Designing the drakens

Today we want to talk about a race of creatures that is central in Ascent Quest. The drakens!

We have already hinted some information about them, without really presenting them. However, they are of capital importance both in the story and the gameplay. They therefore deserved a more detailed presentation, let’s get started!

First concept art of a draken, about to kill another human

Who and what are they ?

They are half-man, half-lizard or we could say, half-dragon creatures. While they had never been seen before on Aelys (the world of Ascent Quest), they arrived in force a little over a year before the start of your adventure.
A huge army has appeared in the mountains near the Empire’s capital, Arkania. In very military organized ranks, formidable in combat, equipped with very good weapons and sometimes heavy armor, they led an invasion on the continent. In two weeks, the Empire crumbled under their onslaught.

Physically, drakens vary greatly in size. The smallest measure around 1m50, the largest and strongest are sometimes around 2m50. They have a large, well-toothed jaw, which they sometimes use in combat, as well as a tail for increased balance. There are also a few spellcasters and stealthy killers in their ranks, but the majority have a combat technique fairly oriented towards frontal assault. A good draken soldier can easily face 3 soldiers of the imperial army.

In these conditions, you can imagine that challenging them can be a little dangerous!

A weak draken in a mine, in the early-alpha of the game. 3D model is temporary (placeholder)!

Gameplay-wise, what does that imply?

In your adventure, you will be one of the surviving humans. The drakens having taken control of the continent, you will come across… a lot of them. Unlike many games where the main opponents are humans, we really wanted more variety. This doesn’t mean you’ll never face humans, but it will be rarer.
Drakens are both agile and brutal. They allow us to create more dynamic fights, notably with their ability to jump at great distances and run very fast.

A specificity of the race is also that they use pets for various tasks and in combat. They seem to be able to give very complex orders to other “draken creatures”.
So also expect to fight opponents like the draken version of dogs, good boy!

3D model of the draken hound

Yes, don’t think that everything will be easy… these critters will show you all the colors!

Concretely, drakens replace a lot of humans compared to classical RPGs (with bandits etc), but we also needed creatures close to humans, to maintain opportunities for memorable sword duels. The temporary model we used is this one.

Temporary 3D model (placeholder)! ©Polygonmaker

However, they do not correspond to what we are looking for. Here they are too tribal. They are more reminiscent of dinosaurs while we are looking for a more draconic style. They must also have a proud appearance and be able to wear heavy armor with ease.


Cédric, our lead artist then started working on their model. Their body is overall quite humanoid, that’s the easy part. But for their heads, there are plenty of possible directions. And to decide, what’s better than trying?

Some old tests for draken’s design

That’s some interesting directions! But neither option satisfied us yet. The drakens are brutal and bloodthirsty, they have massacred a large part of the continent’s population… They all seem friendly there.
So Cédric started again from a blank page with the idea of a draconic creature. He gave us these little concepts…

Perhaps you have seen it during the Kickstarter campaign, we decided to ask our community for its opinion, on social networks, to see what was liked the most. Overall, the overwhelming majority indicated that people preferred concepts 1 and 2. Here we go with these appearances with more classic dragon horns!

The beginnings of tough opponents

The “visual” development of the race is still ongoing, but here is a look at where it is headed. A race of lizardmen with draconic features who inspire everything but sympathy… Can you imagine fighting one like that, over 2m high and almost as wide?

Hoping that this little article was interesting for you!
We are still in our private fundraising phase while continuing developments with our small team (for now!).

See you soon!