Starfield is aiming for a "very realistic" and "NASA-punk" sci-fi world

(Image credit: Bethesda / Xbox)

Starfield was designed with a "very realistic" take on space technology in mind and Bethesda hopes to give it a "NASA-punk" look.

Lead artist Istvan Pely discussed the game's art direction in a recent post on the Xbox newswire. He describes NASA-punk as a coin termed early in the game's development as a way to reinforce "a sci-fi universe that's a little more grounded and relatable" as opposed to some far-flung fantasy.

"We wanted a very realistic take," Pely says. "You can draw a line from current-day space technology and extrapolate from there into the future so it’s believable and relatable."

Lead animator Rick Vicens adds that the idea of NASA-punk, specifically, was immensely helpful when defining Starfield's world. "When you said NASA-punk, the art team could instantly take those two words and make them work," they said. "It was just the perfect term for our art direction and keeping everyone in the same flow and working with a consistent style. For me, it just clicked. At the start of the project, I think that term was critical for us."

This brief interview was published alongside a short video depicting a custom Starfield print of early concept art, two signed copies of which will be given out through a community giveaway. All you need to do to enter is sign up for the game's Constellation group community by the end of March. If you already have an account, you're in. The winners will be announced later this year, per the giveaway rules.

We got some other Starfield concept art and a few gameplay details in a more in-depth video released late last year. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.