Friday, 10 August 2012

Dead Space and Eve Online - Influences.

                                      DEAD SPACE AND EVE ONLINE Influences.

Dead Space is a futuristic horror- third person shooter and most of the action happens within the ship/space station, this means claustrophobic metal corridors, cavernous man-made metal rooms and intricate science-fiction machines/consoles. Along with the fact that it has all fallen into disrepair means it is a good example of the atmosphere, detail, look and feel we are trying to achieve.

However, the whole disrepair look to the interior of the space station would have to be kept fairly minimal, straying away from the whole dead space appearance. The space station that we want to create will be kept to a polished standard, this being because the virus outbreak had only just occurred a few days before the protagonist arrival, meaning that there's no need to add rusted metal/wear and tear to the interiors. Maybe an occasional room that's been vandalized by the space stations crazed populace with the odd dark room or corridor. Although, bodies and signs of mutilation will be incorporated into the game level to give that survival horror feel. You are not alone!

 Dead space's level design and interior will come in handy to gain an idea of how this structure could of been constructed and what materials may have been used. In order to gain first hand research of the games level design, atmospheric sounds etc, I have managed to get my hands on the game. Screenshots and notes will be taken of certain aspects to establish how the levels are put together and what makes the game so scary.

Throughout my play-through, notes will be taken of asset and other game mechanics, lighting, placing of AI, sound placement, atmospheric sounds, time of game-play per level, cut scenes, item placement, save points, respawn points, graphics, textures and so on.

Screenshots of the interiors: textures, modelling. -

Screenshots and video recordings of how asset mechanics function. (doors opening, air-locks, etc) -

Lighting - 

Game sounds -

AI - 

Level layout -

Condemned Criminal Origins

Condemned Criminal Origins - Break Down 

Brief summary -
The game revolves around a FBI agent called Ethan Thomas on the hunt for serial killer X. His MO is to killer serial killers in the same way they killer their victims. Ethan at the beginning of the game is frame by X who uses his gun to kill a cop. As the player progresses through the game they must investigate crime scenes as they hunt for X. They will have enter the under world the city as they encounter all sorts of crazies.

Lighting -

Uses lighting by darking areas to the point were a torch and certain environmental lights  have to used to see. Some areas have no lights and the player has to rely on the torch.

Ceiling lights, Moonlight, drink machines, ect

Ceiling lights and other lights can be smashed plunging the player into darkness - can be smashed by NPC

The torch only provides a certain amount of light were it is aimed - has infinite life

Sound -

Object can be heard moving and smashing behind player to draw attention

Ambient sounds outside the area can be heard

In area mostly silent to create eerie tension as the player listens out for NPC

NPC - 

These are crazy addicts, homeless people, people who have lost their mind.
Deformed humans manifested as main protagonist loses his mind
Main Antagonist Serial killer x
Unknown Deformed Human responsible for main protagonist losing his shit

The NPC will flank the player smashing through walls and surprising the player

They will smash out light and throw objects to distract

Attack and retreat to draw player into a trap

Knock objects of shelves

Investigation Elements -

Uses UV light to find substances, Hand prints

Camera to photograph evidence

Gas detector

Sampler Gun -


Investigation Video



You have to refill your lantern with oil. Oil is located through out the level and lantern is required to navigate.

Can't attack monsters leaving only option to run. This creates tension and vulnerability for the player.

Can Hide from Monsters using wardrobes or breaking the line of sight by getting behind objects.

Screen distortion, screams, hallucinations. These are used to create a atmosphere for the game and to the player on edge.  

Puzzles, collection of Items. These provide the player with a purpose and make the player think about how to approach situations.

Multiple directions and corridors to traverse This makes the player have search the level for the direction to go. It creates tension for the player as they are unaware of what around each corridor.

Two Modes of play normal and Nightmare mode. When the player enter nightmare mode the world is warped and made obscure. The player is never quite sure what's coming their way and how to deal with it.

Triggered events. These occur when the player places object or disturbs a room triggering a scare tactic. These can be screen distortions or disturbing sounds. It can also be the appearance of NPC or hints of one around the corner.

