Worldbuilding Wednesday #1


Thank you again for the support! We’ve cleared our first two goals which means these projects will be coming to consoles! Seeing the large amount of people supporting not just one game but both has been really motivating, as both creators need your support and you keep coming through.

We still have a bunch of great stretch goals waiting including some awesome content and amazing collaborations, so anything you can do from chatting with friends to telling your pets will help. And don’t forget those community goals, with combo goals increasing the quality of merchandise for everyone!

We will also be taking on your advice and moving the stretch goal meter UP towards the top of the page, so if you have any more advice then keep it coming!

Good morning, everyone. I am Matsuzo Machida, the general director of PENNY BLOOD.

Over this next month, I’ll be using this space to tell you all about the world of Penny Blood. I’ll also give you peeks at what’s going on behind the scenes as well as the challenges we’ve encountered in production, so I hope you enjoy reading!


Introducing Matthew and Emilia, as well as their designs

First, I’d like to talk about the hero and heroine of PENNY BLOOD. Matthew is an Irish American who served in several fronts during World War I. After returning to the US, he made a living for himself as a private detective, where he traveled around different states and utilized his innate abilities to hunt down monsters. The reason I made Matthew a private detective was because I thought the Bureau of Investigation (abbreviated BOI, which would later go on to become the FBI) was a perfect fit for the game. We put a lot of work into making the shotgun shots feel good during the battle, so be sure to pay extra attention to that!

Meanwhile, Emilia serves as an agent in the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service. The game begins at a time when women had just been granted the right to vote in the US, and women’s rights as a whole were undergoing a revolution. Therefore, I designed Emilia as a fierce woman who could represent the zeitgeist.

Despite having lost half of her body, Emilia has accepted her cruel fate and continues to bravely fight onwards. I hope she’ll rise to become a type of heroine that’s never been seen in other games.

That concludes the general backgrounds for both characters. At first, I had a hard time deciding on what sort of hero and heroine would best fit PENNY BLOOD… In other words, I had yet to decide on what sort of people I wanted to depict in my story. No matter what I said, I knew that Kato-san would be able to come up with attractive characters, and that Inami-san, our storyboard artist, would be able to come up with cool animations and movements. I could have just said “I want them to look cool and beautiful, and they use these moves to defeat their enemies” and called it a day.

But deep down, I knew there was a question I needed to answer first. “How far do I want my hero and heroine to fall?” All human beings experience some degree of embarrassment as they live out their lives. That’s what it means to live.  I believe it’s important to show how desperately the main characters are fighting to survive. If done well, it should help players emphasize with them more and allow them to share the characters’ feelings of joy, anger, sadness, and enjoyment.

Matthew is a man who’s earnestly trying to survive despite the turbulent era he’s been thrown into, while Emilia is a woman who stares death in the eyes while she searches for a reason to go on. I hope you’ll all enjoy following their stories.

Now, I’d like to pass the baton over to Kato-san, the one who actually drew the characters.

Hello, everyone. I am Miyako Kato, the character designer and art director for PENNY BLOOD.

As the game takes place in 1923, I spent some time re-studying real-life fashion culture and customs. After fusing fictional design elements that represent the characters with fashion from the time, I reassembled them into the character designs you see now.

Taking the time period into consideration, and how Matthew recently came back from the war, I based his outfit on a military uniform. But that alone would be boring, so I added some special touches such as fur on his trench coat in order to give the clothes a wild feeling that would better fit him. His boots are also styled after military boots. One other big characteristic is the pendulum hanging from his neck. Since he’s Irish American, I decorated it with a Celtic knot.

Since Emilia is an agent of the SIS, I gave her a formal uniform. However, when Machida-san added on a bunch of crazy things to her decision, such as how she’d lost three limbs and that her eye was a machine that could fly around, my mind went blank. After a lot of thinking and imagining how she would fight, I decided to give her as many weapons as I could. By the time I’d finished her, she’d already become one of my favorite heroines.

As the game is targeted toward adults, with strong horror undertones, deciding on the right visual atmosphere has been a challenge ever since we first started planning. When mist and darkness obscures people’s vision, they start to feel uneasy, and I want this game to give players that same feeling of fear and unrest. “Obscurity” has been an important keyword for designing how the game will look.

I also spent a lot of time pinpointing on the essence of PENNY BLOOD’s character model designs. At first, I thought about incorporating touches based on J.C. Leyendecker, an illustrator who was prolific in the 1920s, but in the end I went more for a “mature American comic” look by using strong pen-based hatching and low saturation, watercolor-esque, shaded color tones. I’m very thankful for all the trial and error done by our partner studio, Shade. In the end, we succeeded in creating excellent models that properly fit the atmosphere of the world.

Well, everyone, what do you think? Has this helped you all learn a bit more about the charm of PENNY BLOOD? I hope you’re all excited for the next update.

Thank you so much!