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Welcome the Krona!

We revealed the Krona player race today – a somewhat strange-looking race of belligerent show-offs.

Krona male.

Krona male star kith wielder.

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:

  1. I come up with a concept for a race, inspired by whatever happens to inspire me at that time.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    Caption Krona concept sketches. Alt Text De

    Krona concept sketches.

  5. He then comes back to me with a more finished line sketch. If changes are needed, I have him make them.
  6. 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

Deprecated Krona.

Old, original version of Krona male.

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!

9 Comments

  1. Andrew on September 30, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Awesome update! I’d love to see what snippets you have on the different races and how you described them to the artist particularly the Shen which are my current favorite race. For example: What is that glowing gold thing on their forehead and are those head ‘horns’ practical or purely vestigial?

    I remember having a discussion with someone about player races falling into a “Star” shape to fit in with player races not being overpowered (having 4 arms so limb-locking is impossible for instance). I really appreciate taking extra time to develop the races. Keep up the great work you guys!

    • matt on September 30, 2016 at 1:39 am

      Glad you enjoyed it! I have to admit, the Shen are probably my favorite race too….except for maybe the 12th and final race. 🙂

      The thing in their forehead is just part of their anatomy btw, and isn’t glowing. Some bone showing through? A vestige of a third eye that used to be there?

      As for horns, I’m not sure how you’d define practical vs not, but only the male has a what are technically horns. The females protrusion is part of her skull rather than a horn.

      • Andrew on September 30, 2016 at 1:59 am

        I was thinking something along the parietal eye as well.
        As for the horns, I was curious if they were just flimsy cartilage or closer to bone.

        Additionally with the introduction of the Krona, we have our second youngest (known) space faring race (after humans)… Not that I’ve made a timeline or anything or trying to come up with context clues of when the Ry’nari, Nusriza and Decheerans started spaceflight. That would be crazy.

        • matt on September 30, 2016 at 2:04 am

          Don’t the race pages tell you when all the races started spaceflight?

          I’ll be putting out a timeline at some point, as I know we’re getting to the point in terms of released lore/history where it’s probably a bit confusing to people.

          • Andrew on September 30, 2016 at 4:11 am

            Ry’nari, Nusriza and Decheerans don’t have dates. Last I checked all the others do, save the humans. I think the only thing that caught me off guard was the fact the Hiding of Earth is closer to the life and Death of Jesse James than it is to the start date for players (-400 A.E (B.E?) Compared to 921 A.E).



          • matt on September 30, 2016 at 5:52 am

            Nusriza page has 24,000 years ago but darn, you’re right, Decheerans and Ry’nari have nothing. That’s an oversight. In any case!

            Decheerans: About 32,000 years ago.
            Ry’nari: About 22,000 years ago.

            I’m not following what you mean about Earth’s disappearance being closer to life/death of jesse james. Explain?



  2. Andrew on September 30, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Nothing terribly important, but the epoch is closer to 1847 AD (-427 AE) The Birth of Jesse James, than to 3195 (919 AE) The approximate begin of the game.It made me realize that the disappearance of Earth will be less a current event at the opening of the game and more like a history lesson.

    Also thanks for the timeline update. Cheers!

  3. Khargal on October 1, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Krona must be allowed to enslave lesser races. Since they need some worthless peons to do jobs other than connected with war

  4. Kaori on October 8, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Shame the Selassian will not be a player race. I really like those and no games really go for that type of character, it seems.

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