Monday, March 3, 2014

VIII. Defining a Look - Broken Contract Security Officer Concepts

Security Officer concept art by Sam Alcarez.
The other day I had a great meeting with Sam Alcarez, the new artist working on Broken Contract. One of the most important parts of developing a game like Broken Contract is defining the look and feel of the game. There are so many ways to depict security forces in the future, and they can go to differing extremes. You can go for completely tooled up, heavily armored cops with the greatest in technological advancements like Robo-Cop, some sort of mech, or just a heavily armored "super soldier" sort of look. Then there is the other extreme, like the stripped down, lightly armored but precisely uniform fascist looking peace keepers in The Hunger Games. Of course, in a sci-fi western like Broken Contract you can envision any manner of "space cowboy." So there is a huge variety of looks and feels we could go for.
Katniss being led away by peace keepers in one of The Hunger Games movies. Its the future but they aren't super tech. They look like pseudo-fascist motorcycle cops. Even their body armor looks thin and sort of useless.
The dystopian future that I envision involves the galactic mega-corporations like FeSky and Agri-Corp employing mainly poorly paid rent-a-cop security guards. High technology means high prices, and that affects the bottom line of the corporations. So I envision the security forces existing in tiers. The "boots on the ground" daily use security forces in the mines are poorly paid rent a cops with minimalist equipment to do their jobs.
Chicago cops during the NATO protests 2 years ago had three times the amount of gear this riot cop has - which is sort of perfect for an underpaid, underfunded security force.
 Now to truly capture a bit of that sci-fi western look, it would be ideal to fuse elements of all of the above with some 1950's-ish southern prison guards out of Cool Hand Luke. Like the riot cop above they have that "under equipped" look that I'm shooting for, but a level of attitude like it doesn't matter - as if a scowl, a pair of shades, and a gun is enough to keep a chain gang in line.
Watching Cool Hand Luke while developing Broken Contract made me extremely excited. Fuse Cool Hand Luke with Firefly and you have a less dystopian snapshot of how I envision the setting.
The end result of all of these elements? Well, I guess we're looking at lightly equipped, uniformed, space cowboy fascists. Kind of a lot of concepts rolled into one but we're narrowing it down. Somewhere in these concepts we have the answer.
Concept art by Sam Alcarez. This really captures the Cool Hand Luke meets sci-fi look. He just needs to look a little more brutal and fascist.
Concept art by Sam Alcarez. This Security Officer looks very much like a modern Security Officer. He just needs something to distinguish him as a little more fascist and western themed. Ah, the hard balance.
Feel free to comment on what you like and don't like. I'd love to hear your feedback.

-Nick

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