Creating a Street Fighter

Samson - The Australian Street Fighter

After seeing this image, I set myself the task of creating an Australian character for the computer video game Street Fighter IV.

‘Samson’ (above) is the result.

The first thing I did, was set myself some requirements. I decided that the character must

  • look like he/she is at home in a street fight
  • be unique, memorable
  • be visually interesting
  • be distinctly Australian

The main challenges that I faced were

  • Australia has no martial art of it’s own and does not have a reputation as a martial arts/fighting country
  • There are already loads of SF characters, so being new and unique will be hard
  • Do we try to fight the Crocodile Dundee stereotype or run with it?

The next step was to research Aussie males, to wit I created this moodboard:

From this, several themes became obvious:

  • Boxing
  • Thugs – no thanks
  • Criminals – no thanks
  • Outback man – maybe, if used correctly
  • Indigenous Australians

From this, my idea was a boxing Aboriginal stockman.

Next, I did some sketches for the torso and face. Note that these sketches are done quickly and roughly, most to pick out colours, shapes and ideas that work well together.
One of my original ideas was to use an Australian football jersey, because it would be bold and iconic. I ended up discarding that idea because they wouldn’t look obviously Australian to people from other countries. I did like the white body paint and blue bonds singlet though.

Similarly, I tried to do something bold and iconic with the face and hair, but ended up going with something simpler.

The next step was to put it all together
At first I tried bringing back the Crocodile Hunter’s khaki, but decided it was too bland. Next I tried simplifying the colour scheme to just red, but that didn’t work either.

Finally I went back to the blue and knew I was on to something. Not only did it work well visually, but it meant that he was now wearing the red, white and blue of the Australian flag.

The red scarf ties in with his gloves, and it’s V shape accentuates his broad shoulders.

I was thinking that the bullwhip could be used for special moves such as tripping or tying your opponent.

Next step was to do a final, polished piece of concept art:
Samson - Concept art

I added a few more details like the Aboriginal flag belt buckle and armband with Sulphur crested Cockatoo feathers. I also changed the boots to Blundstones to be more Australian.

And that’s more or less it! The final step was to create a wallpaper featuring the inky style of the offical Street Fighter 4 concept art.
Samson - The Australian Street Fighter

Character Bio:

Samson Rubuntja was born in the Aboriginal community of Yirrkala in Arnhem Land, a remote area of un-touched wilderness in northern Australia.  His father is a tribal elder. According to Yolngu tradition he left home as young man as a right of passage, and seeks to challenge himself to become the ultimate warrior, worthy of leading his people. He has traveled Australia and South East Asia, working as a stockman and fighting in underground boxing tournaments.

His fighting style is a mix of  unorthadox boxing moves and some Muay Thai that he picked up in Bangkok. He uses his speed to evade his opponents attacks and land precision, bone crunching blows in order to end the fight as quickly as possible.

In street fights, he uses his bullwhip to strike, bind and trip opponents.

Update – 1.2.10

Woohoo! I got some feedback from Seth Killian, the Community Manager at Capcom and public face of Capcom USA:

Very creative!  An aussie-style is hard to nail without just going the Crocodile Dundee route, but you’ve staked out an interesting ground without coming near it–nice work.  I particularly liked the solid backstory at the end.



Update 2

Hah, I guess this proves how hard it is to create original Street Fighters. A couple of people have brought two (vaguely) similar characters to my attention: Static Shock and Jeffry McWild.

They’re both different enough to not concern me though.

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2 Responses to Creating a Street Fighter

  1. Aaron says:

    Hah, thanks for that. I’ve never seen that character before.

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