Starborne is a massive multiplayer online game for PC that has captured the imagination of gamers around the world. The game is set in a vast universe filled with different factions and races, each with its unique set of ships and pilots. The game has been described as “A four-week-long game of Civilization but set in space on a map with over 320 – 390 other players.”

tianco 4Problem

The design project started with a test. The client provided us with one spaceship to develop from scratch, giving us the freedom to design the ship while providing us with good references. With the test surpassing the client’s expectations, the project to create the space fleet commenced. We were tasked with developing 80 unique spaceships in just two and a half months. The client had nine factions, with ten ships per faction, totaling 80 spaceships that needed to be created. They provided us with ten ships as references and divided them into defensive, offensive, and supportive categories. All factions had one legendary ship and one premium ship, with the remaining to be common ships of varying rarities. The scope of the project was significant, and the timeline was tight to deliver 80 unique spaceships.

tianco 3Solution

To tackle this challenge, we met with our 2D and 3D departments to discuss how we could deliver high-quality work within the given timeframe. We decided to create different stages of ship designs, starting with the legendary as a brand-new design, then reusing some elements as we went down to the common ships. This allowed us to create unique designs while using some of the existing models to save time. Our 3D department was able to reuse models to create unique designs without lowering quality. The 2D department, on the other hand, had more restrictions due to the client’s specific requirements. The client provided a story, loot, races, goal in the game, pilot, story, and other information that needed to be incorporated into the design. The workflow started with roughs and sketches, which were then approved before moving to rendering and coloring, and finally, 3D.

tianco 5Results

This workflow allowed for efficient communication and collaboration, enabling us to achieve the goal within the given time frame. After just one month, we were able to deliver all 80 spaceships, meeting the client’s expectations and requirements. 

The client was satisfied with our work and because of this, asked for 80 pilots to be designed in 2D, including sketches, color, and definition. Once again, we were able to deliver designs that met the client’s needs and exceeded their expectations.

In conclusion, designing 80 unique spaceships and pilots within two and a half months was a significant challenge that required careful planning and execution. Despite the tight timeline, we were able to deliver high-quality designs by dividing the ship designs into different stages and reusing some elements to save time. Effective communication and collaboration between the 2D and 3D departments were crucial in achieving our goals.

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