Radiant Dark: The Multi-Tool

One of the things we are introducing in the Radiant Dark remake is a multi-functional device that can stun and extract energy from zombies. One of the problems with the original game was that absorbing and dispensing energy from your hands was boring, and taking it from things such as lamps meant it was hard to create good lighting. We instead came up with the idea of a multi-tool that had modular plugins to give the player different abilities.

First I drafted some sketches for the tool. The big challenge was to make something that didn't resemble a firearm.

Then I went into Maya and started blocking out different designs.

I wanted the tool to look very mechanical and have a lot of wires. I included light bulbs on the top of the "barrel" to indicate player energy supply. The lights would go out as ammo depleted. The rings in the front kept the ammo (the floating crystals) stable, and the gadgets in the back of the tool worked to power it. The trigger was not a lever and required the user to squeeze the handle instead.

Eventually, after much critique and planning, I finalized my design. I removed the light bulbs in favor of exhaust tubes, as I figured the device would generate heat. I added a tripod in order to give it a scientific feel, implying it would be left stationed on a table or desk. I added colored lights on the top to indicate the module selected and module cartridge slots underneath (not pictured). I moved the energy balls from inside the barrel to the side of it in order to make it visible to the player in first person view. The balls are held in place by magnetic panels. Lastly I refined the syringe in the front and added a ray-gun rod in the center to fire energy.

After handing it off to Kyle Hanselman for the final prop model, some changes were made to make it fit in the world better. Many of the concepts of my design were altered to be more "industrial" and less space-age. The syringe was replaced with a steel blade, the small wires were removed, and the handle was changed to match the overall design better. The energy balls were removed as they are something the player will gather in-game.

The gun has two main functions: stun and siphon. Zombies exist in our game that have a chromatic effect that makes them invincible. The stun sends out a pulse wave that disrupts this effects, and after being shot enough times, will destroy it. From there, the player can stab the zombie with the blade end of the tool and siphon their energy for ammo.

© 2020 Chris Schickler