Annie Lim - Character Design

A character profile for Annie Lim, including an anime-esque drawing of a young woman who is posing with her fingers in a peace sign and one eye closed in a wink. She is southeast Asian, and has dark hair that is tied up in twin buns with an undercut. She is wearing bright blue dungarees which are covered in various patches including a cute frog and bumble bee, and space iconography. Her top, which is purple, features a small rabbit made from ascii art. The image also features a description of her character “Energetic and talkative, Annie isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even if there isn’t much of a filter in place. Despite this she’s usually kind and willing to help her friends in almost any situation. A prodigy when it comes to computer systems, Annie is the youngest crew member, and has been described by professors and colleagues as a genius with a big heart and a glaring lack of common sense.”

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).

Two early concepts for Annie. Both are the same aside from the colours of her overalls, with red on the left and a light blue on the right.
Once upon a time Annie knew how to wear clothing properly.

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.

A screenshot of Annie’s 3D model in-game with a VN overlay. Her model and sprite look skeptical and she is showing off a bracelet on her wrist whilst saying “These bracelets, they’re programmed to only detach when they don’t register a heartbeat. Kinda weird, huh?”
A pre-alpha look at Annie in game (all aspects of the game may be subject to change, and screencaps are purely for illustrative purposes)

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?