Stellaris Dev Diary #231 - Aquatics Portraits and Art

dd231.png

written by Fenni Johansson, Hanna Johansson, and Nicolas Lennman

Hi! My name is Fenni and I’m an Art Producer for Stellaris.

Today, I will talk a bit about our art processes and give you a little behind-the-scenes look at how our amazing team of artists worked when creating the Aquatics species!

Exploring the narrative​

When creating a new species, we first start by exploring the theme, story and narrative of the species. When creating a character inspired by an existing animal, we also first explore why this animal looks the way it does and what specific characteristics we can identify. How did the animal evolve to look like this? How has the environment it lives in shaped it’s appearance and behaviour? This helps us understand what elements and why something looks and feels the way it does, and we can use it as inspiration for creating an alien species.

For example, we can start by exploring the deep sea as a source of inspiration. Our team of artists start by looking at what common identifiers can be found in deep sea creatures, and what emotions they convey. This helps us create a strong narrative. We always explore several different narratives and sources of inspiration, and we use these to create unique characters.

Below is an example of one of these narrative explorations, when our artists explored the deep sea:

1.png

Here our amazing artists defined some identifiers and shared visuals between deep sea creatures, and what emotions they convey. This helps us understand how we can create unique species that also clearly tells the story of a "deep sea dweller".

After identifying these kinds of themes, materials, and narratives, our team uses it to create individual characters.

Telling a story with visuals​

While we always make sure to stay true to the overall theme of the species, we also focus on making sure each character is unique and tells their own story, conveying a range of different emotions using their visual language. Small changes in a character's design, shape, silhouette can help convey completely different emotions and characteristics. As an example of how we explore how positions, silhouettes and shapes convey different emotions, let's have a look at the exploration process for creating one of our new aliens!

This is an exploration of an alien which was based on crustaceans:
2.png

Made by art director Frida Eriksson and artist Emma Jonsson

As you can see, the artists explored several different uses of poses and silhouettes to convey a range of emotions. This is important to explore at the beginning of the species creation process, to make sure we create a cohesive visual language that’s in line with the emotion and story we want the character to convey.

After our artists have settled on a narrative and direction for a species, they start sketching up some more defined concepts.

Concepting​

During the concepting phase, the artists explore a lot of different directions before settling on a design that conveys the right visuals and story. Let’s look at another example!

Below we have some detailed explorations of a squid-like species.

Like mentioned before, we first decide what narrative and emotions we base our characters on. For our Squidbert here, our artists wanted the species to specifically convey three different emotions; Enigmatic, Friendly and Hyper-intelligent.

3.png

Made by art director Frida Eriksson and artist Emma Jonsson

Several different directions are explored before deciding on a final design.Our artists did a fantastic job with exploring how to convey that this species fits the narrative described before - enigmatic, friendly and hyper-intelligent.

Rendering​

After creating the final design, our artists get to work with creating a render and adding some values and more details to the design. During this stage, the artist needs to work out the light and shadows. They also need to add more detailed materials.
Let’s take a look at our Aquatic Machine Portrait for an example of what a final concept design looks like, and what it looks like after the first step in the rendering process!

4.png

Made by art director Frida Eriksson and artist Emma Jonsson

To the left, you can see the final design and thumbnail. To the right, you can see the rendered version with added values - showing a lot more detail when it comes to lights, shadows and materials.

Colorizing & Refining​

After that is done, our artists need to refine the rendering and add some colour variations! Our artists take very careful considerations with what colors to use. It all needs to fit the overall theme and connect to the narrative! The species design needs a narrative red thread through all steps from start to finish, and color variations play an important role in that.

5.png

Made by art director Frida Eriksson and artist Emma Jonsson

Our incredibly talented artists spent a lot of time polishing the colours. They used colors and materials found in our oceans as a main source of inspiration, to make sure even the color variations were aligned with our overall theme.

After this, our artists spend some additional time refining the render and making sure it looks good in-game.

Here are some final in-game versions of the portraits I talked about in this diary!

6.png
7.png
8.png

What’s next?​

After all that, we’re not quite done yet! We still need to create some clothes for the characters, and most importantly - we need to bring them to life by animating them!
Continue reading and our amazing animator Hanna will walk you through that process..

And portraits and characters aren't the only thing our artists have worked on for the Aquatic Species Pack - they’ve also done quite a bit of other illustrations as well! Nico, our fantastic 2D artist, will show you how he created a new illustration for an event chain in the game further down.

