Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
July 27, 2012
Image Size
790 KB
Submitted with


49,756 (15 today)
806 (who?)
2,872 (1 today)
PLANETSIDE 2 Pre-Viz: M100 Lightning by ukitakumuki PLANETSIDE 2 Pre-Viz: M100 Lightning by ukitakumuki
Concept art 2012 Sony Online Entertainment LLC. SOE. All Rights Reserved.

Planetside 2 is out soon! Watch the trailer here: [link]

Current Planetside 2 design, and Planetside 1 design.

So, with the new trailer out, and the tonnes of beta footage, concept art and media floating about I think its safe to release some of my pre-viz work I did for SOE from 2009-2010. I will be releasing in the order of what is only out already in the media, and then finally once the game is 'gold' then the rest will follow in updates to come.

Planetside ([link]) was, and is, an unimaginably amazing true-MMOFPS franchise that should have taken the world by storm 9 years ago. It was the only game back then that could hold my attention for more than 7 minutes. Defending a hard-earned facility, Mass Gal drops, MAX Raids had me rushing home from school and logging on and doing my part for the TR/Vanu. Most of the defining moments of my life's gaming experience is credited to Planetside and its open-world 'sandbox' nature, allowing hundreds of players to wage epic freaking war in a 24-hour long persistent world server. The network connectively was surprisingly sharp, and the frenetic gameplay, camaraderie and immersion to be had was nothing short of exhilarating.

I eventually left the game due to the introduction of BFRs (Don't get me wrong it was fun as a Collosus killing shit and acting out my Mechwarrior fantasies on live human opponents, being a troll even before it became a popular meme, but the entire battlefield dynamic just changed too drastically for comfort. I mainly enjoyed the combat with 50% infantry, 30% armour, 20% air vehicle mix...)

Fast forward 6 years, and right after finishing up my Space Vagabonds commission and wanting to take a holiday, a phonecall came in from SOGA Taiwan. It was for a project titled Planetside Next. I think I screamed a bit. A combination of self-doubt, horror, and eventually facemelting joy followed by a frantic followup email and a test and the job was awarded to us at IFS! :) (Helped to be a fan and swearing on my life that I'd do my best to homage Planetside and update it respectfully, too.) It was then supposed to be just a revamp of Planetside, a sort of Planetside reimagined. Explains why you don't see glass cockpits on my vehicle concepts, that was an early creative decision when they weren't sure they wanted to show off the characters or not due to engine limitations (IIRC they wanted to vastly increase the player count with the same engine or something, so something had to give). I also chimed in saying it was fantastic idea, because we'd be able to create a truly hard-sci fi futuristic look where high end optics were commonplace, removing the need for fragile transparent components. A cold, hardened look that is reminiscent of drones. I still think its a great meaningful look, and I always feel kinda broken-hearted when I see how in the current iterations the cockpit areas of my designs got carved up into glass, because it was a real labour of love for myself, and the early team members (GM John Laurence, Programmer/PM Steve Wang, AD William B. Yeatts) that went into designing all that stuff.

While I may not agree aesthetically with those changes, I can definitely appreciate and understand why they went the direction of showing off glass cockpits and crew especially now that the project has the brilliant Forgelight engine to bring that world to life. (Don't get me wrong, if its an open canopied jeep or ATV by all means uncover it all, show the crew, the rawness and exposure has beauty too... just that my design approach at the time was simply based around the original principle of being a hardened cockpit coffin and the pilot buried behind layers of protection. To my mind, it is very hard to just swap a part out and change the context and expect the design to carry the same meaning anymore. Players might not ever care, but I just felt the need to say my peace on that tiny matter. :) )

So anyways, I spent almost an entire year (2009-2010) on the project. It was one of the most transformational periods of my life professionally and testing in my personal life as well; the relationships forged and artistic growth, the incredible brain drain endured along with the soaring creative highs, no money can buy any of that. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have experienced it all and especially to have worked on the project of my dreams alongside some amazing people (credited above!), the game that made me a gamer. Can't wait to show more when I can and I sincerely hope my efforts have added to the joy of fans worldwide! Long live Planetside! :)

More on this piece:
-Credit to Steve Wang/John Laurence for the copy writing and backstory unless stated otherwise.
-Concept presented in 'Nanite Grey' since its a common pool vehicle. (NS Logo designed by me)
-The idea behind the updated lightning was to feature a 'variable stance' flexible frame to handle rough terrain. The side was intentionally left looking like industrial rebar to push the lightweight 'skeletal' feel as well as to suggest later-stage armour addons like modular skirting and so on.
-The Brief was to give Nanite Systems a rather ironic 'corporate sleekness' to the design, since it is an arms manufacturer to the three factions, branding would be important to showcase its presence on the battlefields of Auraxis and beyond. I had lots of fun working in the curves and contrast between what could be made 'pretty' and what had to be left functional.
Add a Comment:
Unb3kann1 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
█░░█░█░▀▀█▀▀░█▀█ ░ █▀█
█░░█░█░░░█░░░█▀▄ ░█▀▀█
▀▀▀▀░▀▀▀░▀░░░▀░ ▀░▀░░▀
░█▀▀ ░█▀█ ░█ ░█▀▀
░█▀▀ ░█▀▀ ░█ ░█
░▀▀▀ ░▀ ░░░▀ ░▀▀▀
henrykhaung Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Man! a one heavily armored Lightning!Oh! please visit me to see my first upload!
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Really? I wanted this to look as lightweight but still as 'tanky' as possible :) The frame looking sides were my way of suggesting potential add-on armour, or conversely, to suggest this is a stripped-down version! Thank you anyway!
FrankManic Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013
SOE adopted the your basic design for the Lightning with only a few changes and I've been wondering since the game launched - Where does the pilot sit in there?
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
the most drastic change is the shift to a permanent flat-rider mode which i find ridiculous since it makes it long and unsightly. As for the pilot, he squeezes into an armoured 'bathtub' in between the forward drivetrains where there is a small cupola.
Hobbes148 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013
I loved alpha testing when the lightning was dual piece like this... was so sad when they changed it... awesome work here though, keep it up!
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry what did you mean by dual piece? Dual weapon layout or dual chassis..?
Hobbes148 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013
Sorry, meant the dual chassis, and do miss the dual weapon layout from first planetside as well.
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh wow... im really touched to know they kept it in that state during alpha... the original team are truly champs :) Did u ever get to see the Eod/minesweeper variant? Anyways, they wil be missed. Wish I could say the same for the bunch that succeeded them.
Hobbes148 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
If I remember right, I saw it listed at one point under the certifications tree and locked, but never saw it tested or even unlocked for use. 
Add a Comment: