The second character was a robot whose helmet looked like a Conquistadors'. His face was closed with the mask of an early 20th Century diver.
A steampunk-style gladiator
I liked both of these ideas a lot and I decided to combine two into one. I found the character developing into a Technomage; a Gladiator, like a Conquistador, and like a diver of the early 20th century with some steampunk robot mixed in.
The character was not bad or good, but it didn't seem right. There was not a man inside the suit - this was an energetic substance, like a ghost. It needed this suit to be able to live in our world and communicate with people and material objects.
When I shared this idea with my best friend, he said that I would never draw it. Together, we laughed at it, but the next day I began to realize my ideas.
I had to hurry as the time was running out. I created my last sketch very quickly. I generated the general concept but the final shape of the character should be formed in 3D.
The final sketch. Now it was ready for the 3D treatment
The organizers of the competition had strict rules: the participants could not use a normal bump map for a game model and the model mesh had to be 3000 triangles in poly-count with textures of 1024 x 1024 pixels.
I've worked with old school models and textures for quite a while now, so, for me, a texture of 1024 x 1024 in relation to 3000 polygons seemed disproportionately huge. On this texture, I could draw a huge amount of detail, but the silhouette of the model would look very poor (for robots of course).
I decided not to use the standard rules as all participants of the competition did. I like to by-pass rules and use methods that others do not even think about.
I wanted to go old school, using a model of 3000 triangles without a normal bump map - similar to the next-gen model with a large number of polygons and normal bump. Why did I come up with this approach? It was my personal contest. I tend to complicate tasks, yet still meet the same deadline as all other participants.