In the game the player has amnesia and is not completely stable mentally. These can pop up in flash backs or images of violence.

Symptoms and influences for enemies Dubbed “Crazies“

Films and Games with cause and effect

Film - Pandorum

People in the film suffer from psychological condition categorised by a name called Padorum. This is due to long periods of time spent in hyper sleep. One of the causes is believed to be a enzyme pumped into their pods. It was meant to speed up the process of them adapted to the planet Tanis living conditions.

Symptoms - Shares similar effects to Cabin Fever, Paranoia, Vivid Hallucinations, Epistaxis

Film - Serenity/Firefly

Reavers a large group of cannibals that perform self mutilation on themselves. They originally started out as a colony that was exposed to a gas that would suppress aggression. The gas worked to well, leaving most of the population too passive resulting in them lying down and dying. The 0.1% of the population became over aggressive and unstable.

Symptoms - Hyper Aggression, Cannibalism, Metal instability

Condemned/ Condemned 2 - Game The enemies in the game are addicts, homeless people and certain members of the public that have lost their minds. This is due to a signal been broadcasted similar to white noise. Some see certain key characters in their madness.

Symptoms - Hyper Aggressions, Metal Instability, Hallucinations, Paranoia

Film - Event Horizon

A worm hole is used to reduce time traveling across space by generating smaller one on the ship called the Event Horizon. In the film the original crew test the ship and vanished for some time. The ship resurfaces as a ghost ship with the crew missing. Its believed that the worm hole took them to hell and back.  The worm hole starts to have an effects on the crew causing hallucinations.

Symptoms - Hallucinations, Insanity, Increased aggression, Catatonia

Game tv shows and Film influences

Films Tv shows and Games that could be used to provide a better understanding on how certain mechanics and appearances could be incorporated into our game.

FILMS AND TV SHOWS: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Outland -  In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

Star TrekCapt. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore space and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Pandorum -A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.

The Black HoleA research vessel finds a missing ship, commanded by a mysterious scientist, on the edge of a black hole.

Battlestar GalacticaWhen an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth.

Star WarsLuke Skywalker, a spirited farm boy, joins rebel forces to save Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader, and the galaxy from the Empire's planet-destroying Death Star.

FireflyFive hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

Chronicles of Riddick5 years after Pitch Black, the wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe.

Pitch BlackA group of marooned space travelers struggle for survival on a seemingly lifeless sun-scorched world.

Starship TroopersHumans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival.

Event Horizon - A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Alien 1979A mining ship, investigating a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet. The crew discovers some strange creatures and investigates.

It! The terror from beyond spaceThe first manned expedition to Mars is decimated by an unknown life form...which stows away on the rescue ship.

FarscapeThrown into a distant part of the universe, an Earth astronaut finds himself part of a fugitive alien starship crew.

Babylon 5A space station in neutral territory is the focus of a unique five year saga.

Creature 1985A expedition to Titan uncovers an alien being, that goes on a rampage.

Dante 01 - Deep space, at the edge of the galaxy. The future. A new prisoner arrives on top security prison ship and psychiatric research unit Dante 01. Sole survivor of an encounter with an alien force beyond imagining, Saint Georges is a man possessed by inner demons, caught up in the battle to control the monstrous power within him. It's a power that will infect the other highly dangerous occupants of Dante 01, gaolors and prisoners alike, unleashing a violent rebellion that turns this terrifying, labyrinthine world upside down. In the otherworldly hell of the ship's depths, through danger and redemption, each must journey to his very limits... each must confront his own Dragon. (RESEARCH FOR AN IDEA ON SHIP/SPACE STATION INTERIOR) 

Jason x 2002Jason Voorhees returns with a new look, a new machete, and his same murderous attitude as he is awakened on a space station in the 25th century.

MoonAstronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Games that could be of use during the creation of this game idea. (mixed genre) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Masseffect - Interacting with AI/cutscenes. 

Call of Cthulthu - Research to get an idea on how the AI acts when it spots your character.  

