Today I’d like to share another screen that we recently designed for Book of Aliens. We call this the Mission Landscape screen. It serves as the background for the mission part of the game. This is the part that sits right between the top-level global strategy layer in the orbit (top-level in orbit, see what we did there?) and the low-level tactical battles on the ground. 

The global strategy layer takes place on the Geoscape screen (we talked about it in one of the previous updates). The new Battle screen will be revealed in one of the future updates. 

The Landscape screen will feature a day-night cycle and we are planning to prepare multiple environments that will change depending on where in the world the mission is taking place. This is a big task, but we hope to pull it off for the final version. 

If you look closely at our Steam page, you will notice that it features a screen that is very similar yet different to the one presented above. This evolution shows our continued work with advancing our paper art style. If you follow our updates closely, you already know we are moving towards a more three-dimensional method of designing paper models. This is slightly more time-consuming, but it has several advantages over flat paper models. For example the ability to view the scene from multiple camera angles and the ability to orient models freely. Also, spatial models look much better with dynamic lights, and the paper world looks more real and “alive” in our opinion. And it looks cooler 🙂

This is the previous version of the landscape screen from our early prototype. Notice the flat trees or mountains, and the mobile lander base. 

Anyway, when designing such a screen it takes many steps to arrive at the final version. The first concepts almost always look underwhelming but it’s important to keep searching using those concepts as a roadsign pointing in a direction we want to go. With clever iteration, we can almost always arrive at a result that we enjoy. This is how the screen looked just a month ago. 

And here is a composite of the many steps that were part of the design process. 

Still, the work is not yet done with the Landscape screen. Animating everything and adding a day-night cycle will make this even cooler. If we have the time, we might even add a landing/deploy sequence for the whole mobile base. So keep your fingers crossed 🙂

Take care and stay safe!