An important part of worldbuilding is creating the people that will inhabit these new worlds. When it came to what my alien species would look like, I drew a lot of inspiration from Halo, particularly the Sangheili (Elites) and Jiralhanae (Brutes), which resulted in a mix of the slender reptillian and bulky humanoid forms. As my concept drawings for the Cryp'lar evolved over the years, their visual design became more unique—a result of understanding how their desert homeworld would influence their appearance.
Another key consideration when designing an alien species is the differences between genders (sexual dimorphism). As can be seen above, the male Cryp'lar (left) is taller, broader, and has rear-facing 'horns,' while the female Cryp'lar (right) is smaller, thinner, and has longer downward-facing ones. These bony protrusions grow out from the back of the head and give the appearance of hair for their species. Longer and more spread out 'skull-horns' are a sign of maturity and stature. Sexual characteristics involve both reptilian and humanoid aspects of reproduction, which explains why the female has breasts while neither gender has external sexual organs.
Cryp'lar warriors are exclusively male, because of their larger frame and more aggressive nature. They wear full-faced helmets and combat harnesses which allow for a good range of movement and protection in environments with atmospheres unsuited for the Cryp'lar. While large parts of their body remain exposed, the thick leathery skin of these warriors is often enough protection on its own. The above design is based off of a Yu-Gi-Oh! card called "Alien Warrior" (such an original name, huh?). I attempted to incorporate a rank for the warrior by putting a symbol on its chest, which would represent said rank in the written language belonging to the Cryp'lar.
One of the more recent additions to my alien species is the "Jakkir" (the Cryp'lar alphabet). I drafted up a version of these symbols for a university project, which later underwent a few revisions. An interesting thing to note about Cryp'lar writing is that it is read from bottom-to-top and left-to-right, which I did to reflect their culture being focused on the 'growing' mountains of their world. Other symbols were created for double letters usually present in words and phrases. As the Cryp'lar are a warrior race, the Jakkiri language has an emphasis on doubling-up the harsher sounding consonants of words taken from its real-world root language of Malay.
The military aspect of the Cryp'lar Empire is something I have thoroughly researched and expanded upon, with them being a space-faring technologically-advanced species. The first design of a Cryp'lar starship was the above illustration of what became an "Andarr-class Mobile Command Platform." Although, they came from a desert world, the oceans there were bountiful with some creatures similar to those found on Earth; their love of these animals is reflected in the designs of their starships.
While I don't plan on covering the various religions from their planet, one of them involved a belief in sea spirits by coastal-dwelling settlers, and another focused on praying to deadly sand worms for survival and prosperity. All of this is to say that I hope I have given some insight into how I have created my alien species for the 'The Cryp'lar Series' novels. I have been designing and reworking all these elements and more since the original idea of an alien species came to me in a dream. Funnily enough, that's how all this started. So, I guess the moral of this post is to make sure you get enough sleep to generate story ideas.