Deadspace -  Spaceship/space station interior and atmospheric sounds. Also look at the use of AI placement and level design. 

Condemned - AI combat/Use of AI placement.

Eve Online - Space backdrops/planets, Space stations exterior and interior, spaceships.

System Shock  

Halo series  

Black Prophecy  

X3 series  


Resident Evil  

Survival horror research.
 Enemy Design. - A survival horror storyline usually involves the investigation and confrontation of horrific forces, and thus many games transform common elements from horror fiction into gameplay challenges. Early releases utilized camera angles seen in horror films, which allowed enemies to lurk in areas that are concealed from the player's view. Also, many survival horror games make use of off-screen sound or other warning cues to notify the player of impending danger. This feedback assists the player, but also creates feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.
Games typically feature a variety of monsters with unique behavior patterns. Enemies can appear unexpectedly or suddenly, and levels are often designed with scripted sequences where enemies drop from the ceiling or crash through windows. Survival horror games, like many action-adventure games, are structured around the boss encounter where the player must confront a formidable opponent in order to advance to the next area. These boss encounters draw elements from antagonists seen in classic horror stories, and defeating the boss will advance the story of the game.

Players are more vulnerable than in other action games, and the hostility of the environment sets up a narrative where the odds are weighed decisively against the avatar. This gameplay shifts away from direct combat, and players must learn to evade enemies or turn the environment against them. Games try to enhance the experience of vulnerability by making the game single player rather than multiplayer, and by giving the player an avatar who is more frail than the typical action game hero.

The survival horror genre is also known for other non-combat challenges, such as solving puzzles at certain locations in the game world, and collecting and managing an inventory of items. Areas of the game world will be off limits until the player gains certain items. Occasionally, levels are designed with alternative routes. Levels also challenge players with maze-like environments, which test the player's navigational skills. Levels are often designed as dark and claustrophobic (often making use of dim or shadowy light conditions and camera angles and sightlines which restrict visibility) to challenge the player and provide suspense, although games in the genre also make use of enormous spatial environments.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Story/Plot line Finalization. Basic break down of idea #2.

             MAIN MENU
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             PLAY DEMO
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Game starts up as a cut scene of the pilot approaching the space station in his ship.          
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Transmits Docking pass --> Hail the station --> Station doesn't respond to his request. --> Docking Pass Accepted --> Pilot continues to approach station. --> Notices that the stations defense systems are down and the hanger bay doors open. --> Lands on the station to realize that there's no one to be seen in sight. --> suddenly the hanger bay doors close behind him, locking him in. --> Hanger bay decompresses and the station's main door opens.
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Game proceeds to a first person point of view --> player starts on his ship (some sections of his ship may be open, allowing the player to free roam and possibly gather supplies. Maybe a torch) --> Player leaves the ship and as he's approaching the security customs, he notices a glimpse of a shadowy figure in the communications oberservation window. --> Unknown figure (NPC), moves away from the window and disappears from sight. --> Pilot makes his way towards the communication room for answers. --> Discovers that the door to the communication room is locked. This obstacle forces the player to look for a key or another route. --> (Once a key has been obtained, the player is then able to proceed to the next section.) --> Door opens and there's signs of violence but no signs of life. --> Finds a body with a recording which distresses the current situation. --> Decides it's time to leave and overrides the hanger bay doors. -->  As the player makes his way down to his ship he bumps into the shadowy figure --> NPC shows signs of aggression and charges towards the player. --> the player has nothing to defend himself with and the only option is to run to the safety of his ship. --> boards the ship, closing the door down behind him (A button will be put into place for the player to interact with, allowing him to close the door. If the player hesitates and doesn't close the door in time, the crazy will kill you. Once killed, the player will be forced to start the level from the beginning or the nearest checkpoint.) Separating himself from the crazy in time --> Attempts to start the ship but realizes that a certain part of the ship has been sabotaged, making it impossible to take off. --> player is left to figure out how to fix the ship or look for help. --> Desperately trying to escape, the player will have to search the available section of the space station to find a way off, using any means necessary. --> when the player re-enters the communication room. (an audio trigger will be placed.(research). This trigger will activate and audio from one of the terminals will start playing. --> An incoming ship hails the communication tower. After no reply from the com tower, they state that they're landing in docking bay D.

