[PROCESS] MINING, PT.2
Mike Huddleston: Last post I walked through the design of the khor priests, and their rituals, this time we'll look at the pirates that harvest khor.
(art, Mike del Mundo)
The khor mining story (like most of our stories) has a ton of elements to design and where I took on the priest/ ritual parts, Mike del Mundo handled the bulk of the pirate designs. With the number of characters and vehicles needing work, I pitched in on a couple of characters following MDM's concept. Mike prepped this sketch for me letting me know his basic direction for the pirate designs.
I love this! Mike's concept of the pirates adorning themselves with armored pieces from sea creatures is a whimsical idea that immediately presents a ton of cool visual possibilities. Taking this as my direction I started sketching. The two characters I need to design are a ship captain and his first in command, so their armored displays need to reflect their level of authority. Any concept starts out with silhouettes, so I started by trying to come up with the most basic shapes.
The idea I settled on for the captain was for him to have an enormous crab creature strapped to his back with additional elements acting as shoulder and elbow armors (I also wanted him to look like he loves being a pirate). Knowing we'd be handing these designs to an artist to interpret, I try to break the design into its components: wet suit, clothes, details and finally, armor. A giant skull painted on the back and we're finished.
Whereas the captain could look like he's having fun, his second in command needs to be all business so I wanted her armor to look more menacing. She wears the full body of some monstrous creature complete with pincers and claws, finished with a flowing membrane that acts as a cape.
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(art, Mike del Mundo)
The next element I needed to design was "The Drift" which is kind of a floating city composed of pirate ships as they congregate near a source of khor. Again this is a collaboration with MDM as he was designing the individual pirate ships. Mike's concept for the ships was similar to the pirates themselves: bright ships adorned with the shells, horns, and bones of monstrous sea creatures.
(photo, Sandip Dey, Wikimedia Commons)
My initial inspiration came from this image of fishing ships tied together to ride out an impending monsoon. Once I saw this it was easy to visualize The Drift.
One concept mentioned in the script that I changed at this point was a "pirate street" complete with vendor stalls. Instead of a recognizable street, once these pirates tie their boats together, they connect them with a maze of boards and gangplanks with vendor stalls placed on the decks of various ships. The idea is that these vessels travel the seas harvesting and trading so when they congregate it becomes a floating bazaar with exotic and rare items for sale.
A final detail for The Drift was the addition of hot air balloons at the periphery to act as lookouts. This much wealth in one place would be a tempting target for other pirates.
In the script the "mining" of khor is described more like fishing, with divers finding small pieces floating in the ocean. So my concept for khor harvesting followed that idea: divers use fine mesh nets to collect tiny pieces of khor which they then store in armored barrels.
I think I felt bad completely abandoning the "mining" idea so I pitched the concept that khor harvesting is different at different times, and is directly affected by the planetary alignments of this system.
A) Typically khor seeps up through cracks in this planet's crust, cooling and hardening as soon as it reaches the ocean floor. The harvesting of this hardened khor is proper mining. Divers physically chip away at khor deposits to collect pieces, but this is very dangerous as the khor can explode.
B) During certain alignments of our three worlds and three moons, the tidal forces create surges of khor that break through those hardened deposits, creating something like a khor volcano. These explosions throw tiny bits of khor into the ocean that can be collected through the much safer "fishing" technique.
Now this falls into the "making stuff up" category. So this could end up being canon or just my own fan fiction- we'll see.
And that's it for the Mining story. This was some of my favorite work on this project so far and that is directly because of the collaboration between Mike del Mundo and myself. I'm hoping on some future scripts we'll get a chance to do this again.
Let me know below if you have any questions or comments.
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Mike, these are awesome!! My first artist collab too. More to come!
I love the tidal 'khor volcano' idea! When you're building up your own solar system like this, you've gotta include these fun creative aspects that are rooted in science.