Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Star Trek Online: Federation Flagship

I worked on Star Trek Online at 'Perpetual' for a couple years before the game went to Cryptic. I've spotted some things that made it into the final release, like Rob Brown's beautiful space paintings and some derivatives of John Eave's designs. I definitely ran into Bobby Dedden's consoles while playing. I've seen a version of our old flagship, the 'Excalibur Class' in game trailers and I passed it's debris while flying around space.
This design found it's origination from a small sketch done by Massive Black in an earlier exploration phase. It was well liked by team leadership because it had a strong poise and it had turrets. I thought the idea of visible turrets in Star Trek would be an abomination, but it did signal the war time approach we were going for. The original sketch was very small and drawn from a view underneath the ship looking upwards. I elaborated on the thumbnail and explored a new style for Starfleet going forward. It was fun because I could explore some really extreme designs that I knew wouldn't stick but might foster some different ideas. I also changed the viewpoint, drawing these sketches from the dominant player camera.
Below is a painting of the Excalibur for a poster used at conventions. I utilized an early mesh of the game model which was in progress. This allowed me to get a new angle on the ship quickly since I didn't have a lot of time to work on it.
For kicks, I've included a couple of slides from a damage level test (painted over the finished in-game model).
Images © 2007 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and Related Marks are Trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Treetops Village

I had the fun opportunity to work on a kid's game for a short bit. It was in the 'blue sky' phase without a clear idea of what the content would be. One of the ideas on the table was set in a forest.

Treetop villages became the focus of this direction. To begin exploring stylization I tried making the leaf clumps into ball shapes and giving everything a whimsical design/feel.
There was some concern that boys might not get into this, the palette and style was a bit faery-landish. I tried out some architectural ideas that might bridge that gap. Some were still fantasy oriented but with mechanical elements, one was a tree that grows into the shape of a house, another a castle in a tree. The ideas that stuck were extreme versions of existing theme-park tree houses - maybe whole maritime-like villages that were built into the trees.
I added in some fun bits that could be different interactive zones; wind chimes, gears, etc. My favorite is the shark bowl with the spout and diving board. I also fleshed out the surrounding ground areas a bit.
Timing only permitted me to begin thinking about what the interiors might look like - inside the tree trunk, inside one of the houses.

Island Villages
This sketch is from one of the other directions for the game that was being floated. I was inspired by the reveal shot of Neverland in Disney's Peter Pan.
© 2008 Perpetual Entertainment

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paladin: Roughs

Some more rough concepts from 'Paladin'. You can see a few more at my portfolio site, including the final concept for the water raft sketch.

River Raft Attack (final can be seen here):
Thumbnails for 'Monastery Approach' level:
Downtrodden Villager Thumbnails:
'Paladin' Images © 2008 Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Paladin: Monastery Approach

This was a shot at the beginning of a level in the game where you see a monastery being attacked in the distance. After this reveal, you head down into the forest and make your way through to help. The exaggerated moon silhouetting the monastery was a fun bit and lent itself well to the style and mood of the game.

'Paladin' Images © 2008 Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sand Dunes

On our way from San Francisco to Austin we stopped at Great Sand Dunes National Park. The dunes were huge, it was unlike anything I had experienced before. I was really excited because I felt like I was in Star Wars.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Criminal: Snow Storm Exploration

Criminal was a going to be a game set in a Chicago-esque city during winter. We wanted to have different levels of snow come in as you ran around the world, shifting from clear to a blinding blizzard. Here are some exploration concepts:



Here's the original rough for the concept which had a warmer feel, going with what you might get from a point/shoot camera. For the final, I gave it a cooler, greenish feel to fit more in line with movies like Heat:

'Criminal' Images © 2008 Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.