Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Concepts

So here I tried to refine my designs - pick out the best features of each of the sketches and develop them a little better.

The Enemy - originally, I was thinking about some kind of cyborg animal design. I wanted it to look ferocious, especially from the front so that if one of them was running at you as the player, you would be messing your pants. Here, the designs show them wearing armour similar to the soldiers - a choice that I have since scrapped. Looking back, it was totally Halo worming it's way into my subconscious. No other game features animal-like enemies wearing coloured armour. Hmmmm, was this going to become a problem?
The Soldiers (the player!) - I was quite pleased with how these designs turned out. I was thinking a full military issue armoured suit that could provide defence against any and all environment types, gun-fire, debris etc. Each design is pretty different and there are definitely elements I would like to take from each one to create a final image. At this phase I omitted the helmets, thinking that they often become the focal point of a soldier and something that is symbolic of the game as a whole, I wanted to spend more time on their design. Hopefully they don't look too 'Master Chief'? It was only on reflection that I started to think about how many games now feature similar ideas - Halo, GOW, Section8, Haze, Fracture, Red Faction, Killzone, Mass Effect ......oh my God the list is huge.

This has prompted me to the realisation that your designs have to be REALLY unique and original if they are to be recognisable amongst the heaps of others out there at the moment. Especially in a genre such as this one...
Weapons - My aim is to create something that lies in the realm just between cutting edge modern day technology and the sci-fi ideas of games like Halo and Mass Effect. There will be no lazers in my game!! - but what kind of weapons will the military be using in 10-20 years? (Lazers probably, haha!) Although it's not obvious on this drawing, I'm playing with the idea of a standard issue rifle template that is actually grafted onto the chest/shoulder area of the marines armour via a hinge. This way, the weapon could be raised and fired with only the right hand while the left is free to do other things. It could have 'suspension' in the stock that reduces recoil and would obviously not be lost of the soldier let go of it. In game, rather than building up a huge cache of different weapons, you could simply find pieces which could be mounted on to the original weapon to alter its effects.
I'm quite happy with the design but I hate the drawings =P ...
Vehicles - I have since decided that each of the soldiers would own a single individual land based vehicle with which to explore and battle. These concepts are for a (I hate the word space-ship) plane (?) for either combat or transport. I was basically just looking at shape and colour. The top/middle one is probably my favourite as the most original. Each painting probably took 15-20 mins, if that, and I have found it to be a really quick and effective way of communicating a design idea whilst experimenting at the same time. They're not of a great standard by any means but I do hope to do more like this in the future.
The final drawing is simply one of the ship designs that I spent far too long on and yet again it looks just like one of the one's from (you guessed it!) Halo (and of course Avatar, which totally ripped it off, hehe). Damn Halo and all it's greatness - I'm starting to think it's consumed my thought process and clouds any shred of creativity within me.

Next stage plan: Scrap anything that looks like Halo!!!

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