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[Developer Blog] The Art Of Retribution

Discussion in 'EVE News' started by EVE News, Nov 8, 2012.

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    Retribution

    With the arrival of EVE Online: Retribution, we are adding 4 new destroyers, salvage drones and a new ORE frigate. We will also be undertaking a redesign of the very iconic Tempest/Vargur hull, the Stabber/Vagabond and the Megathron/Kronos.
    I would like to guide you through the creative process of designing the new ships, and also explain where we are heading with the redesign of existing ships.
    Vision

    When we started working on initial sketches for the new destroyers, their stats had not been set completely in stone. However we knew that we wanted to create very functional and militaristic looking ships with some interesting, even strange looking functional features like the radar balls on the Gallente destroyer or the solar panels on the Minmatar hull.
    I believe interesting features like these can give sci-fi designs more verisimilitude. I also wanted to expand a bit some of the design and color spectrum of each of the factions to break up their somewhat monotonous appearance. Like for instance giving Amarr some red iron oxide parts and a figurative relief, depicting a story instead of the usual baroque-esque floral pattern.
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    Super Hind

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    Bartini Beriev
    Inspiration

    A lot of our references and inspiration comes from sci-fi comics, movies or real life history, like World War 2. This might not always be so obvious when you look at the final in-game model, since the designs are also based on the roles of the ships and previous factional designs. This is in order to keep a consistent overall look for the different factions in EVE.
    The idea of using real life destroyers as an inspiration or reference was considered but we soon evolved those ideas into different things for each race. One of the main inspirations for the Caldari destroyer became the German U-boat VIIC, which I think already looks a bit like a Caldari design.
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    U-boat VIIC

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    U-boat VIIC
    The Gallente hull was also based somewhat on a submarine, mixed with some of the classic Gallente inspirations. As well as this we also used features from the B-17 or the B-24 Flying Fortress, and even some of the amphibious aircraft or seaplanes of WW2, such as the PBY-5a Catalina.
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    B-24

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    PBY-5a Catalina
    The Minmatar destroyer was based largely on the Russian KV-II to emphasize their simple and cheap-to-manufacture but effective weaponry style. Later on we changed it a little, to better fit the speed tanking element of Minmatar design as well. The Amarr destroyer has some elements taken from a modern destroyer, but because of the very distinctive style of Amarr it might not be very apparent.
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    Kongo class destroyer

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    KV-2

    The New Destroyers

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    Minmatar destroyer with altered wings, remodeled engines and added pylons and sensors
    (click to enlarge)

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    Rear view of Gallente destroyer showing the drone control/radar system, drone bays and some of the
    B-24 influenced parts (click to enlarge)

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    The submarine-like Caldari destroyer (click to enlarge)
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    Amarr destroyer with a new type of figurative relief (click to enlarge)
    ORE Vision

    One of the defining moments in sci-fi for me has to be when Ripley puts on the Power loader in Aliens. Beside the fact that there is just something about seeing a Sigourney Weaver inside a noisy, big, greasy industrial machine, I remember seeing it for the first time as a kid and being very impressed with how familiar and believable it looked with its scuffed yellow painted metal, black rubber hoses and Caterpillar hydraulics.
    This is why I got very excited when I heard we were doing new ORE ship and a salvaging drone because for a while I’ve wanted to create something like that in EVE. For the ORE frigate we mostly looked at diggers, miners and cranes for inspiration. For the Salvage drone we looked more at deep sea subs or diving robots like Deep-sea challenger, the MIR 1 and have drawn a bit of influence from the classic Probe Droid from The Empire Strikes Back.
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    Ripley in the power loader
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    Some of the initial references, sketches and 3D block-outs for the ORE frigate (click to enlarge)
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    The ORE mining frigate (click to enlarge)
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    Mir 1 submersible

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    Mir 2 submersible

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    Deepsea Challenger

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    Imperial Probe Drone from Star Wars

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    Concept art for the salvage drone (click to enlarge)
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    The salvage drone (click to enlarge)
    Redesign

    Every now and then our artists finish their tasks earlier than scheduled. We often use that extra time we get to redesign old ships that we are either really unhappy with, or in the case of the Tempest, are so iconic in EVE that we feel that they deserve an overhaul without changing too much in terms of the overall silhouette.
    In the redesign process we also put much more effort into the Tech II variations than before and even add some mode animation that we hope to be able to deliver soon.
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    Back view of redesigned Stabber, showing the redesigned engines (click to enlarge)
    [​IMG]
    Vagabond with sexy new frills (click to enlarge)

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    The redesigned Vargur and Tempest side by side, showing how much effort we are now putting the Tech 2
    variations (click to enlarge)

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    The new Megathron (click to enlarge)

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    The Kronos now has a more distinctive and compact bridge and conning tower (click to enlarge)

    A few words on the V3 and shaders

    There have been some complaints lately that EVE is looking darker than it used to and that some of the ships look too dark with the new shaders (V3). You are right; we made the new Nebulae darker and more realistic than the old ones and that resulted in darker reflections on the ships. We have solutions for this such as secondary light sources, bouncing light from the Nebulae and better simulated rim lighting that we think will make the ships look really awesome in the future, but this has to be done globally after we finish all the V3 process next year.
    Regards
    CCP Huskarl

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