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Believable Creature Design

Robin Boonacker
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My name is Robin Boonacker, also known online as TheRedBirdArt. I am a concept designer, illustrator and 3D artist with a semi-realistic style focused on creature / character design and environment art.


As a game artist, how can I create creature design concept art, within the context of a No Man's Sky / Monster Hunter type game, designing the creatures in a credible / believable way towards the player and so that they belong in their own alien environment?

My entire project and process can be found here:

Graduation Project Site - Robin Boonacker

FRIDAY 11:00 'Ronde tafel' TALK - Convincing Characters

To me, credibility / believability is that a creature looks like it could actually exist and that it is able to move within its own environment. It needs to have realistic anatomy, behavior and function within the given context. As a player it needs to be clear what kind of interaction you could have with the different creatures.

The planet, Antilar, is very different from the Earth we know. Antilar orbits a red dwarf star. It is smaller than Earth, so there is less gravity. Animals and plants can become taller as an example. The planet is warmer than Earth, receives more infrared radiation and light from the star, this causes the plants to be more red / purple or darker in color.  As a result, the temperature would also be slightly higher than with us on Earth. 

How would the creatures here have evolved, what would they look like and how would they move and function?

The player stumbles across the pollinator creature on the planet. They are quick when there sacks are empty.

A little bit further one of the pollinators is feeding. The sacks are almost full.

The sacks of the pollinator can be collected by the player and used as a resource.

The player is able to catch the creature and collect the sacks.

The player looks in the distance and spots new creatures, bigger shielded ones.

These shield walkers have strong armor that protects them from predators.

The creatures notice the player and signal the other by using their bioluminescent sacks on their necks.

A part of this shield can be collected by the player and used as armor or as a resource.

The other creatures of the herd notice the player and are cautious.

Suddenly a large shadow moves across the plains. They shoot out stalks along their body that flash to signal others and deter the predator.

A predator appears and they huddle together and lock their shields for protection.

One of the herd is too late to enter the circle.

The predator is able to grab the shield walker and inflates its air sacks to get higher up.

The player wanders around but suddenly notices that the predator circled back around and is now coming towards the player.

The predator gets closer and is attacking the player.


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