By PWE_BranFlakes @ October 15, 2013 at 1:00pm
Designing the Voth's Ships
The Voth and their ships are a paramount of technology, the result of eons of development. In Voyager, we saw a pair of Voth ships: a very small one and a very large one. (It should also be noted that the small ship was reused later on in the series as a Turei ship.) This limited palette of ships posed a challenge for creating a large variety of vessels, but opened up the door to allow for creativity.
To get through this challenge, we decided to start with research. Primarily, we took note of visual elements that were symbiotic between the two canonical ships. A variety of these elements were isolated and used to create a visual design language for the Voth’s ships. We created this language knowing that we would have to create anywhere from three to five new Voth ships. This acted as a strong stepping stone for deciding where to start.
Similarities aren't the only thing to take note of, but differences as well. Aside from the obvious, size and mass, we extracted more information, which laid out the ruleset for our wiggle room in designing new, interesting features. On top of that, we outlined a variety of things that we felt were important for filling the gap between the incredibly large and incredibly small.
The visual design language comes in a variety of forms: screenshots with notes scribbled on them, lists of descriptive words or phrases, and even white boards covered in sketches and lists of "Do's" and "Don'ts."
As a game, we also must take into consideration the needs of our Systems Designers in regards to ship-based powers. Sometimes art needs to compensate for "gamey" functionality, as it is important to translate certain information to the player purely through art. As a result, features visible on some of the smallest Voth ships are shared with some of the largest.
With the information gathered through research, coupled with discussion among the team, we set our concept artist loose. We sifted through piles of shape studies and sketches, and over time massaged the design of our ships into something the team was happy with. We progressively created higher quality concepts until we had enough to work with a predictable amount of precision.
In the end, we are happy with how these ships have come out, and Season 8: The Sphere is shaping up to be one of our best updates yet! We look forward to seeing you all in-game, enjoying the fantastic new Voth space content when it releases, and we hope you will enjoy breaching the hulls of these monstrous vessels.
Ian “JamJamz” Richards
Star Trek Online
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