The Forgotten Star

Khue-Nghi (Kitty) Tran

A visual development for a platformer RPG by Kitty Tran.

In the celestial and wonderful Luminaria, the land of heroes and stars,
every hero, at the age of 16, will be granted a blessing from one of the 12 Zodiac Gods
as a present for them to start their own adventure and destiny.
Except for one.

Follow the footsteps of Alexia,
the unfortunate soul that has been forgotten in the most important moment of her life,
on her journey in order to reclaim her own value, worth, and destiny.

Coming to stores in the near future!

Key Visuals & Screens

Nintendo Switch hardcover
Game screens & UI previews

The art of our protagonist, Asteria

Finished character sheet

Brainstorming notes & progresses:

  • I’ve been having quite a struggle deciding if I want my character to look more like a warrior or cuter, hence altering her top and skirts with various attempts shown here. Yet after reconsiderations, I would try to combine certain aspects of each design that I like to make a warrior that also has a cute-ish appeal. Unfortunately, none of the starting three designs give me that fierce yet bubbly vibe that I aimed for, so I had to come up with a brand new solution.
  • Realizing that solely trying to draw on the prototype would not let me go anywhere as it limit my vision to what I already “draw”, I started designing again from scratch. I tried mix-matching the Ancient Greek toga, the armor of Amazon warriors, and lolita fashion into brand new clothing.
  • I also had to focus on how practical the design is for combat into mind; hence the change from thigh-length boots to sandals to enable ease of travel and movement.
  • I finally came up with a combination between ruffle skirts + corsets with the greek armor and the Apollo-inspired laurels, all from a change of backstory for the character. Previously, she accepted to challenge herself only to rescue a loving person, which honestly left zero impressions about the actual hero herself. It was then, that I decided to her to save “herself” – she wants to challenge the gods to prove her worth to everyone and would wear something similar to a celebration gown but still functional enough for combat.
Sketching progress
Sketches of skin designs resembling 4 of the Zodiac signs (Scorpio, Saggitarius, Aquarius, Capricorn)

The art of the land Gemini: Lie (& Truth)

Finished map of Gemini [Lie]
Map breakdown

Brainstorming notes & progresses:

  • Since Gemini is such a complex and interesting zodiac sign to dive in, I want to show its contrasting sides by designing the map in a way that it could work both in its original form and its “inverted” form; as they would be the beginning and finale world that Asteria set her foot on in the game.
  • From the first sketch, I expand the map a bit more to be an actual scrolling background for Asteria to move and start adding hydrangea bushes as an easter egg (Hydrangea is the flower of lies as well). The bending pillars I thought once were odd actually function very well with this plan because it’s an optical illusion for the actual pillars that were broken into pieces.
  • I chose to have the truth edition glowing with neon yellow, combined with the dark green to create an overall toxic vibe, compared to the bubbly and ethereal vibe on the lie edition.

Thank you a lot to those who take the time to scroll down this far,
and I hope you enjoy this visual journey as much as possible!

The Forgotten Star has been quite an unforgettable journey for me, as it’s the beginning of a lot of my first: The first time creating a character from scratch, the first time building an open world for them to dive in, and the first time deciding what their storyline would be.
I had quite a delay working on this project due to my indecisiveness out of anxiety since it was my first time designing a game from scratch, which leads to a lot of burnout from pressuring myself to make a “perfect” visual development for my portfolio. There are times that I thought to myself how none of what I produce is distinct enough to put myself in the industry, which blocks me out of productive working time. What I learned within the process of trying to regain my spirit and confidence is I should tone down my “research” a bit. Looking at others’ already polished works made me feel unnecessarily bad about my own ability, which shouldn’t exist from the start since I’m comparing myself with already established companies with multiple people working on one project for years. I felt a lot more relief at the end, and finally, brought Alexia out there to this world!

Special thanks to my sister, my boyfriend, and so many of my friends who helped with countless feedback, adjustments, and encouragement along the way; Amory, for being the first professor that encourages me to continue with my chosen art styles and that I’m more than just a major; my parents’ undying support and belief in me in times that I don’t even believe in myself; Comic Carr & Darren’s Storyboarding class for teaching me patience and the joy of having a project coming to life; and especially the cartoons, mangas and games that nurtures my love for drawing until this day.

Khue-Nghi (Kitty) Tran

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Kitty is an aspiring game illustrator who wishes to breathe life into her characters and their surrounding environment through the stories she made and the shape she built for them. Growing up loving Nintendo games, Japanese anime and manga helped Kitty shape her artistic stylistic choices and a career path of contributing to the fantasy world that I have always been adored.

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