Deep Space Settlement is a real-time strategy game focused on empire building and grand-scale space battle. It is currently in development

-Build your interstellar empire;
-Gather resources to power your empire economy;
-Trade resources between star-systems and players;
-Customizable ships;
-Build giant capital ships supported by an armada of smaller, more maneuverable ships;
-Create fleets;
-Unlock new technologies;
-Unlock new ship abilities through an XP system;
-Defend from invaders and conquer new star systems;
-Solo or multiplayer;
-High modding capabilities.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: ScreenShotSaturday 12/04/2014

11 comments by dssmathias on Apr 12th, 2014

I've got a lot of things done this week and have been mostly doing two things in parallel: experimenting and refining my workflow of creating skyboxes featuring massive nebulae and building a new station asset.


Let's start with the lab station first. Like all other stations in DSS, there's a central hub, where different modules are added, which in turn provide a specific function.

If you ware familiar with the previous stations, you'll notice that's I've chosen a different surfacing approach here. This was done intentionally for a couple of reason: To differentiate and stand out, to communicate a higher sophistication and because I like to challenge myself :)

One of the earlier images I posted led people to believe it may be a station of the enemy faction, which is a reasonable assumption, but not the case.

This is still the human player faction. If you are worried about continuity and consistency of the visual language  of the human faction, don't. I'm going to tie it all together nicely in texturing.
The arc in the model above is a  rough block in for the science lab, which will generate Tech Points which can be spend in the tech tree. There will be other modules that produce high tech resources like the computer lab and the bio lab.

Here is another work in progress shot, after I started greebling/kitbashing.

And here's a quick render of the greebles I've used. All of these were created for previous DSS assets.

I'm currently working on the lowpoly hub model, which will be UVed and prepared for baking a normal map from the highpoly source. More on that, next week.


The tricky part about skyboxes is making it look not like a box. This is why you usually can't just paint on the individual sides of the box. Everything needs to be properly distorted towards the sides of each side, to give the illusion of a continuous 3d environment.

My solution was to do it in 3d, create a fluid simulation, put a camera on the inside, light the particles in 3d with a couple of light sources and render out an initial skybox. Rendering particles tends to be very noisy and will look something like this:

The noise is a real problem because it kills the illusion of soft nebulae and on a skybox with 6 sides of 1024x1024 each, the individual particles are shown even bigger (in-game) than on the image above.

But, it's a great start. It's seamless and has all the major volumes and light sources established.

The next step is converting the skybox to a longitude/latitude projection. This makes it easier to paint on it because you have to deal with much fewer texture seams. Once the noise has been painted/smudged out, this is what I had after some additional color balancing:

And in-game:

Another one:

And finally, combining my nebula with a texture created using spacescape I got this:

Space scape brings in some higher frequency details, stars and more color variation.

What else, well, here's a cruiser on a really dark background, being careful  not to go too dark to avoid  the shadow sides of the ship fading into the background. I want it to read dark on light, as well as light on dark. 

As a bonus, here's a purple cruiser.

And a Homeworld homage :D

Hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something. As always, comments, critique and questions are appreciated. Don't be shy :)

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 125)
LS-FR Mar 22 2014, 7:25am says:

Quentin17 Français ? Cool on pourra faire une partie en multijoueurs !

+2 votes     reply to comment
Quentin17 Mar 23 2014, 2:28pm replied:

Oui !!! Au passage, désolé la question a due être posée, mais il y a une date de sortie de prévue?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Quentin17 Mar 9 2014, 2:43pm says:

J'ai tellement hâte de le voir sortit ce jeu !!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Hectarius Feb 11 2014, 2:41am says:

Simple question, au début j'allais la poser en anglais, mais comme j'ai vu que StephanieRct comprenait le français, où je suis beaucoup plus à l'aise, je vais y aller comme ça.

Je voulais savoir s'il y aura (ou s'il y a déjà) un mode cinématique où il n'y aura pas de UI ou alors presque aucun. C'est excellent au niveau du gameplay, je n'ai absolument rien à redire. Je me disais simplement que, niveau screenshot et certain recording, ça pourrait être une option intéressante. Je me posais surtout la question puisque j'ai remarqué que, dans la majorité des images prises de loin, les icônes des fighters sont toujours présent.

Cordialement, Hectarius.

+1 vote     reply to comment
StephanieRct Feb 12 2014, 3:18pm replied:

Oui il y a un mode cinématique qui enlève le UI mais pas les icons de ships, ce serais un option à ajouter. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheSauro Feb 10 2014, 12:44pm says:

I have read somewhere that there will be only one race(faction?). Is that true?

Will it be like "capital ships beat everything" or we'll be able to beat battleship with a bunch of well used bombers and fighters? Also, can we expect alpha in this year?

+1 vote     reply to comment
dssmathias Feb 12 2014, 6:23pm replied:

About the factions: There's one player faction yes. There's at least one main enemy faction and there are numerous smaller neutrals. Adding a second playable faction would mean a considerable increase in effort required, which we are not prepared to handle right now. The game is extremely open though. It's very likely gonna be possible to mod in more playable factions.

+1 vote     reply to comment
dssmathias Feb 12 2014, 6:18pm replied:

We will make sure that capital ships are not the solution to all your problems, that's for sure. In the end it really comes down to how those capital ships are designed. Let's say the enemy added as many flak turrets as he possibly can to his cruiser. Furthermore, let's say, he has super strong shields, and everything your strike craft pack are energy weapons. In this case, this cruiser will be a tough nut to crack(but not impossible). It's specifically built to counter larg amounts of small craft.

Now, on the other hand, let's say your strike craft pack ballistic weapons, which go though shields like a hot knife through butter. Let's also say, those strike craft are very stealthy and hard to detect. in this case the cruiser won't be able to withstand for long.

What matters more than ship classes, is what you put in and on them.

It's always hard talking about release dates :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Piemanlives Feb 9 2014, 7:38pm says:

Really loving the progress you guys are making :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
dssmathias Feb 10 2014, 12:12pm replied:


+1 vote     reply to comment
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Deep Space Settlement
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Escape Velocity Studios
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