I’m sorry… but Ragnaros from World of Warcraft… just looks like a fire elemental bunny rabbit!  Not sure how things derailed in its design, but here we are… >)

"Rabbitnaros" via Wowhead

While I do think some of the character designs from wowcrafts can be a bit wonky, I think they cover just so many bases, it’s hard to not like them as a whole.  But I guess that brings up this week’s discussion… Do you find it distracting from the game when the creature styles vary wildly?  To be more specific, in wowland, you’ve got Egyptland, dragons, large viking things, satyrs, centaurs, dinosaurs, normal animals, undead bug creatures, and more…  So it’s easy to say there’s quite a bit of biodiversity going on in the land of Azeroth.  So do you all think it works?  Or does it just work for them?

Personally, I think wowcraft is one of those games where it can get away with, well, just about anything.  A lot has to do with the cartoonishness of the overall theme, where colors are saturated and whatnot… this helps to curb that “uncanny valley” when applied to just the normalness of the setting.  If it was more realistic, have the hodgepodge might cause a bit too much of a brain overload for it to be overly enjoyable.  But that’s just my theory.

The environment is a very important part of a game or even a story.  Look at Avatar (air bender, not blue man group), they did a consistent “animal 1 + animal 2″ theme and it worked great for them!  Or even other fantasy game/stories that have some mystical elements, but they are fairly consistent in their setting.  I guess what I’m trying to get at is that it seems like the wildlife should seem legitimate to the ecology, otherwise the ol “valley” alarms start going off.  But like I said, maybe going about it the other way works too… where making an ecosystem jambalaya done the right way can work as well.