In the exclusive video interview with Game Informer, Mass Effect Andromeda’s art director Joel MacMillan walks us through BioWare’s process for creating a new alien race. The Kett are the first, but not the last, alien race the team has revealed for Mass Effect Andromeda.
New alien race Kett revealed for Mass Effect Andromeda
According to one of the main creators/author, they’re humanoid simply because they too had similar beginnings with similar environments. Humans can’t relate to things from a psychological level without human-like features. That’s why he describes how important eyes are when creating a new alien race, and how when they went with the “no clothes” option, it felt really silly, and out-of-place.
Plus it’s not so hard to believe that to evolve to this level of intelligence, certain similarities with humans will still exist. Like hands designed to build tools with. Or forward facing, predator eyes. Just eyesight in general is very much similar to that found in humans. Being upright is also a huge thing that added to our ability to evolve, and we may see that similarity between races.
From a narrative stand point, they need these “alien” races to be relatable. We shouldn’t be slaughtering them in droves, and they’re so very different from us, that we can’t feel anything from it. The same way we can step on 1000 ants and feel absolutely nothing. Ants are simply too unrelatable to us. Eyes are hugely important to emotion, and how we relate to something. It’s a big reason why we can relate to other creatures on this planet even though they’re very different from us. And why we don’t relate to insects at all. Judging by this video, they purposefully whited out the eyes, so we judge these aliens differently.