Monday, January 31, 2011

The World of Sector

The world of Sector comprises of seperate districts contained within 1.3mile high walls, maintained by automatons . Each district is a microculture onto itself, that has accepted the existence of these walls and the other districts around them as alien and exclusive places that neither one will care for. Each one has developed its own culture, and their own distinct relationship with the wall.

The city Im focusing on is a suburban district with a large school. The students there live simple lives very similar to our modern day , when they grow up some are spirited away to explore other districts while most stay and start families.

Make the school District multicultural. Students are born from expatriate families from other districts. Different races populate the area. The school makes its bounty of points by educating the populace. But lose them everytime they send someone off.


Cross is a desolate island stranded amid a steaming ocean of geothermal goo, on a tiny planet located somewhere in the armpit of the galaxy.  The intergalactic government uses it as a dumping ground of sorts, for underage undesirables.   Children of rebel planets are kidnapped from their homeworlds and brought to Cross to be reformed.  The government intends to break the rebellion by breaking the loyalty of its youth and turning them into tools of the empire. 

When refugees are brought to the city they have two choices.  They can chose to enroll in the Academy, where they will be guaranteed safe housing and warm meals (so long as they attend the mandatory classes and brainwashing sessions) or they can take their chances and try to scrape a life out for themselves in the dog-eat-dog wreckage of Cross.

The army allows the island outside of the protective electric walls of the academy to exist in a near anarchic state, only dropping meager supplies into the district on a sporadic basis.  As a result, gangs have formed are constantly warring for territory around the Drop Zone.  The three most prominent gangs are The Black Stars, who hold the ruins and temple, The Aces who dominate the slums, and The Helix Kids, who have THE GUN and the position closest to the Dropzone. 

The kids aren’t the only ones trapped there.  The native reptilian alien race, the  Krell have been pushed to the edges of the island and driven underground.  They too have different clans joined together in an unsteady alliance against the invaders.  Their temples and cities have been bombed into oblivion, and are now overrun with refugees.  Now they make their nests in caves and among the geysers.  Due to the scarcity of food, the refugee children sometimes raid the Krell and steal their eggs for food.  And a Krell won’t hesitate to devour a stray kid, without even batting its double eyelid. 

There are two ways to get off Cross.  The first is to be granted a passport upon graduating from the Academy.  The second is the option offered to the hoodlums who refused to go to the Academy- they are permitted to enlist in the army when they turn 15.  Some accept the offer, but a greater percentage commit a ritualized suicide as a sign of defiance.    As a result there are almost no residents of Cross over 15. 

Birchwood Community

Birchwood Community is a tree infested with a community of tiny people that dress up as insects and bugs so that they may take things they enjoy from normal sized people. They choose to live in a tree because they like to be close to nature and enjoy having a relationship with neighboring insects. They community is divided up into neighborhoods based on the kind of insects that people prefer to imitate, although the insects often overlap within neighborhoods as the community grows. They have shared storage facilities for things they collect that they are willing to share with their neighbors.

NOMaD Station

My world is to take place on the NOMad (NeoEarth Orbital Mining and Drilling) Station. Humanity came to the verge of collapse as our collective need transcended the Earth's resources. Government led evacuation and resettlement programs were limited in scope and availability. Desperate families sought out alternative means to protect and preserve themselves, predominantly promising an indentured servitude to independent contractors with privatized resettlement ambitions. Coalitions within the human fleet fractured, and humanity became dispersed throughout the stars; each ship seeking its own fortune.

The NOMaD Station is one of these private endeavors, nestled in an asteroid belt filled with a carbon-rich mineral ore. It has been years since anyone from the NOMaD station has seen or heard word from other human settlement programs. Intelligent alien contact is limited to enigmatic trade organizations that buy up much of the mineral ore for export back to their societies, but cultural influence in almost non-existent. A feudal hierarchy has been established by the descendants of the original contractors where over 80% of the population are in direct servitude to different families of the royal caste, many of these reside within the Intermediary Deck and the residential areas of the Upper Deck. Corruption is rampant through all levels of the NOMaD Station, and quality of life is becoming increasingly polarized for the different factions, with the workers becoming destitute while royalty enjoy increasingly lavish accommodations and parties. To combat crime, The Citadel is established on the Upper Deck and staffed by members of the working class. Tragically, members of The Citadel slowly began to manipulate their power to leverage themselves above the indentured workers, often times friends and family members they had known their entire lives.

