Kuro: a cyberpunk game concept

Characters-CP_Brahimi.jpg

Our vision started with Brahimi’s original art “KURO”. Kuro is a human gone cyborg who wields a modern version of a traditional katana.

Layouts_Kuro-till-portfolio-05.png

Like many cyberpunk movies, Kuro is set in a dystopic future where humans and post-humans live in conflict in a crude megacity.

My work with the logotype started with pen and paper. We went with an edgier style that could work in a futuristic cyberpunk environment, whereas the bled-out ink logo felt traditional and not in line with our lore.

Our animated prototype shows Kuro’s mindware updates which are his cognitive enhancements. Thanks to Johansson’s IA, I could easily map out a good hierarchy. The images shown here are wireframe and icon tests along the way.

For the past two months, I’ve been part of conceptualising a game project together with UX/cognitive designer Kim Johansson and game art student Kushtrim Brahimi. The project is purely fiction with the intention for each artist to grow his/her skills. We’ve now reached one of our milestones and would like to share our process.


The story

Kuro is a game concept set in a dystopic future, where humans and post-humans think very differently on mankind’s evolution. We’ve been very inspired by the cyberpunk genre in how techno-humanity (cyborgs, body enhancements) could manifest in society and what pros and cons these would bring to humanity as a species.

The main story line follows Kuro, a human gone cyborg, who’s shunned from the underground human movement. Kuro takes it to the streets where crime roars around every corner, and where his weaponry skills and enhancements bring him one step closer to the truth of where he really came from and why humans are at war with post-humans.


The process

The team started on a vision initially expressed through Kushtrim Brahimi’s artwork “KURO”. We discussed what roles each artist should have but also what our expectations were at the finishing line. With the genre being cyberpunk, we began exploring how lore, information architecture, UI-hierarchies and artwork could come together into an early stage concept. Both Kim and I were keen on animating, so for this first phase, we decided on making a prototype in After Effects to show Kim’s work with the IA and my work with the UI. Throughout the whole process, we had a tight collaboration where we continuously discussed how logotype, UI, lore and graphics could bring the story of Kuro to life and with our first phase of the project being done, we feel very content with how we successfully met our personal goals.


Our responsibilities

Niki Asimakidis’ role

  • Logotype concept - logotype original artwork

  • UI

  • Typography

  • Glitch animation of logotype into artwork

  • Layout of graphics into a pitch

  • Styling of Brahimi’s original artwork for pitch

  • Lore concept

Kim Johansson’s role

  • Information architecture

  • Interaction design

  • Lore concept

  • Animated prototype of UI

  • Sound and mixing

Kushtrim Brahimi’s role

  • Original artwork of Kuro

  • Kuro artwork for animated prototype

  • Early lore vision


See more images in my Kuro portfolio section. Visit Kim Johansson’s portfolio here and Kushtrim Brahimi’s portfolio here. Thank you for reading!

/Niki