The MMO Gamer is featuring a Dev Diary by NetDevil's programmer, Steve Hartmeyer, who delves into the ship development process within Jumpgate Evolution and more:
Ship development in Jumpgate Evolution is more a story of our art pipeline than anything else. Many of the ship roles derive from standard types that were set in Jumpgate Classic, and we've only just begun modifications to our codebase that will support the variations we want that will be specific to Jumpgate Evolution. The process of putting a new ship into the game begins with generation of a style, then a concept for the specific ship asset. A model is built from the concept and put into a form that our render engine can use. Finally, stats are chosen that will define the ship in-game, at which point it's ready to be flown. The entire sequence generally takes several days of work for each of the artists involved, and the stats for ships certainly won't be considered final until the game releases, if then.
Our ship design process actually began more than a year ago, when Kirk Lunsford, our concept artist, joined the Evolution team and was tasked with creating new styles for each of the nations in the game. Over a period of several weeks, he chose general forms for each nation based on background information he was given about their cultures and outlook. Once these styles passed team review and became the "look" of each nation, Kirk began developing specific designs suited to different ship roles, such as fighters or transports. These each start as black silhouette drawings, with value and hotspot glows gradually shaded in. Kirk typically paints dozens of these in a group, but only a tenth to a third are chosen for detailed work-up.
Read the rest at MMO-Gamer.com