Artistic style suggestion

I suggest that this would be an awesome aesthetic to attempt to achieve:

(Source: Here's NASA's New Design for a Warp Drive Ship)

That looks far better than the “gamey” graphics we see currently in games like Star Citizen and Elite. If we’re going for a pseudo realistic space sim then lets also go for realism in graphics.

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That’s cool, but all white can get boring.

For now, we’re going to stick with:



Star Fold

I think you can still keep the established faction styling and at the same time take the visuals in the direction of the posted rendering. I certainly wouldn’t get bored of all white ships if they looked that good, however that’s not really the point.

It’s something that I always see in games that create fictional vehicles. The fictional models always have the look of a graphics engine tech demo instead of a real object. The best looking models always seem to be the ones based upon real prototypes where there is a something to compare against when looking for fidelity.

Take the Sidewinder from Elite Dangerous as an example:

That doesn’t trick me into believing it is a model of a real space ship in the same way that the render in the OP does. The level of rendering and subtle lighting that can be achieved in a game engine compared to an offline render is part of that of course. But even with the best rendering there would still be something over-egged about the texturing that doesn’t feel real.

There’s too many panel lines that are too thick. We don’t see real vehicles that look like that. Compare it to the very subtle panelling in the OP space ship render. Texture resolution comes in to play here of course, but there are plenty of flight sims that capture the feel of real planes with the same texture space limitations.

Rant over, tl;dr: I wish somebody would create a space sim with ships that I could believe in.


When we have real space vehicles other than rockets, we’ll have something to compare to.

That is very subjective. Everyone has their own ideas on what is believable…

Overall shapes, panel lines, colors are still all artistic endeavors (at least for this project) and the rule of cool is alive and well on our team.

If you were to model the ISS to exact engineering specifications and build the materials via a PBL system to correct values for the various metals & dielectric surfaces, I think you’d probably be surprised how much it would still look like a game asset in the real time renderer (no matter what game engine you’re working with). It would certainly be closer to believability in terms of design, but I am not sure you would get the result you’re ultimately seeking here. It’s very hard to trick the human brain in this manner.

Someone could easily test this out right now using the UE4 engine modeling a section of the ISS, or the Space Shuttle, etc.

The issue is more that there hasn’t been a single sci-fi space sim with ‘hard sci-fi’ feeling designs in the history of sci-fi space sims. Bugs me too.

Still, I-Novae are way too far into this to just scrap their entire art style and start over. Maybe you’ll see them start cropping up in another decade or so when polycount on all the little fiddly bits needed for that sort of thing isn’t considered as much of an issue.

I don’t think more realism will improve the gaming experience. Well, at least not more realism in terms of architecture of the ships.

Infinity will be great due to the realism in scale. If inovae is able to make a small fighter in front of a huge battleship not look like a fighter in front of one big pixel of the texture and if the texture doesn’t look repeated, they will gain a lot of the realistic feeling you like to see.

In contrast to that, a realistic architecture would rather look like space junk! There is no reason, to make spaceships look anywere close to vehicles you know from Earth… Windows? Only if you want to see them break! A front facing cockpit… Why? You can look in any direction anyways (just check the augmented reality systems which are already used in Apache helicopters. You also won’t need a well defined hull.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by ‘hard sci-fi’. Are you defining a realistic art style as everything being a sterile white color? I think our art style is very well grounded in what could be realistic for space faring people. Our ships have weathering and in particular our industrial ships have a very grungy, well worn look to them. Compare that to Star Citizen in which everything just looks like shiny plastic and I think our style has a lot more depth and character.

I think that’s part of the problem. As in the example of the Sidewinder from Elite above the over-weathering of space ships seems quite unlikely and unrealistic. Most people in the present day manage to keep their cars moderately clean. Is it really likely that in the far future with advanced materials and less dirt around that space ships will look scratched and dirty? Rhetorical question, I know it is an artistic decision that’s been made.

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Not just that but this discussion just gets distilled to personal esthetic preference. Our goal is to cover a wide range of visual styles in the long run from pristine ‘white’ Centaurus look much like your screenshot, to ships that may have been sitting on a planet shipyard for a couple years. I’m fairly pleased with our current direction, hopefully once we start showing more so will you.

Any interest in creating a giant gyroscope of a space ship? No? Stupid idea? Alright, I’ll go back to my hole in the ground.

Isn’t the weathering on a seperate texture layer?
I think I read about it 3 years ago so probably outdated.

Well if it is just add a spaceships wash to the game so people who want cleab ships can have them … for a nominal fee.

Not sure about it. However, that does get me to thinking about your “wash system” idea. Instead, how about a “tuning system”? After certain amounts of kilometers on a particular ship’s odometer, players would need to pay for fuel and/or an oil change before returning to full flight with that previously permitted ship. (warp speeds, jumpgate’s, full cargo bay, etc.) Perhaps it can be paid by readily available in-game currency without having to pay real money after the KS month.

All this is only theoretical as none of us know what kind of game @INovaeFlavien and @INovaeKeith will ultimately decide on doing with their first project. Therefore, the wait does continue.

Atmospheric entry is a pretty harsh process, not to mention how the composition of the atmosphere itself can affect various materials, and I think any ships that are frequently going in/out of atmosphere’s would receive a significant amount of weathering. Also flying through asteroid belts, engaging in combat, and plenty of other scenarios could cause damage and weathering to the exterior of a ship.

I think the style established around here is naive and boring. I like this suggestion.

It’s conceited and insulting to believe a few interesting shapes can mean anything to an audience worth any more than a few interesting shapes.

Even though the topic was titled “Artistic style suggestion” my first thought after viewing the picture was that it’d rather be a rendering target-reference; because I know that image will look like trash if it were rendered in the I-Novae engine.

Even if you don’t like the style. Here’s a test for your own engine’s sake: Throw together some capsuloids and hexagonal/trapezoidal black wedge thingies and try to recreate the appearance in that image. I’m not sure if you even have the ability to place lights around in your thingy thing thingadoodleboosnoogooglylgolyasdasoidschsd

but oh well

Ugh, go away! Please? go away!

That’s why maintenance is imperative.

Remember how many massively fatal plane wrecks are due to lousy maintenance. By planes, I mean vehicles which do not have I-Novae seamless interplanetary transition support ™. So…

Ask an Administrator to ban me, if you’d like.

Then you will sign up under a new forum name and feel, somehow, positive about the situation. Glad most of us are all set with our names! For the record books, my old forum name is @BeyondandBack. See you around after the Kickstarter.

I would have to disagree, however I have spent much time working with the art team developing our faction styles, so I guess I am biased :slight_smile:

In my oppinion (and from the very few images I saw yet), the iNovae engine does a pretty good job rendering photorealistic scenes. With its physics based lighting, even a plain cube without texture can look a bit like a real object.
The current factions style is already well defined with a style guide similar to a real-world corporate design. That already makes it professional and gives it a unique and consistent look. If you don’t like deltean then go with centaureon. Each faction style expresses a mood, its history and even seems to be a caricature of the character of that faction.
And last but not least, this is no kids playground. It has to be serious business if we ever want to see a finished game.