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The physics engine is nearing completion, and several airships are being modeled.

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Since the last update, a lot of work has been done on the physics engine and camera logic. This is the first step of the Game Logic engine, which adds motion, action, and gameplay to the game.

Since Aero Empire takes place almost entirely in the air and has some similarities to flight simulators, realistic flight physics were added to the game. This includes the four forces of flight: Lift, Weight, Thrust and Drag. For lift, two forces were added - airfoil force, which is the upward force provided by a wing, and buoyancy force, which is the force caused by displacement (and allows lighter objects, like balloons, to float).

Additionally, a procedural windmap is generated for every scene, which sets the wind direction and strength at each position in the scene over time. The windmap is fairly smooth over distance and time, however it's roughness can be increased by a turbulence parameter. Except for the few structures planted to the ground, nothing in Aero Empire is static. Everything is moving, floating, falling, flying and being blown around in the wind.

Here is a video which shows the various forces at work:


Here are some additional still images taken (however, to see the world in motion, it is recommended you view the video):

Physics Image 1 Physics Image 2 Physics Image 3

While the physics engine and code is progressing, there is also a lot of progress in concept art and models. As can be seen above, the Gyro is currently being modeled, although it is not yet complete, and is untextured.

Concept Art for Gyro (see above for model):

Gyro Fuselage Gyro Fuselage Perspective

GninjaGnome has also rendered a short animation (offline - not in AE's rendering engine) of the Turret Class airship that he is modeling. It is also incomplete and untextured.

Animation Video (of the High Poly version, which will be used to create a normal map):

Image of the Low-Poly version (which will go in game) and the original concept art:

Turret Class Airship - Low Poly Turret Class Airship Concept Art

There is still quite a lot to do, but we are progressing smoothly. I am just starting to get into actual gameplay code, so there should be several intriguing updates and videos to come.

Look forward to future updates.

Lead Programmer and Designer of Aero Empire
- David

Comments
awesomepossum
awesomepossum

I like the cell shaded style, an that canon ship is great!

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

Thanks awesomepossum.

I also like the non-photo realistic style and think it fits the game well :) .

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CloudAge
CloudAge

Looks quite interesting!

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RedOwl
RedOwl

Thanks, CloudAge. :)

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vfn4i83
vfn4i83

A volumetric cloud should make it more beauty, and the effect of wind.

Very beautiful work, nonetheless.

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

It's tough to see in the physics video, as the wind speed isn't that high and the camera doesn't fix on the clouds for an extended period of time, but they are moving (everything moves in the wind that is not planted on the ground).

Additionally, the clouds are volumetric, the gyro flies through one in the video... do they not look volumetric? You can enter and exit clouds seamlessly, and also you will have the ability to hide within dense clouds.

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SinKing
SinKing

So every vehicle has the "airscrew" for propellation, or is it just generally steam powered and orientally themed? The different factions will have different styles, I guess.

That's nice to see it would be better, if the black outline on meshes faded away after a certain distance.

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

The black lines disappear after a while (you might notice them appearing and disappearing in the video), however, making them fade away might be better and reduce this artifact. It might also be good to have the lines start fading away sooner.

As for the airscrews, those are the only form of propulsion right now. Until we add some expansions with additional content and styles for the other nations, all nations will have the same style.

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Timmon26
Timmon26

I'm planning on using an alternate propulsion mechanism for the merchant ship designs. The windmill mechanism for the farms will operate on the same principle, only in reverse.
Stay tuned, I think you're gonna like it :)

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MethosPlayer
MethosPlayer

I really love this game!
But I've got a little question:

Will be there big battles with more than 20 ships?

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

Airships are pretty big and expensive - so you wouldn't expect to find tons of them in one battle. However, a battle can certainly have over 20 ships.

The largest battle that will be in game will be a battle between two armies of large nations, which is about 2 aerial fortresses, 4 large airships, 8 medium airships, 16 small airships (30 airships total) and up to 120 gyros depending on how many carriers each nation fields (there would be 120 gyros if all of the 30 airships were carriers).

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UnknownTarget
UnknownTarget

So what sort of game is this? Something like the X series, or a strategy game, or something like Mass Effect orr what?

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

Aero Empire is a multi-staged game which incorporates a lot of elements - there is a flight simulator stage where you fly a gyro, and a strategy stage where you command many airships. Basically, you rise the ranks, and gain more power as you do. I wrote a game guide which explains everything about the game quite clearly, which you can view here: Ae.aerosphere-studios.com

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UnknownTarget
UnknownTarget

Cool, thanks

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ragnarIV
ragnarIV

Wow! this looks great, really outstanding work guys, great ideas great engine,graphic...etc. Only thing I dont like is the eastern theme, but hey thats what moddb is for ;)

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calmflow
calmflow

Not to attack you, thats not how this is meant, but i love the Eastern theme, for me it gives the whole idea credibility.

It is also a great point of difference, the calm, elegant forms of these ships, graceful and serene, will be forced into battle. Great contrast.

Great work guys, keep it, i'm excited.

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

The great contrast in the game is quickly becoming a common theme, that our writer fully plans to exploit. The hard boundary between the upper atmosphere and the lower atmosphere (the twilisphere), the large expanses of empty air between the mountaintops separating the nations, etc. I also think the graceful ships will make for an interesting contrast in battle - especially when the hull is separated from the envelope, one flying up and the other plummeting into the twilisphere.

The oriental theme, love it or hate it, is an integral part of AE's art style.

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ragnarIV
ragnarIV

Not hating really no, just matter of taste :) And the oriental theme leaves room to expand later. But really what attracts me is the atmosphere and serenity. Nowadays the only thing that gets me intrested in games is the ambiance, and frankly i cant even remember when that last happened. So no amount of work you put in that is too much. Once again, great work!

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Desumilk
Desumilk

Very nice.

Also, the music.

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SinKing
SinKing

Good to see these models ingame and rendered. Some of the ships designs remind a little of Christian Scheurer's art and I like them all.
It looks so cool when the ships are all scattered around and you begin to understand the scope of the game. Really great!

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