Here is my concept for the Chryssalid. This guy was nailed in the first thumbnail pass. I distinctly remember my art director and designer saying "that's the guy, that's it right there". There was a lot of pressure involved in redesigning the original xcom alien, which is considered one of the scariest things in gaming...
(Images Created by: Piero Macgowan for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. ©2012 Firaxis Games/Take Two Interactive)
|Initial thumbnails. You can see the chosen one at the bottom middle.|
I was also asked to visualize how the chryssalid would burst out of the human's body. I did not want to make it look like the Alien movies too much. In a sense I think I came up with a quick sketch of something even more gruesome. I remember Jacob Solomon, the lead designer, being a bit disgusted at the time. In the presentation he said that this was "too much", "gratuitous" and "crossing the line". Someone then brought up the fact that in order for this event to not happen, you had to burn your soldier alive (back when we did have flamethrowers and bullets would not do the trick). After that comment, the matter was settled.
|The final version, after enlarging the level of detail to read from game camera.|