As it stands, society is being held together by a thread. Worker strikes are being punished by increasingly violent and drastic measures from The Citadel. Various religious entities have capitalized on the strangled hopes of the working class, seeming only to parasitically leach strength from private worker union organizations. If nothing changes, the NOMaD station risks an all out civil war.

The Poisoned Planet and the Sky Village of Orinoco

·       -The planet is completely covered in a cloud of poisonous miasma that streams from beneath its crust through fissures- the miasma burns flesh and is poisonous to breathe
o   The planet has not always been covered in poisonous miasma 
§  For as long as the planet’s inhabitance can remember the fissures on the planet have released poison clouds into the air, but only two or three at a time and only once every few years
·      - They developed masks and protective clothing to protect them for the brief time while the air was harmful until the winds could clear it away
§  There was a leader of one of the many villages on the planet who was paranoid that one day more than a few fissures could erupt so he and the only two other leaders who believed him began to prepare for that day; all of the other leaders thought they were stupid and wasting their time
·       -dug around their villages and fit the land with “balloons” that could be filled and used to lift the villages above the toxic clouds
·      - stockpiled all supplies they could need to be sustained for however long it took for the air to clear
o   As it happened, the three leaders were right to plan ahead because one day their fears were realized and the fissured began to erupt the poisonous miasma, covering the whole planet
§  The three leaders and their villages rose above the poison and survived, believing that everyone else was killed
§  Those left behind and unprepared donned their masks and protective clothing
·       -Many died and those who survived were disfigured and damaged
o   Generations passed and their offspring became impervious to the poisonous miasma, changed from the original inhabitance of the planet
o   A deep hatred for those who escaped above the toxic clouds was passed down through the generations of this New Race
o   Formed small tribes  
·      - Three Sky Villages (inhabited by the Old Race) are perpetually suspended above the toxic clouds by “balloons” filled with a buoyant gas that can be continuously replaced thanks to a species of plant native to the planet that changes the breathable air into a weightless gas
o   The three villages in order from largest to smallest are Parrolet, Orinoco, and Kyte
§  Communicate via carrier birds
§  Travel between the villages by glider
§  Do not know of the existence of the poisoned tribes (the New Race) below the toxic clouds

Geminate Island

Geminate Island is an Island located in Bermuda triangle. It has never been seen or explored by human beings. The island is composed of two major sections that are divided by a large river. The northern section of the island is made up of marshes and ponds with jungle areas surrounding. The Southern half of the island is similar, only is has a small mountain and some surrounding plains. The island is inhibited by many creature and animals that have never been seen by man. Most are evolved from animals that we are familiar with; however, there are some creatures that appear alien. The entire island is surrounded by a healthy coral reef with many exotic and strange marine creatures. The island is inhabited by a race of higher beings that live in the thick of the jungles in the Northern section of the island. They are not human, but they share a similar intelligence.


Diogenes is your average suburban neighborhood, save for the population of obsessive compulsive hoarders. Everyone in Diogenes is addicted to the instant gratification that comes of consumership; their homes are uniquely representational of this. Between the flea market and the Diogenes mall, your typical Diogenes citizen has no further needs, aside from maybe a licensed therapist and a wrecking crew. While these people obsessively hoard and collect, they present themselves as normal, hard-working people to their neighbors and friends, even as they have to sleep on a pile of newspapers out back in spite of their nice Colonial homes.

Vinds-Hallr and Heilluhalla

The two towns of Vinds-Hallr and Heilluhalla are built one on top the other so I thought that separating them into levels would be the most efficient way of depicting them. I kept the idea of "playable areas" in my head while drawing these, I'm not sure if it helped or hurt the design.
Synopsis can be found below.


