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Set of Phidi ship assets for Sven Olsen's starship combat game project (same as ship designs here). Updated with the second set, including the colony ship and heavy carrier.

The Phidi are an aquatic race of traders. They have essentially three multipurpose hulls: courier, tradeship and supership, which are modular and can be configured for warfare, commerce, or anything in between. The Phidi prefer to hire alien mercenaries to do most of their fighting for them.

Being aquatic, the habitation sections for the Phidi are filled with seawater. The caustic pattern on the sea pods is animated in the game engine; it looks pretty cool.

Stars in Shadow: Phidi Scientist by AriochIV 

See the Phidi concept sketches here.
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A batch of Gremak ship assets for the Stars in Shadow game project, in both "Imperial" and "Marauder" color schemes.

Gremak warships can be observed in two very distinct color schemes: the ivory and gold livery of the Gremak Imperial Fleet, and the infamous red and yellow warpaint of the Marauders. The Marauders exist on the fringes of the Gremak empire, living by piracy and raiding neighboring aliens for slaves and plunder. The Gremak imperial government disavows any affiliation with the Marauders and maintains that they are a outlaw faction, but it is a poorly-kept secret that the destination for Marauder-taken slaves is often the estates of the Gremak aristocracy.

edit 1/6/14: added carriers and colony ships
edit 1/9/14: added battleships and escort cruisers
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These are the Orthin ship assets for the Stars in Shadow game project (same as ship designs here). Rather than post a second image, I've added the second batch to the first. Starting at upper left and working around clockwise in a spiral to the center are: escort cruiser, troop transport, carrier, gunships (with small and large cannons), battlecruiser, empty "framework" cruiser hull, civilian transport, colony ship, empty gunship hull, destroyer, scout, heavy cruiser, and dreadnought.

The Orthin ships are a bit more complicated than the Ashdaar (Hawk) ships in that they're more modular and have more moving parts. The heavy beam weapons retract behind gunports, the yellow power systems pulse, and the water caustic pattern on the colony ship is animated. They will also eventually have a shield capacitor that charges up visually as it absorbs energy.

Stars in Shadow: Orthin portrait by AriochIV 

(update 7/9/2014: added updated weapons.)
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Some carrier designs for Sven Olsen's starship combat game project (same as ship designs here). Cruiser at lower left included for scale.
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One of a series of illustrations of planetary installations for Sven Olsen's starship combat game project (same as ship designs here).

And yes, I'm aware of the resemblance to the ion cannon in Empire Strikes Back.
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Artwork for the Stars in Shadow game project.

These are weapon assets for the Human fleet, and some shot effect concepts. 

In the game, you research technologies that unlock increasingly larger ship hulls and increasingly more sophisticated weapons. Each hull contains varying number and sizes of empty hardpoints, in which the player can place their choice of weapons that they've researched. Some weapons have heavy or point defense ("PD") variants. For a simplified view of the weapon tech tree see here

Each race will have its own set of weapon visuals, though some of the individual items may be recolors of this generic set. Some races will also have unique weapons.

Weapon Types Description


Weapon damage is classified into four basic types:
  • Heat: basic beam damage type, can be countered by special conductive or ablative armor; damage decreases with range
  • Kinetic: projectiles such as coilguns or railguns are shield-piercing weapons; damage is constant with range but hit chance falls off rapidly with range
  • Explosive: missiles and plasma weapons have explosive effects that can splash across shields and damage armor
  • Charged: electrically charged weapons like ion beams can cause additional internal damage
The damage types of different weapons and their placement in the tech tree can be seen at the bottom of this image.

Notes on Individual Weapon Systems (keeping in mind that everything is still subject to change):

Laser: basic tier 1 beam weapon
Turbolaser: advanced tier 2 laser; alternative to ion beam
X-ray laser: armor-piercing laser variant
Disruptor: causes additional crew casualties
Ion Beam: tier 2 charged beam
Neutron Beam: can cause crippling effects
Fusion Beam: advanced tier 3 beam weapon
Plasma Cannon: tier 2 heavy explosive beam
Hellbore: tier 3 advanced explosive beam
Force Beam: tier 3 kinetic beam weapon
Stellar Surge Beam: tier 4 ultra-tech doom star weapon

Atomic Missile: tier 0 explosive projectile
Coilgun: tier 1 kinetic weapon
Fusion Missile: tier 1 explosive projectile
Railgun: tier 2 longer-ranged kinetic weapon
Antimatter Missile: tier 2 explosive projectile
Pulson: tier 3 energy torpedo
Black Hole Projector: tier 4 ultra-tech projectile

(edit 7/10/14: added third-tier weapons.)
(edit 8/21/14: added weapon types description to the comments.)
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These are recolors for the homeworld faction (Imperial Remnant) of the Ashdar, done as part of the revamp for the Ashdar ship assets to bring them up to the standard of the rest of the fleets. Most of the original versions were done about three years ago when we were still making things up as we went, especially as regards weapons mounts, but now they adhere to the standard modular conventions that we've developed over that time, and the weapons art has been updated as well. You can see the Colonial version colors here.

