What time is it? WIPT- WORK IN PROGRESS TIME! Every other Thursday I'll share the work-in-progress-treasures I dug up and annoyed my coworkers about. I'll share all kinds of work in progress, some currently in-use designs and concepts, as well as some abandoned avenues I found in a dusty folder somewhere, that I wanted to share just because they’re kinda cool.
But first things first. Last time I asked you to help me find a name for the cutest little chemical mixer. What happened instead is that a few of you just exploded with creative energy, and instead of giving him a name you outlined a three part movie series, involving aliens, dinosaurs and most importantly a Seedling and a toaster/vacuum cleaner swapping bodies. Oh and this also somehow turned into the official unofficial backstory of SEED. Thanks everyone that played along! This kind of creative energy is exactly what we need to bring SEED to live.
Now that we're done with the important part, I present you today's topic:
The Kernel [Angelic choir swells up]
The heart of your settlement, your life support system, the last piece of your old life, and the center of your new home.
I asked Eran, our art director, about the Kernel's design history. Instead of starting with the earliest sketches I found, let's get something else out of the way first: the weird ones that didn't go anywhere. (So relatable...)
"Eran, what's up with this ball thing?" I asked. "Just a quick sketch to get the Dragon BallZ references out of the way", he replied. So, yeah, we decided not to go with Frieza's head as the starting point of our adventure. History will tell if that was a mistake.
Next, I stumbled upon these pictures. And I said "Huh!" to myself and then went on to pester Eran and Joe for some details.
I present to you, a mobile Kernel with terraforming capabilities. Crazy!
It's a pretty interesting concept - but ultimately the team felt that this kind of technology seemed more suitable for indoor plants. The scale was just off, and looking at it I'm not sure I see how this could work in a believable way while still being, well, the Kernel. But, it's a fun concept, so even though this is not something we will see in SEED, I wanted to share it with you. Also, I totally want a tiny version of this walking through my apartment, humidifying the air, taking care of my potted plants and scaring my cats.
These are very early explorations of space vehicles used to reach the planet. In the back you can see a seed shaped pod, meant to carry resources to the new planet. If you've been following SEED for a while now, it might look very familiar to you.
This seed shaped pod took the center stage - this is what the Kernel looked like when I first saw it. It's such a nice, elegant idea - a seed pod, landing on a fresh and hopefully fertile world.
You might remember this cross section from our pre-alpha teaser video. At this point, the seed pod was meant to deliver exactly two Seedlings to the new world. A bio engine would allow the pod to keep the Seedlings alive throughout their journey to Avesta, and some basic resources packed away would improve their initial chances of survival.
This idea developed into the Kernel - the Kernel would be bigger and serve as more of a base beacon for the settlement.
Eran, Joe and Hossein (Concept Artist) got to work to reinvent the center of our Seedlings' settlements.
"We were playing with some simple, pure shapes, to suggest some holy technology kind of vessel", says Eran.
This design was still not much bigger than the initial model, but we're moving away from the pod idea bit by bit. Eran was always advocating a very simple shape - something alluding to the lines of sacred geometry, where ancient days meet the far away future.
Inside the pod - the cargo is some survival equipment for the first period after landing. This is something we have kept - in the current development build the Kernel contains, for example, some amount of Quito™ paste, coffee and very basic machinery.
More explorations of different shapes - this time on the larger side. But you can see some elements that made it into the final design.
More fleshed out concepts, trying out how different possible Kernels might fit into the world. I like it when the wide Kernel goes "splat".
Above are some of Eran's favorite concepts from Joe, and what led to the current design of the Kernel. This is where the abstract shapes started to turn into mechanical bits, resulting in something more believable, but still mysterious. And now, let's look at the final model.
The Kernel. Full of things that might mean the difference between life and death. The foundation of your new settlement.
If you were in charge of packing, what would you bring to Avesta? Would you smuggle something personal or would you be purely pragmatic? Join the discussion on our Discord, we’re curious to hear what you deem essential goods.
See you there!