Alan Zhang (Xu Zhang) was senior concept artist for Far Cry 4: Valley of the Yetis (which I blogged about back in March). This was, hands-down, the biggest video game event of the year (re: yetis).
He posted some of his conceptual work for the project and it offers a great glimpse at what goes into the process of trying to create an original yeti depiction.
Here are a few favorites below, but check out his blog post for oodles more.
Let's start with the final design - a dark furred, more humanoid, less bestial simian with what looks like spore-mutation scarring... all meant, I believe, to foreshadow the surprise ending that reveals the yetis' origins.
But it could have gone a different way - a more traditional look was considered:
And this one's a straight-up white gorilla:
Looking at many of his early designs, I see a definite werewolf / wolfman vibe:
And even a were-bear type was conceived of:
I love this mock-up - (click to embiggen) - different yeti faces were tried out:
There's your more traditional ape, but also a lion, a zombie - hey, you never know what might look cool.
Go see the rest of his blog post for more.