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Nygel Long | A Voyage of Design

Nygel Long | A Voyage of Design

Nygel Long
by nygellong on 26 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Hello, I am Nygel. The aim of my works is to explore and find the essence and balance of design with every piece of work I embark on. Aspiring to be an Inspirer in this voyage of art and design.

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Genesix is a collaborative project that I was a part of during my time at The One Academy. It is about a large group of scientists from the MRSS (Mars Research Space Station) who escapes Earth after it is destroyed by a global nuclear warfare.

The scientists had no choice but to turn their terraforming project into their escape plan, fleeing to Mars as a last attempt for survival. As time passes our protagonists finds themselves struggling to be united as a group on Mars as the situation worsens with the depletion of resources and a failing terraforming project.

However everything changed when a stranded ship crashes into Mars’ atmosphere after 5 years. Desperate for even the slightest glint of hope and more supplies, they set out on their journey to the crashed ship. Little did they know, they found something else in that ship that was much more valuable.


I was tasked with designing one of the protagonists named Ciaran. An Irish chemist in MRSS (Mars Research Space Station) who is a part of the Mars terraforming project. Ciaran is best friends with the main protagonist Aiden. They formed a strong bond while working together back on Earth

Growing up, Ciaran was the brightest kid in class. He worked his way up into the space exploration and research industry through sheer will and hard work. With a background of such, he grew to be a cocky, hot-headed and passive-aggressive individual. Keeping that in mind, I designed him to be an easily explosive chemist who dresses in dull colours and only wears what he needs to.


After 5 years being on Mars, Ciaran and his group have formed a close bond throughout their time on Mars, however their value differences get in the way of their friendship sometimes. He believes that getting supplies and being relentless is the best chance for the group to survive on Mars.

Ciaran's day to day task is to study and collect samples of the Martian terrain in hopes to contribute to the terraforming project. He has tweaked and customised the standard issue suit to his day to day task of collecting samples near methane pools and dangerous terrain. 


Hundreds from earth came to mars consisting of specialists who were chosen from all around the world. As hopes for the terraforming plans became dim, many crew members of each ship started to steal supplies and left their respective ships to live out the rest of their lives in the harsh Martian terrain. Eventually the defectors formed a cult and called themselves the Raiders.

The Raiders work together to kill and pillage from the original crew members of the ships. They work in unison with different classes representing different animals.

I was tasked to design a light unit raider specialising in scouting and their mobility. The light unit raider preys on unsuspecting targets with stealth and engage in melee combat. They are usually lightly armoured and equipped with unprofessionally crafted running stilts to further enhance their speed and agility when raiding. Scavenged metal scraps are used to craft their weapons and armour.


The K1-W1 Rover is a single-seated bike rover designed to carry the rider and cargo across the martian terrain. The K1-W1 covers large distances in a short time, allowing users to conduct faraway missions and escape sandstorms in time. The vehicle balances with a single gyro stabiliser located in the centre of the wheel. It is also designed with cargo transportation in mind.

I designed this rover to look clunky yet sleek to show it's instability with thin arms that hold the cargo in place as well as the steering mechanism. Its fragile look is parallel to the human presence on the unforgiving conditions of Mars. The concept of this vehicle was first designed and rendered in blender and then painted on top with photoshop.


A tool made for detecting and extracting organics and gasses on the martian terrain. Made from lightweight materials for easy carrying and long periods of use. The metal tip can open up to acts as both a probe or a scanner.

This tool was designed to be Ciaran's main day to day tool as a chemist and a sample collector. It is derived from an existing instrument suite from the Curiosity rover named the "Sample Analysis at Mars" (SAM). The SAM instrument suite's main purpose is to analyse organics and gases from both atmospheric and solid samples. It also compacts and stores samples into tubes for ease of collection.


Every ship that departed from earth contains a storage facility that holds all the food and supplies brought from Earth to Mars. The food and supplies are estimated to last the hundreds of passengers on board for 4-5 years.

