What is CARPG anyway?

CARPG, or Concept Artist RPG,
is the premier CIS competition for concept artists, challenging participants in creativity, drawing, storytelling, style adherence, time management, and task setting.
Artists act as their own art directors, leaders, and consumers, tackling 15 tasks with minimal restrictions, avoiding excessive violence, nudity, or promotion of smoking/alcohol, and no use of neural networks.

ConceptArtist RPG IX
ConceptArtist RPG IX

When i saw the list two years ago i was unsure if i had what it takes to complete it.

But i kept practising my art skills by doodling in class and dreaming of mastering my technique so that i could finish everything on time.

 The day of the start of CARPG IX ix had finally arrived and i was ready!

After being rejected from several jobs, i was determined to show everyone that it didn’t matter.

With my wealth of knowledge and quick learning capabilities, I was sure that this marathon would be possible for me now.

The evening before the contest started, i wrote myself a reminder to develop a good story;

-determine the setting;
-proceed from what i already knew how to do;
-sketch all concepts in 2–3 days;
-make a calendar for time management;
-rest when necessary;
-work quickly and design neatly

I felt ready — with my 2 years of study and dedication combined with my determination to prove myself — carpg IX could be conquered!

 The moment I saw the list of assignment topics, I felt like I was unwrapping a Christmas present! Excitement coursed through my veins as I read each topic, anticipating the possibilities.


1. Protagonist
2. Protagonists room
3. A Thousand Waterfalls valley
4. Mucus
5. Vulture raptor
6. Walking Swamp
7. The Witch
8. Ulta
9. View of the Temple Mount
10. Trickster
11. The Oni Demon
12. The Shadow Eater
13. The Epic Temple
14. The Demon Lord
15. The Artifact

As soon as it was 8:20 in the morning and the list appeared in front of me, I began to create a new story.

Мy story and concepts

ConceptArtist RPG IX

My intention was to create a story with a sci-fi backdrop featuring my protagonist, Yuuto Abe, an adventurous young Japanese scientist, and his crew aboard the research ship Michi (The Path).
This ship crashes near Demon Mountain on an uncharted planet. The hero must face both known and unknown dangers to survive!
In this concept, it was important for me to incorporate a reference to Japanese culture:

The costume was loosely based on samurai armor. The emblem of the ship alludes to the concepts of the Way and to Demon Mountain itself.

The search for a silhouette began with a “stooped” shape, I wanted to betray the seriousness, coldness of the character, as well as the fact that he understands very well that nothing good awaits him ahead.

ConceptArtist RPG IX
ConceptArtist RPG IX

Protagonist’s room

It is small, but contains everything you need to live and work on the ship. There are studied specimens, books, and a tree that reminds of life at home.

The hexagonal shape refers to the emblem of the ship. Orange and dark blue are also earthling colors here.

Here I had to remember the skills of building an interior in a 3-point perspective.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

A Thousand Waterfalls valley

Place of the disaster. Thousands of streams of spilled fuel that will react very quickly with susceptible local flora and fauna. On the horizon, a mountain and the second part of the ship mark a path that could lead to survival.

ConceptArtist RPG IX


The original enemy appears: Mucus.

This well-known alien organism is an inside-out stomach and has an instinctive mind focused on nutrition.

Although it initially looks like a simple form, over time this creature evolves into something more complex.
The creep sneaks up and attacks with agility like a jellyfish in water.

Near the shipwreck, the Mucus turned dark with iridescent tints.
This organism was specially designed to resemble a clot of fuel oil, but it still stood out from the environment with its glowing lights.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

Vulture raptor

Local chameleon reptile.
At first, he seems cowardly: he hides among stones, vegetation and in swamp puddles.
The reptile feeds on carrion, but can easily stand on its hind legs and catch fresher prey.

I didn't want to make him look like a half-bird half-lizard, as suggested in the assignment.
In my case, it's just a reptile with this way of life.
It is important for the vulture to have «tools» for eating carrion, and to easily stick its head into the carcass of prey.
I added a semblance of a beak, a long neck, a bald head, sharp claws.
All this in itself adds to the resemblance to a vulture bird. Sharp spikes on the back for defense and attack. With a powerful tail as an extra weapon, the vulture-like creature is a formidable hunter in its habitat.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Walking Swamp

Walking through the swamp, one can encounter a remarkable creature — an evolved Мucus.

It inhabits marshy areas, camouflaging itself as a mound.
Its presence can be identified by its distinctive smell and luminescent lights.
It assaults unsuspecting victims with surprise by emerging from the water accompanied with long tentacles.

As the second week of the competition came to a close, i was feeling a bit drained.

I devoted all my energies to this project and in moments when i wasn’t actively working on this, my mind was occupied by ideas and their interconnections.

My days typically consisted of 10–12 hours of work  physically and mentally.

Whenever i had to render something, i took it seriously — making several variations of the form, then sketching it in perspective followed by clean liner, shadow painting and color matching before finally coloring and rendering. It’s a long process but due to the time constraints imposed by this competition (2 days per concept) i had to find ways to speed up things without compromising on quality.

Therefore, I gave up hope to show beautiful sketches as well. My photoshop sheet turned into a continuous mess, like plasticine, where I mixed spots and lines into one heap and «sculpted» silhouettes from it.

