The Groundbreaker Engineer
This is Artillery, the second NPC in Halcyon Days.
Artillery is the main engineer of the Groundbreakers. He builds the new tools and weaponry for the individual explorers and fighters stationed in Yazmar City. His pride and joy is the cannon mounted to the side of The GroundBreakers Head Quarters. Talking to him reveals that he's quite confident that the cannon can and will keep the city safe from any Balkon escapees.
The Groundbreakers don't have a second in command on paper, but Whip trusts Artillery with more important tasks than the majority of the crew, distancing him somewhat from his colleagues.
Unlike Whip, Artillery is a bonafide Human Being. As such he wears armor when he journeys underground to study the ruins and the history of the Balkon Machines. Despite his weapons expertise he avoids combat while underground as humans are outclassed by the stalkers that rule the underground.
Behind the scenes details:
Artillery was inspired by Mega Man Volnutt which is shown in his color scheme and general look but another inspiration was Isaac Clarke of the Dead Space series, which comes across more on paper than it currently does in game. After replaying Dead Space 1 and 2 I wanted character that properly demonstrates the danger and risk that Balkon Machines pose to an ordinary person, much like Isaac does did in Dead Space. I had planned on Artillery having a more muted industrial color scheme but I couldn't make it work so I fell back to a more traditional blue and grey look.
Artillery is named after an NPC in Mega Man Legends who was meant for a bigger role in the game but his story was cut short before the game was finalized. He still hangs out on the island and can be seen in various places throughout the game. He's the blonde guy wearing suspenders. You can see him near the start of the game in the Junk Shop at Apple Market. I have a series soft spot for content cut from games and games that never released for one reason or another, and I often include references to this content in our games.
The modeling process took two days. Shorter than Whip's process since men are easier to model and I already had the armature prepared for reuse. His model still isn't final and is likely to change before release. If Artillery shows up in future updates with the details of his armor changed up don't be surprised. The kneepads are likely to change and the rails on his lower legs are likely to go entirely.
Speaking of change, Artillery's textured face is quite clearly not the same as his drawn one. To test the textured approach to facial animation I redrew Mega Man Volnutt's face textures in high resolution to measure distance and placement of the textures on the head mesh I created. His official face is still being worked on. Of import is the issue of textured on eyes looking in two different directions and generally looking wonky from most angles. It's a work in progress and we're looking forward to showing off the new face we're working on!