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Protagonist either has the chance to kill the crazy for the key to the next section or find a tool somewhere in the level which will be used to open up a maintenance shaft, allowing the player to move into the next section of the station. (A part of the next section of the station may be implemented into the demo/level if the games not big enough. Allowing use of more interactive mechanics game play and story progress.)
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            DEMO ENDS

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Plot line ideas #2

Basic Story line starter - Idea #2
Main protagonist (possibly a miner/transporter/trader) makes regular stops at the station for supplies, fuel and a place to sleep. As he approaches the space station, he finds that he doesn't get hailed for clearance by the stations com tower, instantly concerning the pilot. As the pilot gets closer to the hanger bay, he notices that the security on the space station is down and the bay doors are open. Curiosity overwhelms the young pilot, as he investigates further the pilot discovers that something really strange is going on, but just before he could pull off, the hanger bay doors slam down behind him, leaving him no choice but to get off his ship and investigate. As he prepares to leave his ship, the bay doors leading into the security check room open up, giving the impression that someones trying to invite or lure him into the station. As he looks up at the communication tower window he notices a figure move away. Egger to find out what's happened he set off to talk to the stranger. As he approaches the security customs section he is greeted with a dark room with flashing security light. He sets of down the security corridor passes the checking desk as well as the bio metric scanners. At the end of corridor he encounters lockers used for confiscated items. A sign leads him to a forked corridor appropriately signed. To his left a corridor leads to the communal area and off to the right is the communication tower. He makes his way toward to communication tower to discover the door has been locked and requires an accesses card. His only option to escape this station is to find a key. As he makes his way to communal area, he finds himself in an area that shows a distinct sign of recent activity (lived in). The room is dark with small rays of light highlighting areas of the room. After searching the area he comes across the card he needs in order to gain access to the communication room. He makes his way back to the communication room, but noises bellowing in the distance put him on edge. The card gains him accesses and the first thing he notices as he enters the room is an over turned table. The room shows clear signs of violence, but no sign of life. He makes his way to the console and notices a trail of blood leading around a corner, instantly drawing his curiosity to inspect. In front him lays a mangled body grasping something in his hand. Taking a moment to recover from the sight he removes the item from the mans bloodied hand. The item appears to have been recording at time of the victims death. He plays back the message, that informs him of package smuggled through security that has released some sort of toxin/virus. A majority of the populace has become deranged and started attacking one another. He rushes over to the maintenance console deciding it would be a good time to leave and overrides the cargo door. As he descends down towards the docking bay, the pilot notices a strange wretched looking figure towards the end of the corridor, the crazy spots him and begins to sprint. Weighing up his options, the pilot decides to make his way back to the ship with the crazy at his heels and locks himself in. Once aboard his ship he discovers that it has been sabotaged leaving him with no option but to find out what the problem is and find a way to fix it. He takes a peak outside the ship to notice the crazy is no were in sight. Taking his chances, he sneaks of the ship being cautious of his surroundings. He begins to make to his way back up to the communication room to see if he can make contact with any survivors. Once in the tower he attempts to opens a channel to rest of the station, when an incoming ship hails the tower. He tries to warn the other ship not to land but fails to get the message through. The other ship states he's parking in cargo bay D on other side of the station. The protagonists only hope to getting off the station is to head to the spacecraft for help,- The demo ends here but the game is left open to be made in the future.

