Friday, September 13, 2013

Mars: War Logs - Concept art & stuff

Here are the concepts I've done for Mars:War Logs for Spiders, a post-apocalyptic RPG set on the red planet. I started the project and mostly done characters. It was a tough challenge bringing an universe of this size to life with so little time and hopefully it will be smoother for a possible sequel (at least to reduce inconsistencies). 
I wanted a raw feel for the game (not cyberpunk), even if there is some old technology involved. As if we were in the past, in medieval times, when in fact it is a dystopian future. As if civilization had regressed, and that it must again go through the steps that were acquired long ago, leaving people no other choice that to fight for their survival, unleashing their primal instincts anew.

Summarily Mars was being terraformed when the cataclysm occurred, settlers were cut off from the earth, and the red planet plunged into chaos. The story begins a century after; the atmosphere is breathable but still it is difficult to do extended efforts and prolonged exposure to the sun's radiations is deadly. 

Camp 19, a labor camp of the faction Abundance (one of the guilds at war mainly for the water and relics of Mars). The adventure begins here, with the arrival of a kid (the narrator of the story: he keeps a war journal) captured and taken behind enemy lines.
The fourth picture depicts the introduction of the game: the harassment of the kid in the sandpit, where prisoners must clean themselves with sand (ouch).

Roy (formerly "Temperance"), a brawler with a murky past and main character of the game, must first escape the camp with the help of "Innocence", the kid who just arrived.
They both formerly belong to the guild Aurora, which assigns virtue names at birth. 
But it's rare when the personality matches the name, it's often quite the opposite.

 The Shrimp-dog: the mascot of the game :)
I wanted a friendly (but dangerous when necessary) pet for the camp.

The "Dusts", mutated people who do not had the time to take shelter during the cataclysm. 
I wanted them to look like lepers, they have skin disease because of the sun radiations. They are tough but live a shortest life than humans.
First encountered as slaves at Camp19, they're used to do menial & lethal tasks under a murderous sun, such as building railroad tracks & shadow paths.
Jey, a long-time captured prisoner, who knows well the camp, and will help our two heroes.

Sean, the commander of the camp, a technomancer of the Abundance guild. I wanted him to have both a priest and a soldier look.
Technomancers are elite fighters but also guardians of knowledge, they have mystical powers based on ancient relics of earth technology. These powers (like throwing lightning bolts or producing shock waves) make them demi-gods in the eyes of the people.

An unfinished matte painting of the crater (we opted for 3D in the end) to show the gigantic scale of Mars environment.

The moles who are infesting the galleries beneath the drill of the camp.
Roy will be part of the prisoners hunting squad sent after them, to ensure that minors can continue to dig/draw water. They are behaving like insects (hive pattern) and the only way to drive them away is to kill the queen.

Weapon crafting & examples for the chapter I (labor camp).
Bigger versions of shivs, and pipes combined with metal parts, leather straps and other scrap materials.

Three other possible companions for the hero:
Tenacity, a cynical and disillusioned bounty hunter, former & occasional partner of Roy, but sent after him nonetheless; Devotion, an assassin at the service of the general of Aurora; and Judy, one of the heads of the resistance in Shadowlair.

Some leads for the city of Shadowlair, who was originally supposed to be deep underground, constructed on the remains of a former colonial complex. Built on three levels, with slums at the top (near the surface and the blazing sun), and rich people at the bottom.
I have not worked a lot on the second & third part of the game, except for some characters.
The Aurora technomancers & Mary (virtue name "Mercy"), from whom she originally belongs.
I wanted her to be a bit off compared to other people, with a baroque and extravagant look, to be soft and yet tough at the same time. To strengthen her mystical side, I added her a halo, as if she were a saint. She is clearly a little crazy (due to injuries suffered during her childhood / technomancer training), and seems to live in a world of her own.

Armor crafting for the fugitive/renegade outfit of Roy 
& some examples of part combinations.

Some early concepts & stuff not used:

Mutants variants, more skinned-like.

An early lead for Mary & some robes.

Early, crudest guards for the camp.

 A more tribal approach of Devotion.

An early try for a villain renegade technomancer.

The first illustration for the game, showing Roy & Innocence as fugitives.
(a lead too futuristic)

Two different level designs for camp19.

A wip 3D concept of Roy with veron eyes.

Some test logos.
Something I began for a workshop - after seeing that sunsets are blue on Mars.