I haven't found a thread where this is issue is the discussed topic, so I decided to start one. The question is: What will the aliens look like in the final Version? There seem to be two opposing viewpoints on this:
1. Aliens should look "really alien", borrowing as less physical properties as possible from earth lifeforms and especially humans
2. Aliens should have at least some recognisable humanlike characteristics.
In this thread viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1641, there are some good points made by pd and eleazar to both positions. Personally I prefer pd's point of view:
Couldn't express it better myself. Why I bring this up is because I noticed that people who come up with humanoid species in this forum are sometimes discouraged to do so with the argument that it's lame. It sounds like this people would like to exclude humanoid aliens all together. I think this is a question of personal taste. Variations of a good idea can be better than something completely new but unconvincing. Am I the only one who would actually like to see this classics ingame? I am talking about the good old catpeople, reptiles and the "weak body big head" humanoids. I think especially people who like to roleplay would like to see these kind of aliens, because you can easily associate them with your favorite scifi novel race.This sterotypes are popular, so why exclude them from the game?There is a reason why 'usual' aliens in movies or games look somewhat similar to humen or animals. Don't think that's because of lack of creativity or something. It simply is that way because the audience has to be able to relate to the aliens.
If an alien design has a mouth, some eyes, ears, arms or legs it's possible to convey things like emotion for example using mimic and gesture.
One of the major things you want to pay attention to, when designing a character is either the face or the hands.
Also, a good design allows the audience to say just by watching it, whether this alien is aggressive, friendly, clever, sneaky, ... This is just possible, because we are so used to seeing humen and animals. For example we know that insects with their spikey, sharp shapes and intense colors can hurt us, since we've all been hurt by a bee or ant. Using similar shapes and colors in an alien design will definitely create an agressive and dangerous race.
If all aliens are going to look like blobs or just made of freaky shapes the player isn't able to identify with this alien race. Anything too abnormal will 'alienate' him.