Check­ing the pipe­line

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Func­tional block-out

Now it’s time to visit ev­ery­one else in­volved with your de­sign. Know­ing about pos­si­ble is­sues be­fore en­coun­ter­ing them can save you a lot of redo work later on. This means go­ing to the de­sign and tech de­sign teams, and the ve­hi­cle guys. In the case of this de­sign, play­ers will be run­ning in­side the rover, and the ve­hi­cle needs to fit in­side the cargo hold of the Con­stel­la­tion freighter. These con­straints turn out to be the key fea­tures of the over­all de­sign. Next, I start solv­ing these con­straints. I do this be­fore search­ing for ref­er­ence im­ages on­line. This is be­cause the me­chan­i­cal prob­lems re­quire so­lu­tions be­fore I make a start on the de­sign. Once I’ve fig­ured out the tech­ni­cal ob­sta­cles, I start look­ing for vis­ual de­sign op­por­tu­ni­ties. Do­ing this be­fore­hand will nar­row down my ref­er­ence searches, re­sult­ing in a more fo­cused work­flow. I pro­duce a lot of sketches on pa­per at this stage.

Ref­er­ence gath­er­ing

Next up is the tra­di­tional ref­er­ence pull. I tend to use Google and Pin­ter­est for this: Google for the more fo­cused look and Pin­ter­est for in­spi­ra­tional im­ages. I search for mil­i­tary bug­gies, six-wheeled ar­moured per­sonal car­ri­ers and jet fight­ers. I try to stick to real-world ob­jects as much as pos­si­ble in­stead of ex­plor­ing de­signs from other games and films. This is be­cause real-world ob­jects tend to be full of lay­ers of vis­ual in­for­ma­tion, and so any­one trans­lat­ing this into a new de­sign will al­ways spot new angles or in­ter­pret things dif­fer­ently.

This stage will de­ter­mine the size of all the rover’s var­i­ous el­e­ments and how they all fit to­gether. First, I cre­ate a set of floor­plans in SketchUp for my ve­hi­cle. It’s rel­a­tively easy to play with con­fig­u­ra­tions when it’s just made up of rec­tan­gles. Af­ter get­ting the art direc­tor’s de­ci­sion on one of them I cre­ate three it­er­a­tions in 3D, this time us­ing boxes. For these boxes it’s cru­cial you use the sizes pro­vided by the de­sign team and make the el­e­ments as big as you know they need to be from your re­search. Pro­por­tiona l trans­for­mat ion

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