Maid with Love Game – Character Design, Character Sheets & Process Pt 1 [2015]

Please note I wrote this blog post at the time in 2015/2016! So it’s pretty outdated.

This is Part 1 of 2 parts of all the work I did for this project. I’m posting this now since I’ve already revealed what I’m allowed so far here in my NZGDC & GCAP Character Design talk slides in 2017 already (blog posts here).

If one day this game goes back into development or a long time has passed, I’ll post Part 2 one day for prosperity just like this one

What is ‘Maid With Love’?

Website – [n/a]
Twitter – @maidwlove
Facebook Page –

Character Lineup! 😀

It’s a sweet visual novel game centred upon all-female friendships and relationships by Champions of the Heart. 

I only found out about the development team name after its first announcement. Feels like I’m part of a really emotionally fierce and cool “Magical Girl”-esque Team! Hehe 😀

If this is your cup of tea, seek direct updates for the game through the links above!

My role here has been visually designing & creating the characters, 2D Character Art Assets and an environment I’ll talk about another time, so my posts are based from this point of view! I do not have a clue about the whole story but I do know about the demo! 😀

Let’s get comfy for Storytime!

Storytime with Leonie: Maid with Love

I was thrilled to work together on a mysterious passion side project with:
Game Developer, Managing Director & Marketing/PR Professional: Lauren Clinnick and
Writer & Narrative Designer: Snow McNally.

It’s a super team! There’s some more member(s) involved in Champions of the Heart I don’t know about but these are the two members I directly worked with at the time. 😀

Lauren was generous with her kind testimonial between sub projects:

“Leonie has been fantastic to work with. She is extremely reliable, delivering excellent high-quality work on schedule and with a very clear process that is easy to understand for a non-creative like me. I’ve already organised further work with her, and would absolutely recommend her services.”

– Lauren Clinnick [2015]

Well it’s my turn! 😀

Lauren is super organised, realistically ambitious, infectiously positive, supportive with a wonderfully strong vision for Maid With Love.


Snow is terribly kind and goes deep & writes extremely well about fully developed, believable, diverse female characters (check out their stories by the way; personally I keep up to date with Impact Day and there’s their Representation Award Winning game, Little Witch Story)!

As for me, I enjoyed and learned a lot from the whole experience working together! Plus I got to have fun, visually designing and exploring five female characters.

All of us wanted to make this game the best it could be and I am really happy that I got to be part of it. I rediscover & finally accept how much I enjoy drawing, designing and illustrating cool female characters. (:

Here I shall talk about the creative art side of the journey along with some process shots!

Maid with Love Character Design & Illustration Process 

After discussing what we needed for our five characters in comprehensive depth, I jump deep into a lot of brainstorming, thumbnailing, research, making moodboards and studies. It’s a fun challenging puzzle! 😀

When ready, I dove into several iterations/versions of designing the characters, their facial expressions and their costumes/look. Then I compiled them into Character Sheets for our first Feedback Session.

Next I drew up revised T-posed versions, this time in colour as seen in the following image. I also sketched up suggestions for character poses in time for our last Feedback Session.

Character Lineup Version 5 | Character Design & Costume is the focus here rather than pose

Look at the different colours for Chi and Misty! And Chi’s cat hat didn’t make it.

With the latest feedback in mind, I commenced afresh on posed and coloured character illustrations. In brief, the illustration side of the process involved a handful of sketch passes, lineart pass, colours and painting, taking a reasonable break and finally some polish. Finally, I prepared the artwork for approval and delivery.

Below is my resulting artwork! Our character designs are done and we’re all very happy with them! This was all over the course of 5 weeks! 😀

I’m letting you know the approximate timeframe to demonstrate that this isn’t an overnight result! It’s very important to me to take sufficient time to explore and iterate towards character designs that suit their personalities, backstory, motivation and for in-game purposes.

Character Lineup Version 6 | Posed final Character Designs! 😀

Jia Liu Character Illustration

Reva Singh Character Illustration

Chi Ngo Character Illustration

Misty Walter Character Illustration

Thea Quincy Character Illustration

Maid with Love Character Sheets

The original sheets were much more doodly. Do note that there has been many iterations of these character sheets!
Originally they were rough and sketchy during the early stages of the design process and not all of the sketches made it to the fully illustrated stage. Here I’ll be showing all the polished and illustrated versions of the character design sheets!
I went overboard because I wanted to practice and showcase these characters in action. These were not part of the commission but for me to get better. 
So here goes the latest illustrated versions:

Overall Thoughts [written in 2016]!

At present, I am probably biased as I worked on the 2D Character Art and Design. Still, I have yet to play the demo myself though based on what I could see from the evolving story for the demo, the game is looking really cool and interesting!

Looking forward in seeing fully developed paths & story for each character! I’ll probably play the demo myself blind on Youtube and slip it in for part 3 for these series of posts!

All the same, I am keen to see this project come through not just because it allows me to have more fun and to be able to work more on the game, but so that it becomes a cool & sweet Melbourne based visual novel about friendships and relationships between diverse female characters!

It’s a project I’m thrilled to be a part of! 😀

Feb 2019 note:

See how outdated this post is? Wow. I was still intense and more optimistic and hopeful back then! 

Part 2 will be published one day. Maybe.

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