Need tips on gamecharacters body proportions


So ive been trying to create gamecharacters for a small sidescroller i am playing around with, but i got a small issue.

I am using MakeHuman to create the basic character, then il model on the clothing/armor on that character, and then i delete pollys thats hidden under clothes etc.
And it works, i get pretty good results, but I am getting this weird feeling that “realistic propostions” on characters dont look that good ingame. SO ive been looking at images of gamecharacters from alot of games, and it seems like even in “Realistisc” games, there are some tricks they use to make the characters look “cooler” or “thicker” in a weird way.

Specialy the torsoes and legs, am i just seeing things and just gotha work more on my meshes, or is it a couple of tricks character designers use to give the characters a better look without making it obvius?

if your characters have a backstory you could emphasize that in their posture and their proportions, also in their facial expression.
if you change something, you change the entire perception of the character. the more subtle you do that, the more realistic it gets.
if you’d built a multiplayer game like unreal tournament, i think you want the entire ensemble to somehow be perceived as athletic, brave, experienced and so on…
now you talk about “better” looks and i doubt you can rate it like that, nor will you find what you are looking for (unless you simply try things out)

let me ask you this: what do you want the players of your game to see in the character(s)? what type of character would polish the gameplay? maybe we can find something that suits your vision the best!

btw i dont think those characters (makehuman) are “real”, they are the average of all at best.

Thanks for the tips, do you know a better “starterpoint” creaton tool then MakeHuman? Since i am alone working on my projects for fun, i like to get the base body/face done fast, so can go from there and model the clothing/Armor/making the face better in other tools, as of now I use Maya LT and Sculptris to create my characters.

Been playing around with Adobe Fuse, but I i kinda got the same issues there as in makehuman (Topologies and other small annoyances)

Mhm, that’s true. Game characters as well as movie ones rarely have realistic proportions. Breasts aside, our favorite and most obvious offender of proper human anatomy, everything goes. Making hands larger, stick legs on bulky torsos, large heads, small heads, huge torsos with small heads, large heads on small torsos, tiny legs on an otherwise normally proportioned body and long hands on an otherwise normal person. Technically. As long as it looks good everything’s allowed.

Most often you’d get the extra developed musculature and enviously gifted female characters, but that’s cliche :stuck_out_tongue:

More interesting examples are If you look at, let’s say, Team Fortress 2. Most characters there have a wide torso and small legs. The Heavy Weapons Guy is a good example. In that game this is done not only for aesthetic reasons though, but for game play ones as well. The legs are tiny and almost always really dark colored, and the torso is wide and bright helping the player aim at it.
Infact You really Must look at Team Fortress 2, it is the perfect mix between game play and aesthetic character deformations that look good.

In Gears Of War, characters have really big hands. And bulky feet. It makes them look like a walking fortress. The legs are big, giving stability and willfulness, and the hands look mighty and well suited to wield large weapons.

In Nintendo games, characters usually have massive freakish heads, but they still hang from posters on E3…Starfox, a walking fox with a head technically as big as the width from your shoulders.

Interestingly though, the most malleable characters appear to be male ones. Feemale characters, at least in the games I’ve played, often follow a much tighter variation scheme. I don’t know if it’s because guys can look as weird as we want but almost every society has a stigma of some sort for how a female should look or if it is for other simpler reasons as simply as never getting tired of pretty girls.

Overwatch is a good idea to look at too, “normal” girls, weird guys.

Of course all this is just for how a character looks like. How they move is an even broader topic.