Bubbly and excitable, Annie hasn’t always been this way and was originally envisioned as a down to earth electrician called Colette. Of all the characters Annie has had some of the biggest changes since the initial vision for her. She was designed as a practical middle aged woman, who although not antagonistic, kept to herself. However, we realised early on that we needed more characters with chipper personalities, finding that too many were cynical or middle ground. As one of the more amenable crewmates Annie seemed to fit the bill for some big changes.
She was one of the few characters to have a major colour overhaul, giving her a brighter more colourful “bubble-gum” palette that fits in nicely with some of the other engineers onboard the ship (who you’ll meet later on).
In a cast of colourful characters she was standing out for the wrong reasons, appearing somewhat bland when stacked up against other characters, something that didn’t line up with the changes we wanted to make for her. The change in palette, personality and profession meant Annie was one of the first to receive a redesign. We decided to lower her age (there are still plenty of older female characters that take centre stage) and making her appear more quirky, so that her personality was immediately obvious.
Despite trying to stay away from tropes, with the number of characters at the beginning of the game, and the amount of time the player would initially get to spend with each one before potentially having to decide their fate, it felt important that even if players couldn’t remember individual character names they still left an impression. This meant that early in development we accepted that we couldn’t completely avoid established archetypes, initially fitting some of the characters into stereotypes the player would find recognisable while leaving them room to grow. For Annie it made sense to play into the eccentric hacker girl archetype, expressing both her creativity and ingenuity from the moment she appears on screen.
Though her different way of seeing things can sometimes be misinterpreted and cause problems, Annie’s often unique take on things makes her willing to see different viewpoints and explore wilder theories. While she’s usually on the more excitable side of things, she takes problems in her stride and get’s to work when things get serious.
With her willingness to consider alternative possibilities and her fierce determination to protect her friends, Annie can be a valuable ally when the tides turn against you, or could her quick mind and alternative way of thinking make her the perfect culprit?