Wizard. Her skills use space and elements to attack enemies. Isolet first creates a barrier to an area where she will damage her foes, and then uses elements such as fire, ice, and wind. Furthermore, Isolet’s elements can synergize with each other to amplify the effect or create a whole new effect.

Isolet’s skills are unaffected by cooldown reduction, and there is a clear, compensatory upside for this. Also, since most of Isolet’s skills attack enemies in a certain area, her ability will prove to be extremely helpful when facing multiple enemies at once.

Part 4. Conclusion

Isolet was first revealed in last March, through the Orvel Foundation Day development presentation video. Isolet’s concept and design were decided long ago. Unlike Hilda, since Isolet’s concept was quite straightforward in terms of aesthetics, the development process for Isolet was quite smooth.

A portion of Isolet’s story was revealed in Chapter 10, but she is expected to perform even more parts in the upcoming stories. Isolet will play an important role as a major character in the empire-related story after chapter 10.

Isolet will be released as a new Hero, and there are still many untold stories regarding her. Thank you and we look forward to your continued affection for King’s Raid.