Digital Ryuujin's Stuff (Chronicles of a custom race)

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by RyuujinZERO, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    I don't expect to be posting a great deal here. I'm not a particularly productive artist, but I still like to derp about now and then and Starbound tickled my creative spark. I'll be posting any rare offering I do come up with in this thread.

    Starting with a murderous avian armed with a pneumaticlly powered impervium maqahuitl! whom I planned to use as a base for my forum avatar
    "Send Kluex my regards!"

    For the curious, there's also a few of the preliminary sketches messing with avian facial features and the rough sketch that led to the above pic:
    I work entirely on digital tablet from start to finish on Painttool SAI. I'm also incredibly lazy at lineart so I tend to skip conventional "inking" entirely :p
    Jonus, oraserat, Sefercil and 28 others like this.
  2. CatBerry

    CatBerry Subatomic Cosmonaut

    wow thats a great one :D i love the owl face :D
  3. Emerald Avian

    Emerald Avian Space Penguin Leader

    I always thought Avians would have a head shape closer to a hawk. So this is a welcome departure from the norm.
  4. Conir

    Conir Void-Bound Voyager

    very nice, be more productive :)
  5. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    Looking at the official concept art they seem to have a very wide variety, which opens things up for a lot of fun interpretation - hawks, ravens, owls, canaries, reflecting different personalities and characters :p
  6. lornlynx

    lornlynx Cosmic Narwhal

    that's so awesome!
  7. DarkTails

    DarkTails Big Damn Hero

    I'm so in love with that design, it's like some kind of Avian moon knight lol
  8. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    I have a race of my own design and creation I'd used frequently in sci-fi RPG settings as a thought experiment on alien biologies and intelligence, and technological development (And frequently come to interesting realisations and conclusions after mulling over)

    A cut down snippet of their key features as a species: -
    Superficially similar to dromeosauridae of ancient Earth. Standing around 3ft tall upright, around 5ft nose to tail tip, and covered in a thick layer of insulting feathers. Their wing feathers do allow controlled, short range gliding on their world's dense atmosphere, but they are not true flying animals.

    While they possess large eyes, this is purely to provide eyesight on the very low light levels of their homeworld. Due to a lack of an iris to adjust light levels they often cannot see at all in terrestrial daylight, and provides poor visual accuity, but this does not hinder them. Their primary sense is auditory, with their four, long independently mobile ears, their auditory processing is wired to allow them to build not only a 3 dimensional map of their surrounding based on reflected sound, but to also distinguish and track multiple individual sound sources. This uncanny hearing gives the impression of blindsight, being able to "spot" and track creatures outside of line of sight.

    Avali are not mammals. Male and females are most easily told apart by their feathers; females tend to have muted, two-tone feathers, often with speckled patterns, while males have brightly coloured, irridescent bands across much of their body.

    Avali society is built around packs, siblings who live together their entire lives. This close bonding emerged as a hunting strategy, individuals within a pack know each other intrinsiclly allowing near perfect teamwork; this is further leveraged by their ability to hold and process multiple conversations simultaneously thanks to their superior audio processing, allowing a pack to rapidly discuss an idea and reach concensus without having to wait to take turns speaking.

    In wider society, packs are treatted the same way individuals might be treatted in a conventional race, individual members of a pack are almost never apart from their siblings, the concept of privacy or pesonal space is quite alien (and rarely desired) and they share the same jobs and roles together.

    Packs who lose members are left at a permanent disadvantage, as replacing their numbers is simply not possible, the bonds formed at infancy cannot be reforged or filled by an outsider, such damaged packs are often treatted as disabled individuals of another race who may've lost a limb, and the effect on performance is similar. Avali left alone due to heavy casualties or seperation often go mad in isolation. <- A player Avali is likely to belong to this group!

    Interspecies relations:
    Overall, they are highly curious and social creatures, quicker to make friends than enemies and curious to probe and discover new things; though many races don't take kindly to swarms of tiny feathery creatures climbing over their equipment asking a non-stop stream of questions.

    As might be gathered, the Avali's unique auditory system and close knit social structure are somewhat less compatible with other races, and Avali not properly educated in contact with aliens are prone to try speaking to them as another avali, the whole pack babbling away simultaneously, expecting the alien to be able to process multiple conversations at once and often making undesired physical contact or even climbing on them. Needless to say, races with strong social ettiquette find this behaviour infuriating, having aliens touching them them and talking out of cue; while others find their small size, fluffy nature and willingness for close contact endearring.

    The only universally agreed feature, is that almost all races find it hard to view them as a threat given their small size and friendly nature; overlooking that they are descended from their world's most dangerous pack-hunters, a mistake that has led to a number of alien deaths and failed attacks on their colonies over the centuries.

    Notably I implemented them in Spore, though their lore and background didn't get nearly as much air time as I'd have liked even though they featured prominently in a very popular adventure I wrote for the engine. Given starbound's immensely flexible engine and bright future, I've been mulling over the idea of implementing them as a custom playable race, which has been producing a fair bit of concept art; mostly because I'm divided about implementing them as closely as possible to lore; Vs implementing them in a way that maximises compatibility with existing content.