Reason behind the Infected - A section of the Space Station has been quarantined due to some kind of Viral toxin / Bacteria. The initial crew that find the source of the Virus begin to show symptoms of heightened aggression. In attempt to contain the virus, the chief of the station is forced to lock down the infected in a secure room.  The infected override the door and break free from the room. Unable to react in time, security is forced to lock down the area. Trapping uninfected personnel in the area leaving them to their fate. 
  • Excretes from the skin and saliva
  • Extremely contagious
  • Symptoms: Paranoia and Heightened aggression  (Itching, hearing voices, flashbacks, visions, sweating, increase in heart rate, loss of hair.)
    Directions the story could possibly take. 
    • The player makes his way back to his ship to discover it has been sabotaged or chased onto his ship by the NPC. Outcome - Player has to find parts or another exit off the station.
    • The player makes his way back to his ship to discover it is missing.  Outcome - Has to find a way to escape the station.
    • lure crazy into an airlock, possibly have a trigger button to shoot him into space. 
    • Or decompress area locked down by the player 
    • Hears announcement over PA system from a surviver requesting help or to see if anybody else is alive.  ( give location away or the player has find a way to communicate)
    • In the end of the demo the player has two choices to make, either get a security card from the crazies body to open the door to the next sector or find a tool to open a maintenance shaft. Possibly they have to get passed the crazy in order to proceed onto another section of the station. (Through one of the hangar doors or through a door in the corridor near the communal area.)
    Brain ideas for the level/demo and future game.
    • Toxin or some kind of gas released on the station. - Symptoms: Paranoia and Heightened aggression.
    • Location - Space station orbiting a moon/planet somewhere in our solar system or another system entirely.
    • Source - where did it come from? - Malfunction on a station (releases a deadly airborne virus/bacteria?).  Smuggled Toxin or poisonous gas brought onto the ship by someone?
    • The stations overrun by the infected crew/civilians. (crazies - people who's lost their sanity and are driven to the satisfaction of violence?) (possibly look at Condemned and Call of Cthulthu)
    • Maybe the main protagonist is also being affected by the airborne virus/toxin - Starts suffering from the first signs of symptoms. (Itching, hearing voices, flashbacks, visions, sweating, increase in heart rate, loss of hair.) Leaving him limited time to figure out how to deal with it
    • Extension for the game - player somehow has to figure out how to get off the space station. (Possibly find parts after find ship damaged) 
    • In demo player will come in contact with a single crazy, player will have to run/hide and avoid him. Could come out at any point or certain scripted section after the player leaves the docking bay. 
    • Atmospheric sounds, running machinery, give the crazy heavy breathing so player can hear him when they can't see him. 
    • NPCs work off line of sight! (research)
    • A map of the station could be found by the player. This will be not only used for directions, but areas that could be used to fight off or kill the npc. (These areas could possibly be airlock/decompression rooms)
    • It's up to the player to find certain clues in order to complete / finish the demo.
    • Possible first task for player find accesses card to open communication room.
    • Send Out distress beacon for the station  
    • Shut off a PA message located along way. On wall or from room
    • Stairs (RESEARCH) 
    • The AI within the game will work off line of sight, giving the player a chance to hide or escape the pursuing NPC. They will patrol around until finding player. 
    • A torch will be implemented into the game allowing the player to navigate through the darkened areas. (it will also help when looking for items of clues.) 
    • The player has only the chance to run and hide when being chased. They will not be able to fight back.
    • Some doors will be opened via a terminal on the side of the wall. Others maybe automatic in certain areas of the space station.
    • Possible weapon for player is to use environment as a weapon if crazies become to much.
    • Player will be provided with secondary goals to help them achieve their initial goal of escaping the station. For example find other survivors that can inform the protagonist where to find a part to repair his ship. 
    • Comic strip cut scenes to illustrate the introduction of the game as the player approaches and docks the station. (this would be a plan b if it becomes to hard to animate.)
    • hangar's have a particle field that maintenances life support and gravity in the area.  
    • Certain doors in the game will require items to be opened, for example tools, pass cards, open panels for the manual override switches.
    • Certain environmental weapons such as falling crates, releasing gas, using circuits or wires, using emergency doors to crush enemies. 
    • Optional player may have to charge torch or refill, when low it flickers or goes on and off suddenly. Player has to tap key to recharge torch. 
    • If player restores light to a room draws attention of crazies.  
    • Certain loud action could draw attention of crazies. 
    • As the player progresses through the level, they will encounter abandoned ships from other visitors (In full game, ships would land at certain points) 
    • Key pressed actions (example opening maintenance hatch) with animations 

