Saturday, 26 May 2012

Battle for Alabaster tile design

Wow - it's been a crazy day and a half since the Kickstarter campaign launched! The level of support we've been shown has really blown my mind - we were funded in six hours, and are now on our way to the second stretch goal. It's so great - the more people support us, the better we can make the game and the more cool stuff we can give everyone.

As promised I am going to be looking at different aspects of the game  and the way we created it, here on the blog. The first of these posts is a look at the tiles - an aspect of the game I'm really proud of (well that counts for pretty much everything!).

There were a few different routes we could take with the tiles. When we did the alpha rules we created a poster map that was rendered in a hi-tech blue-print style. While I loved it, it wasn't quite the look I wanted for the finished game. I wanted the tiles to be rendered in a 'realistic' style that made you think you were looking at a real location. I wanted to present Alabaster Station as a definite place - a secret facility that the Strain nano-virus has ravaged and swept clean. The virus consume all organic and non-organic material it comes across - re-purposing it into part of the construct.

In the course of my career, I have been lucky enough to become friends with some incredibly talented people, and the person who did the art for these tiles is one of the most gifted artists I know. Rich Wright worked on a wide variety of products for GW - he did the tile art for Warhammer Quest and Space Hulk 2nd edition, along with most of the 40K vehicle cover paintings in the mid nineties. Since then he's produced matte painting and 3D work for a wide variety of well known projects - the intro scenes for Motorstorm, Muse Sing for Absolution video, and many other high profile projects.

He built the tiles for Battle for Alabaster completely in 3D - lighting and rendering them just as you would with any vfx shot, then importing them into photoshop and adding details, weathering and blood stains. I really love the results.

We purposely kept the designs pretty clean and futuristic - Sedition Wars is a high-tech universe so we wanted to steer well clear of any dark and gothic elements. I didn't want them cluttered with furniture and details - partly because all that would have been consumed by the virus, and partly because it would interfere with game play.

There are ten different tiles, and one transit network car (that's a train!), so that gives you a wide variety of different  board set ups. What the pictures here don't really show is the size of the tiles - each is 12x12 25mm squares, so they are 350mm square (including borders) - pretty big! You can link them together in a lot of different ways - creating many different settings for games.

The ones I have shown here are the Cargo Bay, the Personnel area, the Engine Control Room and the Transit Car (you get two of these - there is an awesome scenario that need both of them).

I hope you like them!



ajbartman said...

How many boards will be used at once? I am working on some Hirst Arts terrain.

Also, on the first pictured board, the orange doors really don't make sense to me. Why have doors on one side and open wall on another wall. Am I just looking at the board wrong?

StudioMcVey said...

Hi ajbartman - those are windows, not open walls. In the game, windows are indicated with thin blue lines (they are shown as windows on the tiles, but are just hard to make out at the size there are here).