Paper Earths: Book of Aliens November ’21 Dev Update

What does a paper planet look like? That’s a question we’ve been pondering lately in the art department of Book of Aliens. There are infinitely many ways you can fold paper Earth, and there are countless possibilities when it comes to dealing with scale and level of detail. 

The issue of scale is especially difficult to tackle, as making any final decisions about paper thickness, the number of folds, and layers have far-reaching implications. How do you transition between levels of detail when zooming from space to the surface level? What does a distant paper star look like? Are the distances between planetary bodies realistic or is this all just a paper model in a studio and are all the stars simply punch holes in the paper background? 

These are all intriguing questions we need to find answers to. In the end, however, we always tend to go with options that look the best and most exciting. Even if it means bending the rules and faking some effects along the way. For example, while having the Earth made up of larger triangular flat faces, we still would want the sun shadow to have a smooth falloff as if the globe was perfectly spherical. Thankfully, this is something that can easily be achieved with the magic of shaders 🙂  

We’re still not done with the final result, but we’re getting there step by step. Below you can see an early work-in-progress model of the space station “Agency 1”. It’s still under construction, but once it’s textured and finished it will be the player’s base of operations. Since the alien threat is coming from below the Earth’s surface, coordinating the global defense efforts from a distance seems like a smart choice.

Take care and ‘til next month!
Maciek