• Tyler

Models Are In! A Sneak Peak On Our First Ship!


The original concept from Catalyst Game Labs

A Long Road Starts

One of my favorite parts of this job is opening an email in the morning and seeing that one of our artists has replied with an update on their work. The most recent pieces we’ve received are for the models and textures we hired Sergio Cabral to create using a concept image, an orthographic, and a style reference. It's taken a long time, but the process from conception to final has been super rewarding, and we’re just very excited!

The orthographic prints. Because they're cool!

First Steps

The first problem we faced was the cost. As a small studio we had to figure out how we were going to build this grand game set in the Leviathans world. This was months ago while still stuck at home: some of us still in our PJ’s, discussing how to make a beautiful looking game. The two options were 2D sprites and 3D models. The worry was that 3D models would cost too much and that even if we received the 3D printable models from Catalyst, it would then take too long to make them game ready.

A French Battleship created in the style of Sanda Gavriliuc

Making a Decision

I had recently watched gameplay from The First Men and Battle Brothers and the idea of doing 2D sprites fascinated us. We could have done this whole paper look where the game took place on an old WW1 map and kept a more artistic look rather than something more realistic. In the end, however, after running the numbers, considering the spirit of the game, and talking it over for hours upon hours, we did decide to go with the 3D models. There was so much we could have done with the sprites, but after going through the process of modeling the ships, we realized our vision of having a alternative theocratic Britain or Marxist France could still some day come about.

A texture screenshot from early on

Making a Decision

The first step, then, was to determine the style that we should build the ships on. Some of you have read our blog post about Sanda Gavriliuc and how we decided to center our art style around her look (more on that to follow!). Besides creating the map and biome concepts for the maps, she also created the concepts for ship style to match. We wanted an artistic flair that wasn’t hyper-realistic to aid in highlighting the steampunk and fantasy feel of the game, but not too cartoony that we’d lose the seriousness of the topic. The concept art was enough to convey the feel and color palette, now we just needed someone to model.

The magnificent French Class 2 Light Cruiser, Liberté!

Looking Forward

That leads us to today, where we have one of our new models, textured and rigged for the ready! Sergio did a wonderful job adding in the small details to really make the world come alive with the ship. This ship will most likely be used as an enemy vessel during the campaign, though if not for the initial release, definitely down the road. If you want to stay updated on the project, follow our Facebook page or subscribe to our website!

Kudos to our project manager, Josh, for making a cool GIF!

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