Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Turncoat Dev Diary: Visual Design Begins

We're starting to narrow in on our first game after putting the stealth game on the back burner. I'll be ready to share more about that in the next week or so. Today's post, though, is not about game mechanics, it's about the look and feel.

We've brought two excellent visual artists — Patrick and Alex — on board to help establish the visual style of our game universe and the first game.

You can check out Patrick's work at his Tumblr and on his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter… um… if you dare.

You can see some of Alex's stuff on his blog and follow him on Twitter.

I'm really excited to be working with these guys and can't wait to share some of the stuff they create.

In one of my next few posts, I'll talk about the mechanics of our first game, but for now, I'll just say that guns — and especially scoped rifles — are an important element of the game, so one of the first things I wanted to explore was what those guns might look like in the 24th century.

The process started with silhouettes. Alex came up with a sheet of different gun outlines based on both historical and modern weapons as well as taking inspiration from a variety of fictional sources. Here is a low-res version of the first silhouette sheet:

Talk about decision paralysis. So many cool looking guns silhouettes!

While we'll have multiple guns in the game when it ships and we'll eventually explore several of these designs, we have to start with one. Picking just one wasn't easy, though. Instead of deciding based on aesthetics, I decided to look at function. Our protagonist needs to start with a gun, but we don't want them to start with the coolest, fanciest, or biggest gun. Rather, we want them to start with something practical and multi-purpose. Both J & K looked to me like assault rifles that have been modified for sniping, and that feels like a good starting point for the default weapon. It's the weapon of a newly-qual'd sniper deployed with his or her squad.

So, Alex is now working on variations of J & K to come up with the design of the first gun our players will use. We'll be exploring some of the other silhouettes later and evolving those into finalized designs as well.

While Alex is exploring guns, Patrick has been exploring environments. The logical starting point for him was to create a rifle range for practice and training levels. We don't want players to worry about enemies shooting back at them until they've had a chance to at least try out their gun against inanimate objects, so Patrick is working on figuring out just what the rifle range on a 24th century spaceship might look like. None of the environment stuff is far enough along to share yet, but I'm looking forward to when we can.

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