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[diorama] ZENITH 01 - Atmospheric Space Station (w/video)

DillonRobinson
Honored Guest






About

ZENITH 01 (I needed a better name than Space Station View 2: Electric Boogaloo) is a project I have been working on for about a month now. After releasing my first space station demo in December, I decided to sit back and spend more time on another 'diorama' project. I felt, though, that I could have made my first project even more detailed if I gave it more time. So I expanded on the idea entirely and am creating a sequel (or reboot?) of sorts.

Named after the ship design showcased within, this project is intended to be less of a game and more of an experience. I'm sure most of us, upon seeing great films like Alien, Serenity, Event Horizon, Pandorum, or Cargo, have always thought it would be neat to soak up the atmosphere of a dark and cozy deep-space vessel. Or at least I have! So I set out to try and create a little environment that's at least a fraction as cozy and immersive.


Gameplay

Unlike my last game, you can fully move around two rooms/floors of Zenith 01. I've tried to strike a balance so far between tons of detail and performance. So far it's running as smooth as silk and has a moderate amount of objects without being too cluttered!

I wanted to create something that's just nice to soak in. And so, I've allowed the player to, upon approaching chairs, automatically sit in them. Just relax and look around! Want to make it even more cozy, or increase performance? Main lights have associated light switches that can be toggled on/off!

Great care is being put into the sound design. I want to immerse the player into the guts of a gargantuan spacecraft, and so the sound is booming, and all -encompassing, and bass-rich, but also mixed just right and low enough to allow you to play your own music in the background. Or why not a podcast?

Floor 1: Recreation/Observation
The most spacious and "homey" room is a laid-back and messy observation room.

Floor 2: Control
Tighter quarters but a better view. You will get a better view of the vista outside in a less-than-comfy chair in front of monitoring consoles.

Background

You are a mechanical engineer, just relaxing after a day of work. You and your partner (who you may spot outside πŸ˜‰ ) are two of the skeleton crew kept conscious in shifts while the passengers and crew lie in stasis on your journey to colonise a new world.

But empty space is boring! So Zenith 01 and 02 are placed within eyesight of an alien planet with a trace gaseous atmosphere that is to be scooped up as fuel.

But that's not going to happen. This is a diorama - a looping snapshot of a moment in time. Soak it in and relax as long as you want.

Release

I will most likely release this in early July, as I am taking my time polishing it off, and would like to implement DK2 support and then further tweak the game for positional tracking if necessary. With an upped resolution and more ways to peek, peer, and bend, it would be beneficial to ensure everything looks its best with the new hardware.

Anyway, this is just me announcing this WIP. You can see any new progress at http://rift-vr.com/. Thanks for reading! It might be hard without a demo, but please let me know if you have any ideas/criticisms from what you have seen.

(Here are some dark and un-revealing screens - these may appear pretty dark - I assure you it looks great in the Rift)
Screen: http://rift-vr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/stationscreen2.jpg
Screen: http://rift-vr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/station22.jpg

Edit: I've added a short video!
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22 REPLIES 22

drash
Heroic Explorer
Wow, I'm excited to see this! You've obviously put a lot of thought into this. The DK2 wait just got longer. πŸ™‚
  • Titans of Space PLUS for Quest is now available on DrashVR.com

VRoom
Honored Guest
Criticism? Non at all, this looks amazing! Can't wait to bend, duck and look everything up close with DK2 πŸ™‚

cybereality
Grand Champion
Nice. Good time to be a space fan.
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X | MSI X370 Titanium | G.Skill 16GB DDR4 3200 | EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 | Corsair Hydro H110i Gigabyte RX Vega 64 x2 | Samsung 960 Evo M.2 500GB | Seagate FireCuda SSHD 2TB | Phanteks ENTHOO EVOLV

DillonRobinson
Honored Guest
Thanks guys! I'm really excited about polishing it now that I'm fairly happy with the cozy little layout! It's a pretty small space in the end - each floor is just a single room - but I don't think a lot of space is needed for a project like this. Quality over quantity and all that.

I am not a 3D modeler. I've done it, I can do it, but I'm slow and not very good :). So I'm using a mix of assets that I flat-out bought online, assets that were free that I'm using (and crediting creators), and free models that I took, modified, and re-textured to fit better. The display and readout screens I am making, as well as some models for wires (and a Super Nintendo )

So right now, the struggle is getting assets that "fit" with one another. I don't want it to look like a couple of rooms with a bunch of random things thrown in hastily. This cohesion is harder when using 100% real-time lighting but it's looking good so far. Having everything cloaked in shadow actually helps a lot too!

It's a lot of trial and error but whenever I have the time to work on this, I'm more happy with new arrangements. And of course once I release it, I can tweak anything based on feedback. Holding back on some design choices until I can try it out with DK2.

It felt like only a few weeks ago that DK2 was announced, and here we are, a half month away!

(I've already got plans for my next project, to be made specifically with DK2's upped immersion in mind. Early next month I am heading to Washington for a pilgrimage of sorts to all of the remaining filming locations of the Twin Peaks pilot. Not a lot remains in the same condition it was in the early 90's, but it will be a good opportunity to "feel" the space out and take what photos I can as reference for a TP based diorama.)

If I have some time tomorrow, I'd like to record a video for you guys. I've been trying to figure out ways to take in-game (not in-editor) screenshots with stereo disabled but head tracking enabled, and I've given up, so my best option is to just record a little walk around.
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cybereality
Grand Champion
Honestly, I still get creeped out thinking about Twin Peaks.
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X | MSI X370 Titanium | G.Skill 16GB DDR4 3200 | EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 | Corsair Hydro H110i Gigabyte RX Vega 64 x2 | Samsung 960 Evo M.2 500GB | Seagate FireCuda SSHD 2TB | Phanteks ENTHOO EVOLV

DillonRobinson
Honored Guest
It can be pretty creepy, but I've always thought that the era, color tones, characters, and especially the locations make it the most cozy and relaxing looking place I've seen on TV.

Edit: Threw a video preview up!
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DillonRobinson
Honored Guest
Sorry for the bump but I've made a new video walkthrough of the game!



Music is placeholder for testing purposes but in the future I'll find something more appropriate for looking out the windows upon a deep space vista. Also, I've added the ability to play custom music. Drag an .OGG or .WAV (Sorry, Unity doesn't allow MP3s - it's bizarre) into one of the build folders on your computer and it will replace whatever default music I choose!
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Amantis
Honored Guest
Oh my god this is goddamn gorgeous.

DillonRobinson
Honored Guest
Thank you so much!

My goal here is to appeal to deep-space sci fi fans as much as possible, and to make something that I would like to experience myself.

It started off selfishly - I was going to make something super tiny just so that I could enjoy it - but has been growing in size and detail considerably.
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