Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Zebzulon: The Crystal Defenders
A few months ago I started kicking around the idea of starting a personal project to work on in my free time. Most of the work I've done in the gaming industry has been for fantasy MMORPGs. I really hadn't spent much time designing in the realm of science fiction. So I decided to take on the challenge of creating a "fake" game that I would concept to completion. Not only would I be exploring a new genre, but I'd also be trying to nail down a new process for creating a large scope of concept work.
So I present to you the first fruits of that labor, Zebzulon: The Crystal Defenders! I roughed out a logo last night but I'm sure it's not the final. The concept for Zebzulon is pretty simple. I have a loose, several page design document written up. But nothing is edited to the point that I'd post it for everyone to see. Basically, Earth is polluted beyond all hope and the only thing keeping Earth from falling into ruin is a giant machine run by five mysterious crystals. The machine somehow filters the pollution, heals the atmosphere, whatever. The problem is that now we've found those crystals to be stolen by an evil Lord from deep space. He has hid each crystal in five different planets and it's up to the newly formed mercenary group, Zebzulon, to get them back. It's easy to see what I was doing here. I basically outlined what I wanted to concept and built the framework for the story around that. There's a bit more to it then what I've written here but not much. The story isn't the point though as I just wanted something to use as a vehicle for concept art creation.
One thing that I knew from the start of developing the game is that I wanted the game to feel like a Ratchet and Clank game as far as play style. I also wanted the player to be able to choose from four different main characters (Zebzulon Mercs) that each had their on special abilities and played differently. Which brings me to my first piece of concept art...
Name: Unknown (Still filling in all those little plot holes!)
During my last year of employment at RDS I found that drawing several heads first helps me understand the character. I'd often say to my art director, "Eh, I haven't met him yet (the character) but I'm still opening doors!" Once I hit on the right head it was pretty evident to me that this was the guy I was looking for in this particular design. And who doesn't just love drawing heads, right?
Anyway, the first designs I started on were some head concepts (after some loose, full body silhouette sketches of all four characters) for the mechanic character. I did these minus facial hair but in the next round, once I've chosen the head I like, I'll create hair concepts. I won't share much about the design of the mechanic other then the fact that his combat is more short range. His main gun will be something like a shotgun and his special abilities will be utilizing special robots to help him with various tasks. He's the shortest and stumpiest of the group as well. He's sort of the comic relief in the game. He'll waddle around saying funny stuff as he destroys aliens. I also like the aspect of using robots in his design as this will give me opportunities to draw more technical drawings.
I've already rambled enough so I'll cut it short. I hope you like it and am certainly open to more ideas and feedback. I'll be posting more heads in the days to come. I've also considered doing an alternate style for this game where the concepts are more realistic. I'm really set on working in this fun style for this project but the potential for more is in the back of my head. Thanks a lot for looking and may the Zebz be with you... or something