Fri 03.06.2022

Introducing: our mindful artist


Dear friends and backers of YARPS!

A slightly melancholic Michael sends you the warmest greetings.

In times of climate change, pandemics and aggressive wars, the list of reasons to escape our reality from time to time grows longer and longer. Quick question: could we hand over sovereignty about this planet to a more social and honorable species? More modest. Sustainable. Peaceful.

Does anybody right now have Bonobos in mind, too?

Let me pick up the picture from the last announcement. When planning our campaigns, we ponder about cool adventures, surprising story twists and exciting challenges. We divide the plot into chapters, like acts in a stage play, and the whole phase of planning leads to only one goal: a great time to be spent together and experience an amazing and thrilling adventure.

The development of YARPS is well comparable to the planning of an adventure campaign. If the final goal of a campaign is to uncover a conspiracy and stop its leading character to save countless lives, one of the most important intermediate steps could be to find the hideout of the conspirators or understand what they are planning.

The outcome of the user survey meant one of these most important intermediate steps to us! So, first of all: thank you all so much for participating and granting us some of your time! You challenged our usability design work a lot and made many decisions easier for us.

And you uncovered a couple of interesting snares. To mention only one: During the card sorting test, we surprisingly realized that none of the participants managed to find their character sheet at first try. This finding – amongst others –  is of crucial importance not only for the frontend design but for the whole software architecture: It means that our concept is not yet fully matching your intuitions. We are diligently working on improvements.

While I am writing these rows, Anna is dropping in. That reminds me of my plan to introduce a series of short presentations of the YARPS team. To the public, we have been a quite anonymous team in the past and decided to sharpen that picture. And we begin with Anna.

We shortly introduced Anna in the December 2021 announcement. Meanwhile, she has settled in her job, is fully integrated into our team and digitally drawing tirelessly and with enthusiasm!

Because the YARPS team has become a fellowship of endearing nerds, we created character sheets to introduce ourselves. The other day, I went over to Anna, watched over her shoulder and asked a few questions. Here we go.

Me: Hey Anna. Can I ask you a couple of totally spontaneous questions which I haven’t prepared at all while you’re working?

Anna: Hey Michael. Yes, sure. Hope it is ok that I am not prepared at all for this really spontaneous interview.

What is your main task area in the development of YARPS?

I‘m mainly responsible for the portrait generator. I draw every content and while doing so, try to further develop the generator from an  artist’s perspective to enable the best possibilities for your character creations.

What are you working on at present?

At the moment I‘m working on different human ethnicities, so the whole diversity of humankind gets depicted. Furthermore I‘m about to start working on the first fantasy species and I’m really excited about it!

You’re playing RPGs yourself. What was your most exciting experience on the roleplaying table?

Firstly, I have to admit that I’m pretty new to the world of RPG, but have recently started a DSA (The Dark Eye) adventure with some friends. Even though it might not sound as exciting to you as it was for me, I would say my most exciting experience was when I tried to rob something and almost got caught. We just got back to town from rescuing a rich man‘s daughter from some kidnappers, when it turned out that this rich man, who paid us well for the rescue, was quite a nasty person. So me and my dwarf friend, convinced of successfully acting in justice, decided to steal one of his precious belongings. Well, it didn’t work out too well for us, as most of our actions failed and we could only escape by a hair‘s breadth and without even stealing anything. But we both agreed it was worth the fun, even though it could have turned out much worse. 

You’re not primarily drawing on the base of templates but mostly completely free on a clean sheet. What is your preferred method to find inspiration?

Of course I can not always gather all my creativity to freely draw new faces, Clothing or other items. There‘s already lots of good stuff on the internet. My preferred medium for seeking inspiration is Pinterest. I could spend hours discovering artworks of fantasy worlds and figures, which my feed is full of. If nothing helps, I just rework some old stuff, I’m not satisfied with.

Describe the experience of drawing the portraits of the raffle’s winners.

It was fun drawing the winner portraits. I tried to imagine what kind of fantasy characteristics their Character would have based on their faces. And as they sent me quite low quality fotographs – no offense, it was in my favour! – I could work more freely and creatively on portraying their faces. 

In general, I really enjoy portraying real people, because by taking such a close look I step by step discover every bit of their face. It’s kind of like reading a map guiding me to portray each person‘s uniquenesses. 

Me: Thanks a lot, Anna, for your time and some insights!

Anna: My pleasure.

Anytime I see new drafts and samples Anna drew, I am really excited. And I know that the only thing that is more interesting for you all than what Anna is talking about is what Anna is drawing. Yes – put you on the rack for long enough.

Stay tuned – the series about the team mates will be continued! And if you want to see more portrait impressions, let us know in the forum or via social media!

Meanwhile, I wish you merry hearts and joyful playing!

All the best on behalf of the YARPS team,