The landmass of Valdsey is largely made up of a steep mountain range to the west and a thin coast to the east with a small plain in between. There are small settlements sprinkled about the coast of the island with a larger kingdom to the northeast.
One can focus on a small village, the farthest inland, to spotlight. The only civilization for miles, the only one in the Kols mountain range, the town of Vinds-Hallr is special because of its deceptiveness. The town is in fact two towns, stacked on top of one another. Above ground is Vinds-Hallr, the surface-dwellers. They have braved the harsh wind and snow of their peaks and thrived. Below, shaped into the mountain itself, is Heilluhalla, the home of the mountain-dwellers. Their more hospitable location has allowed them to give their attention to the growth of their city.
Because of the similarity in the two peoples’ iconography, it can be assumed that they share a common history. Vinds-Hallr was the first town to blossom out of the snowy mountainside. The inhabitants, Mellr (bear-like creatures), sought freedom from the overbearing (haha, because they’re bears, get it?) taxation of the northern kingdom Regins-Ha. With impenetrable defense from the kingdom’s large army by its hostile mountain environment, Vinds-Hallr grew into a prosperous little town. Its growth was indebted to the trade routes with its otherwise isolated neighbors in the cliffs to the west, its main export being animal skins that prior to were extremely hard to come by. Unfortunately, civil unrest split the town. Some wanted to tunnel into the mountains for ore and better shelter. Others refused, Valdsey’s primary “religion” forbidding the devastation of the natural landscape. Civil war threatened the mountain-seekers’ new homes, yet with the risk of also destroying the promising Vinds-Hallr an armistice was called. Thus Heilluhalla was born.
A century passed and today the armistice is long forgotten, as well as most feelings of ill-will. Passage between the two villages is quite accessible to the common Mellr with a naturalization process both ways. One can tell the Vinds-Mellr from the Heilla-Mellr fairly easily because of the colorations and patterning of their fur, though “inter-racial” mating does exist. Both, however, have developed distinctly smaller ears than their coastal cousins.
Both towns are alike in that they each include town squares (the Vinds-Hallr center would be primarily used for religious ceremonies), a city hall, a community building, recreational spots, storage houses, shops, educational systems, and living quarters (individual and group). Since the war Vinds-Hallr has spread vastly, filling small passes and caves. Their main building materials are rock and wood and grass that is traded for. Their buildings are characterized by their functionality, low roofs, and air vents which allow the harsh mountain winds to safely pass through the structures. Vinds-Hallr’s main export is still animal skins. Heilluhalla, on the other hand, has grown downward, although artificial lakes for water collection had to be made ironically because of the city’s height above sea-level. Its buildings are carved directly from the natural rock of the mountain. Heilluhalla’s architecture is richly ornamented and the city has a small tourist trade beginning. Little trading is necessary for materials, but food is an important concern as the lack of agriculture makes animal herding virtually impossible. Observably, the mountain city’s main export is ore and precious stones.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

L'ephant Station

[Feb6 Update] Uploaded new map drawings.

[Jan31 Update] Specified the location and boundaries of the map in the text below, also fleshed out some more plot and changed the "park" to the "bay area." There will be future updates on the map drawing.


Dr. Bell works for a private institution currently developing virtual reality technology. His son falls into a deep coma and has no hope of reawakening after a mysterious accident. Already saddened by the loss of his wife, he brings his son back to consciousness by inserting his mind into the virtual reality machine he had been helping to develop. He is able to see his son again in the virtual world, but the mystery behind the accident slowly reveals itself as his son takes him back to that day at the terminal.