    Still, the results are no doubt interesting to look at for the curious :p

    Exhibit A: Pairing down the design to it's most important features and making slightly chibi-er

    Exhibit B: Matching them to standard humanoid dimensions
    This option would mean they could wear humanoid chestpieces and some hats, though they are somewhat deformed which bugs me and are also about twice as tall as they should be (!!!) :(

    Exhibit C: Scaling them down to "correct" scale and having a drone do the heavy lifting
    This one not only makes them the correct scale, but makes creative use of their lore and tools available. This method would also let me retain their proper posture and body shape, unfortunately, I'm having difficulty keeping them recognisable at such small scale within their limits of starbounds pixel resolution... I'm not sure this is because it's simply impossible, or whether a more skilled pixel artist could actually pull it off... also I'd rather NOT use the drone, I'd much rather move their shoulder pivot to work with their smaller height

    I may end up holding out until the devs implement a way of redefining the shoulder (Let them know! - races like this NEED them to fix this!) so that I can do away with the need for a drone but still keep them close to lore-scale.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
    Kaiachi, Sefercil, danysor and 11 others like this.
  9. Eyrok

    Eyrok Void-Bound Voyager

    Excellent artwork. The lines look mostly fluid and it's nice to see a non-tropical Avian. I'm looking forward to more of your Starbound works.
    Also, as an Ex-spore player, I'd like to add "Dear god! We thought you were dead!"
    Dolphinowl245 likes this.
  10. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    I did my best to let people know where I went and what became of that adventure everyone was waitting on :p, indeed I'm still in contact with some of the old Sporumers all of whom are now playing Starbound funnily enough.

    Though disappearing and being presumed dead does lead to a better legend :D

    In other news, i figured out why my initial test sprites weren't looking right, was nothing to do with my sprite art, but rather Starbound uses a 3/4 angle frontal view.


    Still, think I've got it all sorted now... will start work on the sprite sheets in earnest tommorow.
  11. lornlynx

    lornlynx Cosmic Narwhal

    good god, it's so cute!
  12. Comito

    Comito Pangalactic Porcupine

    I vaguely recall seeing these guys in a signature on the Spore forum, or at least a race closely resembling them. Was that you?
  13. joedanger

    joedanger Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    THIS IS EPIC good job you've achieved some AWSOME stuff here
  14. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    Just a little update on how the spriteing and development is going. Still early days, got a lot of sprites yet to do, and a tonne of polish to add on top of that; currently got the tool/run/jump/fall animations for body/near arm sheets done, the head is a placeholder I want to do that over - but proof of concept stands, it's viable and I can pull it off (Sprite-work isn't my strong suite, first time trying draw up character sheets and stuff)


    Also been concepting racial outfits, given like most non-humanoid races they won't be able to wear (at a vanity-level) the default clothing.

    Firstly, humans wear clothing that is attractive to the eye, a strong silhouette, complementary colours that are easy on the eye (literally), extenuate the body's natural shapes while hiding more unsightly ones. It seems logical therefore that a race that does most of it's seeing through sound might opt to wear accessories with harmonic properties, like bells, chimes, resonant crystals etc. constant noise tends to play badly with human hearing and irritate and distract us, but given Avali can break down individual sound sources I suspect this wouldn't irritate them, in the same way humans don't get irritated when faced by a sea of moving objects. Secondly, their feathers prevent them wearing form-fitting clothes like a human or apex, so anything they wear would have to be loose-fitting, have slots for feathers or simply draped over their body.

    Together I envision that day-clothes would probably have traditional influences, loose fitting robes and wraps, with a lot of accessories in the forms of chimes, bells or gems with resonant properties. Together with their naturally striking plumage, strong colours and patterns might appeal to their aesthetic tastes. (Of course, their combat armour would be the opposite, going out of it's way to be carefully padded to minimise sounds)

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  15. Emerald Avian

    Emerald Avian Space Penguin Leader

    The armor reminds me of ancient Latin American cultures. Which I think is really cool, but the Avians are already using that concept for their armor and architecture. What I think you could do to improve the races compatability with the game is design their clothing of a sort of futuristic Egyptian style. Or maybe you could get rid of the bright colors, patterns, and symmetry because of their poor eyesight. I'm thinking that maybe they could be kind of similar to the falmer from skyrim. Or if your more centering the styles around the fact that they could see in the dim light of their home planet, I would suggest using a palette of blues and grays, to replicate the darkness they were used to.

    Just some thoughts. :p
    RyuujinZERO likes this.
  16. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    Yeah, the style is something that bothered me from the moment I played Starbound, I was like "huh, whaddya know, the Avians have a similar style to the Avali, they even have beak-like helmets and their names are even similar". Then I was realised "Well crap, if I make a race mod in future they're going to look derivative even though they existed before Starbound was even a thought in Tiy's head".

    You're right about the colours. Contrast is probably more important than colour (The coloured bands on the males are meant to be irridescent so their attraction isn't purely a matter of colour) human eyesight at least has better contrast perception than colour. I figured strong colours and these would be more visible to their eye, to clarify they arn't near-blind like falmer, but rather as a sense it's less developed than human vision.
    Gia-Knight and Emerald Avian like this.
  17. Comito

    Comito Pangalactic Porcupine

    I actually like the designs you came up with, and I doubt any resemblance to Avian clothing/armor would detract from them. I say you do your own thing! This is a race I'd definitely enjoy playing.
  18. joedanger

    joedanger Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    This is AWSOME good job
  19. Cryostratos

    Cryostratos Subatomic Cosmonaut

    This is simply amazing. But why don't you put them gerbil/jerboa/kangaroo as suggestion for a new race?
  20. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    Since they don't perfectly match the default humanoid template, they need their own custom armour too. The amount of additional sprite work (plus couple new engine features) Chucklefish would need implement to make them viable as an official race means that is pretty unlikely to happen. Chucklefish has been known to pick up and use user created content though, so once the mod is done they're free to integrate it if they wanted ;) - I just wouldn't burden them by suggesting they do it for me, since they have enough on their plate
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

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