I hope you had fun reading a bit about the process of how species are made! It has been an absolute pleasure to work with this team of incredible artists, and I’m so excited to get to share some of their work with you all.

Portraits & Animation​


And now it’s time for some portraits and specifically portrait animations. My name is Hanna Johansson and I did the animations for the aquatic species pack.

So when the portraits land in my lap this is kind of what they look like; a dissected version of the original concept. This is called a paper doll. For me to be able to animate the portrait the artists need to chop the portrait up into smaller pieces that I turn into individual meshes. Sounds brutal I know, but I promise you that they feel no pain and the other part of my job is to patch them up again. Next, I add some nice topology so that the character will deform in a good-looking way.

9.png
10.png

Two different color variations of the shark boy​

The next step is to place the meshes so that the character becomes whole again, now shark boy feels much better. Next, I add the skeleton. I place the joints where I want the character to bend or deform to make the character come alive as much as possible. One thing that I do before skinning is placing controls by all the joints. I personally don’t like to animate directly on the joints because they don’t have zero transformation values. By adding controls and constraining them to the joints I have a clean slate to put my keyframes on. Once I’ve added the controls, I skin the meshes to the joints and bada bing, bada boom, the rig is complete!

11.png

12.png

13.png

Mesh placement, joint placement and adding controls

Now it’s time for the fun stuff: Animation. When it came to animating the aquatic portraits I really wanted to capture the feeling of characters being underwater. I added a lot of slow and flowy movements and looked at some cool references, like videos of fabric moving underwater and of course, a lot of fish videos. For the portraits we create about 3-5 idles that the characters can switch between. This is so that the movements don't become too repetitive and it also gives an opportunity to create an idle that’s more reactive or moves a lot more, but doesn’t play as often, so it becomes distracting.

To finish off, I’ll show you my top 3 animations that I did for aquatics. These were the ones I found the most fun to animate and made me feel the most inspired when I saw the design of them.

Slimey Slime Boy

Deep Sea Dweller

Crab People… Crab People

2D Art​

Hi!

My name is Nicolas Lennman and I am a UI/2D artist working on the Aquatic species pack. In this dev diary I will show you a rough process of how we approach the making of event images for Stellaris.

Starting off we (the artists that is) are handed a short brief of what kind of story the event image will try to convey. In this case, we have the new aquatic space dragon which is looming out in space.

The very first step to creating a more elaborate illustration like this is to create a bunch of simple composition sketches. Just to get a good idea of the basic layout of the illustration, where are the major shapes and values placed. Most of the time one would make a bunch of these quick iterations and pick out the best one.

14.png

The next step is to draw the illustration. For me personally, spending quite some time here really helps in the next few steps of the painting. Luckily for me in this case I had a lot of great references to work from provided by our great concept artists and 3D-artists

15.png

The third step is to make a black&white render. This is to flesh out the shapes and areas of light and shadow. Some artists refer to this workflow as an “occlusion pass”.

16.png

In the next, fourth step, I apply the general colors on top of the previous occlusion pass. Here I spend some time making sure to find nice color compositions and colors that compliment each other. Like in this case how the blue/green of the dragon compliments the red/purple of the background.

17.png

The final fifth step is by far the step that takes the most time. It's the refining stage where all the details, effects and major lights are added. It seems like quite the large leap from the previous stages, but these were crucial to have an easy transition into this stage. The last step is to adjust the values and colors and make sure the illustration really pops!

18.png

Thanks for reading! Wishlist the Aquatics Species Pack on Steam!
 

Attachments

  • 9.png
    9.png
    202,8 KB · Views: 0
  • 10.png
    10.png
    199,3 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:
  • 90Like
  • 33Love
  • 7
Reactions:

Primarch Victus

Captain
20 Badges
Feb 10, 2017
471
337
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
That's why I think there should be a new psychic origin that represents the most basic level of psychic power on a species. That could help account for an underwater species (or a species without opposable thumbs) developing tools.

That would not change anything. Your psionc aliens still would need free oxygen, fire and electricity to develop technology!
 
  • 2Haha
  • 1
Reactions:

Primarch Victus

Captain
20 Badges
Feb 10, 2017
471
337
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
Our technology necessarily reflects the environment it was developed in. Alien technology will necessarily reflect the environment it was developed in.

Your argument boils down to "if it doesn't occur in my sample size of one then it is by definition impossible". You call that logic?
No, my argument boils down to: the universe is ruled by the same laws, be here on Earth or elsewhere -- i.e: if something like creating technology underwater don't work or is impossible here on Earth, it won't work or be possible in any other world of the universe.

