We revealed the Krona player race today – a somewhat strange-looking race of belligerent show-offs.
A little behind-the-scenes fun fact about them: This isn’t what they originally looked like, at all, and we redid them to be more interesting.
Here’s how the player race process typically works, though this process gets broken or things get done in different orders occasionally:
- I come up with a concept for a race, inspired by whatever happens to inspire me at that time.
- I, and with a couple of the races our head builder Laura, then design the the specifics about the race’s personality, culture, and so on. All that info you see on the race pages.
- Now it’s time to get our concept artist involved, who lives in Bergamo, Italy. Completely by coincidence I found him a couple years ago for another project only a few months after I happened to have been in Bergamo for the first (and only) time. Beautiful city! Anyway, I’ll send him instructions for the race including a high-level physical description, anything special about them, what clothes I’d like them to be wearing, any weapons I want them holding, and so on. I’ll often include examples of existing concept art that I might find inspiring. For instance, I might say, “I like the hair on this image, but I like the body armor on this other image, and the stance on this third image.” It’ll usually take me a couple hours to put that together, but it just depends on how quickly I find inspiration.
- The concept artist then comes back to me with 4-6 sketches that are variations on the instructions I sent. I’ll decide which one I like, or combine parts of them (face on this one, weapon from this one, etc), and get back to him.
- He then comes back to me with a more finished line sketch. If changes are needed, I have him make them.
- Once that line sketch is approved, it goes back to the artist for coloring. He finishes that, and sends it to me, we make any final small alterations that need making, and boom, new concept art!
With the Krona though, we got to step 6, and it sat for awhile (finished the Krona months ago originally), but I decided that I was a little unhappy with how all of our player races lean pretty heavily towards human
proportions. Now, there are good reasons for this to be generally the case, with the main one being that most people have a hard time identifying with a being that is too far away from human. It’s ok to have these kinds of creatures in a sci-fi universe, and indeed I’d argue you should have quite a few of them, but very few people get into the idea of playing, say, a Rathtar – basically a huge nasty land squid from Star Wars – as a main character in a roleplaying game. From a practical point of view, there are also things about having players playing creatures that don’t have the same basic ‘parts’ as a human somewhat tough when implementing things like combat.
In any case, it was bugging me a little and it also bugged me how human the original Krona looked. So, I went back to the artist and we came up with with what you see as the final Krona, after going through the above process a second time.
We know the Krona won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I feel like there’s going to be a contingent that’s going to revel in playing these guys, and personally, I find them just weird enough to scratch a little bit of that itch for me.
Hope you enjoy learning about them!