The Aranid are an insectoid species focused on colonization; they fear their sun may be going supernova soon and are therefore focused on claiming other worlds for themselves. This species seems to have a hive-like hierarchy, with queens being at the top of the pyramid, and only a part of them being sentient; a lot of their society is made up of reproductive worker drones. They are also not a very creative species, so it made sense that they would build ships that look like insects as well, not making a radical departure from what they themselves look like.
I’ve decided that this species would place less value on personal safety than any bipedal humanoid species would; with high reproductive rates and the majority of the species made up of disposable, easily replaced drones, I decided their ships wouldn’t come equipped with escape pods. Rather than focus on saving individual crew members, the Aranid Unity would focus on replacing the entire ship and the hive within. The idea of these space bugs using the very human concept of escape pods just seemed wrong to me.
Since this species evolved in subterranean hives, the ships have an earthy color palette that tilts slightly towards brighter red / orange part of the spectrum. Aranid vessels have an elongated body with massive tentacle – like structures that contain engine exhausts in the back, and sensors at the tips of the tentacles; Aranid sensors work better when they are far from the ship’s power plant, and this also reflects insect’s natural “tentacle” sensors as well.
The ships are held together by massive tendon like structures that wrap around critical parts. Overall texturing style is very biological in nature, straight hull lines and paneling replaced by curvy, almost blood vessel like patterns. Their fleets still look built, just by methods vastly different to species like Humans or Katraxi.
Aranid vessel’s interiors have something in common with the Xantus: decks are not always straight, but can get angled in certain parts of the ships to utilize the internal volume better. Unlike the Xantus’s curved decks, though, these angles are hard. The reasoning behind this kind of a deck layout is that these insectoid species would have high manual dexterity and would be able to climb angled surfaces with ease, much like real insects which are able to cling on to surfaces at any angle.
To further facilitate the more organic look of the ships, the windows have more irregular shapes and can assemble more like a mosaic then a straight angular pattern, which I believe fits the overall ship’s styling well.
Overall, the biggest challenge with this species has been to do an insectoid space aliens design without falling into the trap of making it look too familiar; we wanted a unique looking species and I believe we’ve been successful in this goal, though I will let you, the player, decide for yourself!