Nomad - Alpha Reflection
Putting it all together it feels like there’s not a lot to show of my work from the alpha stage. I did make a logo though, it’s not done but it’s getting there. I drew inspiration for the letterforms from a few different middle eastern scripts (and fonts based on them) along with various desert dwellings. This evokes imagery similar to what we’re drawing on for the actual scenery as well as creating an alien feeling to most players (accustomed to the Roman alphabet…and those that don’t find the text alien probably deserve a bit of familiarity). The second, green, version brings in a faceted appearance to evoke the crystals in game. Hopefully I’ll have some time to get back to it (and start working on menus) before too long. However, it’s not like my time since making the logo has gone completely to waste.
On the left you’ll see some mockups for the diegetic UI I made. I also created a mockup of a HUD, however the team (and testers) preferred the diegetic UI because it fit more with the game’s concept. The initial plan for the UI was to display the ammo level on the “lancer” itself, but given the 3rd person perspective I felt that wouldn’t be visible enough. Instead, Zoe (our artist) and I decided that we should show the ammo charge with a crystal placed on the character’s back. In-universe this crystal is the gun’s core which generates the energy for the shots. Normally a core would be inside the mechanism, but the gun in Nomad is meant to be broken so we thought this actually supported the context in the long run.
It took a little bit of waiting to get the ammo recharge working properly—initially it automatically recharged when the player landed. I argued that this didn’t fit with the world context the team was aiming for as (just like a HUD, it would make things too “gamey”). As the reload got reworked into a recharge (brief pause after a shot and then gain charge incrementally, building to 3 shots) I started to work on feedback to the shot and the UI as planned. This meant that once the recharge was in I was able to put everything together fairly quickly—though there’s still a lot of tweaking and tuning to be done.
Firing the "Lancer"
Particle effects to leave a trail but made to appear more like energy dissipation than gunsmoke.
Screenshake with motion blur (and controller vibration) to convey the feeling of an explosion launching the player.
Recharging the crystal
After firing all 3 shots (depleting the charge) the crystal begins to spin back up to full speed and gains color and glow as it gains charge.
A few people have said that the crystal is too obtrusive as is, so I may be toning down the glow in the future (though it’s already been scaled down and that seems to have helped).