        Wednesday, 1 August 2012

        Idea of Introduction/ Level #1

        Brainstorm ideas for a game set on a space station. (RPG?) #1
        • Main protagonist - Sheriff / lawman based on a commercial space station somewhere in the future.
        • Location - Space station orbiting a planet/moon somewhere in our solar system or another system entirely.
        • Space station contains several hundred people with all different professions and races. (Human and alien mixed races?) 
        • The space station is used for work, a place to live, trading, scientific research, purchase of fuel.
        • The station is broken up into several sections - (like a city in space).
        • Built on a path of a main trading route?
        • Some sections are known for it's violence. Racial attacks between the humans and the aliens?
        • Different sections for each race? Aliens control a certain section of the city?
        • Different architecture for each racial area.
        • Different technology between the aliens and humans (factions?)
        The Sheriff?
        • Sheriff on station.
        • Stretched thin.
        • Low on resources and man power.
        • His day to day job involves investigating crimes/murders, thieves, smuggling. illegal operations, domestic violence, prisoners.
        • In charge of a small handful of deputy's
        • Western styled clothing
        • A lot on his plate
        • Police corruption / deputy corruption?
        • Political corruption?
        • Movies / TV series. western law enforcement.
        • Deadwood 
        • Longmire
        • Outlaw
        • Justified
        • Sheriff of cochise
        Games with law enforcement/Investigation
        • LA Noire
        • Broken sword
        • Condemned
        • Call of Cthulhu
        Plot line and backing story! Something that happens which is out of the ordinary (NEW)
        • How does he receive the job? Through a terminal or NPC perhaps?
        • Purpose of investigation? - What happened?
        • Dealing with the problem.
        • Fixing the problem.
        • Reward - possibly unlocks more plot line / information that provides him with evidence of a larger crime that goes all the way up to the top. (corrupt CEO of the station?)
        Introduction through use of images

        The marshal eventually wakes up to an alarm and climbs from his bunk. He collects his gear and stumbles out of the room to hear announcement over the PA system " saying Unknown ship in docking bay " Marshal to investigate"  (scene set light possibly flashing on and off) The Marshal makes his way towards the docking bay, along the way encounters signs of violence.  As he makes his way there, he hears strange sounds coming from the direction he needs to go. The station is in lock down making his task an uneasy one, he eventually makes his way into the docking bay to find a damaged ghost ship. The entrance to the ship is open and inviting the marshal aboard.

        Possible introduction to slot in set pieces

        • Lift section/ maybe maintenance shaft
        • Open Corridors
        • Enclosed Corridors
        • Open command room with large windows, mass view of planet, illuminates room with ambient light, small lights from consoles, maybe (reflective floor _ RESEARCH)
        • Planet in view of window's SKYBOX, USE OF LIGHTING/FOG
        • Open hangar area lit by ship lights, emergency light flashing on/off, observer window with light coming through
        • Ventilation shafts
        • Large emergency doors
        • Computer consoles, maintenance consoles
        • Docking bay (Large open area containing ship parts, supply crates/box's, cranes etc) This will also be big enough to fit a relatively medium sized ship.
        • The ship itself could vary from a mining vessel, transport ship - (supply carrier?) big enough for 6-8 crew?
        • Living quarters - food and drink machines, entertainment? toilets, open bar, locker room, kitchen.
        • Crew/Civilian cabins (sleeping area?)
        • Communication tower (travel time /departures and arrivals terminals?)
        • Direction signs
        • Advertisements / propaganda posters / recruitment posters.
        Market section to show populace

        Player has to unlock hangar door - shut down lockdown.
        Find voice from the PA SYSTEM or Message on loop.
        Investigate signs of violence or reason for current events.
        Commercial space station
        • This station would be used as a services, providing - fuel, food, trading, somewhere to sleep/live and work.
        • This gives the sheriff/lawman a purpose to be on this station. Providing protection for the crew and civilians. 
        • Station could possibly be orbiting a planet/moon.