We’re very pleased to announce our first character – John Gyrodski! John is the stern and no-nonsense inventor of Gyrodisc. He has a well-balanced, versatile playstyle with no major weaknesses (or strengths). John takes his Gyrodisc very seriously, and does not faff around with stage personas or costumes. He wears the Gyrodisc Super League’s required equipment – chest armour, forearm bracers and shin guards.
The characters in Gyrodisc Super League have something in common with athletes from Roller Derby and Professional Wrestling- they have an on-stage persona that they change into when they are about to play. Like wrestling, these personas are designed to pump up the crowd, or to psych out their opponent. When we start planning out a character for Gyrodisc Super League, we have one major rule- that the character should have a fleshed out background. These small paragraphs of information help us with every aspect of the character, from what they look like to what special moves they have. For the characters with personas, we try to come up with a reason why they would re-invent themselves in that way to compete.
But when we came up with John, we were asking ourselves a different question – who would very definitely not wear a costume? Most character-focussed games have an average looking average character with average stats (see- Ryu from Street Fighter). We felt that it was important for Gyrodisc Super League to stay with tradition, but all our character concepts at that point had been distinct and varied. We had to come up with someone who was not wearing a costume, and at some point, a suggestion arose that maybe it was someone who was personally invested in Gyrodisc from the beginning, before the personas – the inventor.
The name John Gyrodski was suggested almost straight away as a bit of a joke and sort of stuck. Taking inspiration from the likes of Tom Selleck and Ron Swanson, the significant facial hair was another early concept that remained. It makes him appear older than the other characters, as well as giving him a permanent stoic, world-weary expression. We took the time to prototype the standard equipment for Gyrodisc that all competitors would wear- these pieces of sports armour formed the basis of John’s outfit. We also took some time to plan out what physical proportions our characters will have, since John has an average build to represent his average playstyle. The last step was the colour scheme. Gyrodisc Super League is very bright and colourful, so his bright violet armour was chosen to make sure he always stands out from the background. This also had the benefit – along with his orange hair colour – of making sure he remains distinct from other (slightly more famous) mustachioed game characters.