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Report article RSS Feed Spacecraft Mounts, Weapons and Status report

(+Video) Am talking about how hulls and the editor will be handled in the game, the recent progress on space craft mounts, weapons and camera controls, and how I spend a sleepless night long to code it! (also includes a little status report at the end!)

Posted by b5cully on Oct 17th, 2013

Today was extremely productive - spent all night coding this nicely working camera and mount system for spacecraft (which was/is a LOT of fun to do) - when I should have either 1) laid down sick in bed or 2) moved my butt to uni courses \o/ It was surely worth the effort:


Space Craft Mounts:

Each spacecraft has different mount points, which can hold either a camera (green boxes), a weapon or an engine (both red boxes). Weapons and engines can be mounted and dismounted, activated or deactivated for operation (there are already some weapon meshes mounted & activated on the model). By principle it works a lot like the equipment screen in Freelancer. Different cameras can be switched through pressing a key. Such mount points also define where projectiles and other particles originate from.

The things I programmed to make this possible come handy for future applications too: think of manned/unmanned drones or large voxel-based capital ships, where such mounts are also necessary. That also means the models you see there are placeholder assets for now - I dug out the spacecraft model from when I first started out StarFire for this purpose, I still like it a lot so maybe it's going to stay.

Jackal v1.3 front

Priorities:

The planned development of the ship editor will be postponed. Highest priority now is to get a basic simulation working for the pre-alpha release. Main reason is that this editor is going to be a huge huge HUGE construction site and I want something playable before starting to work on a gigantic pile of tasks. I will now focus on a more general implementation of a space simulation and use placeholder assets, later then adapt to the editor.

Voxel-based Spacecraft Hulls

First I didn't want to do anything into the "minecraft" direction at all, but while working out concepts for damage models, hulls and painted hulls I all wanted to integrate, voxels are STILL the best solution. So now, I have decided to code my own blocky voxel engine, however, with a twist.

The thought is to create an engine that acts like a voxel engine, but from a technical view, is not a real one. This is a very experimental concept that is also compatible with the hull concept I worked out, where you can define the composition of your spacecraft hulls (along with the ability to freely modify the interior of your spacecraft).

However, there is one problem here: namely time and resources (and probably feasibility). I might not even be able to pull it off all by myself, or not at all, and even if I could, it'd take years. In a worst case scenario, I will still have the bare bones of a space simulation without a fancy voxel engine. Then I'll focus on exploration and quests creation instead - 'cause I'm flexible like that. (I know this sounds a bit strange now, but its the best way to figure out how resources are spent better, and I sure as hell won't give up StarFire anyway!)


Status Report

Application Framework:
includes general application-related structures like switching between main screen and game screen. This framework does a good job considering current requirements and runs relatively stable.
------------------------- Progress: ~80 %

Interface:
includes a functioning interface with mouse collision. Still room for improvement here. Basic components exist, game specific components must yet be created.
------------------------- Progress: ~70 %

Gameplay
includes, well, gameplay, most trivial case being flying around in your spacecraft and shoot stuff. Recently done some progress here by finishing off a rough layout for camera controls and spacecraft mounts.
------------------------- Progress: ~10 %

Editor
includes functioning editors to create game content with. Delayed due to the fact I experimented a lot with different solutions for different problems (i.e. custom file formats vs. binary saving, voxel engine vs. customized hull placing engine).
------------------------- Progress: ~5 %

Deployment
includes a functioning website and internet based services. Looked into this, but honestly don't think I'm ready yet to do anything in this direction (I'll wait till I made some progress with the gameplay).
------------------------- Progress: ~5 %

Post comment Comments
Guest
Guest Oct 17 2013, 10:07pm says:

Lookin' good.

+2 votes     reply to comment
b5cully Author
b5cully Oct 18 2013, 7:31pm replied:

Thank you!

+1 vote   reply to comment
ZeroBits
ZeroBits Oct 17 2013, 10:07pm says:

Great job, it's looking pretty awesome.

+3 votes     reply to comment
b5cully Author
b5cully Oct 18 2013, 7:31pm replied:

Thanks, glad you think so - it's very rough work at the moment

+1 vote   reply to comment
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