View Full Version : Hybrid types - My Space Monkey contribution

06-16-2018, 04:00 PM
Hello all,

First of all let me say how excited I am for this game. All the shown footage, cinematics, and discussions of game mechanics (co-op in particular) really has me hyped to play. Anyways, when I saw the contribution presentation at E3, and the collaboration with HITRecord I decided I wanted to lend a hand to the creative process and share some of my ideas for this awesome game and hopefully have them included in the final product. My particular talents lie more in the area of writing than concept artwork so I hope you all don't mind a little bit of reading. :)

Okay, my idea for hybrid types, to sum it up in a singular term: Arthopods. Though to be more specific, the eusocial insect variety like ants or bees.

As a science fiction/ science fantasy game I know that the BG&E2 team is working towards a culturally diverse setting, as well as touching on elements of racism and slavery. Well what better way to add to those plot points, as well as add a touch of the 'alien' to this universe than with hybrid ants or bees?

You see, aside from being rather non-human in their appearance and interactions, social insects naturally center around a caste-like power structure in the form of a singular queen commanding lesser ranking members of the hive. Not to say that such beings would be a hive mind, like most science fiction likes to depict such space bugs, rather they would be more readily accepting of hierarchial societies, and have a coordinated work ethic that could appear to be a form of mind control to outsiders.

How does something like this fit in with the Beyond Good and Evil 2 setting you may ask?

Well when you consider how industrious these insects are in real life, with phrases like "busy as a bee" or even how books like the Bible mentions them in places like Proverbs 6:6: "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise", one can see how highly valued such hard working beings are. Humans creating ant or bee hybrids for manual labor or exotic goods production, like honey, would fit hand-in-hand with the universe the development team is creating.

Positioning themselves in the role of a 'queen' human overlords would have access to a group of hybrids that not only is very effective at work, but would be far more inclined to follow orders than hybrids like monkeys or pigs would. Obviously, this brand of more agreeable slave labor wouldn't work in the long run though, as why would humans hybridize anything else if they wanted cheap and accepting labor that never rebelled. Here's were the concept of young queens would come into play; young in the sense that they haven't fully developed into a proper queen thanks to denial of royal jelly and specialized incubation and not so much age.

Normally these future rulers would strike out on their own to establish a new colony, but being restricted to human controlled zones and forced to remain with a single group, these hybrids began to resent their masters. Being of the 'ruling caste' these young queens possessed enough individuality and strength of personality to recognize that they and their fellow kin were being taken advantage of. You see, despite being the ruler of the hive, the queen is also the broodmother of the lower castes. Worker and soldier drones may live simplistic lives dedicated to her rule, but she, in turn, loves and cares for the brothers and sisters in her extended family. Human slave drivers didn't, and that was the key ingredient in insect hybrid revolt. Slowly, the human-lead pseudo hive fell apart, and the young queens helped lead their fellows out of captivity, and to try and find a place for themselves in the universe.

As potential player options and NPCs, hybrid bees and ants will generally come in one of two flavors:

First is the aforementioned young queens. After these hybrids freed their people from imposed slavery they felt at a loss of how to fit in the world(s) around them. Their natural inclination is to lead, but also, their in-built wanderlust, that drive to move out and find new places to establish colonies of their own, is stronger still and so they struck out on their own. Hiring themselves out for work as explorers, or even falling in with pirate crews; finding camaraderie in the desire for adventure.

The second option would be the male soldier ant or bee. A rarity in the insect hybrids as humans tried to avoid creating any of these drones for their labor forces, but a lack security measures and life simply finding away, some these hulking bruisers found themselves among their fellows. Now free of human control, but lacking the structure of the hive, these natural fighters seek a balance in their new lives, offering their services as pirates or mercenaries. Evolution and selective breeding makes these particular hybrids exceptional bodyguards, as they ferociously protect their new 'queens' with a zeal rarely found among other people.

For their appearance, one need not be afraid to embrace the nature of gender dimorphism. Male and female insects vary wildly in terms of size and coloration and that should be reflected in-game.

The young queens, even with the lack of royal jelly, should be physically larger than the males, though more lithe and spindly. Natural wings should be a part of their kit as well, given how they are the founders of new hives and have to go out scouting for new locations. Long, segmented limbs, would pair nicely with smooth, almost aerodynamic carapace.

The male soldier drones should be smaller in height but much more broad and stocky in appearance. They are intended to be the defenders of the hive so everything about them should be geared towards fighting or maintaining an edge in combat. A low center of gravity, sturdy, and more spiky carapace compared to the females should a few of their distinctive qualities.

Culture among such hybrids would be unique compared to humans and the other anthropomorphized animals in that they are generally insular; at least until they accept you as one of their colony. The insects' hierarchy and overall inclusiveness of the hive, coupled with the slavery of their people generally leaves them cold and distant to outsiders; though, as with any society, there are exceptions. Once a relationship has been established however; like when a young queen becomes part of a pirate crew, or a soldier drone takes on a new client; they open up and become much more interactive. After all, once they are part of new 'hive' everyone else present is a fellow brother and sister, and all are working together for a common goal.

The insect hybrids' "collective" approach to things might be off-putting to more individualistic people at first, but once they have found their particular niche within a crew or organization, they dive into their work with dedication and efficiency nearly unmatched in the general populace.

As for naming conventions for these hybrids, I have personally always like the descriptor-based ones.

She-Who-Searches, or Bloody-Handed-Fighter are some examples of what I am referencing here. Coming form societies built around form and function it would make sense that such hybrids would take more literal names that sum up what qualities they excel at, or at what their intended task is to be. If such a hybrid is out among non-insects they may take on a more 'normal' name, but such occasions are usually reserved for when they prove themselves to their crew or otherwise become a trusted part of group, and typically only assigned by the others of the party for them.

Well, here's the introductory post for my contribution to the collaborative effort of Beyond Good and Evil 2. I would enjoy to get some feeback on this and get some back and forth going over the idea, and I will make further posts to this topic to better flesh out my concept in the future.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my post.