This is called common sense, my friend. And that means the universe is ruled by logic, not magic.
 
  • 4Haha
  • 1
Reactions:

Sam Illingworth

Second Lieutenant
72 Badges
May 29, 2018
190
91
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Tyranny: Gold Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Victoria 3 Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Magicka
That would not change anything. Your psionc aliens still would need free oxygen, fire and electricity to develop technology!
So you know every possible permutation of “technology” that could exist anywhere in the universe, and it would always go along exactly the same lines as that which your species developed here on Earth? That’s rather arrogant, don’t you think?
 
  • 3
Reactions:

Sam Illingworth

Second Lieutenant
72 Badges
May 29, 2018
190
91
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Tyranny: Gold Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Victoria 3 Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Magicka
No, my argument boils down to: the universe is ruled by the same laws, be here on Earth or elsewhere -- i.e: if something like creating technology underwater don't work or is impossible here on Earth, it won't work or be possible in any other world of the universe.

This is called common sense, my friend. And that means the universe is ruled by logic, not magic.
It’s called your arrogance and narrow-mindedness my friend.
 
  • 3
Reactions:

Primarch Victus

Captain
20 Badges
Feb 10, 2017
471
337
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
No, it's not. This is called "logic"; it's called "using your brain". ALL technology -- be here or elsewhere -- will evolve along the same lines and follow the exact same laws of nature.
And personally, I prefer a sci-fi universe that follows logic and common sense over one where things like stone or crystal aliens and full aquatic aliens using advanced tech are only possible because "it's cool".

Those things can be "cool", but they also are proof of lack of imagination and creativity.
 
  • 5
  • 1Haha
Reactions:

oreopirate

Second Lieutenant
37 Badges
May 1, 2016
184
251
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
Are you saying you wouldn't recognise a picture of underwater, only a video? I think you'd recognise a picture. I think the lighting would be key.

Even if it did need to be animated, that just means they should have gotten some devs involved and updated the game to allow animated backgrounds in that view.
No, what I am saying is that what is an underwater picture on earth could pass as an above ground picture on a planet with alien life and a completely different evolutionary track and history to ours. So unless you tint the back ground, or put air bubbles in the background, and keep in mind that the backgrounds are on a large scale, of at least several kilometers, how do you know it's water, other than saying "Oh this is water."? Unless you want a background of just flat sand.

You only get lighting like that in the first few dozen meters of surface. So you'd end up with a city, with some light streaks above it. That's it. You won't get this magnificnet marbled city of light. Possible in Stellaris 2, and maybe even in Stellaris 1 is they ever deem it possible/ worth the overhaul.

They did get the devs involved, because the group working on the aquatic species pack has devs in it. Most likely, they determined that it'd either be impossible, or take too much from other content to justify doing it.
As much as animated backgrounds would be cool; if it would take 60 man hours to properly code, bugfix and/ or engine update to do, that isn't worth it in my eyes.
 
  • 4
Reactions:

Sam Illingworth

Second Lieutenant
72 Badges
May 29, 2018
190
91
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Tyranny: Gold Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Victoria 3 Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Magicka
No, what I am saying is that what is an underwater picture on earth could pass as an above ground picture on a planet with alien life and a completely different evolutionary track and history to ours. So unless you tint the back ground, or put air bubbles in the background, and keep in mind that the backgrounds are on a large scale, of at least several kilometers, how do you know it's water, other than saying "Oh this is water."? Unless you want a background of just flat sand.

You only get lighting like that in the first few dozen meters of surface. So you'd end up with a city, with some light streaks above it. That's it. You won't get this magnificnet marbled city of light. Possible in Stellaris 2, and maybe even in Stellaris 1 is they ever deem it possible/ worth the overhaul.

They did get the devs involved, because the group working on the aquatic species pack has devs in it. Most likely, they determined that it'd either be impossible, or take too much from other content to justify doing it.
As much as animated backgrounds would be cool; if it would take 60 man hours to properly code, bugfix and/ or engine update to do, that isn't worth it in my eyes.
That might be literally, technically true, in that you wouldn't technically be able to say for sure that said lighting effects must be liquid ocean rather than just an alien atmosphere, and what I'm describing might be unrealistic, at least here on earth, but I think it could easily *evoke* the feeling of underwater, and that's what matters. Stellaris isn't about hard science after all.

If they had devs on the project then it just seems lazy not to update the backdrop system. It's not like it'd need to be true 3D or full motion video. A few layers of subtly moving 2D images is all it would take to make a nice animated effect.

