We wanted to start SQ7 in familiar territory – Someplace the audience had been before, and might feel comfortable.
One of the things that Josh stressed a few times was that that making fan game drives some choices that would be unusual for a commercial release.
One of the biggest things is that we knew that all (or at least a large number) of the players would be familiar with the series.
On a good side, this meant we didn’t need to spend as much time introducing the characters or the concept. We could assume the audience would already be with us.
In retrospect, is that it made us rather susceptible to fanservice, but for good and ill!
Since we knew the audience would get in-jokes, it encouraged us to put more in ;)
I don’t think we went overboard, but that’s also part of why we wanted act 1 to be on the DS. It’s familiar home turf for the audience, and fun for us as gamedevs ;)
First- The Ship itself. We showed this in an early trailer, but I thought it was a great reproduction of the Ship from SQ6.
We preserve the distinctive Jockstrap design, and flesh it out with lots of windows, one of which we climb through.
What we did want to do was to have a puzzle where Roger walked along the outside of the DS86- This was to be a large scrolling room, a favorite technique of mine. I loved Scrolling rooms, both because A) it was a PITA to put them into the engine, so we better use them, B) Because they allowed a lot of detail and have realistic puzzles that demand and C) I loved them in SQ4, in particular.
The Exterior of the DS worked well as a long scroll target.
It was also rewarding to let us explore familiar territory from a new angle. This was a theme we kept revisiting on the Deepship.
Sure, you’ve been here, but have you seen it like This?
This is also where we did the initial Shuttle craft artwork.
The Shuttle would show up through-out the first half SQ7, as Roger’s Go-To ship while on-duty.
This set up the arrival of the Mallard later on as a fun back-to-roots fun ship instead of the more official, more Starcon shuttle.
We saw the Shuttle, as well as other ships, in the DS86’s bay.
These were mostly here as distractions and space filler, involving a puzzle with the revealed ship’s parts.
In particular I liked the little robots you can see to the left – They were designed to be somewhat obstinate to Roger, and have a mute-beeping personality that recalls R2 without directly copying him.
The DS86 Hallway! Another Long scrolling room that we used as a prop to get between other areas.
In SQ6, they used tube-based transport, which was funny, but the gag would get a bit old if we copied it – The Hallway also gave us time to talk with Ramdon passerbys, with bits of various conversations, references, and other TGA inspired style humor.
Roger’s room was a direct callback to SQ6.
Since you’re back on the same ship, we felt that you should have the same quarters for continuity.
This is one of those things we did because it’s a fan-game, which if it were a new game, we might have strayed from, but it felt really nice to revisit home territory.
The Maintenance HQ is my favorite room on the Deepship.
In all of Space Quest, we’ve seen Roger in Closets several times, but we’ve never seen a room worthy of his station. A True Janitorial paradise.
We felt like he should have a place that felt like home.. And of course, it should be a complete mess.
The Holocabana was another callback to SQ6, although we used it to good effect to lead into Act 2.
We wanted to show the trouble people were in, not just send a video chat.
Keilbasa’s ready room was designed as a room to give Roger a dressing-down.
It’s one of the few rooms (along with the Maintenance room) with a Pneumatic tube.
We also animated the Octacreature in the back of the room, letting him try to scare out fair Hero as a click-event.
In the later half of the game, we revisit the DeepShip.
We had changed artists at this point, so you may notice a bit of visual variance.
That’s one of the costs of being a volunteer game. We’ll take whomever volunteers ;)
For reasons , the DeepShip explodes!
This leads to us exploring a semi-destroyed DeepShip, with things malfunctioning everywhere!
We filled a lot of these areas with smoke and flashing lights, and generally signs that You shouldn’t be here.
This is the room of the Chief Engineer – Notice a certain level of cleanliness in comparison to Roger’s room?
The poster on his wall in the back is also important to one of the puzzles in this area.
Also notice the Chrome in this room, which looks neat through a smoke effect.
This was the Chief engineer’s cooking area, which was a visual callback to the 1950 diner area.
The idea of having a diner on a futuristic space ship is a lot of fun, and a good place for humor.
“The large quantities of smoke billowing from the cooksurface seem wholly familiar to you”, sort of thing.
The view from inside one of the ships Roger gets to use. Again, running with the theme that like a Plumber’s house that’s full of leaks, Roger’s areas should be the least clean on the ship.
As I mentioned above, much of the DS is destroyed at this part. I thought it’d be fun to revisit the Command room from SQ6, but in the nearly blown-up state.
This was one of the Engineering rooms, near the Chief Engineer’s office.
The room doesn’t need to be in heavy detail, since it’s mostly just used to walk through, and an overlay of smoke and dust is rendered on top of it.
Another Hall way!
And there was much rejoicing.. At least at the Davis compound.
This was another scrolling room, as you navigated the destroyed ship.
I like hallways. I think they have a club for that.
And finally, some gen-u-ine Colin Davis concept art!
This room was one I wanted to show you to help illustrate My amazing art prowess.
Sure, the rendered room at the bottom is a bit higher-class, but I think my room had CHARM.