Call for Input: Designing the Grootslang
If you've been following the game's development, recently we unveiled some concept art for a new character, a South African grootslang (a legendary creature of African folklore, made by the gods when they mixed elephant and snake parts into one being).
For now he's internally called Themba and here are a few pointers about his concept:
- He's a mix of elephant and snake — leaning more on the elephant side because we arguably already have an excessive number of scalies and a snake.
- If recruited he'll be the hotel's accountant. His family's lineage has worked on the hotel's accounting for generations, they take this duty very seriously, they consider it a great mission and privilege.
- In primordial times the gods tried to exterminate all grootslangs. He and his family never forgot that. As a consequence they do not think highly of anything divine and feel a kinship with Asterion, knowing his situation.
- His family is very wealthy because they have been working for the hotel for centuries. They are also very close-knit, despite relevant personal differences.
- His attitude:
- He's stern, formal and polite at work. Thoroughly professional and punctual. Believes that payroll should never ever under any circumstance come late.
- Considers Asterion his boss, not the Master.
- He's quite sloppy and carefree when at home and not entertaining guests. Prefers wearing his old, comfortable clothes.
- Really enjoys alone time, is an introvert. Used to be shy around strangers as a kid, is confident nowadays.
- Before the story starts, lives in Johannesburg.
Here's nanoff's original design:
I think we were on the right track with him, but considering how well bringing Eddio to design Black the Hydra turned out, I figured it would be worthwhile bringing in a fresh pair of eyes to give Themba another take. This time I talked with another friend of ours: GigaSaddle, the developer of Pervader, well-known for his mastery over the art of daddy-making.
As you can see, Giga made a few variations. We discussed them among ourselves, each person had a favourite plus a set of likes and dislikes. But overall I have the hunch that all the designs are great, they all have what it takes to go into the game and stand out and it'll most likely come down to a matter of taste. I suppose, then, that asking what our reader prefer would be smart, so we created a little survey to gauge what people prefer. It should display below, but if you have any issues you can access it by clicking HERE.
We won't necessarily go with what's picked the most, this isn't a popularity contest. We are doing this to see what the trend is like.
Also: if you have more specific points or suggestions post them below as comments, that way others can see it easily and respond to each other.
Largely inspired by the feedback we got so far, Giga went ahead and did three more attempts.
- The Cobra patterns with the Basic Brown color scheme,
- A new shape for the tusks, more fang-like and reminiscent of snakes,
- The Dark version with body hair.
We are still discussing the designs and the results internally. We're planning on waiting a few days before making a final decision, to give everyone some time to throw their suggestions and to allow us to think it through.
We got enough results so we closed the survey. Stay tuned for more news relating to Themba soon!
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
I might just be a stickler for anatomy details but do you think we oculd at least make his ears or tusks larger, usually an indicator of male elaphants, if im not mistaken, otherwise his design is pretty cool and the color palates are nice. Also what if when threatened he forms his ears into the like hood shape of like a cobra; i dont know, just small suggestions.
I wonder what the ethos of the people who like the dark design is, seeing as how it's the most popular one currently. Or is it just one person submitting lots of responses lol? Either way, I wouldn't imagine Themba would look like that because of his personality/lore, so I'd like to hear opinions on why they think that's the better design.
The dark design is very popular, but we have already identified that someone spammed the hell out of the survey to inflate that design's data. I just haven't gotten around to deleting all the spam because it's a manual process, I have to go one response at a time deleting them.
Rest assured that this won't influence our decision.
Great art concepts to all your characters. So much thought and work goes into the development of this great game. My own two cents, can this elephant/snake man be circumcised? He already has that trunk which resembles a natural penis so maybe make his schlong with a nice exposed helmet end? I'm probably in the minority in this detail, but so far there's only foreskins represented.
Thank you for all the long hours and the labor of love you and your team have put into this project.
Got my fingers crossed for versatile or top, hehe! I like dommy-daddies :P
I prefer the first one. Tough looking, still have some snake but not so menacing.
I personally really like picture I, like that's a really cool design to me.
I feel like C looks the coolest but I also feel like it looks too evil for a companion character. Maybe if its part of his character it could work, but even then in comparison to other characters I think it'd feel extremely out of place.
I like that too but without black ... I forgot it's name. The two horns.
Not much to hair too.
Have to agree with other comments in that he might not be snake-like enough, but I think that's largely because he has an elephant's bulk, which doesn't really translate to "snake" very well. That said, I like the ear design of the first couple of versions; it reminds me of the markings on the back of a king cobra's hood.
It seems to me that the Wikipedia page is a lot more unequivocal in classifying the grootslang as a snake rather than an elephant, so I'm worried that the designs that don't immediately register as snake-like won't service the actual mythos well. However, also realize that Minotaur Hotel reaches a western-influenced audience, where snakes are seen as evil by default. Looking at Themba's personality, this is something that I think really needs to be taken into consideration. If you go too far into the snake aspect, people might mistakenly think he's evil, but if you don't go far enough he might not register as a snake at all. That's a hard balance to strike, I think. A small change that could help is making the tail more visible. That really helped me understand it but it took a few looks to actually notice that it's not a regular elephant tail. Maybe feature a scene where he knocks over a large object with it?
Hey, thank you for your input and for your suggestion! Juggling all the design elements has been quite a challenge and your idea of the writing emphasising his tail, simple as it may be, is both great and very viable. I took note of it and I'll try to keep it in mind as much as possible in his scenes. Once more, thank you.
Also, we tried a new shape for his tusks (middle one). We aren't decided yet but we're considering it as a possible way of adding another snake-like element to him.
A bit late to the party but this is an awesome concept.
Question: does a guest being top, bottom or verse affect anything or is it just fun to know.
Later on in the game guests can end up pairing with each other, them being a top/bottom/verse would be taken into account if/when we write any NSFW scenes.
You can have him look normal most of the time, but when he's angry he becomes more monstrous and scary looking. Just an idea.
I like that idea