It's noon and the streets are vibrant with men and women seeking lunch. Dr. Bell, a renowned brilliant scientist, takes his son by the hand and walks across the bridge and over to the terminal machines to buy tickets. His son liked riding the commuter airbus, but he also liked the cold treat his father always bought for him when they arrived at the bay area across the city. Dr. Bell let go of his son's hand for a moment and punched in some numbers on the machine, he grabbed their tickets and turned around only to discover his son had disappeared among the sea of bodies. He searched frantically, yelling his name and stretching his neck. He ran back to the bridge where he heard a commotion. Down below on the street he saw a pack of people gathering around the street. He rushed to the crowd, pushed himself to the center and saw his son lying on the ground next to a car.

Virtual World

The virtual environment is constructed by Dr. Bell's son, who is in a deep coma. The objects, people, and places in the space are based off his memories from the real world, therefore, the environment first appears to be missing details, like the blank faces of strangers, buildings without interiors, or doors that open to nothing. The edges of his constructed world are governed by the extent of what he can remember from the real world, for example a street he no longer knows may travel infinitely into the distance, or buildings begin to repeat until they all look the same, like the apartment sector. However, as the story progresses, his son begins to consciously shape the world around him, like substituting the motorcycle on the street with something more reminiscent of his toy motorcycle at home or plugging in other images from his memory into places he does not recognize. For example, when he opens the door to a building in the unexplored area, inside he sees the old house he used to live in. His childlike view on the real world is also depicted through the larger scaling of the buildings, the airbus, and the ships on the bay area.

At one point, Dr. Bell asks his son if he has any memories of his mother, but she passed away when he was very young and he can't remember her face.

The Real World

It is the year 2091 and Dr. Bell is leading the way in the field of neurology in New York City. Due to his advanced understanding of the mind, he was chosen to be part of developing the world's first virtual reality machine and moved across the country to Silicon City, CA, with his son.

New Rennaisance

This is my map of a city in this world I'm calling "New Rennaisance." It was really fun making this map, it really pushed all of the limits of my knowledge of Photoshop I had.

I'm a particular fan of low fantasy type of stuff so I didn't go too extreme in future or past. This would be a few hundred years into our worlds future. A new age has come, New Rennaisance takes place at the beginning of new technology that can cure the world of all of its diseases: hunger, labor, medicine, and warfare. The world is the product between the emergence of people and technology, but it's not dystopic. There is zealous fundamentalism against this new step in technology and political turmoil. Most of all financial turmoil. Because of the public awareness of it all, riots have broken out among parts of the city and corporations have turned the way of gangs. Though now under martial law, there is tension throughout this city. Areas are very dangerous while others are upperclass safe-havens.
Few factions demand technological progress while others will kill to stop it.

Examples of this cutting edge technology will be seen throughout New Rennaisance, like robotic implants, warp technology, advanced genetic engineering, the dawn of androids, manufacturing.

In short, imagine the earth in startrek right before it became a utopia. This would be the few decades transitioning into a united technological world.

The city is called Newlo Odessa (random name). It's divided into 5 districts.

-Port District

This is where all of the laborers work, there are few buildings in this district, though few they make up for in size. Few of the factories go deep into the ground acting as mines. The primary sources of labor are fishing, mining, and manufacturing. Many of the laborers live in the dormitories in a few of these buildings but most of them commute from Lower Oldtown. This is also the source of importing and exporting.

-Financial District

This is the upperclass business district, the by-standards will be clothed in suits. Many of the businessmen live in the waterfront district. Most of the public haven't been beyond the borders of the financial district in years since the declaration of martial law. There are few towering buildings that can be seen in the horizon without windows.

-Waterfront District

This is the Malibu of Newlo Odessa, there are high-scale stores and large condo complexes overlooking


Not as nice as the Waterfront district uptown houses the middleclass and some historic buildings.


Most of Newlo Odessa populates these areas, though because of oldtown being the mouth of the metro and sewer system, oldtowners populate between the crevices of the whole city, and parts of the underground. This is the lowerclass portion of the city, it's aesthetically pleasing historic buildings have unfortunately been covered by a layer of new city in attempt to make room for overpopulation. The earliest settlers founded oldtown upon the formation of Newlo Odessa and is therefore the oldest part of the city, thusly named "oldtown" The lower portion of Oldtown is where most of the people live but many of upper-lowerclass live on the upper part of the city, this is also where some of the labor is provided.

