So with these characters, we knew that the one thing we did not want to do was make them “just like Bandit, E-Merl, Scipio, and Rachel, only in a more Earthlike world,” because the character you play in a game is almost never an exact copy of your personality. We generally worked backward: what kind of person would choose to portray someone like Rachel, et cetera? What would their character provide them that’s otherwise missing in their life?

In Lia’s case, we just put our reasoning right into the text of panel 3. She’s someone who’s clearly taken a few hard knocks in her life before this, though we’ll learn few specifics about that beyond this nod to her relationship history and a slight elaboration on it later. She has a desire to find the light in life but difficulty doing so outside of nerdy things: an idealist is alive in her, but so is a cynic, and sometimes it feels like she’s just one disappointment away from giving over to the cynic altogether.

I think it’s also notable that Kaye, who seemed like she was the “fun one,” is muted and self-conscious about not being physically there with the others. She’s got a little more going on than pure snark… but we’ll get to that in a bit.