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A video demonstration of "Combat Landings," showing off some new FS2_Open engine features and a flight of Vipers on final approach.

Posted by sushi_cw on Jun 7th, 2011

One of the FS2_Open engine features we've been working on is adding support for BSG-style "combat landings," where ships fly into a landing bay and skid to a halt. Without further ado, a quick&dirty FRAPS capture demonstrating this working, (music by Phrey, original for Diaspora):

We had to add a few new features to make this possible. For example, in regular FS2_Open, collisions are extremely bouncy: it works fine in the context of the game, but presents a problem when you try to land because the ship behaves like it is on springs. We made some tweaks to the physics engine so that we could have more control over the collision physics, and allow relatively smooth touchdown&slide maneuvers.

Another obstacle was the AI: the path-following algorithms used by the FS2_Open engine were created and tuned with different ships and physics in mind, and did not work well with what we had created for Diaspora. We were able to improve the pathing algorithms so that ships would do things like adjust for their momentum when following paths.

Beyond that, the rest just comes from the judicious use of SEXPs (FS2_Open 's built-in scripting language) to have the AI slow down and glide onto the deck once inside the flight pod. The overall effect looks pretty nice, and although there is still room for improvement, should give you a taste of what landing a Viper feels like.

The music also deserves a mention: this is another track by Phrey, created specifically for the end of a mission when the FTL clock is counting down and you need to get your bird home or be left behind. It's a wonderful piece of work, and really helps build tension right at the end of the mission.

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FW:ToW_Sushi Jun 7 2011 says:

That's awesome! Nice work!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
SinKing Jun 7 2011 says:

The guy in front of you hit the floor and will be reduced to "Nugget" status ;)

Really cool! It has a feel of speed and diving down. I don't suppose motion blur is a feature in FS2 engine? I'm so looking forward to this game - can't you release a demo mission sometime soon? It looks like you have crazy amounts of content created already!

+2 votes     reply to comment
The_E Jun 7 2011 replied:

Unfortunately, true motion blur is somewhat impossible in the engine for the moment.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Alpha473 Jun 7 2011 says:

*standing ovation*

+3 votes     reply to comment
Wolf0x Jun 7 2011 says:

Very nice

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheUnabridgedGamer Jun 7 2011 says:

I want to play this game badly.

This game keeps looking better and better.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gabbo Jun 7 2011 says:

Those landing are maybe a little too steady and smooth from what I remember from the show, but it looks excellent none the less.

+1 vote     reply to comment
chulaksaviour Jun 7 2011 says:

been following this for a while now and each time u release something I'm more impressed good work !

+1 vote     reply to comment
jstubbles Jun 10 2011 says:

Slick work guys, keeps getting better.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lancelot_59 Jun 14 2011 says:

The landings look good. They're much more orderly than the landings that happened on the show. Are you planning to try and make the AI ships create the usual mess that occurred on the show? About the whole land or be left behind mechanic, that to me seems to be a bad idea. Especially if you accomplish a hard mission, only to get left behind and have to play it all over again. Plus I remember the ships on the show always waited for the all the pilots to land before jumping. I'm sure there are better ways to create tension at the end of a mission. Most of the people who play this game are going to be in it for the real BSG experience, and so would want to land and get out as fast as possible. Not all missions necessarily would need a tense ending, depending on what you actually went to do there.

+1 vote     reply to comment
lordiron Aug 29 2011 says:

Guys, you are hereby ordered by General Iron (that would be me :),


+1 vote     reply to comment
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