Lacuna Passage - Devlog #42 - IRA, Hab externals, and the EVA Suit

We have spent some time this month working on the updated version of TIMEframe, but we are still making progress with Lacuna Passage too. In December we gave everyone a look at the early designs of IRA, our Intelligent Remote Assistant computer system.  We now have the design and layout complete for IRA’s entire section of the Habitat.

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Besides IRA’s multi-purpose robotic camera arm the unit is equipped with a docking station for the datapad, a 3D scanning platform, and multiple server and maintenance racks.

IRA is just a small portion of Foundation Hab, and we are really excited to show the finished product.  Just to give you an idea of the scale, here’s a work-in-progress shot of the exterior of Foundation Hab:

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As you can tell, the Hab has been a large and complicated part of our art progress with multiple artists contributing to its design.  Once the Hab is complete we will begin work on the Lab and placing all the elements of Foundation Base.

And of course you won’t be able to leave Foundation Base and explore the planet’s surface without your trusty EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) suit!  We are working with our concept artist Luke Kremer right now to nail down a design we are happy with, and we are really pleased with some of the design iterations so far.

Some early concept sketches. Click to enlarge

These designs are closer to the final suit that will be featured in the game. Click to enlarge

We really want this suit to provide mobility and dexterity for anything Mars has to offer.  The player will need to repair equipment, traverse dangerous terrain, and even escape the occasional dust storm while on the planet’s surface, but we think this suit will be up to the task.

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!