Crab Claw Island

Crab Claw Island is a remote island in the south pacific, untouched and unknown to humans. It is home to various species of flightless birds, much like the ones found in Australia and New Zealand. However, one species has evolved to become very intelligent (probably evolved in a similar vein of intelligence as the "Kea" of New Zealand.) Their intelligence is unlike any other bird in the world, so great that they have even begun to make a sort of primitive tribal society, unique to their environment.

They share the island with other inhabitants as well. Their main foe is a predatory creature, akin to the prehistoric "terror-bird," only smaller, and also unique to the island. These two species are in constant conflict with one another.


MapTopical Map

Todd Pittman, a man from Cincinnatti, OH, falls asleep behind the wheel on I-71. He wakes in a city he's never seen or heard of before.

The society that inhabits Ciel is based in fantasy, worshipping mathematics as its religion, disinterested in beliefs identified as faith-based. The city is carved out of a mountain's peak, structured to follow the Fibonacci Spiral. Though Pittman has never seen anything like this city and the people who live in it, they have encountered humans before. The people resemble the mythological depictions of angels, perhaps in the same way dolphins and manatees have been mistaken for mermaids. There are other mountaintop cities like this one, but Ciel is the focus of this project.

This design bible will represent Pittman's encounters and observations of Ciel and its people as he tries to learn where he is and how to get home.

Pit City

Pit City Design:
The two major objects of the story centers around the large tower and the city under the giant pit. The tower represents the world's wealth and is the utopia of the Earth. However, all of the richness of the tower is supported by draining the labor from the pit city. down below the ground, they drill for energy and minerals for sustaining the richness of the upper level. The two levels are isolated from each other and have each developed its own culture. Below the tower, there is a large garden that sustains the scarce plant life on the planet. To the people down below, the tower isn't a utopia, but rather a figure of oppression.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Colony 117

Key Points:
-General Terraforming Corporation wins contract to assess newly discovered planet Antaeus and its three moons for possible human habitation.
-Only the moon Tyche seems promising, as it appears to possess a vast network of lakes and rivers.
-GenTerra, corp. establishes Colony 117 on the surface of Tyche.
-Veins of iridescent blue-green organic growth spread across surface, stemming from central point in moon’s core. This is the ‘water’ seen from orbit.
-Organism’s cells contain 1000’s of chromosomes, and a redundant genome, making it almost infinitely mutable.
- Colony scientists genetically modify the Tyche organisms, combine them with mechanical systems, and incorporate them into the infrastructure of the colony.
-Moon itself is discovered to be a single super-organism made up of billions of colonies of specialized cells, much like a coral reef.
-Seasons are dictated by the lifecycle of the planetary organisms, including a “Sporing-Time” when all surface organisms on the moon simultaneously release their spores into the air to reproduce, creating a perpetual dense haze across the world.
-Spores are found to be extremely resilient, and can seed any carbon-based lifeform with the Tyche organism if inhaled/absorbed. If taken in, the Tyche organism will merge it's DNA with the host's, taking over the host's body in a short time. 
-The moon’s core is thought to be a dense neural network, in effect, a colossal organic supercomputer half the size and weight of Earth’s own moon. 
-GenTerra hopes to be able to modify the genetic code of Tyche's core, with the goal of harnessing the moon's organic systems to create self-sustaining, biomechanical industrial and military facilities. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcome to thebog for IL 347: Advanced Concept Art, Spring 2011 semester

I am your host: Sean A. Murray

Please refer to the page entitled "Syllabus" for the class Syllabus, and the page "Assignments" to find out the current assignment, and when it is due. Since this information is always available, there should be no reason why you shouldn't know what class policies are, or what the current assignment requirements are.

You MUST post your work on the blog BEFORE CLASS in order to have it reviewed for grading. Failing to do so could result in a lower grade.... so please don't forget.

On with the show!