And even if they couldn't be bothered doing that, even if we have to live with the buildings just existing on the surface, they could at least have updated the system to let them poke out of the water rather than sitting on the land just like non-aquatics. That was incredibly lazy.

You might think that's a frivolous thing to spend developer time on, but I say this is essentially a frivolous DLC, it's all about flavour and aesthetics, so it's exactly the place for such effort. They're charging for it, so they should put the work in.

Imagine if they took this approach to a gas giant species pack!
 
  • 5
Reactions:

Primarch Victus

Captain
20 Badges
Feb 10, 2017
471
337
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
Personally, I think that we don't need a DLC that just adds "flavor and aesthetics". We DLCs that add interesting content.

Jee wizz, you sure do know a lot, mister!
The laws of physics are the same everywhere! And once that technology only works accordingly with the laws of physics, it will evolve along the same lines -- i.e: you cannot create technology without dominating fire and electricity first and that only is possible in a free oxyfgen environment.

Now please, let's end this useless discussion, ok? We already know that, -- due to limitations of the engine -- there is no way of creating the aquatic effects that you so arrogantly demand. So accept that you will not have your precious underwater civilization and move on.
 
  • 4Haha
  • 1
Reactions:

Sam Illingworth

Second Lieutenant
72 Badges
May 29, 2018
190
91
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Tyranny: Gold Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Victoria 3 Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Magicka
Personally, I think that we don't need a DLC that just adds "flavor and aesthetics". We DLCs that add interesting content.


The laws of physics are the same everywhere! And once that technology only works accordingly with the laws of physics, it will evolve along the same lines -- i.e: you cannot create technology without dominating fire and electricity first and that only is possible in a free oxyfgen environment.

Now please, let's end this useless discussion, ok? We already know that, -- due to limitations of the engine -- there is no way of creating the aquatic effects that you so arrogantly demand. So accept that you will not have your precious underwater civilization and move on.
You just genuinely made me lol! :D
 

oreopirate

Second Lieutenant
37 Badges
May 1, 2016
184
251
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
That might be literally, technically true, in that you wouldn't technically be able to say for sure that said lighting effects must be liquid ocean rather than just an alien atmosphere, and what I'm describing might be unrealistic, at least here on earth, but I think it could easily *evoke* the feeling of underwater, and that's what matters. Stellaris isn't about hard science after all.

If they had devs on the project then it just seems lazy not to update the backdrop system. It's not like it'd need to be true 3D or full motion video. A few layers of subtly moving 2D images is all it would take to make a nice animated effect.

And even if they couldn't be bothered doing that, even if we have to live with the buildings just existing on the surface, they could at least have updated the system to let them poke out of the water rather than sitting on the land just like non-aquatics. That was incredibly lazy.

You might think that's a frivolous thing to spend developer time on, but I say this is essentially a frivolous DLC, it's all about flavour and aesthetics, so it's exactly the place for such effort. They're charging for it, so they should put the work in.

Imagine if they took this approach to a gas giant species pack!

Yes, it's at best soft science. Hence why I don't understand why this matters so much to people. This is such a minor detail, and if this what makes or breaks a species pack for you... To me, it just seems silly for that to be your breaking point.
EDIT: To be clear, this is like saying "Because Necroid origin backgrounds aren't at night and illuminated by a spooky moon, the devs are lazy."

Yes, I agree with you. This is a species pack. All species packs are by definition frivolous DLC. That said, it is a frivolous DLC that I'll enjoy, in part because of the hydrocentric perk. Do you need necrophages to play Stellaris? Or Lithoids? No. They are fun, but not required and your gameplay experience is not any less for not having them. Hence frivolous.

This is the approach they have had to all species after Lithoids, so this is hardly surprising. If this approach surprises and shocks you, that's on you for not paying attention. Each species pack comes with a slightly different way of playing the game.
 
Last edited:
  • 2
Reactions:

Had a dad

V g H
Moderator
210 Badges
Sep 5, 2008
25.370
3.226
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Limited Collectors Edition
  • Diplomacy
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Prison Architect
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • BATTLETECH - Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 -  Back to Hell
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • VtM - Bloodlines 2
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings III Referal
  • PDXCon 2019 "Baron"
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 3 Sign Up
  • Elven Legacy Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Elven Legacy
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 Deluxe Edition
  • PDXCON 2017 Standard Ticket holder
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
a couple people no longer can post in this thread....
 
  • 2Like
  • 1
Reactions: