This is the final piece in the series of avatars I’ve made for Flypso. That means we have decided, at least tentatively, what all five races will be. I’ve written notes, some history, and many scraps of ideas for each one. My least favourite of them all has to be the Teg.
Tegs are the desert race. Hulking, tanky, rhino-like creatures. They are at home among vast expanses of desolate wasteland, where they build their settlements underground. They wear heavy armour and use brute force to prove a point. The word “teg” comes from scientific terminology referring to plates or armour. Natural selection has favoured individuals with hard, bony plates on their faces and mountainous form. The Tegs have a violent history of war and destruction, and nearly wiped themselves out before establishing law and civilized society.
I dislike this race for a number of reasons which I won’t get into now, but Tux requested it, and in order to maintain balance and appeal to a range of players it seemed like a good idea to include a tough heavy armour type, and a race that would specialize in “heavy” crafting using stone and metals. This is not intended to be a combat focused war type game, so rather than drawing a snarling face and threatening pose, I tried to show intelligent looking eyes, and a friendly or neutral expression. Tegs are aggressive by nature, but that doesn’t mean they never calm down. More exciting paintings will probably come later on but for now the point was just to make a basic, neutral avatar.
Painting this rough skin type was very challenging. There is no easy way to do it, as far as I can tell. With things like feathers, fur, and sometimes scales, it’s possible to draw out a pattern and gradually vary that pattern, then finish it with shading etc. It’s tedious, but at least it’s repetitious and not too complicated. With this rhino skin though, that was very different. If you look closely at a rhino or elephant’s skin it doesn’t seem to follow much of a pattern, but at the same time it kind of does, and it’s very difficult to replicate that effect. The cracks tend to be deeper in some areas and more shallow, almost non-existent, in others. If you look closely at your own skin, especially around the knuckles, you can see what I mean. Try to follow some of the lines, then look at the lines that intersect those lines. It seems like a nice easy grid, but it’s actually pretty random.
Coming up with the Teg design was a lot different than the other races. I didn’t have a clear idea of what they should look like until I had sketched out a number of possibilities.
Here are a few sketches of early ideas that lost out in the end:
Originally the only criteria was just “desert/underground/cave dwelling people”. Initially I considered making a reptilian race similar to Argonians, but couldn’t come up with a design that didn’t seem cliche or silly looking. Then I thought more about existing burrowing creatures, and came up with what basically amounts to a weird mutant rat:
This one was never really considered at all, and Tux really wanted it to be tankier so I did something similar, but with some inspiration from ankylosaurus:
You can see from the level of detail that I was starting to get somewhere. I liked the plated facial armour, but wasn’t sure about the body type. Since this was going to be a burrowing race, I added shovel hands and some spikes on the forearms that could be used to chop and loosen tough soil. We were talking about special abilities, like the Hy’lox maybe being able to see infrared, so I tossed some movement sensing antennae on the heels. I don’t think those will be included in the final design since the Tegs themselves are pretty big and thundery, it just seems a bit illogical.
Finally, I scrapped the whole rodent idea and looked towards large ungulates like rhinos, and outlined a different body plan:
I’m still undecided on the shovel hands and arm spikes. I kind of like them, but Tux didn’t seem too sure. All he wants to talk about is user accounts and login systems *yawn*.
At this stage I was fairly certain of what I wanted to do, so I did another fairly quick pencil sketch of the face, outlining how the plates would lay, and then moved over to the computer to paint the final image.
It kind of sucked to spend time working on a character I didn’t find interesting or appealing and I had to drag myself through it. I guess that’s just part of being an artist for more than just my own entertainment. However I am still more or less happy with how it came out and the concept started to grow on me as it came to life.
So that’s it for these, for now. Next I will be trying my hand at painting some scenes for Flypso, while also working on the next installment in the soil life series.