To continue from Jamie’s last dev log with the sketches…

So after we’d decided on our concept for Global Game Jam, we started thinking about visual style. Jamie and I both have an illustration background; this is the fun stuff for us. Because a spaceship with guns is hardly a rare concept in games, we really wanted to avoid a default look, so leading up to GGJ we were gathering references from outside video games–plus I’ve always found this keeps you honest about how much you’re borrowing from any one source. Even though at the time it was “just” a jam game, we wanted to be coming from the right place.

Since the game features a ship’s cross-section, right away we hit on our nostalgia for the sci-fi technical manuals we had as kids.

Battletech Technical Readout

R2-D2 by Kevin Tong

This started leading us further back in time to older sci-fi and space illustration…

Russian matchboxes

…not to mention this frickin’ wicked Russian Star Wars poster.

We also turned to contemporary illustrators playing with the same geometric and pseudo-scientific vibe.

Chris Ware

Mike Lemanski

And looking for references for the ship controls, we searched for vintage music gear and came across these awesome fake retro paper sculptures by Dan McPharlin.

And finally, there were these two music videos that we just totally loved and they inspired us tremendously.

And then the funny thing is that taking inspiration from all this led us full circle back to video games anyway, as all these references end up relating to Tron and Asteroids and Geometry Wars. But hey, at least we paid our dues.

(Oh and further on the subject of influences, Petri Purho’s got some funny diagrams starting at 7:25 in this lecture)