I hear you guys like spaceships so I’ve put together some concepts for new Starfarer ships I’ve been working on.
These are unlabeled for now – ideally their visual design expresses the intended role of each, but if nothing else, I’ll enjoy fueling the flames of speculation. Have a look:
(More under the cut, and then some thoughts on drawing ships for Starfarer.)
I’m taking a slightly different approach to ships now that I’ve had some more experience drawing them. At first (see here and here) I drew perspective views of the ships as 3d objects; this isn’t necessary because the ships will always be seen as top-down sprites. So for the concepts above, I’ve drawn the ships much as they’ll appear in the final game in terms of silhouette and color, though of course these are painted rather than pixeled at this point.
(A word on technique: I find that I can sketch much more naturally through digital painting. Yes, there’s no paper step; I moved completely digital some time ago and it is a simple matter to sketch via tablet now that I’ve built up the hand-eye coordination necessary.)
To get back to ship sprites, from the above sketches I can size the painting down to the relative size appropriate for the ship class then pixel over the resized sketch. The shape, colours, and shading are mostly there, it’s just a matter of refining form, defining detail, getting consistent line quality, and giving it all a wash of pixel-style rendering. See here:
You can see the one ship in resized concept to pixel art, while it’s larger friend is partly pixeled-over paintingNote how the engines have grown a bit and how the turret mounts use the generic slot graphic shared between all hulls.
With all the enthusiasm for modding in custom ships, I’m going to write up a style guide and share some templates for drawing your own ships — and weapons. So keep your RSS feeds primed!