Bethesda's Adam Adamowicz has a great post up talking about some of the thought that went into the concept art for the upcoming videogame Fallout 3. He namechecks BBG's patron saint of design in this great little anecdote about Aliens:
Seeing Syd Mead lecture in SF was an incredibly profound lesson on design. During the Q&A I asked him how far he went on a design to make it technically believable. His advice was ‘to design with the story in mind and stay consistent with it’. Hence I learned that the Sulacco [sic] from Aliens is essentially a massive gun in space with a big nuclear reactor at one end which beautifully fits the theme of space marines exploring a planet infested with deadly hostile aliens. That answer freed me obsessing over minutiae that diverges story-wise, and focus on the broad strokes that propel the story. The addition of ensuing consistent minutiae would give it richness.
I want to see Syd lecture. I want to hold Syd in my arms while he traces invisible, tasteful whorls over my cheeks.
The concept art from Fallout 3 is pretty fantastic, too. These are some fantasy gadgets, all of which are attempts to create that strange alt-history aesthetic where technology was slightly more advanced than what we have now, but still using only '50s materials and design cues.
Image: Michael Heilemann