The storyline of this game required there to be a series of very large, vaguely biomechanical space hulk environments for the player to explore. There are several ways to tackle this, and initially we considered simply hand building a few different examples- you encounter these less frequently in the game than the various floating island types.
Obviously that method would be
A: not quite in the spirit of things here and
B: too easy.
Instead the decision was made to build a random-generator for these Space Leviathans (as they quickly became named) that would build interesting astrocadavers out of modular blocks of ship design pieces.
This random generation system is now up and running (albeit in an early stage) and able to create some nice skeletal shipwrecks adrift in the ALP cosmos. Here is a video of the pod flying around some and only occasionally crashing…
The interesting and frustrating thing about being the lead (by which I mean sole) artist on a project is the responsibility for creating lore-applicable imagery on the fly.
I’ve just been finishing up some artwork to be used for promotion, and it called for some kind of alien writing.
Yet it has to be recognisable *as* writing and not seem like a picture or something.
I like things that seem familiar yet aren’t- misleading in a playful way. So I sketched out some eldritch hieroglyphs until I liked what I was looking at. The following image was then used as a basis for a much larger element of the finished artwork.
Doesn’t look much I know, but it require thinking about the concepts from a different perspective.
A big part of creating a game (for me) is fleshing out back story and making a rich world, even if that may not be directly seen in the final product. I like to develop these aspects and create a detailed space for the project to inhabit.
So a big part of the game is going to be sleuthing and deducing, to this end you will be required to sift through paper work from various places. So we need a document system that is a little more complex than just an image or some text, we need to be able to embed metadata in the documents have them be transformed and distorted by photocopiers and fax machines.
With this in mind here is my first pass at a document editor, on the left you have a poor mans XML markup and on the right the rendered page, I’m trying to invoke the look of declassified military documents of the period.
This was my reference, the very famous and maybe a little to obvious, declassified Project MKUltra documents. I may have gone back too far on reflection as these documents were probably typed on a typewriter and in our selected period dot matrix printers we common. However they are clearly photocopied. Notice the bulldog clip, copy distortion, the dialation on the characters and smudges. These are things to attempt to recreate in future iterations.
I love creating stuff, and worlds for that stuff to inhabit. One of the great things about this kind of project is I get to do exactly that.
Here is some more work at building up the visual backstory:
Creating dramatic scenes helps me to not only pique people’s interest, but also to test out scenarios that Phill and I have discussed as events that might happen in the course of the game, different storytelling perspectives and tones.
This kind of urban attack scene is a typical trope, but not all is as it seems with our plans. Part of the fun is playing with what people typically expect of a monster attack scenario.
Also these creatures have their own backstory, which will remain secret for now- you will probably have to play the game to get to the bottom of what s going on with them!
Anyway that is enough for now.
So the long and short of it is we don’t want to give much away about our game… here is what we can tell you: your job will be to manage a force defending your nation from the attacks of enormous creatures.
Many of them.
I’ve been painting up concepts that develop what this world *might* look like. More to follow.