Here is a compilation view of the 4 playable races’ concepts, so you can better compare them side by side. Relative ship sizes are roughly as i envision them in the game, with ‘heavies’ being the largest, and ‘fast race’ being the smallest.
Finally we arrived at the probably most popular race, the Heavies. Needed virtually no redesign compared to the original artwork, just needed to draw in much higher detail. Game balancing wise, the Heavy race is pretty straighforward, they will be the simple tank & gank race, without any special abilities, and also, being the slowest of them all.
The Heavy race is probably the most well established of my sci-fi factions, and closest to my natural art style. A very similar faction was already featured in an older, never publicly released game of mine, and also in my generic sci-fi universe project for which i made some 3D ships in the past. The first variation is how they appear in Star Temple TD (darker hull, orange engines and windows), the other one being how they appeared in the aforementioned older game of mine (lighter hull, blue engines and windows, ‘Homeworld’ paint).
You are welcome to tell which variation you like more
In my series of racial redesigns, i arrived at the Standard race. For quite some time, i was like, what to do with them? They were the sort of uninteresting ‘filler race’ in Star Temple TD, having the role of common easy enemies, without any special traits. For some time it was in question to even make them a playable race at all. Then they started to take shape as my universe’s noble race. Traditional, honorable, diplomatic. Having beautiful, ornate ships to reflect that.
This one again, took much longer to complete than expected, but the result might be worth it. It was the biggest redesign this far as well. Also the first one, where the color scheme changes as well compared to the one it’s based on. Could not decide which one to make the race’s base color scheme yet, so multiple variations included. Even if decided, alternate schemes might be used for ship customization. You are welcome to tell me which one is your favourite.
Here is the next concept in the series i planned, one for each faction. This time it’s the ‘Fast race’. I really feel i should make it a priority to think of some proper names for the factions, as it sounds so silly addressing them as ‘Shield race’, ‘Fast race’ and such… sorry for that, have to identify them somehow until backstory work has started.
This one took way longer than the Shield one. I think this was mostly because the Fast race’s art style is farther apart from my natural art style than the Shield race. Closest to it being the Heavy race actually (Those who know my Homeworld past shouldn’t be surprised about that)…
Another reason might be, that the Fast race is kinda my least favourite faction. Yes… because they remind me of THAT race from EVE. That caused Amarr to be forever underpowered.
Also, a hard decision was whether to use clearly vertical detailing, or try to keep it as ‘flat’ as possible, because the end product will be top-down 2D. In the end i decided to keep the vertical shape (the center spine of the ship with the laser domes, that is rising above the rest of the hull). If it turns out to be problematic later in the game, i can still flatten it, but i generally think, a design is more proper if it uses all three dimensions.
In my last post i tried to do a ship in 3D. While im satisfied with the looks, the process of modeling them in 3D is just too slow for the amount of ships i would require. I might still finish the 3D Fast Boss eventually, but working out the art pipeline for the MMO is top priority.
So, as a next try i did a rough concept of one of the ‘Shield race’ ships. I like how it turned out, and also, the amount of time needed was acceptable. Best of all, i don’t need to do this for all the ships, just one per race, because it basically lays down the updetailed characteristics for the given race. So, this is how the ‘Shield race’ ships would look like in the MMO. In the lower right corner you can see the original Star Temple TD sprite and it’s source artwork.
I still need to figure out how to create the actual ingame art though…
You might already know, that i plan on reusing the races, and some of the ships from Star Temple TD. The ships would be remastered of course, to be shown in higher detail in the MMO. I am exploring multiple ways of how it would be efficient to recreate the ships in higher detail. One of them is 3D modeling them.
This started as a study model of what level of detail i could achieve reasonably quick. Seems 3D will not be an option, unless i can find a resonable detail compromise, and significantly cut down on production time. It already took too long to get to this state. However, i will still try to finish it, as it’s own project, because i am quite satisfied with how the Fast Boss holds up as a full-fledged 3D ship.
You may already, or may not yet know my game Star Temple TD. It is my first publicly released, more or less serious game. It is a sci-fi themed tower defence, with a bit of unique physics and intense graphics. It is a flash game, with it’s own website, and a server-database, so you can access your data and achievements from anywhere.
I had the MMO idea long before Star Temple TD, right after my very first flash game, which was never released. Star Temple TD started out as a little side project, with the engine having been largely done within a matter of a few months. Then i lost motivation, and dropped it for a while, before showing it to a few class mates, who liked it. After a long list of events, the decision was made, to extend it from a stand-alone flash game into a full website, where users have to register and such. Thus, it became a testbed for a lot of technologies, and a huge practice project, partly paving the way for the MMO.
If you already know the game, some of the ships, and races are likely to reappear in the MMO, with appropriately updetailed graphics, and proper backstory of course.
Link to the game: Star Temple TD