My name is Spencer Owen and I am the lead artist for most of our internal habitats and other mission structures. I will be contributing posts to our devlog over the course of development pertaining to the design and art decisions that are being made. For my first post I am going to go over some of the decisions we have made for the main Habitat that you have seen previewed in previous posts.
The Foundation Base Habitat has come even further this past month. We have added a few new pieces and are currently in the process of messing with the shaders and textures to achieve a cohesive look throughout the Hab. The internal volume of this structure is meant to be dense and functional, but also a bit spacious and relaxing for the crew. We are shooting for a certain realism in the Hab that will allow us to satisfy these restrictions.
Since most spacecraft today are designed for zero gravity, you will often see cargo holds and electronics strapped to every surface of an interior such as this. Our Hab will need to function on the surface of Mars, meaning we have to design a little differently than the ISS. We had to look for inspiration in things like campers, RV’s, and trailer homes. I’ll highlight a few areas and talk about the design decisions.
In the kitchen area the size of the appliances and their position is most important for functionality. Additional cabinet space for the non-essential equipment is stored above, accessible with a ladder.
In the couch seating area we chose to recess the couch into the wall, revealing the shape of the exterior hull. This way the couch does not obstruct the main walkway, but instead serves as an alcove for relaxation, with a great view of the Martian surface.
The media center area sits directly across from the couch seating area, allowing the television screens to be used for entertainment, communication, or presentation. The table serves multiple purposes as well, with adjustable computer stations located nearest the wall. Radio and media equipment sit within arm’s reach.
Another design goal for us was to highlight the functional areas of the Hab so that the player can immediately recognize them. In order to do that we will be using a signature orange color in the textures of interactive objects and locations, similar to games like Mirror’s Edge.
Most of all, we want the Hab to feel like a safe place for the player to relax and go over any information they find between EVA’s. We still have work left to do, but we are really starting to get the atmosphere and design of the Hab’s interior finalized. The design problems we have solved here will carry over into the other internal environments throughout the game.
We will be featuring more of the internal modules of the Habitat over the coming weeks in another blog post. If you have any questions feel free to sound off in the comments!
Continue to part two of our "Designing the Hab" preview.