Tuesday, May 20, 2014

XII. Defining a Look - Broken Contract Breaker Concepts

Breaker concept sketch by Geng Gendall based on Nick Tape of the hardcore punk band, Coke Bust.

Breakers are workers that have raised their tools as weapons and thrown off their shackles for a chance at freedom. As oppressed and subjugated workers, they needed to be easily identified as such. Several of my friends have commented that they wished the characters in Broken Contract looked more "from the future" which I feel is tough to do without making them either "high tech" with mechanical suits or skin tight compression pants covered in protective pads similar to how Infinity models look in their fitted armor. For myself, the indentured "mudders" from the Jaynestown episode of Firefly or the downtrodden forced laborers from the Seam in the Hunger Games really exemplify how I envision the potential future portrayed in the game. Carhartt gear might not seem very sci-fi but the term "overall" for protective clothes put over other clothes is thought to have been around since 1792, and the one piece work overall may have arrived in 1891. Its utilitarian look and function has remained relatively unchanged for over 120 years, so it may be a fair bet that utility wear like cargo pants, overalls, aprons, and coveralls will all see service and won't vary wildly due to changing styles. And if I'm wrong, that's okay too. Aren't we supposed to have hover boards in 2014?

Breaker concept by Sam Alcarez.

With all of that in mind, all of the aforementioned utility wear should exist in the 2300's: cargo pants, overalls, aprons, and coveralls and the workers clothes should be threadbare and dirty. Head mounted lamps should exist just the same, but the power source has likely changed. For our purposes its inconsequential. A head lamp is a head lamp whether its candle, gas, halogen, LED or other. Its a lamp worn on someone's head and as long as its identifiable as such and conveys the idea, "these are miners", then it works.

Breaker with pneumatic drill concept art by Oliver Zavala. This was the first piece of Broken Contract concept art.

Another thing I wanted to avoid was giving them lots of kit. When I first started this project I noticed that a lot of "futuristic miner" art I found online had them covered head to toe in pouches or tech gear if they weren't wearing exo-suits. When Oliver Zavala submitted the very first bit of Broken Contract art, the Breaker with pneumatic drill, I knew immediately that he nailed it. Here was a very stripped down and basic miner wielding his over-sized drill in plain overalls and a dehumanizing gas mask. It was exactly what I wanted and everything since has been built on his minimalist groundwork.

Progen Technician by Sam Alcarez. A potential Breaker. There are no guarantees with most Progens.

Now, with a variety of looks in hand to show slight differentiation in role and status we should have the look of a disheveled labor force pushed to the brink, which is exactly as it should be to convey the setting. Unlike the Security Officers, defining the look of the Breakers has been sort of easy and I'm fine with that.

-Nick

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