Salvors in the Ruin, a digital painting story

For the most part – for almost the entire part – I have been working on new game content since the last update. Talking about it in detail is 100% spoilers, and while I do believe there’s an interesting blog series to write about the overall strategy of narrative design in Starsector during a long development cycle, properly contextualizing it… well, that’d be spoilers.

What else to write about, then? Man, I dunno – but then I had a discussion with Alex about creating an illustration to go with the content I was working on and decided to show him all of my sketches leading up to the final composition. “This could be a blog post, couldn’t it,” I said.

So, hello. This is a digital painting blog post. I’ll show you my process and attempt to explain in hindsight why I made certain decisions. And, to come clean, this is only partially motivated by my desire to insert fan art for Alastair Reynold’s Revenger series into Starsector. (More of it, anyway.)

Earlier this week I created a mission which involves having the player fly out into the fringe of the Persean Sector to dig around in some ruins. There is indeed a Galatia Academy mission which does this very activity, but I assure you that this new mission does it slightly differently! And thinking about these two missions, I was struck by a notion: why not draw some Revenger fan art why not do an illustration of a salvage team finding loot in creepy ruins which could be used for both missions? This situation comes up fairly often in Starsector anyway, and I never really did previously create an appropriate illustration for this sort of thing. Great!

My mind immediately goes to the sequence in Alien where the crew of the Nostromo investigates a derelict ship on LV-426. That era of science fiction movie art production is a huge inspiration to my take on the Starsector aesthetic, as I’ve written about before somewhere on here at some point.

Here’s the shot:

Fantastic! Love the suit silhouettes, the texture, the grim lighting. It’s a bit too organic and boney for what I’m going for, but it feels like a good starting place in terms of setting the mood.

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