Manifest Destiny is a personal project I began in September 2009, in an effort to develop a game idea that would require myriad concept design opportunities and challenges. I have written a basic story and gameplay abstract to set up parameters within which I could design various game assets and art direction. Below is a summary of my vision for the game, but it serves only to establish a framework on which I am building the visual concepts. Feel free to read the summary if you are interested, but otherwise jump on ahead to the designs.
Manifest Destiny takes place in mankind's distant future. As a solution to the overpopulation of Earth in the year 2079 EC (Earth Continuum), mankind sent vessels to the far reaches of space in hopes of finding a new home planet. One of the early expeditions discovered a likely candidate orbiting Alpha Centauri, a star similar to Earth's sun. They named the planet Alpha Centauri IV (AC-IV) and sent a colonization ship not long after. Inexplicably, however, they lost contact with the first expedition soon after the ship had landed on AC-IV. The game begins as the player joins one of the two factions being sent on a second expedition.
Axis Industries, a politically autonomous industrial giant located on a facility orbiting Earth, has hired Deepspace Security Consultants (DSC), a private military security firm, to secure their industrial interests on the new planet. Thulium, a metal rare on earth, has been found in abundance on AC-IV, and Axis Industries contracts DSC to stake their claim there before other expeditions arrive. DSC is extremely well-funded and operate outside of any Earth-based jurisdiction.
The United Earth Corps (UEC), an organization similar to today's United Nations, sends a military force to AC-IV to investigate the prior expedition's disappearance and to establish a safe landing zone for future colonization efforts. They are not as well-funded as DSC, and they operate under strict international guidelines, but they tend to stand on higher moral ground than the other faction.
Both factions arrive and are confronted by a hostile race of creatures who are set on defending their home planet from invasion at any cost. Players will have the opportunity to begin one of three campaigns and choose a side in this three-sided conflict. Each campaign will present players with unique incentives and objectives based on the motivation of its faction's point of view.
I see Manifest Destiny as a third-person squad-based action shooter. Gameplay would incorporate an online cooperative squad structure in which players would team up online to compete against other player squads, each squad pursuing opposing mission objectives. The outcomes of each battle would dictate the progression of the player's campaign/narrative, so every time the player plays through the game, he or she has a different experience.