Today we are following up on the original three concepts with Exterior Sketch. This concept was only the second ever to be created for Subnautica, penned by Cory after he completed Interior Hallway (We’ll show you that one later!)
The small submarine you can see in the lower left corner is also intended to be player-controlled. Launching from the a larger submarine, smaller vehicles (submersibles?) could allow exploration and activity in areas inaccessible to the ‘mother ship,’ and too deep or dangerous for adventures wearing only a dive suit.
These smaller vehicles also represent our thinking about how larger submarines will be constructed. A player could modify a submarine too add the capacity to deploy submersibles, but perhaps at the cost of other capabilities? There is much to ponder as we descend into the depths of Subnautica design…
Exterior Sketch was the first attempt to give form to an idea that is central to Subnautica: That players would interact with substantial underwater vehicles. These submarines would enable exploration and discovery by providing protection, mobility, and utility below the ocean surface.
Since this art was created, we have evolved the style and theme of Subnautica’s submarines. However, this original piece does represent some of the core aesthetic cues that we hope to achieve in the final designs. In Cory’s words:
“Simple silhouettes, very smooth, round shapes that flow into one another, high tech clean surfaces, slightly stylized proportions, and bright colors. The large glass bubble navigation bridge was designed with gameplay in mind, to allow the player to better see the world they are exploring and easier to pilot the sub.”
Exterior Sketch ties in nicely to Control Room, a concept piece we released last week. The Control Room is a representation of the interior of the glass bubble you can see in Exterior Sketch. These bubbles are likely to be a common feature of Subnautica’s submarines. While real submarines are usually closed for pressure protection, with only very small portholes (if any), we believe such realism might not produce the most interesting game play.