Ship can happen
2020. April 28.
Co-Founder & Creative Director
Taking a trip on a luxurious ocean liner then spending a couple of days on a remote, exotic island with an epic festival running exclusively for the attendees sounds like the time of your life, doesn’t it? No, we are not talking about the Fyre Festival, we know they didn’t make it, but what if it happened for real?
The “Luxurreal Journeys” company had a crazy ambitious vision for the very first trip of their beautiful, brand new ship, the Pearl of the Seas. Raising the stakes of the usual Caribbean ocean cruises, they promised the perfect getaway on a tropical island topped with the festival of the year.
The level of interest was so great for this groundbreaking life experience that their first two seasons were already fully booked before the first trip. Everything was set for a great success and a bright future for the company.
When the state-of-the-art ship left the port of Fort Lauderdale on 07.07.2020 with 1864 souls on board (1702 passengers and 162 crew) the managers of the company shed some sentimental tears and celebrated with expensive champagne, not even surmising that this was the last time they saw their precious ship...
Seems like this paradise party idea is cursed, but in our case it’s a fortunate turn of events as this is what brought the Perseverance saga to life. The above story is all fiction of course, but it’s the background of our visual concept which I would like to unpack in this post. So before I start, just a quick reminder for you, this marvelous ocean liner will soon get into a mysterious storm (where else but the Bermuda Triangle...) and end up being stranded on a strange island inhabited by dinosaur-like creatures.
Right from the beginning I had a clear vision of a world that’s visually built on two opposing extremes: the high-end, state of the art modern engineering from a luxury ocean liner versus the natural “building blocks” of a fantasy island. Starting from the “festival” look and moving towards a living city with more and more imposing structures was the first major design goal. Slowly exchanging the modern resources to exciting island resources in their architecture was the second. Fulfilling this vision was (and still is) even more challenging than I first thought but let’s start from the beginning.
Every journey starts with the first step. In our case, it was the ship. In order to grant a coherent visual style for all four episodes, we needed to design that ship and everything that’s related to it with a fine attention to detail. We came up with a name (which is an easter egg we’ll reveal later on) and a logo for the ship, then went ahead and started the design process of the external and internal looks of the ocean liner with a single but very important goal in mind: this ship is going to be our base, to which we’ll be coming back for inspiration and guidance.
The design process started with picking a shape and a mood for the ship we saw fit most. We definitely wanted a modern, somewhat futuristic look to represent the technical superiority of our age in a lost world. Also, we wanted the ship to represent exclusivity even with its size so it does not fit multiple thousand of people only around fifteen-hundred, a crowd big enough for a small festival, but small enough to remain intimate.
Can you guess which version inspired the ship?
While still working on the final design, we started to think about all the details of the ship, considering functions of the different parts that will only be used in later Episodes.
We even experimented with a 3D representation...
...to finally arrive at this fictional promo image we originally planned to use for promoting the game, but it ended up being a step too far from the concept of the dinosaur island.
We did not stop here, as we needed to know exactly what this ship looked like from above too, as it’s going to be represented on each and every Perseverance game’s main board - always in a totally different shape of course.
A ship is nothing without its crew, so that’s where our visual exploration has lead us next. Figuring out how the official personnel looked like was an evenly exciting task but the fact that we already knew so much about the ship and the intentions of the company behind it helped a lot. We definitely wanted a formal, but stylish and futuristic look for the crew, almost as if we were on a casual rocketship trip to the moon.
Well, maybe this was a little bit too formal...
We kept experimenting until we arrived at the design of the “light soldier” (you might be familiar with it from my previous blog entry) but more importantly we discovered the right visual style for the Officers who play a major role in each Episode.
Chief Engineer, Chief Mate, Chief Security and Chief Steward
I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes tour and now you have a better understanding of the world the survivors come from. Next time we’ll finally arrive at the dinosaur island and we can start exploring it together.
Until next time,