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Dead space: Create (and renew) the outfit of Isaac – Ign First


In a series of survival horror figures, Isaac Clarke stands out. Instead of a regular Joe trying to overcome the floods, Dead Space’s main character is a space engineer ready to overcome the harshest conditions. That can be clearly seen in the space outfit that has now become his icon, the outfit has received a scary upgrade for the upcoming Dead Space remake.

The outfit was originally designed by Chi-Wai Lao, an idea artist who worked at EA with the creator of the Glen Schofield dead space in the early 2000s. “[To begin with] My outfit designs are everywhere, “Lao said,” From very fit to very bulky, some look very robot, even a few [carried] a giant sword. They are quite different from the Dead Space suits we know today.”

As Lao refines his concept, he turns to pop culture to inspire the details, especially a beloved Japanese mecha anime. “An abnormal candidate with the biggest influence for me at the beginning of the design of the outfit is the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, especially EVA’s spinal and Entry Plug,” he revealed. “It is a tangible element and outstanding function of the EVA design, and helps me to perform the same highlight that the backbone is very prominent and a system of supporting life on the back of the set The first paragraph. It is mainly for vision and fictional purposes at the time. Significant changes to make that hud later. ”

Lao’s final design for the outfit has come together when he challenges himself to work with the science fiction motifs repeated and traditionally, he feels quite boring; things like vents are often used to fill gaps on a design. “But if I [used] This ‘boring’ repetition is like a motif, a type of visual language on the outfit? He asked himself. “How will that work well to fit the topic? It can convey an interesting rough appearance, but it is something that I often don’t like.

The tendon motor has become a aesthetic that resonates the rest of the game.


“Just like me [did] more sketches, I [started] implemented this ‘ribbed’ design on armor with long, thick horizontal armor bands, instead of the usual armor plates,” he said. “The suit needs flexibility, so I added space between these thick armor veins to make them less constricting. More flowing veins [organically] in some sketches more than others, but that’s pretty much the first step of [turning] the iconic Dead Space suit into its current form as we know it.

The ribbed design quickly became an important part not only in Isaac’s outfit but also in the whole game. Lao said: “It not only works very well at the character level, it can be the work on our room, our corridors, vehicles and even the exterior of Ishimura, the ship where Dead Space 1 takes place. “The ribbed motif has become a resonating aesthetic for the rest of the game, wherever we go. [could] applied it, to create our version of the sombre Gothic environment in space.”

Concept sketch for Isaac's suit in the Dead Space remake.  Credit: EA / engine

Concept sketch for Isaac’s suit in the Dead Space remake. Credits: EA / Engine

That industrial gothic aesthetic has become iconic, and so one of the biggest challenges the Dead Space remake team faced was upgrading that look for 2023. “Wow, that’s exciting. Because we have the opportunity to redesign the outfit, ”said Mike Yazijian, art director at Ea Motive. “And we did. From the beginning, we made some sketches to discover a completely different version of Isaac. It looks a lot more sci-fi, which is always where most artists want to be. But it doesn’t feel right. It feels so futuristic. It feels like Isaac is turning into a robot. There’s a lot of light and things on him that I don’t feel right about.”

Roman Campos-Oriola, the creative director of the Dead Space remake, explained: “There are many things in bone characters and division, and basically the inside is not outside. “The body horror topic is really strong in Dead Space. […] I am seeing those bones and things, it should not be outside. It’s a bit like the concept of armor. That is why all the metal panels look like ribs and elements. It is not only suitable for the world design […] But also to strengthen some horror topics in Dead Space. ”

It still feels the same from a distance, but when you look up close it’s a lot more realistic


“Like everything else in the game, we wanted to make sure we were honoring the legacy of Dead Space,” Yazijian said. “We want it to be the same as the original game, but of course with the improvements we want to add. So after the first passes [of the suit] We said, ‘No, no, we have to go back and see the original design. We want to make sure the silhouette is the same as the original. ‘”

The final design remains faithful to the look of the original ribbed brass wetsuit, but with a higher level of detail. The intent is to sell the suit as a genuine, functional piece of equipment. “We said, ‘Alright, let’s get a little closer to the outfit and think about how it will work. What do we need to do to add those believable details?’” Yazijian recalls. “So we only started from the beginning. We said, ‘Alright, the helmet looks very cool, it is very symbolic, but make all the whole model. Let’s see how it looks on the inside. Add cushions to make Isaac more comfortable.’ So that’s how we think about it, it’s a very believable way, if you had to wear that suit, what would you do with it?”

To ensure the reliability, the group has considered which materials will be available to Dead Space engineers. “Is it made of?” Campos-Ariola wondered. “For example, one insight that comes from my job as a director is [Dead Space is set in] a universe where resources are trapped. That is why they have to go to the universe to exploit a huge planet, because there is nothing left on Earth. So skin in that kind of society must be really, really rare. So we need to make sure it’s not his skin.

While much of the design remains faithful to Lao’s original suit, a few things need to change. “The other thing that bothered us a bit was the boots,” says Yazijian. “In the original version, it seemed very simple, but we also went back to that design and then really gave him matching shoes that have more articulation in the foot and shin. , etc. ”

Campos-Oriola reveals: “We’ve added a bit of light on the heel to signal you when you’re wearing the magnet boot. “But now you also have a push, because you can hover in air and now you can navigate and fly around. So we had to think, where are the thrusters on the suit? How do they work? How will they help you navigate in Zero-G? That went into the design of the rig.”

The rig is, of course, the most important centerpiece of Isaac’s suit. The spine is illuminated as a health bar in the diet and the Stasis indicator half the moon completes HUD in the universe. The design has been kept for the remake.

“It’s very similar to the original rig, I love the design,” Yazijian said. “It looks very unique and iconic, and we want to keep it. We don’t want to mess with it. But when you look at it, it looks flat and simple. And what we did is we actually modeled all the individual pieces. You can actually enlarge those parts and you will see the inner mechanism. […] And we also added on the back, you can see the Stasis and Kinesis watches. So there’s a lot of detail there.”

Yazijian concluded: “Therefore, I think of the overall, it works well because from a distance is still like a suit, but when you look close, it is much more realistic. “And the final step is the material. We really returned and then [added] more realistic shaders for it to make sure it really looks like the material it’s supposed to be. It’s not just dull and flat.

The final version of Isaac’s suit is representative of the entire Dead Space remake; A more detailed, reliable version of what you love for many years. At first glance it is the same, but take a closer look and you will find dozens of new elements to help raise it in the modern age.

For more on Dead Space, check out The way the group develops reproduces one of the most interesting scenes of the original gameand the remake fits the modern survival horror renaissance.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK Feature and News Editor.

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