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Visual Design and Concept Art

Hi everyone, this is Asa. Today on the Devblog I’m going to talk a little about the design choices in StarCrawlers and how we go about concepting ideas for our 3-D environments.

The visual design for StarCrawlers is a fusion of two distinct ideas. The first is the exploration of a worn and aging future made popular by the original Star Wars that also takes cues from Art Deco and Italian Futurism. We have combined that with purposefully unusual, almost whimsical, shape design to create a look that feels realistic and gritty as well as different and strange. The world of StarCrawlers is menacing and dystopian but at the same time filled with playful humor. We strive to communicate that not only through the story but through the world and characters the player interacts with.

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The size of our team and the nature of the randomized room layouts have some significant ramifications on how we do concept for StarCrawlers. Not only would it be impossible for me to create full renders of all the environments and create the character art at the same time but the rooms change randomly and with such a small team it’s important that everyone in the pipeline is bringing a lot to the table so we can save time. Lucky for me, I have Tony working next in the pipeline (as well as the desk next to me) to bring my rough sketches to life. Some of my ideas have been literally a few chicken scratches that he has made some really amazing stuff from. It makes my life and my job so much easier.high class 2

To help us get us on the same page for a new environment, the first thing I do is create a style guide breaking down the look of a few of the props and rooms for an area. Basically, some visual notes on what we want the area to feel like. For the High Class areas we wanted it to feel very different from the environments we had already created. Those were dark, tight and full of tech junk. The high class area is less cluttered and everything is more streamlined. It has almost a Star Trek the Next Generation feel to it. We also raised up the room to give more space and are putting in some really cool “digi sky” and “digi windows”. It started to feel like a Las Vegas casino… which I think works really well. Rocky Just showed me how he was able to change the digi windows to some really cool things and it changes the feel of the living quarters completely. I think we really achieved our goal in making the high class area the place you want to stay rather than the lower decks.hc_Lounge

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