Author Topic: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.  (Read 8114 times)

Offline Cinth

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2016, 10:23:56 AM »
That's a really good point about the blandness of so many designs.  I'll have to think about that in general, honestly.

On a serious note, Blue's posts (like the OP) are blog worthy material.
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Offline Blue

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2016, 12:42:31 PM »
I love it! But even more, I love Blue sharing this insight in the process. I can't wait to see more.

On the piece of art itself, I feel the spiky design convey more an AI-style. I love the guard posts with their completely weird space-tech antennas and general shape; I think they're from you, Blue, right?

Anyway, if it's a concept art for the Human Home Station Ship, I think it's a bit too aggressive and menacing. (It is discussed in another thread wether or not it should allow "commander rush" and I'm personally supporting the "no gun" option.)

Anyway. Love it. More. Please.

Thank you so much!

As to the spikiness, I hear you. But I think that it's not going to be as spikey as the profile shows it off to be. In my head, those 'spikes' are more like flatish plate like things. The spikes are just sort of an artifact of a profile drawing.

Well the first thing that stands out is that this doesn't have the extremely overused "big metal battleship" style to it.   I'm thinking of something like the ships in Battlestar Galactica, or even something like the Star Destroyers in Star Wars.  Big, blocky, very "metallic" looking ships, usually a sort of gray color (or close to it), that even from a distance shows the surface of the ship as being made up of a gazillion square-ish metal plates covered in random funky bits that stick out all over.   Anyone that's seen enough sci-fi space stuff probably knows what I mean by this style in a general sense outside of those two specific series.  It's very prevalent.

And it's REALLY overused in games.  I don't mean just the shmup genre (though that does go extremely overboard with these in certain games) but in a lot of space games of all sorts of genres, you get ships like that.  The sort of thing that says "another huge capital ship in space".  Cool as they may look they're often not actually very creative and tend to look very similar to one another.  After as many games as I've played that for whatever reason involve combat ships in space, I'm soooooo tired of these designs.  They're not very memorable to me anymore.  And they're usually about as colorful as a brick.

The thing you've shown here doesn't even go near that type of design, which is great.  There's an almost organic quality to it, yet not too much.  The blue crystal bits add to this look, and also add some extra menace to it (and a big central ship, which this is, should look menacing in my opinion, it shouldn't look like something that runs and hides; that wouldn't exactly scream confidence, nope).  It's got a dragon-ish shape to it but it doesn't go too far with that either.  Even if the individual ship itself ends up not being all that strong, as the core unit it's still sort of representative of the fleet as a whole, so it should look impressive even if it's actual power is low.

And overall, it just stands out to me.  It looks DIFFERENT than the norm that's used everywhere but without looking ridiculous. Stands out.  And again, there's some actual color there.  That's something that always catches my eye since so many games these days don't seem to know what colors even are.


Thank you Misery! I really appreciate the in depth response here on what you do like.

Likely then I will continue to with this sort of over all style and hopefully as this progresses, ships will all have their own identities too.

I took a lot of what I learned from designing ships in Starward Rogue and applied that here in designing this one!

Offline PokerChen

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2016, 05:06:38 PM »
Well the first thing that stands out is that this doesn't have the extremely overused "big metal battleship" style to it. (etc.)
IMO this tends to be because most SciFi on the whole are made by humans for standard human consumption. Our engineering ascetics/practicality tends to leak into most ships/structures, like "armored = strong", producing a lot of the gratuitous metal and plating lines. But it also grounds the alien races to qualities that are understandably human (although they may not be themselves human). So yeah it includes all Star Trek/Wars, BSG, Gundams, Warhammer 40K, right up until your bump into the opposing, somewhat less overused "gracefully curvaceous ships" associated with Tolkien-esque elf-alikes. (Even for relatively indie games like FTL, a human-impression is left on the chubby Rock ships, angular/hooked Mantises, round Zoltans, and crustacean Slugs.)

