Designing New Lifeforms

The description from the GDEX 2019 schedule is below. This talk was a pleasure to put together, as it provided a chance to stress some biology "muscles" that I hadn't used since earning my Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2015. It also presented an opportunity to work with a talented artist from Global Game Jam earlier that year, with whom I had built Send Them Home. She was able to render some excellent alien-looking lifeforms based on my descriptions.

In this world-building talk, we'll take a look at games, books, and films to find examples of good and bad creature design, and draw from actual biological, chemical, astronomical, and anthropological principles to form a set of rules for designing lifeforms that are both fantastic AND believable. This talk is intended for artists/designers of all kinds.