(Digital) Inktober: Character Design for ‘Haunted’ and Sarcastic Ghosts Mod

As those of you lovely human beings following this blog know, I’m using Inktober to push myself to publish wonky, mediocre digital art online so that I can release a spinoff comic, Haunted, in November. The idea being I’ll have gotten most of the wonk out come late November. If you’re new and want to know what Haunted is about, picture Oscar Wilde dating Willy Wonka and you’re actually pretty close.

I’ve tried, to the best of my ability, to draw as many characters as possible, rotated in as many directions as possible, in their natural emotional state. “As many characters as possible” turned out to be the protagonist and deuteragonist wearing different outfits. Whoops.

So as a bonus, I also made a mod that turns the Von Haunt Estate ghosts into sarcastic assholes. That’s at the end.

Haunted Preliminary Character Design

Xiyuan Liu (刘熹愿), 33 y.o.

Character design is usually done by people who have more experience with visual art than with writing. Having learned how difficult this is, I understand now why visual people are inclined towards fantasy, sci-fi and the supernatural.

Xiyuan, though, looks like a dude in a sweater and speaks like no one who has ever existed. He’s the craziest person in a story where everyone is nuts. And I love him.

His default emotional state is, of course, “upset about the 1958 Tonys.”

Fine, fine. In 1958, West Side Story, which was considered daring and revolutionary at the time, was up against The Music Man, which is formulaic and forgettable. The Music Man won. This is a BFD for Xiyuan even though he was born eight years later

How long do you think it’ll take before he starts impulse buying art galleries? If you said “Are you kidding? He did that the night before the comic starts,” A+. You get an A+ in Xiyuan.

Xiyuan Shallot-Liu, 54 y.o.

Some of the one-shot comics take place in 2020, even though it’s going to be the 1990s/1970s/1880s/1980s/1890s for a long time in the proper storyline. Scroll down! Despite his messed-up and brutal past, you’re looking at the least miserable character in Catastrophe Theory.

And decades later, he’s still salty about the 1958 Tonys.

i want there to be a list of SimLit OTPs, if not only so that people scroll through 68135 young & conventionally attractive vampire/spellcaster girls and then BAM angry Chinese grandpa

The ocean evaporates, but the salt stays behind.

Bernard Shallot-Liu, 156 (mentally)/49 (physiologically) y.o.

I did have some professional help with Bernard and probably owe his original creators a huge apology. Say what you want, he doesn’t look like most of the sims out there; he’s very recognizable. The main visual difference between Bernard Shallot-Liu and Bernard Classic™ is that starting in 2016, he—you know what, I’ll let them tell you during the one-shots.

Bernard’s default emotional state is—again, of course—“waiting for you to respond to the joke he just made about burning himself alive.”

the fire isn’t tasteless, it’s thematic. i.e., the running symbolism has already started. people who can draw better than i can may ask why bernard’s left hand isn’t showing up on the profile view; trust me, it looks less obscene this way

He’s the same height as Yuan because there are too many fanfic tropes about characters being different heights. All speculation about who’s on top is similarly discouraged. I’ve also heard justified complaints about large age gaps in fictional same-sex relationships, but we should be safe here because Yuan is only five years older. Right? Or two years younger at the time they met.

Okay, maybe that joke was too dry.

Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV, 21 y.o.

Bernard first shows up in a flashback sequence (auugh! flashbacks!! auughh!!!) to 1885. Which means it’s back to his default clothing. He can’t quite joke about his own death yet, but he’ll find a way to troll people regardless.

the pocket watch is the precursor to the Hot Topic wallet chain

Don’t worry—I’ll eventually research cool Victorian fashions that aren’t this one.

Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV, 34–141 y.o.

Hey, remember when Bernard was dead? He won’t let you forget. He’s dapper, he’s snarky, he’s stuck in purgatory for over a century, and he doesn’t know who Shakira is. Dead Bernard, in all his spoopy glory.

Okay, now the fire is tasteless.

And that’s about it.

Dolly Llama’s Sarcastic Ghosts Mod

This mod changes the ‘Get To Know’ interactions for the Von Haunt Estate ghosts. Now they’re sarcastic assholes.

Mind you, the way ‘Get To Know’ is set up, the interaction vanishes after the target sim uses it once. I didn’t mess with that. All this does is replace each ghost’s six default phrases with 14 sassier ones. No modding conflicts known.

Testers needed. It works fine for me, but I had to stop collecting screenshots because A CERTAIN DISASTER WOULDN’T STOP HITTING ON HIMSELF.

Three separate instances. Mm-hmm. The fourth time, he decided to scare himself instead.

Here’s the Mod The Sims link. And feel free to post screenshots on social media, but please do credit me! I’m a very small creator and could use the buzz.

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