Safari on Planet Earth, Fragment #8419

We experimented with the glorious little application that is Gifcam, and behold… beautiful new gifs of gameplay!

First our Captain had a bit of a wander to meet the native wildlife and share his bountiful medicines:


Then he got out his Lonely Planet guidebook and tried out the greetings and customs of the local people:


Finally, our intrepid documentarist exposed himself to the dangers of the growing Blight, for the education of home viewers.


Character Design In-Progress: Captain Aurora

We spent some time refining the male protagonist (“Captain Flint”) in his default configuration. He’ll have other heads and skin-tones available, but we felt he was a good starting point.

We looked at all of the classic adventurous space captains (Han Solo, Mal, Captain Kirk, maybe even a little tiny bit of Flash Gordon/Zap Brannigan) and tried to find our own distinct design for Captain Flint.

We wanted him to seem independent and perhaps a bit defiant in his quest for adventure. Internally, his art assets are still referred to as “the renegade”.



We’ve started looking at our second protagonist design. We want the female protagonist (“Captain Aurora”) to have a more military, athletic feel.

Like the male Captain, she’ll be customisable, but we want all of her versions to communicate that she’s a serious, skilled combatant, like Zoe, Starbuck, or Ripley.

We’ve moved away from styling her like an outright “assassin”, but so far, we’re happy with Captain Aurora’s evolution.

What do you think of them both?

Infiltrating the Alien Ruins

Sometimes, your teleporter might not take you to the surface of the planet. It can take you into the depths of abandoned alien ruins, where ancient devices continue to hum and whirr, preserved well against potential intruders. These ruins clearly weren’t built by the tribal nomads roaming the grasslands.

For our environment design process, we first looked at references and decided on an overall mood, from Jedi temples to Weyland-Yutani. We chose to go for geometric since it would match our tile-based world, and a clean, plastic feel would contrast nicely with the “fuzzier”, more organically textured outdoor environments.

This was Xin’s first doodle, experimenting with different concepts of rivets, grating, angles, transparency, and metallic tones. If you look closely, you can find an informative hologram screen, severed wires, a cybernetic supply closet, and an exposed electronics panel.


From there, he went on to roughs, and refined them into an environment we could all agree looked sufficiently intriguing to call our interior tileset. The lasers serve the same function as water tiles — unwalkable yet visually interesting area. It still needs walls and obstacles that match the architecture, and help build up more of a sense of purpose to the space.


As you can see, walking on heavy plastic, metal grating, and glass should feel quite different than walking on fuzzy grass and moist earth.

We liked it so much, we made it our Twitter page background, complete with an intrepid slicer droid!

What do you think the alien civilisation was like?

Mixing it up – Terrain v2

We felt the lines between the basic “outdoor” tiles were too harsh, so Xin worked hard to design half-and-half tiles, softening the transition between different region types.

Wait till you see what he comes up with for “interior” tiles, when you explore alien ruins!

(Click to see the full-size image)


Posted in Art

What Makes a Robot Evil?

Xin’s initial character design was much more regal and noble — we hunched it up to make it look a bit more aggressive, low-intellect, and generally evil-feeling. But its programming may have become corrupted in the planet’s shattering… perhaps a less buggy model is hiding in the wilderness, beeping and booping for peace!


Posted in Art