Post feature RSS Ship Design Series #10- Weapon Design

The latest entry of our ship design series covers the art direction behind Lord of Rigel's weapons!

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The weapons that have their own models in Lord of Rigel can be divided into two main categories – missiles and bombs. Missiles are designed for ship to ship combat, while bombs are meant to destroy planetary defense installations and even entire colonies.

Technically speaking, these small models are much simpler and smaller than the starships that fire them, however I believe I’ve struck a nice balance between an optimized and a detailed look. All weapons, be it missiles or bombs, have several technological levels; everyone starts with nuclear bombs and missiles, which can be upgraded to the more powerful fusion versions relatively early in the game. Nuclear and fusion bombs use the same basic model with some smaller changes; we made sure that the changes are still big enough so that players will be able to spot at first glance which type of a weapon it is based on the color of the glows (for example, nuclear weapons have red glows, while fusion ones have orange ones). Stylistically, nuke and fusion ordinance is closest to what we could build today; they follow near future, low tech sci fi design principles.

The next technological tier is a lot more sophisticated; while nuclear and fusion weapons have visible small thruster holes used to steer the weapons, the more advanced antimatter missiles use more sophisticated guidance and propulsion methods. They are overall slimmer and were designed to look more futuristic; apart from RCS holes being gone, stabilizer fins that are present on lower tech weapons for atmospheric flight stabilizations are also not necessary on these advanced weapons.

The most advanced version of these weapons are called singularity (both bombs and missiles), and like nuclear and fusion ordinance, these share a lot of similarities yet are still easily distinguished based on glow colors.

Another weapon type that we have are biological weapons; unlike other weapon types these don’t come in missile form, instead only available as bombs – they are useless against ships, but could be very effective against colonial bases, particularly those that are well defended. Like other weapon types, they come in different technological variants; the lower tech looking retrovirus bomb, and the more advanced nanophage bomb. The retrovirus bomb contains an artificially engineered retrovirus, usually designed to target a specific species, leaving the target colony safe for invaders. The more advanced nanophage one offers better control, replacing an organic virus with easier to control nanotechnology.

The retrovirus bomb model was designed to look more low tech, with several separate virus canisters designed to separate in atmosphere for best dispersal patterns. The nanophage bomb is a more robust, compact and futuristic looking design, more in line with it’s conventional antimatter and singularity counterparts. As you can see, we’ve made sure you will have an arsenal to spread your “influence” over the galaxy; after all, war is just diplomacy by other means!

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