Hello, I’m Leon, a 3D artist on the Infinite fleet team.
I’ve been working as a 3D artist for six years on a whole bunch of different projects. I like cute robots—that’s my thing. I’ve been working on Infinite Fleet for over a year now, mostly crafting the ships and mechs for the game.
Here, I’ll show you guys my process for making a secondary spaceship weapon, all the way from the concept to 3D model and rigging.
Since this is our first devlog, let me tell you a little bit about this game. Infinite Fleet is a Japanese anime-styled sci-fi MMORTS game. The players will play as the commander of a fleet of massive spaceships with a wide variety of roles and skills. And since they’re fully customizable too, I have a pretty busy job! You’ll find hundreds of components that you can put on your ships, and a wide variety of ships and mechs for you to choose from, too! So a large part of our job at the moment is nailing down the overall style so that as we grow, our team will be able to work hard on crafting a lot of models. My current work is on the art bibles and style guides for our game.
The AB1A1 Kinetic Cannon
So recently, I’ve been working on a secondary weapon that can be equipped with various ships.
The design brief asked for the creation of a small weapon that would be distributed across various points of the ship. Their purpose was to have a reasonably short range for attacking small enemy bomber squadrons. So they needed to be powerful, sure, but the most important aspects were accuracy and speed.
At first, I designed the following three versions of the concept:
We chose the circular structure because it met the requirements for the design regarding flexibility, and it also has a more futuristic, yet militaristic style, and that’s precisely what we want. What’s more, the circular structure gives it more stability, and the sleek shape is less likely to be hit.
So we continued refining it, and I added a small radar which personally I liked very much. I thought it was pretty cute!
However, I had to say goodbye to my cute radar because our producer was having none of it. The radar was not consistent with our overall style. However, while I lost my radar, I added some other details which I felt brought the design to life, such as the radiators. I also added some lights to the body for both functionality and style.
And below is the final effect of the concept! After I checked with our producer about the size of the weapon, I found that it’s much smaller than I expected: as you can see, there’s a big difference between the references of these two pictures.
The lonely silhouette resembles the exhausted indie game developer—me!
I adjusted the light and added some shadows to make it look better. These additions don’t really influence how I construct the 3D model, but I have my aesthetic preferences :)
And now, on to the modeling stage.
In the high polygon stage shown below, some details are omitted in modeling because it’s more efficient to make them at the texturing stage.
And this is the low polygon:
Generally, the models we see in games are low polygon models. The reason why we make high polygon is to get a normal texture like this:
This is a very useful texture that can make the convex structures really pop in games. In this way, we can save resources when running the game.
I got some feedback on the low polygon: the producer thought the barrel was a little bit thin, as it’s a very small unit in the game, so a thicker barrel would make it more visible. Here is my revised version:
Alright, let’s see how it looks in unity:
The next step is to paint the texture in Substance. Substance is indeed a handy tool because the material looks very realistic—and it’s so easy to learn. And fortunately, as this is a small weapon, it doesn’t need delicate paint.
This is the painted result in Substance. After this, we only need to import it to unity. Of course, I also did some adjustments on the texture color as well as some other modifications to make sure the design is consistent with other models.
After the modeling, we needed to do some rigging. We had a few more debates here, mainly regarding the possible angles the barrel can move.
To make sure the cannon can attack any objective in front of the ship, it must be able to pivot by up to 90 degrees. Initially, I only wanted it to pivot by 45 degrees, as I felt the aesthetic was a little more attractive. But in the end, we had to compromise, so I extended the shutters to allow for the full range of movement.
Finally, let’s see it in action! Here is a test video showing the AA gun shooting at some enemies. I think the result ended up pretty great.
Alright, that’s basically the procedure for making the AB1A1 Kinetic Cannon! I’m looking forward to sharing more work with you guys, so please feel free to talk to us!
In Infinite Fleet, you take command of a fleet of gigantic space ships. Each of these ships has a general purpose, but you can modify them them to suit particular roles in your overall strategy. Within those ships, are the squads. Squads are much more suited to a particular goal, but you may also upgrade and strengthen them over time.
So let us introduce you to a couple of ships, and an Atrox fighter!
The Polaris Versa Mark I
The Versa, as the name suggests, is a total all round war machine. This will be the first ship provided to you when you join the fleet. It is loaded with a wide arsenal of weaponry including substitutable heavy and light weapons hardpoints and also an array of AA guns to mow down enemies at close proximity. The Versa also comes with a repertoire of squad bays giving it the versatility for many different types of engagement. Its shielding is mid-strength, as is its hull. Therefore, it cannot hold its own against aggressive punishment but it is fast enough to dip in and out of engagements with enemy while other ships take the brunt of incoming fire.
The Polaris Cannon Mark I
The Cannon substitutes speed and endurance with a spectacularly powerful pair of Kinetic Impulse Cannons. This is an artillery ship that has long range cannons, heavy and light weapons hardpoints and AA guns for its last line of defence. The Cannon can wreak havoc from afar, but it is slow and vulnerable and thus must be protected at all costs. If the enemy breaks through the line and hits the Cannon ship, it will easily be destroyed. This ship does not have any squad bays and focuses entirely on attack. Its Kinetic Impulse Cannons fire in a predetermined line of fire, which means the commander must consider the flight path of the enemy, but they can also be used to stop enemies in their tracks and them to take a particular path.
The Atrox Sagitta
The Sagitta is a pest. On its own, this nimble little strike fighter doesn’t cause much of a threat, but in a swarm they can be devastating, like locusts picking off our ships one by one. The Sagitta is excellent at disabling a ships shields if it can get close enough. Ships AA guns are not fast enough to engage them, though they can suppress them somewhat. However, they are vulnerable in dogfights so the key to their defeat is in containing them away from our ships. It is always wise to keep a squad or two back to defend ships against these maleficent fighters.
Infinite Fleet is still in the early stages of production and we thank you all for your support! Please check the links below to help us spread the word about this epic MMORTS saga and join our community on Discord: discord.gg/NVr3vhj
Welcome to our new website!
We’ve been working on getting this website up and running with the help of Daniel, our amazing Senior Artist. He’s been working tirelessly on the design and we think it really looks great!
We are currently working on a bunch of resources to show you guys
Kian How, our Audio Director, is composing an immersive and powerful soundtrack to throw you right into the Infinite Fleet universe. He’s worked on AAA titles such as Dishonored and EVE, so you can rest easy knowing that the music in Infinite Fleet is going to be amazing.
We are also finalizing our trailer. We’ve been using Cinemachine on Unity and we feel the effect is jaw-dropping! This is almost complete and will be on the website very soon.
Our team has come together from all corners of the world and it’s time to take INF to the next stage. We’ll be sharing content with you as it’s being created so that you’re right on the front lines of development. You’re welcome to join our Discord server and chat with us directly: https://discord.gg/NVr3vhj. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (check the links below) Help us to spread the word so we can achieve our goal and launch this amazing anime strategy game!
Infinite Fleet is still in the early stages of production and there’s still a lot we have to do. We’re an ambitious team though, and we working hard to make this epic game happen! Thank you all so much for your ongoing support!