The design for this protagonist is going in quite a weird direction at the moment!
In my earlier games, like MARDEK, I never bothered actually designing characters. Putting the effort in to make them visually interesting, I mean. Their 'designs' were whatever bland thing first came to mind, unedited, often very vague.
I've since learned a lot more about art, character design in particular, and I realise the value of experimenting with loads of variations to explore possibilities before settling on one you feel fits the best.
The point of concept art like this isn't to draw pretty pictures. It's about demonstrating ideas that can be cleaned up later. Making images that are nice to look at, anatomically perfect, etc isn't important at this stage.
With that said, here's an image:
Here's what my thought process went like:
"I want her to have red hair, and teal and lavender pyjamas... Seems a bit bland and forgettable though if the pyjamas have no sort of design that's distinctly hers. In the unlikely event this game became popular and people wanted to draw or dress up as its characters, I'd need to have an outfit that would be clearly recognisable as this character... Looks from reference images like a lot of pyjamas have animals on them. Mardek has a silly puppy shirt in Taming Dreams Episode 3; I liked that! Maybe I can do something similar? What animals might be related to night, dreams, things like that? Bats? Oh! Owls! They're wise and mysterious and I can see them being associated with dreams. I should give her top an owl design. Simplified, of course, to make it unique rather than just a boring image of an owl that any character could have on their chest. I like the big owl eyes I gave the miasmon Flowl in Taming Dreams... I'll use some of those! And breasts are round(ish), so I can combine the two shapes in order to create a pleasing sense of unity and blending of design properties for that 'dual meanings' effect! Adding highlights to the eyes makes the pupils look like moons, too - bonus, since they're night and dream related - and I can add these simple zigzags and lines to suggest feathers and bird feet and... hmm. I wonder if the result looks amusing, cute, clever, or whether it just draws attention to her breasts and as such looks like I'm objectifying and sexifying her, which is what I was trying to avoid? Oh, but I like the design! What should I do? I could just move the eyes down, and make the top less figure-hugging (which is probably also sexualising her)... I'll need to sort out the colours first though."
So yes. An odd design. I'd like to think it's at least recognisable and relatively original, but I doubt I'll stick with it because it seems too risky! Or risque, perhaps? I wonder.
Some of these are inappropriate for her character; basically those that are too revealing (4, 5, 6, 13, 14, 16, 28) or which suggest a kind of personality that she doesn't have (11, 20). I only included them because I was using photos of pyjama styles as references and playing around with different ideas. Others have ugly, clashing colours (14, 18). Most of the rest are only subtly different.
I'm going to experiment more, perhaps with wildly different designs rather than just variations of this, but for now, which of these is/are your favourite(s)? Are there any you dislike?