Gaming

Inside the art design of Heavenly Bodies due to launch on December 7th – PlayStation Blog

After nearly three years of development, we are pleased to announce that Heavenly Bodies will release on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on December 7, 2021. We worked hard to make this game the way we dreamed of, and we can look forward to sharing with you. Our new gameplay trailer below hints at some of the varied, enticing and often ludicrous scenarios that you will find yourself playing alone or with a space friend in local co-op.

Art of celestial bodies

Earlier we wrote about how to play the game and what you will do in space. To celebrate the game so close to release, we thought we’d dive into the reference that inspired us and how the Celestial Bodies started to look like them.

Visual direction

The visual style of the game was influenced by mid-century technical illustrations, archival images of early space flight exploration, and cutaways that allow the viewer to see detailed structures. Our goal was to create something that feels more like an artist’s interpretation of space, rather than striving for realism. The work of Soviet architect and designer Galina Balashova and NASA illustrator Russ Arazmit played an important role in informing our visual language.

Image courtesy of Russ Arasmith, date unknown. NASA

Preservation of illustrative qualities in real time

To reproduce this bold graphic and analog aesthetic, we first analyzed what we needed to effectively reproduce in a real-time interactive context. The key features we wanted to include were:

● high contrast between highlights, mid tones and shadows with a slight transition between them;

● the ability to reproduce illustrative techniques such as shading and dashed lines;

● graininess, which is felt in relation to the scale of objects in the scene;

● the ability to control the roughness of the object;

● texture support for hand-painted parts.

Below are the results of our initial experiments, and we felt they were the first step in the right direction.

After we encapsulated these properties in real-time 3D on smaller objects, we wanted to apply them to larger game environments.

Our main considerations in translating this style into Celestial Bodies were as follows:

● prioritize play space and interactive objects over unnecessary detail or clutter;

● using color to highlight important elements and different types of interactions;

● favoring analog technology and large forms that communicate their work.

Take a look at the Data scenario in-game, where you can see how all of these elements come together.

Communication terminal and operating manual concepts

The information required to complete the assigned task is delivered from the Mission Control Center through the Communication Terminal at each level. This information comes in the form of a paper printout, which is then added to the Owner’s Manual worn by the player.

The operating instructions are based on NASA handbooks and checklists given to astronauts for quick reference in stressful situations, which are abundant in the game. The preference for analog technology over digital, modern and sci-fi is a fundamental direction of the game. Below are some early concepts of the awkward communication terminal, as well as an example of the materials they distribute at the “Energy” level.

Memorabilia link

Throughout the game, we’ve hidden a bunch of special collectibles that players can find and send back to the Mission Control Center to proudly display. These collectibles are our tribute to significant achievements in the history of space, such as Sputnik, the first satellite to be launched into orbit, and Voyager’s Golden Plaque that burst through space containing the sounds of our universe, and much more that we will leave to you. open.

PlayStation Trophy Art is our way of celebrating the efforts of our brave astronauts by celebrating their efforts as a physical artifact that players can collect and reflect to create their own memorable story. Antique space memorabilia, including stamps, matchboxes, badges and badges, were essential sources of reference, so creating our own set of assets seemed like a great way to pay homage to a bygone era of space exploration.

Our love of historical space illustration extends to all corners of the celestial bodies, and we aimed to capture the magic of mid-century graphic illustration wherever possible. For us, this era personifies the early romanticism and optimism of space travel. Although the action takes place in the late 60s and early 70s, we have adapted the events and technologies of later decades to create the scenarios that we want players to experience, and we hope you enjoy it. See you in orbit! Heavenly Bodies Release For PS4 & PS5 Dec 7, 2021 – You Can Add The Game To Your Wishlist here


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