Unvanquished is a fast-paced, futuristic FPS with RTS elements, pitting technologically advanced humans against hordes of highly adaptable aliens. The player can choose from either team, providing a fresh gameplay experience on both sides of the conflict. The game is under highly active development, with a new alpha release being made at the beginning of each month.

Report article RSS Feed The overmind

Today, I'll be going over the evolution of the overmind over the years.

Posted by kharnov on Dec 10th, 2012

The overmind, in its many incarnations over the years
 

For those on the alien team, there is no structure more important than the overmind. Without it, the granger is incapable of building structures, and all base defenses cease to function. Naturally, taking it out is the primary goal of a human assault on the alien base, and as a result of this, the overmind is best kept guarded in a safe place. While it can take the most damage out of everything on the alien team and is capable of regenerating itself over time, it lacks any long-distance means of defending itself, as it is limited to close-range swipes of its limbs. Thus, the human attacker would do best to keep his distance while assaulting it.
 

This was the very first overmind, from the earliest days of Tremulous. Roughly, I would date this to the early 2000s, some time before the 1.1 release. Back then, the modeler seemed to have an entirely different concept in mind, considering that unlike its immediate successor, it had some form of head. Had the Tremulous developers stuck with this concept, some of the other alien structures might have been similarly anthropomorphized. Presumably, the overmind would have had some sort of voice, and it would explain why the Tremulous overmind had one in the standalone release. I wouldn't suggest thinking too much about what is going on below the torso, unless you'd like nightmares. 


 

Here is the Tremulous overmind, the one you might have experienced in both the 1.1 and GPP releases of the game. At the moment, it is also the placeholder that we are using. It would seem that after the pre-standalone days, the Tremulous developers decided to remove the monstrous upper body, instead replacing it with something quite different. The lower regions appear to be roughly the same as before. Overall, the texture on the model is quite simple, with the same dark blue throughout. You can date this to roughly 2006, the time of the first Tremulous standalone release. 


 

Our very first overmind model looked like this one, around late 2011. At the time, we weren't entirely sure what we planned on doing with the overmind, and clear influences can be seen from the previous rendition. The lower limbs are still present, and there is a tentacled region down below. Presumably, the circular extrusion above the tentacles would have turned into some sort of eye. The model never received much detail, since we had other priorities at the time. Ultimately, it was scrapped. We still have the model file somewhere, along with many other pre-alpha models that we decided not to use. 

Now we're at where we were last summer. Disregarding all previous concepts of the overmind, we made an entirely new one, and we've stuck to it ever since. Much like the rest of our alien structures, the overmind has its own face, to give the idea that all alien structures are their own separate organisms, unlike the rather undetailed buildings that Tremulous had. In this shot, you can see the lengthy tentacles, and the smaller ones at the base that were to function as the creep. We gave the overmind a mouth studded with sharp teeth, inspired by the rather terrifying mouth parts of lampreys. The eyes glow with hatred. Green pustules throb with malice.
 

This was a progress shot from a few months ago, after we decided to alter some parts of our overmind based on feedback. The texturing job has been altered for a more uniform look. Rather than having a set of eyes, we decided on just two. Of course, the eyes are not actually visible in this shot, since we didn't add them just yet, but the red dots should let you know where they went. At the time, we were thinking of some creep-like covering on the overmind, and the tentacle arms were roughly the same length as they were before. The mouth has been altered to be even more terrifying than before, and the green pustules are gone.
 


 

At last, we reach the final stage of the overmind. It's almost ready to be animated. This is, ultimately, where we've wanted to go all along. The glowing eyes are there, the mouth is the way we want it, the tentacles are shorter so that they can fit inside the bounding box and won't clip through walls as easily. Just as before, the brain portion is nice and veiny. We also have a new creep texture down below, and we've adapted it for usage on all our other models. Barring future adjustments, you will see this version of the overmind in a release in the near future. Around the same time, we'll show off the new egg, too.

See you all again next week! Also, make sure to indicate your interest in our planned development games in this thread. You can play games with the development team and other people in the community! They'll happen each Sunday at the times listed. Make sure to share your experiences in the thread.

Post comment Comments
Taco_Guy
Taco_Guy Dec 10 2012, 8:35am says:

That's fugly as hell alien.

+4 votes     reply to comment
kharnov
kharnov Dec 10 2012, 12:46pm replied:

Which one(s)? The earlier versions from Tremulous?

+1 vote     reply to comment
tenser4
tenser4 Dec 10 2012, 5:51pm says:

That looks sick! Much better than the original I think. :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Elementalist
Elementalist Dec 10 2012, 10:10pm says:

While the overall model/texture looks cool, I wouldn't necessarily say the mouth looks more terrifying. It's definitely creepy, but it also looks like it's lost a purpose.

To specify, the previous mouth looked like it could eat you, bite chunks off of you. This mouth just looks like it can breathe on you.

+1 vote     reply to comment
kharnov
kharnov Dec 10 2012, 10:47pm replied:

It's a slow, painful death.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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