Thursday, 30 May 2013

Thank you for visiting! My name is Spiros Karkavelas and I am a Concept Artist.

A quick foreword to this project:
Inspired and based on the great book of the same name by Joe Haldeman, this is an alternate version where the Human Empire has turned back to the philosophy and beautiful architecture of the Roman Empire. Humans live in a continuous war with an alien race with which we have no way of communicating with. In my version, every planet may be invaded at any time by the aliens, but there is no way in knowing when, as light-speed travel and time dilation is hard to accurately estimate. For example, an alien ship that started its journey today, might take hundreds or thousands of years to arrive to it's destination.

With that in mind, Humanity has built its defenses camouflaged under the guise of their Romanesque architecture.  They can live their daily lives normally, surrounded by beautiful and inspiring buildings and, should an attack occur, the buildings quickly transform into weapons of war to fend off the attack.

As you scroll down, I will take you through the aspects of this world that I have explored and designed, and give you a short description of what they are.
I hope you enjoy my project, please leave me any comments or suggestions in the comments below.

The Colosseum serves as entertainment in times of peace.

Everything is a panel. Doors appear and dissappear as needed.

In times of war, Beautiful Romanesque buildings transform into deadly weapons

Vehicles are covered with repulsion panels. They are used to lift and move the vehicle or deflect incoming fire. The panels also angle themselves in such a way as to soften the blow.


Some production drawings, solidifying design language.

My version of the book's stasis module. In the radius of this device's effect, projectiles slow to harmless speeds, explosions are subdued and unprotected technology is disabled. This allows the human empire to mitigate damage from hopefully whatever weapon technology their alien enemies throw at them. The downside is, so long as the device is active, melee combat is the only viable option.

Planet mining:

Minerals are loaded on these railgun launchers and fired into orbit, where carrier ships can pick the precious cargo up without having to go through the hassle of re-entry.

Thermae Romae. Relax time!

A storage facility. What appears to be a beautiful building opens up to reveal its contents as a cargo frigate comes in for a pickup. The second image shows a line-drawing of the facility when it is not in use.


A watch that keeps both current time and homeworld time, to keep track of time dilation. A 25 year old man could be 300 if he spends a lot of time in jumps.

A future device equivalent to our modern cell phones. This one uses magnetic levitation to go around and bring you your keys, if you forgot where you put them!

I focused on two characters from the book, and gave them some variations. Marygay, (which I renamed to Mary-J), and the main character, Mandella.

 Following are some sketches of the Empire's cities, mostly based on some real locations in Italy.  Hopefully they will serve to give you a better feel of the world I was trying to create.

The following few images are some exploration I did on what the alien homeworlds might look like, as a bonus. When I was reading the book I felt the aliens (Tauran) were very close to nature, as their weapons and buildings seem to resemble plants, so this is what I came up with:

That's it for now. I might upload some more of the exploration sketches or some more finished stuff at a future date.

If you wish to contact me, my e-mail is

Thank you for reading!