The supply shipment workers and automated transport machines help regulate and track the food and supplies to the passengers on board the ship around the clock. The cargo bay storage facility ensures that everything stored is kept in proper conditions with temperature and moisture levels in account. 

Key Art

The shipwreck broke apart and falls into a ravine when the raiders got on board hunting for them. Ciaran loses track of his group in the wreckage and is badly injured. When Aiden finally finds Ciaran, he has to sacrifice Ciaran's arm to free him from the wreckage that has penetrated his suit, draining his oxygen supply and bleeding him out. Once Ciaran is freed, they journeyed through what is left of the broken ship to find their other group mates. Unbeknownst to them, they would stumble upon a sight they would have never expected in a million years.


 An Antagonist Design Study

Another World War has commenced. This is a war sparked by disagreements between the leaders of the world against a single powerful nation named Zionark.

Zionark is a superpower ruled by a dictatorship. They excel in all aspects of science and technology which naturally gave them the upper hand in military prowess. Such feats made the world uneasy as is, but the tipping point came to be when Zionark started producing bio-enhanced creatures and humans in their military force. All in the narrative of strengthening the country's defense and bringing about the next step of human evolution.

They have also started to implant AI chips into the brains of the masses in Zionark, this gave the population a massive advantage as they would have libraries of information and knowledge within their instant thought. The nightmare for the population would be the loss of free expression, thought and humanity ; all would think as one. Billions in Zionark were unable to protest such acts carried out by the dictatorship, and those who did exchanged their lives for it. 


I wanted the dictator to feel like a religious and commanding character. This decision became my choice to give the dictator a full plated body armour that gives off the feeling of strength and authority. I have also added robes inspired by the greek god statues to evoke a sense of holiness. The logo of the zaminium empire is repeated multiple times on the armours to show that they are proud of the emblem that they stand behind. The dictator's armour is inspired by gothic motifs paired with an Art Deco sense ; classical, haunting and authoritative. 


Following the gothic theme, The Garmr is inspired by the gargoyles in gothic architecture. I designed them to be pack animals that is accustomed to the alpine and subalpine habitat. They are amongst the man made animals from the experiments carried out by the Zionark scientists to create the perfect killing machine. 


The AI that controls an entire country of Zionark and its population. Inspired by our ever-expanding advancements in the field of AI, I designed the AI chip to resemble the existing quantum computer today. I tried to capture the feeling of a omnisentient being while taking into account the gothic aesthetic, packaged into a mere machine.


Taking inspiration from seashells, pipe organs and gothic architecture, I designed the snow fortress to resemble a castle with a self sustaining city. The castle has a white coral look on the outside for camouflage against enemy drones and satellites.


Environment painting has never been a subject I'm comfortable with. That changed ever since I started incorporating Blender into my workflow by blocking the piece out with 3D and setting my desired lighting with ease. This process has helped me save time and convey my environment concepts with more solidity and confidence. 


My attempt at creating a simple matte painting piece inspired by large monoliths with a rocky and sandy terrain. When designing an environment piece I try to Imagine what the environment would sound and feel like and add the necessary elements to it.

"Snow Temple"

This was my take on a snow temple built in an arctic region where monks reside. Inspired by snow temples in Skyrim but brought closer to our reality with elements from the St. Vitus Cathedral. I wanted to convey a sense of awe at the impossible scale of building in a desolate and remote place with harsh and cold conditions. The base was built and rendered in Blender and was later refined in Photoshop. 

"Snow Temple Bell Tower"

The bell resides in the tallest tower of the snow temple, being as tall as 30 storeys in height. It rings to signal the time for the daily prayer. The bell's chimes can be heard from the towns beneath the mountain where the temple stands. 

Side Projects and Personal Works

Below are illustrations of studies, personal projects and some assets for collaborative projects. 

Thank you for taking the time to view my work!

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