I want to take some time to tell you about the four starting designs that will launch the Kickstarter in August, starting with the squad's leader, Step-Sergeant Anya Abdalla.
On Venus, Abdalla worked as a stepper. Venus's surface is a vision of hell, so the majority of the population lives in tunnel cities, burrowed deep into the crust, each one self-sufficient and with its own particular character and culture. The steppers are the glue that maintains the unified society of Venus, travelling - often on foot, protected by massive suits of powered armour - from city to city with news and the world's other most precious resource: genetic material.
Abdalla has completed the extraordinary feat of travelling a total distance across Venus of more than 200km, so when she volunteered for the rescue mission, she was an easy pick for the leadership of one of the mission's special Bal teams. However, she also has a well-hidden antiauthoritarian streak and it wasn't long before she came into conflict with her mission controller, Major Sing.
Robey's original concept art for Abdalla established several key design features that repeat themselves across the team in different ways.
Abdalla has elected to customize her uniform with local fashions that help her to establish rapport with Terran survivors as well as offering practical solutions to local issues like ash storms.
As well as evoking the themes and setting of Horizon Wars, I wanted the design to be at home in a range of other worlds and stories, from a grim, dark future to a galaxy far, far away. I think Abdalla has an appealing, rebellious look to her that could make her a soldier, a smuggler, a spy or even a law enforcer in the right context. Versatility is at the heart of this campaign.