 On that note, I came across a striking counterpoint in Legend of Galactic Heroes, where there's a planetoid fortress Iserlohn that essentially looks like a giant opaque marble, because it's protected entirely by some form of liquid metal through which all the actual ships and turrets dive into and out of.  In a universe where everything else is plated, antennaed, and relatively sane (although on the spindly side).

 Maybe big gaping holes in ships is the new human in AI War II. :P Fools the AI into not building any orbital mass drivers, since the bolts would mostly sail right through the rings without doing much.

 (EDIT: The whole crystal-beings-making-crystalline ships is a bit tongue-in-cheek ironic, given that humans with today's sensibilities would never build a vessel that looks like flesh. It was commented elsewhere that the three AI War aliens all built ships that took after themselves in some manner, while I don't think this is true for humans - our ships take not after us, but our flippant aesthetics. Thus based on the ships that they tend to build, the Spire would probably love to trade porcelain and bone china.)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 05:15:36 PM by zharmad »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2016, 05:42:02 PM »
The other design that is "stereotypical human" is the rotating habitat rings because we use centrifugal force to generate gravity and aliens are like "Y U no invent Artifical Gravity?"

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2016, 06:00:33 PM »
On that note, I came across a striking counterpoint in Legend of Galactic Heroes, where there's a planetoid fortress Iserlohn that essentially looks like a giant opaque marble, because it's protected entirely by some form of liquid metal through which all the actual ships and turrets dive into and out of.  In a universe where everything else is plated, antennaed, and relatively sane (although on the spindly side).
Literally the only thing I'm taking out of this thread is that someone else here knows LoGC.

(EDIT: The whole crystal-beings-making-crystalline ships is a bit tongue-in-cheek ironic, given that humans with today's sensibilities would never build a vessel that looks like flesh. It was commented elsewhere that the three AI War aliens all built ships that took after themselves in some manner, while I don't think this is true for humans - our ships take not after us, but our flippant aesthetics. Thus based on the ships that they tend to build, the Spire would probably love to trade porcelain and bone china.)
This however deserves a comment: much like Chinese who imported delftware, the Spire would be interested in our porcelain and similar products as barbaric curiosities, not as objects with artistic value.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2016, 06:07:45 PM »
(EDIT: The whole crystal-beings-making-crystalline ships is a bit tongue-in-cheek ironic, given that humans with today's sensibilities would never build a vessel that looks like flesh. It was commented elsewhere that the three AI War aliens all built ships that took after themselves in some manner, while I don't think this is true for humans - our ships take not after us, but our flippant aesthetics. Thus based on the ships that they tend to build, the Spire would probably love to trade porcelain and bone china.)

Not sure about that one... because most of our vessel's shapes are dicted by technical consideration and not design.
Spire have probably evolved above that long time ago.

And, wherever then can :
https://www.google.fr/search?q=ship+figurehead&biw=1607&bih=836&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiKhu378pTPAhUFnRoKHfp0AFgQ_AUIBigB&dpr=0.9
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 01:54:11 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Yavaun

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2016, 08:58:32 PM »
Looks like the next level of AI abomination to me. Something like a hunter-killer but much worse (worse for the humans that is). In that context, that blue luminous material gives me the creeps. Worst case it's some sort of bilogical weapon O_o

That said it looks super cool but perhaps it would be too dangerous for humans to live in a dragon's head.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2016, 09:01:28 PM »
I hope that each race maintains an art theme.
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Offline PokerChen

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2016, 02:50:24 AM »
Literally the only thing I'm taking out of this thread is that someone else here knows LoGC.
Homeland advantage: I got a game as a kid (LoGH-IV, turn-based role-play strategy layer+Turn-based combat layer, ported to Taiwan). Would eventually find the mandarin translation online for the entire novels.

