Lacuna Passage - Devlog #40 - More Greenhouse Props and "IRA"

We left off our art devlog last month with the addition of the plant racks in the Greenhouse. Our newest addition to the Greenhouse is the Pressurized Isolation Unit, or PIU, that is used for isolated experiments on particular groups of plants. Four PIU’s will be located in the center of the Greenhouse and can be interacted with.

Next up we head back to the Habitat module of Foundation Base to finish up some of the more detailed sections of its interior. Near the center of the Hab will be a station devoted to our Intelligent Remote Assistance unit, IRA. IRA will be a computerized assistant, similar to SIRI on iPhones, that is linked to every module in Foundation Base, as well as your datapad and EVA suit.

For the most part, IRA will serve as a source of dialogue to help progress the story, but you will occasionally be tasked with bringing things back to the IRA module within Foundation Hab that houses IRA’s on-site computer and 3D scanning system. We want IRA to feel like more than just a digital voice in the game, so he will have a physical camera arm to interact with for scanning and analyzing objects you find during your excursions. Below are some early low-poly models for IRA's camera arm.

We'd be lying if we said that HAL 9000 wasn't at least a partial inspiration for IRA, though we do want to avoid some of the sinister undertones that come with that comparison.

We plan on delving more into IRA and the Foundation Hab in the coming weeks, so check back for updates!

Lacuna Passage - Devlog #36 - Designing the Greenhouse

The last few art devlogs have focused on the development of the Hab.  This week we would like to switch gears and turn your attention to another structure located within Foundation Base, the Greenhouse.

Work in progress for exterior modeling and texturing. Click to enlarge.

The Greenhouse will be connected to both the Habitat and the Laboratory with a pressurized walkway made out of a similar inflated plastic seen here.

Since Mars has less of an atmosphere than Earth, a structure pressurized to Earth’s atmosphere on Mars will attempt to expand outward.  The Greenhouse was designed to be smooth and spherical in shape in order to reduce the number of weak points caused by this expansion on the plastic.  The base of the structure will be buried in a mound of Martian dirt with buttresses along its length for reinforcement.

Inside the Greenhouse there will be plenty of room to walk about and observe the various plantlife used for experimentation.

Work in progress for interior modeling and texturing. Click to enlarge.

There will even be a few areas set up with computers and microscopes where you can learn more about the procedures and results documented by the Hermes crew.

Now that we have the exterior shape essentially complete, we will continue designing the interior with plants, lighting, ventilation, and watering systems.  We also plan on adding a few exterior components for temperature regulation and electrical lines that would be routed through the Greenhouse walls.  There’s still plenty to be done, but the Greenhouse is on its way to becoming a fully-functioning part of Foundation Base.  Check back for more updates on its progress next month.