Stars in Shadow: Ashdar Ships (Revised) by AriochIV 


The Ashdar are a reptiloid race composed of at least two sub-species: the plucky Teros and the taller, more somber Haduir. In the golden age before the coming of darkness and the collapse of the warp lanes, the Ashdar forbears commanded a galaxy-spanning empire and advanced technologies that are now only the stuff of legend. As the galaxy wakes from its long sleep, the Ashdar find themselves as isolated factions stranded amongst the remains of a lost empire.

The Colonial faction, led by Teros Praetor Yunki, has established a new capital on the garden world of Rastaban II in what was the ancient frontier, and is intent on reestablishing the Ashdar as a galactic power. The Imperial Remnant faction still clings to the ruins of the ancient capital on Ashdar Prime, once a planet-sized city, but now a crumbling graveyard. Haduir Emperor Heiropolin XXIV, who claims descent from the Ashdar emperors of old, rules the Remnant from this ancient throne, and also retains ambitions of empire.

The Ashdar are superb pilots and have an affinity for carrier warfare. Despite their pretensions of elder empire, individual Asdhar are good-natured and relate well with other species. Both the Colonial and Remnant factions each have both Teros and Haduir populations, and both use similar ship designs derived from ancient examples. The Colonials have the benefit of frontier experience and trade, while the Remnant have access to Ashdar Prime's technology crypts and the ancient secrets they still contain.

Stars in Shadow: More Ashdar Portraits by AriochIV 

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Concept art for Stars in Shadow, of how stars and planets are represented in the game.

** WARNING: SCIENCE CONTENT **

In the game, star systems are abstracted to have four orbital slots, which can each have a planet or be left empty. Based on the star type (some being hotter or colder), each orbit has a heat zone which determines what kind of planet can exist in it (you can't have an iceball in a hot zone, for example). Not all orbits are valid for all star types; for example, a tiny red dwarf only has 3 orbits, to represent its smaller size, and a red giant is missing its inner two orbits, representing the fact that it is a dying star that has swelled to consume any planets that might have been in those orbits.

The planets themselves are abstracted into a range of set sizes, the terrestrial habitable worlds being in the range from small, medium, and large. The diagram at upper right shows a variety of planet types, and demonstrates how they relate to each other in terms of temperature, atmosphere thickness, and amount of surface liquid.

The "exploitation" concept addresses how the planet graphic changes due to player habitation and development. When a colony is established and as it grows, expanding cities become visible on the surface (and light up the night side). Particular types of development can change the surface; industrial development may result in visible pollution, and terraforming efforts may show the greening of otherwise barren landscapes.

You can see more planet concepts here, and how the planets actually appear ingame here.

Stars in Shadow is a space 4X strategy game currently under development. 
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Some weapon design work for Stars in Shadow: Ashdar and Orthin weapon design updates, Tier 3 weapon concepts, and a simplified overview of how the various weapon types are positioned relative to each other in the tech tree. For more weapons and beam concepts, see here.

Stars in Shadow: Weapons And Shot Effects by AriochIV 

Most weapons will have race-specific graphics, but we can also recolor the generic (Human) versions to any race, in a pinch. Different ship hulls have empty weapon hardpoints of varying sizes, and you can equip a weapon you have researched of the corresponding size in the appropriate hardpoint. Some weapons have heavy (HVY) or point-defense (PD) variants that fit larger or smaller weapon mounts. 

Stars in Shadow Gallery Index
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Design sketches for the Stars in Shadow game project.

The Yoral are relative newcomers on the galactic stage. The survivors of a climactic shift that blanketed their homeworld in ice several thousand years ago, the Yoral have proven surprisingly adaptable. Though their technology is comparatively primitive, it is extraordinarily durable, and their settlers will happily colonize worlds considered marginal or even uninhabitable by most 'civilized' races. Blunt and direct, the Yoral could be stubborn enemies or steadfast allies -- but they clearly have little patience for politicking of any sort.
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