OK first go at a weekly event, so bear with me!
Heres my idea; i figured there were lots of planet killing machines; plague makers, sun crushers, plain old thermonukes, but they dont really look like much...a plague machine could just look like a box, or a cloud... aside from giant robots the most spectacular has to be an assault from space, so this is my concept...
1997: a tiny spaceship, the size of a coke can, as black and cold as space arrives in the solar system at 2/5ths the speed of light. It swings around Jupiter and the Sun many times, slowing each time. Finally it slingshots out to arrive gently at an asteroid. It bores into the asteroid dirt and buries itself and begins to make things.
2012: an asteroid heads toward the earth. heroic space shuttle missions and a direct nuclear assault have failed to deflect the rock from its path. giant lasers focussed on its surface havent helped either. it will impact in 2 minutes.
Years earlier, giant sails made from asteroidal carbon and silicon grow out of the object's surface and catch the faint sunlight. Gradually, the gentle light pressure pushes the asteroid out of its stable orbit onto a new path, looping into the inner solar system. no one knows why this was done, or who did it.
1 minute to impact. in 18 months time the only life on earth will be living around deep ocean vents. game over.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; March 8th, 2011 at 04:09 AM.
3d/2d Portfolio: www.oscarottosson.se
My sketchbook: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=235236
About done. Fun topic, a little surprised we don't have more peeps joining this round.
my homepage: http://www.trickstertoys.com
So.... an extention? I'll see and let you know what I think tonight.
Velocity Kendall: Welome to IDW. You have a great image and a great backstory. However, there's not much ID going on- more semi-natural design. I'm going to be terribly mean and say it looks like an asteroid with snowflakes on it. I know, I'm cruel, kill me later please. Your oiginal coke can spaceship would be delightful to see I'm sure, and even the process of how and what "things" it makes would be interesting. Orthos and diagrams are definitely allowed if they help explain.
dragon4lunch: I think adding a bit more atmosphere and lightening up the background just a touch might help keep the bot from mixing into the bg, especially around the "shoulders". Some rim lighting from the lighning gun thingie onto the assorted rubble in the foreground might help with some depth as well.
"However, there's not much ID going on- more semi-natural design. I'm going to be terribly mean and say it looks like an asteroid with snowflakes on it."
Being 'mean' in saying theyre like snowflakes is like me being mean in saying cars have 4 wheels. I mean, where's there meanness? they do look like snowflakes, for a reason. theyre white to extract max delta-v from light hitting them, for example. and theyre fractally self similar so if you blow a bit off, its cool, it can go one working.. so i designed them as machines to do a thing... hence industrial design
as for how the seed makes things; it would spread out a web of infrastructure (the faint white lines of the surface of the 'roid) and build the smallest componants of larger machiens that eventually build the structural componants of the sails. like a plant made from silicon and diamond. im confused as to the difference beween industrial and "seminatural" design. look at a road network and it resembles the blood vessles in your brain for practical reasons...
i think youre prejudiced toward clanking robots what your crit is rrally saying is, unless its got tracks and a big laser its not industrial design. nothing wrong with a clanking machine, but you'd need millions and millions of them to kill billions of people. And machines dont need to clank even today let alone in the future.: think iphones... we already have wireless tech but our idea of sci fi is STILL all wires and grease and hissing steam. I reckon machines of biological sophistication could look really strange, hence snowflakes. (they could look like anything at all i suppose)
hmm. trouble is, things just dont need to look that spectacular; a stealthed spacecraft is the definition of boring to look at. think a soot black potato.. nuclear bombs are boring looking black cones. viruses are invisible. sun killers could just be knots of bent spacetime.. if this was to be a terror weapon then its designers might make it look scary to keep people in line, but this isnt a terrorr weapon its a terminal weapon.
lemme put my thinking booze on and see what i can do...
heres a lovely vid deomnstrating gravitational slingshotting.
to brake from a significant fraction of lightspeed would require hundreds of these over years probably
of course, you could just forget the braking maouver and slam the ship into the earth at relatevistic speeds. my asteroid above is moving at maybe 4000m/s relative to the surface. But even a coke can entering the atmosphere at 20%C would probably set all of america on fire. so a relatavistic weapon could be a mass the size of a buss, totally invisible, unstoppable, and wouldnt just damage the earth it would break it into pieces.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; March 8th, 2011 at 05:50 PM.
