GRIMM ODDS - Design

... About GRIMM ODDS

  • Unreal 4 first person survival game evolving around Phillip Grimm, the chief engineer of mankind's first interstellar exploration mission. Crash-landed under mysterious circumstances on an alien planet, Phillip has to survive, piece together the events and find a way to get back home.
  • The project unfortunately was cancelled out of non-economic reasons by a private investor at a completion level of 75%, even though a major  publishing contract offer existed.

The Design of GRIMM ODDS

Don’t you hate it, when stuff in games and movies is ‘just cool’ but destroys immersion by being senseless and dysfunctional at a single glance? Well the heads of the GRIMM ODDS team felt that way and that is why things had to feel believable and scientifically plausible. Therefore a lot of work went into designing things with deeper thought, so the executing asset artists could go about their job with a certain degree of logic and reference to the physically possible while creating and populating sci-fi and alien things. 



Esperance (Aft) // Technology / Space Ship / Expedition Vessel / Exterior Aft & Schematics

Drive section of manned interstellar exploratory vessel. This piece also details the shuttle docking array, the hull itself, parts of the freight loading mechanism and most importantly, the different acceleration phases of the journey, which in turn constitutes gravity shifts and translates into the structure of the habitat’s rooms and corridors.

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Corridors of Changes // Technology / Space Ship / Expedition Vessel / Interior / Gravity Changes

To gain most visual variations from the interior base structure of the Esperance’s corridors, different gravity related states are introduced and compared in this piece. To the leftmost, the ship’s gravity is nominal, in the middle image controlled zero gravity has triggered the extension of bump padding from compressed smart matter depots. The image on the right depicts the general emergency state, also including gravity loss. 

Together with damage effects these additional variations would provide more options to the level designers for the insides of larger wreckage pieces.

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Tube Corridor Combo // Technology / Space Ship / Expedition Vessel / Interior

Design for another type of corridor under multiple gravity constellations due to the ship’s rotation/acceleration directions. In this case the extension of climbing spokes as triggered, depending on the current gravity direction.

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Extended Design // Technology / Space Ship / General Design

To make a space ship like this believable a lot of things had to be designed, from big ones like a deck plan to build room arrangements, which made sense, over medium sized things like doors (see below) to small details like the icons on all the expedition gear. 

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Habitat Ring Design // Technology / Space Ship / General Design

One of the biggest challenges in the design of the Esperance was the system of the habitat ring’s rooms, which had to function with all content and infrastructure in three different gravity constellations depending on the journey’s phase, allow for maximum usability of a minimal number of assets in the environment design, while nevertheless enabling interesting constellations and not too complex modelling tasks. The result were rotating cylindrical rooms and corridor segments throughout the three habitat rings.

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Shuttle Interior // Technology / Space Ship / Inter System Shuttle / Interior

Since one of the expeditions crashed shuttles was designated to serve as base camp for the player and had to undergo a lot of modifications during the course of the story, a detailed interior concept was needed, providing convincing structure, mass proportions and also room for the coming customizations.

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Alien World Design // Technology / Space Ship / Inter System Shuttle / Interior

In order to provide enough exploration variety, a good degree of mystery and an open world structure, which would be handled by the environment team, the planet itself was subject to a lot of design decisions. These were handled with various tools, ranging from quick sketches to 3D sculpts of the orbiting alien defense platforms.

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