Dev Blog 04 – Art

Brad Hill Dev Blog

Welcome to our fourth Dev Blog!  In this update we will discuss some of the inspiration behind the styling of our ships, our switch to Physically Based Rendering, and our plans for the future including a few examples of what we’re working on right now.


With the TDF our objective was to keep the familiar shapes and materials of current human military technology and apply it to the year 2563.  Hard lines, hull plating, darker colors, things that appear to be distinctly human.  With that in mind we’ve used modern naval tech as reference for our larger ships, and fighter technology for the creation of our starfighters.

Preview of the new TDF Capital ship.

With our alien race we focused on the exact opposite.  Brighter colors, smooth surfaces, and an almost reptilian scaled appearance with a distinct sheen to it.  Something that when you see it you know for sure is not man-made.  The alien ships also appear to be entities themselves rather than something piloted by another being.

Future Goals

Preview of the new TDF Medium Fighter.

Right now the Art team is hard at work overhauling every asset you see in the current version of Project Orion.  We’re focusing on adding more detail to both the models and textures, and even more detailed damage states.  Some models are being overhauled, while many are being rebuilt from scratch to reach the quality standards we want for Project Orion.

Physically Based Rendering
Examples of PBR in the Unity 5 engine.

Something we are very excited to be working with now is PBR, a modern shading approach that focuses on the actual physical properties of materials to bring a new level of realism to 3D rendering.  As we mentioned previously, almost every asset in the game is currently being reworked and PBR is at the core of this overhaul.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about what the Project Orion art team is working on and we hope it gave you an idea of our visual and artistic goals.  Look for other posts on the development process in the future, and check out the other Dev Blogs already released.