UPDATE: I've updated my image a little. See above.
my homepage: http://www.trickstertoys.com
Velocity Kendal: I tend to use a lot of hyperbole and I think this is one case where it didn't quite come across. I am not arguing agains the sceintific validity of bio-mimicry in design and the many benifits therin, nor the design of non-terror and stealth weapons, nor the physics of gravitational slingshotting. I am questioning whether the process for the construction of the sails was a natural by-product of the collision, and if so, I would personally conclude that the design was by mother nature and therefore not designed in the most common sense of the term.
I realize that at some point in the future we will be able to design in a way that uses pretty much pure bio-chem and AI. We then start getting into arguments of whether it's the AI designing or humanity....giant sails made from asteroidal carbon and silicon grow out of the object's surface
I would be happy to see anthing that would end a civilization, as long as it was designed. I'm biased on the side of humanity vs. chem and AI- so sue me.
...but it doesn't have to. As you have mentioned, things such as stealth fighters are not flashy, but they do carry a subtle menace and exquisite percision that can be more frightening than any shock-and-awe performance. An effort to achieve this same feeling can be tried with any item- it doesn't have to be a "clanking robot" with "tracks and a big laser" or "wires and grease and hissing steam". How can we manage to give character to an emotionless and static item soley through design? The best ID in my opinion acheives it's purpose in a way that looks effortless and whole. Clanking doesn't fit in that definition- it means energy is being wasted somewhere....a plague machine could just look like a box, or a cloud
However, we have to remember this isn't quite the area for true ID. It's basicly a bandaid name for the "item" category of conceptart and as such isn't really focused on such silly things as practicality, scientific plausibility and ergonomics. If we had a scene in a game in which the players knew there was a machine that was to cause the end of a civilization and showed them your asteroid-snowflake in a futuristic game, what do you think the reactions of the players would be? It's easy to understand gun, sparks, laser. It's harder to make something more complex (like your entry) read just as well.
Oh dear, this turned a bit massive didn't it. To simplity- I wasn't attacking you. It was a comment that I hoped would help you to make an image that is easier to understand for the rest of us more simple folk.
"I am questioning whether the process for the construction of the sails was a natural by-product of the collision, and if so, I would personally conclude that the design was by mother nature and therefore not designed in the most common sense of the term. "
Ohhhhhh I seeeee! ha! i didnt explain that prperly in the drawing OR the longwinded talk. i mean theyre assembled, maybe a bit like a coral or sponge creature..only tougher!
"Clanking doesn't fit in that definition- it means energy is being wasted somewhere."
totally agree! and wasting all that steam, very expensive!
"Oh dear, this turned a bit massive didn't it. To simplity- I wasn't attacking you. It was a comment that I hoped would help you to make an image that is easier to understand for the rest of us more simple folk."
Oh no I didnt think it was an attack, ive really enjoyed this!! particularly your last post. it made a lot of sense.
i looke dthrough all the previous winners and i get the gist a bit better now for next time
also, to move an asteroid, youd need a lightsale thousands of miles wide, i wasnt thinking... d'oh
thanks for putting up with my long posts!
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; March 9th, 2011 at 10:17 AM.
Alright here's where I've gotten this far, with tomorrow evennin' left I reckon it'll be enough to push 'er far enough before movin' on.
As I mentioned earlier I started out with a different vision of things. Basically I figured what would be a cool way to get rid of an entire population ? My answer was some sort of a hypno-ray robot who exploits the inner workings of the local population and gets them to off each other, without killing a single individual. So the doombot -which gets rid of planetary populations- has no guns, no biological weapons, no nuclear-suppositories, no missiles, not even a knife. It's "doom" man, these things go around and pump out mind-melting corruptive waves that can bring out the warring or suicidal or whatever sides in "people" and they condemn themselves.
Anyway, I'll put down some details tomorrow evennin' after work, for now, this is it :
*edit : and it's come out MENTALY dark on the internet again... Why is everything black now ??