Dark Sci-Fi Illustrations: Capturing the Mood

Started by MLT, October 26, 2011, 03:17:26 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


For the last two years I and my business partner have been developing an RPG called Cold & Dark. It's a gritty sci-fi game with a lot of horror elements. We're now a couple of months away from publishing the game and the art is being created rather quickly at this point. We're very happy with the quality but we'd really need some additional input where the actual mood is concerned. Basically we're going for a Dead Space, Alien, Event Horizon feel with an adventurous slant to it. There's of course hints of Starcraft, Starship Troopers and all the other classics in there as well. What we need some help determining is this:

1) Should we go for an even darker overall feel?
2) Is there anything we could do to make the design even more industrial without losing the "sleek" look?
3) Is there a "must have" image in a game in this genre (space battle, environmental illustration, etc.)?

If you have any other ideas or suggestions (or questions) please share them as we still have a chance to direct the incoming art.

A lot of the art on the blog isn't even fully finished but you'll be able to see the overall style. We estimate the total count to end up around 100-120 full color illustrations.



Your pictures are excellent - particularly Stasis, VPS, and the desert.  From the supplied images however, I don't really get the image of a dark and gritty future.  I simply feel that this is set in the future.  Perhaps a few images of cityscapes or battlefields would help bring the mood you're looking for (I'm not totally sure what that is so this is of course up to you).  For me though, when I imagine dark and gritty, I imagine fascist, dictatorial rule, gleaming cities towering above ruined metropoli, psychotic marauders (sort of like your VPS image), etc.  I really love the artwork provided - it's very beautiful, but to me it just doesn't feel dark.

Erik Weissengruber

Images that show the kind of activites that the players' characters are to undertake attract me the most.


Thank you. This is just the kind of input we need. If there are more takers out there please feel free to jump in :)

I'm looking over my illustration workload list and taking notes (amping up the darkness/grit, putting in illustrations which are heavy with possible character activities). Your comments are very helpful.