It doesn’t make much sense to hold back the identity of my IP, especially by obscuring it with a title as generic and bland as Working Title. So, the actual name for this project is The Hologram. Most of its universe was written almost a decade ago as novels, so no lack of lore here. The plot is being ret-conned and characters restructured because I wrote a convoluted plot while trying to figure out everything. That rarely produces good stories.
At the moment I have the basics of the story up to the end of the game which is usually the most difficult part in any kind of fictional creation. Now it’s time to let the stuff breathe, characters will soon bring themselves to life as soon as they are put in certain situations.
At the moment I’m designing the main character, but will only show when finished. Patrons on Patreon are getting progress images. I have another painting from another main character, but that is for later 😉
I have painted the other sketch for the human flight commander, Esther King. A Canadian war veteran, she’s now in charge of the Rapid Response Force, a WSO Unit in charge of Peacekeeping.
I haven’t been recording my paintings because I’ve been watching Space Battleship Yamato 2199 while I paint. It gets me a lot of inspiration and great ideas and totally recommend to scifi fans.
I’ve been thinking about the spaceship window dilemma and I noticed some interesting things about ships with windows. They allow the pilot to be seen from the outside, potentially showing his face. That in the case of this game wouldn’t make sense, because pilots will have a full helmet without glass parts, and that’s not up for debate. Another thing is that sunlight is allowed to enter the cockpit and can cast shadows. I noticed this in Elite Dangerous, rotating a ship and see the light shine on the cockpit is really an interesting and immersive feeling.
Other things about the nature of the main character are up for decision, but it’s something that will impact heavily about everything. Anyway, I want to star prototyping the game, Unreal 4.9 is looking really bloody solid and I can’t wait to put my hands on it again, but I also have tons of ideas for characters that I’d love to paint, so much fun to be had, so little time.
I’m also looking for work, commissions included.
Sent out hi-res pics to patrons. Kyrios is a mysterious figure and belongs to a very advanced civilization of aliens whose history was ancient long before humans came into existence.
Some humans who were unfortunate to meet him asked “Which god are you?” and his repressed twisted laughter was the last thing they heard
Last week my websites got hacked so I had to restore my backups and ended up with more website management work than I wanted, but anyway, I was in the middle of transferring my thehologram.net to a new host and is now tidied up, everything in one place, this devblog, commission information and all of my links.
Also I haven’t been drawing because I’ve been taking care of documentation a writing my ideas for the game, but I should get back to drawing soon.
I can’t really show much of this at the moment, and it’s probably the one thing that will stay mostly hidden from the public at large. But it can be said that this game is going to stay away from a large exploration/mining/trading types. I’ll go with mission>base>mission formula. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a big open ended universe, but the old Freespace 2 type of game is a lot easier to make. The only problem is that games like that are not common anymore for being too limited, but I think that with enough graphics, immersive mechanics and a mature story, those limitations can be overcome and deliver a solid experience. Games nowadays are easier to make, but it is more difficult to attract the attention of the public because of the sheer number of games being made.
Finances is also a thing that worries me deeply and is what’s keeping me up at night, but I believe I’ll find more paid stuff to do (as always). The good news is that I feel my paintings have improved a lot on the last month (more than in the last year). This tutorial essentially talks about how to think in RGB instead of HSV, and this made it easier to apply much better all I know about color theory. Colors and values shift much more naturally now and it’s easier to focus on the creative side of the piece. I still feel I’m going with too much saturation, it makes everything look cartoonish, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with these techniques at the moment.
In the world of the [Working Title], World War 3 ended last decade and now is a time of recovering and rebuilding. Because I cannot see into the future, I’ll leave this history and the details of what happened out of sight. Post-WW2 culture is well documented, so I’ll try to take hints and cues from that and transpose it into my world (but not necessarily on the visual development side of things)
Studies in human military craft while I tried to find the defining lines of human’s way of building and using military spacecraft. Time and time again I see concepts on the internet with absolutely no respect for the function of a spacecraft. I’ve seen everything stuck in there, wings, rotating fans, aerodynamic hull, windows, you name it. And I facepalm a bit every time, because it doesn’t take much to know that these elements obviously do not belong in a craft built for combat in space. These things are the “cool factor”
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with adding some “cool factor” and a bit of magic here and there, it gives the viewers the comfort of showing them stuff they already recognize. “Oh strut with big windows, there’s the cockpit”, right, but to me, it is wrong to base a whole design on the “cool factor” when all the environment around is supposed to be realistic. It not only breaks my immersion, but it denies the developers the possibility of creating something completely new, something that is actually conceptual. It means that the in-world engineers solved their problem (the enemy shooting their poor cockpit windows, debris breaking windows, etc) in a certain way (no more windows, lets see through other means), and that is important. People ridicule this stuff at first, but they will come to accept it if the solution works as intended.
I suppose the threshold of immersion is different for everyone, but one thing I know, too much of the cool factor or too much of realism can eventually break the immersion for everyone, So this equilibrium is always a fine line.
A group of studies on civilian space ships
I pondered long and hard about doing a video game based on my own scifi universe, and I could keep pondering about it, and about all the stuff that could go wrong (and will certainly go wrong), but life is short and if I’m to make my own philosophical space opera, I better do it while I’m not dead (hah, although batshit crazy is probably a requirement).
I’ll begin with pre-production, which at this point to me, means painting concepts like there is no tomorrow while I figure the details of the project. Meanwhile let’s call it Working Title. Another dimension to it is that I want to attract as much attention to my patreon and commissions as possible as a way to gain my own financial independence and so, later in the project, money will be necessary to complete work I’m not proficient in. So expect high resolution files, .psd and videos to be monetized, I will still obviously document my progress and share all I can.
What can I say about this video game? it’s mostly science fiction in a near future, it will have hard scifi elements but also really wonky stuff and the main system will be an space flight sim. Main inspirations are probably games like Freespace, Homeworld, and movies like 2001 and Interstellar.
So, this was my first piece, a station in Low Earth’s Orbit (LEO Station) where humans wander around and do all their space business. It is essentially a tale of humanity’s upbringing set in the near future. There will be conspiracies, space battles, and aliens, of course =)
All released concept art for Spy Bugs video game, developed by Digital Soul Games