This however deserves a comment: much like Chinese who imported delftware, the Spire would be interested in our porcelain and similar products as barbaric curiosities, not as objects with artistic value.
Incidentally, I was in the Hague last week and witnessed some delftware. IMO they're of generally higher mastery than German equivalents. It's kind of sad that intricacy is not in vogue today with semi-affluents buying IKEAware featuring designers focussing on shapes and forms and absolutely no decoration.

Not sure about that one... because most of our vessel's shapes are dicted by technical consideration and not design.
Spire have probably evolved above that long time ago.

And, wherever then can :
https://www.google.fr/search?q=ship+figurehead&biw=1607&bih=836&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiKhu378pTPAhUFnRoKHfp0AFgQ_AUIBigB&dpr=0.9
1) On the other hand, humanity has a strong tendency to adopt engineering features as their definitions of aesthetics. Humanity today would call yachts and catamarans graceful and sleek, although their shapes are fundamentally of the same kind as as destroyers (which most would probably call sleek, but not graceful). Contrast: no matter how fast you make a cargo-ship or junkship hull travel, these would never be called "graceful"/"sleek" today because people have adopted aero/hydrodynamics as an aesthetic factor.
 Compare this to the likes of the Visby class, DDX, and F117s, which are great engineering in terms of radar stealth, but isn't generally considered beautiful. Most people would think of B2s instead (a marketing success IMO). Even the F35 feels kind of "stubby" despite what I presume to be the designers' best intentions to capture public imagination. It'll probably take a while before people get accustomed to the idea.
 ...I won't speculate presently on whether Spire has analogous character-flaws.

2) *chuckles* I think your right in the sense that some people would've made their prize feminine vessel in the shape of a nude woman if they could. On the other hand, this kind of womanising is particular to the successful western medieval maritime culture. AFAIK most other cultures call their travelling vessels "it", and invoke either dragons (Asian), serpents (Old Norse), or simply nothing (Indian Ocean and East Indies because Isalmic prohibition). I wonder how the Micronesians used to think of their majestic ocean-crossing canoes.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 03:41:57 AM by zharmad »

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2016, 04:06:55 AM »

Quote
2) *chuckles* I think your right in the sense that some people would've made their prize feminine vessel in the shape of a nude woman if they could. On the other hand, this kind of womanising is particular to the successful western medieval maritime culture. AFAIK most other cultures call their travelling vessels "it", and invoke either dragons (Asian), serpents (Old Norse), or simply nothing (Indian Ocean and East Indies because Isalmic prohibition). I wonder how the Micronesians used to think of their majestic ocean-crossing canoes.

I'd be willing to know more about that actually. I lived in Asia a few years, but apart from "yeah, we had boats millenias ago, sailed the world, and found out that outside, there was only barbaric uneducated savages, so we sank the boats... nothing to see" story, I didn't get much. Then again, in Asia as a whole, languages tends to not have a concept of gender associated to nouns, so...

AFAIK, the western culture of calling ships a "she" actually encompassed a large part of Europe, but Norse apparently referred to ships as "he" despite actually having the neutral gender in their language. I got no clue how American natives refer to their ships. Africa... complicated. A lot of the languages there have been destroyed.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2016, 04:06:20 PM »
Bloody [darn] the art always gets better.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2016, 12:06:12 PM »
I hope that each race maintains an art theme.

Of course!  Goodness. :D

The main problem is that the humans were always more generic, and we don't want to do that for them.  The spire and AI and zenith had the most interesting individual styles.  The neinzul kinda did but also were a bit hard to follow in some ways.  The human stuff was a bit on the boring side compared to the others, so trying to be less generic is a goal.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2016, 12:17:00 PM »
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2016, 12:19:40 PM »
 :D
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Zanthra

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Re: Second Art Look: Player Base Concepting.
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 05:07:27 PM »
As to putting this on the blog: http://arcengames.com/ai-war-ii-art-diary-player-base-concept-work/

Good idea!

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Hehe. Seriously though, it looks awesome!

 

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