My recent task working on the MMORTS game Novus Aeterno, along with the rest of the art team, was to make space less boring. In reality its very empty and black so we have been working on some ideas to make it feel more dynamic and interesting the first of these concepts is already in my gallery called "Solar Winds" this 2 image sheet is one of many.
In this image there are 2 concepts based on dust and gas clouds that will found in the game, also they were painted to show how the ingame effects will look as your ships fly through the clouds. The top is a normal dust cloud and your ship will create a wake behind it, the spirals move outward due to the force from the engines. The second is inside a gas cloud that lights up when its particles get excited by moving, your ships create smokey luminescent trails behind them.
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(All graphics and information are copyright of novus aeterno LLC and Taitale Studios)