Dragon’s Crown designer George Kamitani says he’s sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable with his bizarrely-proportioned character art.
George Kamitani took some heat earlier this month when Kotaku pointed out the rather strange appearance of the Sorceress character in Dragon’s Crown, who I guess you could say wasn’t exactly built to standard specifications. The article stated, facetiously of course, that the character had been “designed by a 14-year-old boy,” which led Kamitani, president of Japanese developer Vanillaware, to post what some considered a homophobic response on Facebook.
It was an ugly affair all around, but now Kamitani has dialed things back with a message explaining some of the motivations for the designs and apologizing to those who were offended. “I believe that the basic fantasy motifs seen in Dungeons & Dragons and the work of J.R.R. Tolkien have a style that is very attractive, and I chose to use some orthodox ones in my basic designs. However, if I left those designs as is, they won’t stand out amongst the many fantasy designs already in the video game/comic/movie/etc. space. Because of that, I decided to exaggerate all of my character designs in a cartoonish fashion,” he wrote.
“I exaggerated the silhouettes of all the masculine features in the male characters, the feminine features in female characters, and the monster-like features in the monsters from many different angles until each had a unique feel to them,” he continued. “I apologize to those who were made uncomfortable by the art’s appearance, and did not see the same light-hearted fantasy in my designs.”
He also apologized for the image of the three “sweaty dwarves” he posted on Facebook in response to Kotaku’s criticism, which he said was meant to be “a little joke with a comment. I used an automated translator to try and make a lighthearted joke in English, but clearly that wasn’t the case. I was very surprised to see the crazy aftermath.”
Fantasy art is often heavily exaggerated but even by that standard, this is a weird looking bunch. The Wizard and the Elf aren’t too bad but the Fighter looks like a Rob Liefield character and I don’t even know what to say about the Amazon and the Sorceress. But is it worth an apology? And if so, is Kamitani’s, with its unmissable “I’m sorry you didn’t get it” deflection, sufficient?
Dragon’s Crown comes out on August 6 for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita