Character Design


All three of my characters come from a common general concept – I wanted to mash up cyberpunk and horror tropes.

I started by brainstorming lists of creatures and mechanical parts in my class journal. I then played around with combining elements from the lists, writing down interesting combinations. From there, I did a little prelimenary sketching, just doodling from a few references.

When I had refined my concept a little, I located better references, and sketched and refined until I had a drawing of each concept creature. I used tracing paper to refine the sketches, transferred the sketch to my journal, and then inked each sketch.

Concept A. Wasp Medical/Torture Drone

Wasps are scary. Hypodermic needles are scary. That torture drone in Star Wars is scary. What if they all had a baby and it was flying at your face?

This may sting a little.

In the world my concept creatures live in, someone has found it useful to make insect drones to deliver medical payloads. And to keep things interesting, this person has made a drone from wasp, possibly just because they can. It’s that kind of world. This wasp drone also has a scalpel leg and a tiny bonesaw leg, just in case that sort of thing would come in handy.

Room for improvement

  • I would like to amp up the drone-ness of this thing. A camera eye might be cool.
  • The legs or other parts could be more robotic – I don’t know if this is really 50% mechanical right now.

Concept B. The Visible Grubworm

Veterinary teaching hospitals in agricultural areas have cows that are used to study digestion. They have a window into their gut, a round plexiglass window just planted right in their side. It’s kind of like a laundromat for cellulose digestion. I know you think I’m making this up, but it’s totally true.

The dude that made the Medical Drone Wasp knows about those cows. He’s read about them. He thinks they’re awesome. He doesn’t have any cows around, though. (Can’t have livestock in a dystopian nightmare world.) So he takes the next best thing – a grub, natch – and does something similar. He replaces about half the grub’s outer shell with clear glass tubes, including the interesting bits at the back end where things will get metaphysical during metamorphosis. 

I keep wondering if they also taste like shrimp.

Room for Improvement

  • There are interesting things to be done with the windows that don’t have to look like intestines
  • The legs and head could be mechanical, or there could be a window into the brain (might be very small, though)

Concept C. Hydraulifrog

The guy builds these things, and he works up an appetite. It rained the night before, so…frog legs. But there’s no need to kill the frog, not when the guy’s got a set of miniature hydraulics lying around.

He will have his revenge.

Room for Improvement

  • I should work out how exactly the hydraulic components are attached to the frog’s body.
  • A camera eye would go pretty well here, too.
  • Robotic front legs would mean no feet/toe rigging. That’s pretty much a must.