Creating ESO: The Kwama

Get a closer look at the burrowing kwama and find out more about how we bring the

creatures of The Elder Scrolls Online to life.
The kwama, which you’ll recognize if you played Morrowind, are insectoid creatures

you’ll encounter in three forms in ESO: the scrib, the worker, and the warrior.

Kwama are native to Morrowind, where their eggs are an important food source for the

Dark Elves. Their burrows, referred to as “egg mines” when claimed and harvested by

the Elves, are dug and expanded by the workers as the colony grows. Kwama warriors,

the largest of the species, protect the workers and scrib (their larval form) from


As with any creature that’s been featured in previous Elder Scrolls games, we look

at the established lore and appearance when creating our concept art. Once we’ve

refined the concept—in the case of the kwama, all three concepts—the creature is

ready to be built as a 3D model and inserted into the game. Getting the model from

concept art into the game is just the beginning, though.

Animations are important for every creature, and the kwama are no exception. When our

animators began creating movement for the warrior and scrib, they had specific goals

in mind. For instance, they wanted the warrior to appear twitchy and on edge, always

alert for danger and ready to fight off interlopers. Its attacks look powerful and

brutish. To create the eight-legged scrib’s scuttling movement, they looked closely

at creatures like crabs, spiders, ticks, and mites for inspiration.

Each variation of the kwama has its own attacks, and some of these interact with each

other to produce new effects—we call these synergies. The worker can charge and

knock a character back, and the warrior unearths a giant rock to launch at its foes.

If the warrior lifts a rock out of an area the worker charges through, it creates a

swarm of scrib! These combinations play on the natural cooperation between the

different kinds of kwama and help them feel like a cohesive group. A kwama on its own

may not be a big threat, but they can be overwhelming when they work together. Check

out this video to see the kwama in action:

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look inside ESO. Stay tuned for our next Creating ESO to

learn more about how we bring Tamriel to life!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.