…And I'm ready to face the boss.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Witch. Boss

The boss is the most feared enemy at a certain stage.

It must be a rare, powerful creature.

 The task had two key points:

1. The witch must lure travelers.
2. After defeating her, the hero, Yuuto, gains a superpower.

In my universe, «Witch» is the «queen bee» of the jellyfish-like creatures.
This name was given to the creature by scientists from Michi.

 It is a cross between a plant and an animal.

 It produces the Mucus that, when properly fed, grows to the Walking Swamp.
On rare occasions, the Mucus will transform into a new Witch.

Witch, in addition to dangerous tentacles, also uses electromagnetic impulses, which temporarily disable weapons and cloud the mind.

…In the fog, only the outlines of her silhouette are visible, which can be confused with a human one.

There may be a few survivors around her, who are intended to feed her offspring. The clouded minds of the survivors make them call for help

It's hard to get past.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

Ulta (character's special ability)

The Witch's blood gets on Yuuto's skin and he gains new powers.

However, these are the powers of a new being.

Irreversible mutation processes begin.

And for Yuto it becomes obvious that adaptation to new conditions on this planet is happening rapidly.

Fingertips change color, skin turns red and blistered. Something alive is growing under the skin. He can manage it.
After a while, he can control the flow of energy, weakening opponents with impulses, or fueled by their energy.

In the concept, I showed how the infection develops, and, in fact, the use of a new ability on a small character. The tentacles tear apart the enemy, while his energy is transferred to the protagonist.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Temple Mount

Yuuto leaves the marshlands and has a view of the Mountain.
At the top is his goal. The second part of the ship.
He needs to get to the radio module, report what happened and transmit all the important information before he loses his human form.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

A Trickster

According to the assignment, this is a thief who puts the hero to sleep with a lullaby.

I wanted to create an almost harmless creature. Small, thieving.
It behaves like a raccoon. Makes lulling sounds similar to birdsong and flute sounds.

When threatened, it runs away or curls up into a ball.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Oni Demon

Closer to the top of the mountain, Yuuto encounters a mutated member of the ship's security team. The former ally is extremely aggressive and seems to have completely lost his human mind.

The Oni Demon is a very recognizable Japanese demon. In my concept, Yuuto could call a mutant that because of his aggressiveness, redness of inflamed skin and resemblance to a demon. He sees this for the first time, so he gives everything new names based on his culture.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

Thе Epic Temple

Finally, Yuuto reached the top of the mountain. The wreckage of a spaceship rises above him. Yuuto sees a bright light and realizes that there are survivors inside.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Shadow Eater

The origin of this creature for Yuuto will remain a mystery. Because it «does not have a physical body.» (such a condition in the assignment)

According to my assumptions, this is a mutated person who was oversaturated with energy from the ship's nuclear reactor.

Abilities obtained from the Witch do not always work the same way. In this case, a person, having passed the stage of tentacles and absorbing the energy of enemies, turned into a clot of light. It flashes so brightly that it can burn out the eyes or blind for a while.

It roams the ship's corridors like a ghost

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Demon Lord

Yuuto enters the captain's bridge and finds…  the first mate.

Surprisingly, it seems that he completely retained the human mind, and gained incredible strength through mutation.

After a short conversation, Yuuto realizes that he is no longer talking to a human, but to an evolved version of the Witch. Now it thinks like a human, it anticipates all the actions of a human. This seems to understand the very essence of a human.

The power of the demon is also enormous because it is fueled by a portable nuclear reactor.

ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Artifact

Portable nuclear reactor on the Michi ship.

The source of the Demon Lord's power. The explosion of the artifact is capable of destroying the top of the mountain, along with all the demons and Yuuto. And also destroy a few surviving shuttles.

 The choice is up to the main character.

ConceptArtist RPG IX


The 3rd and 4th weeks were the most difficult, nothing seemed to be going right.

I had to make an effort to take my mind off things, go for a walk or watch something, because my thoughts were becoming very stagnant.

Therefore, this has taught me that in future it is important for me to ensure that i am getting enough rest, sleep and exercise whilst also allowing myself time for distractions.

I was able to apply the skills i learnt from the course which made me feel capable and gave me a boost of confidence when it came to solving problems — this was extremely rewarding!

My speed improved drastically; what used to take three weeks now only takes two or three days with accurate rendering.
Plus, taking on such a big project and meeting deadlines without giving up is no small feat!
All these combined have helped me accumulate new skills while simultaneously correcting any errors — making the next contest even better!

When i compare my progress over 1.5 years it fills me with pride and joy knowing how far i have come!

ConceptArtist RPG IX


ConceptArtist RPG IX



To my dear parents.

To all my friends, everyone who followed the competition and cheered for me.

 And, in particular, to my dear brother Wowa and my dear husband Aleksey for patience, support and useful advice that make me better.

Detailed project descriptions

ConceptArtist RPG IX

Interview with Euroradio

ConceptArtist RPG IX

Интервью CityDog

ConceptArtist RPG IX


ConceptArtist RPG IX

Jazz Jamboree 2022

Jazz Jamboree 2022
ConceptArtist RPG IX

Cyrano de Bergerac

ConceptArtist RPG IX


ConceptArtist RPG IX


ConceptArtist RPG IX

The Society for New Cuisine

“Animating the Story: Adding Visual Magic to the Play” (7-minute read including video)