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2022, Character Art Series

A character design series & mini world building project about chess-themed robots. Much of the lore was and design choices were also inspired by the game's rule sets such as pawns being sent to the other side to steal parts, or Rooks being lancers that charge forward in reference to how they move.

If it were a fully fledged project, I'd imagine it'd be more lighthearted action RPG, similar to the toon-styled Legend of Zelda games. Though a middle-grade graphic novel was also on my mind while making it

This was done as a semester-long during college. Special thanks to Elliot Grinnell, who was my mentor during this whole project and provided a lot of feedback throughout my time working on it.

The Beginnings

Years ago, two twin brothers founded a village. Using their knowledge in engineering and robotics, they created technology that helped the community expand into a kingdom and to have it be sustainable. Their most notable advancement were the pawn units, small, basic robots that would assist humans in tasks such as farming, gathering resources, and transporting items.

The two of them lead harmoniously for years, but that wasn't to last. Overtime, tension began to build. Ideas on how to lead the kingdom going forward started to clash. And eventually both believed only one of them should rule.

They both swore to settle this in a battle. They went their separate ways to design new robots to aid them in their fight. Though while the tensions raged on, resources for the rest of the kingdom were thinned as more parts went into building battle units than to upkeep the civilian pawns and the towns themselves. But possibly, it could take one unit of neither side to put an end to the conflict once and for all...

The Kings

The two leaders, now divided as the Light and Dark kings. The Light King is more adamant and dislikes being in a position of inaction. He believes the kingdom should spread its influence further and faster. The Dark King on the other hand is more reserved, preferring longer periods of time to dwell on issues. He feels growing the kingdom more is of least concern and wishes to work on what they have.

Due to their age and being human, neither of them fight on the front lines. Instead mostly sticking to their workshops, building and maintaining their robots and using them to settle the conflict remotely.

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The Pawns

The pawns, being the earliest units created serve as a baseline for the future robots to come. Most of them stand no taller than 3' and can come in varied sized and features depending on their uses. Battle Pawns are equipped with small swords and are common foot soldiers.

Alongside combat, they are also sent to steal materials from the other side to put them at a disadvantage for repairs

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The Neutral Unit

With the majority of robot production shifted to the conflict, many previously manufactured pawns have gotten limited repairs and have to be maintained with whatever is on hand. The Neutral Unit is one of such.

Originally built to maintain large buildings like bridges and wind turbines, they eventually learned how to repair themselves and other pawns out of necessity. Through with resources growing thinner by the day, they eventually set off to see how they can put an end to the kings' battles once and for all.

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The Rooks

The rooks are the next step up from a pawn unit. They're larger and more armored, and were originally built to serve as guards for the kingdom.

Rooks are lancers and mostly fight by charging head-on. They also help guard others in combat and at least one is by the kings' sides as their shields.

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The Bishops

Bishop units are lighter armored compared to the other robots and are rarely seen on the front lines. Instead, they're mostly used as the kings' personal guards and assistants in their lab work. Their weapons of choice are spears, and though they lack in defense, they make up for it with swift evasiveness and combat.

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The Knights

Knights are minotaur-esque swordsmen that wield large claymores and are positioned as field team leaders on the front lines. They stand taller than most of the other units and bias a more grandiose combat style with large sword swings. Though due to their larger size, they tend to be slower and best for hard-hitting swings and tanking larger groups of enemies.

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The Queens

THE QUEENS With the large amount of battle units to manage, both kings built themselves one large robot that would command by their side; the Queens. They tower above even the kings' themselves and serve as a commander for their respective sides. Their scepters serve as electrical conductors, which allows them to wield and cast electric surges to attack their opponents.

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