Archive for August, 2010

Player Ship Finished

After six days of fiddling around with the player ship I’m sick of it. It’s time for something new to work on.

This is the ship as it will be used in the arcade mode of Nordenfelt:

3d view and 2d sprite of arcade player ship in final version

The small wings were mounted recently. This was done for one simple purpose: the birds-view shape did not look like a flying object. The wings are rather useless but provide a decorative hint at the vehicle’s flying nature.

Upcoming tasks on my todo list are making the playable level easier, adding some increments to the available weapon (upgrading) and many small tweaks like faster scroll speed or additional animations. I’m wondering when version 0.2 will be out. Hm…


Revised Player Ship Model

After some feedback I’ve changed the shape of the player ship. The engines became reduced in size and semi-covered by the ship hull, the outward-pointing guns are parallel know. Finalizing details like construction seams and rivets were attached:

3d view and 2d sprite of player ship version 2

I’m not really satisfied with the hull’s birds-view shape. The old hull was rougher:

3d view and 2d sprite of player ship version 1

I’m pondering if the engine covers should be reduced a little bit for restoring the “small hip” of the old hull shape.

What is your opinion?


Upgrade Triggered Refactoring Avalanche

After collecting all feedback from version 0.1 the first point on the todo list became including upgrades in the arcade mode. That sounded simple. I added a new upgrade object type and integrated it into the collision detection system. Here the first problem popped up: Physical shapes were still represented as polygons, upgrade icons were going to be circular. There was a big “TODO: replace polygons with circles” in the code. OK, let’s replace the polygons with circles. I will have to do it anyway. The avalanche started sliding.

While refactoring the collision code and adapting file formats the latter became painful work. The data formats were simple sequences of numeric values. E.g. a 2D vector was just a pair of numbers and a circle was a 2D vector followed by the circle its radius. The lack of meta data within the files, declaring the meanings of the values, forced me to always reference the corresponding loading source code. That was cumbersome so it was time for the next refactoring step: replacing the old file formats with XML. Next job in the refactoring queue.

The newly integrated upgrades had to load their data from files. They needed sprites, animations and body shapes. The third refactoring The Game The Face Of L.A. job accelerated the avalanche. Hey, I just wanted to upgrade my guns! Oh, wait a minute… equipment needs new upgrade definitions, weapons will have different shoot layouts. Dammit! Next job enqueued!

After two weeks refactoring the hell out of the game all viral tasks were finished. It’s a good feeling that the Nordenfelt engine now has proper data formats, a faster collision detection and upgradable equipment. Now I can go on with the funnier things.

For example modelling the player ship.

The Arcade Player Ship

The poll for your favourite player ship design sketches elected concept G as winner:

Steampunk Battle Ship

Today I’ve made this 3D model from the sketch above. It is not finished yet. Details like plates, frames or rivets are still missing:

Basic 3D model of winner concept

Basic 3D model of winner concept

IMO concept G is a good choice. It meets the shmup guidelines (AFAIK them), looks steampunky enough and has two Gatling guns! What would our world be without Gatling guns? 😉

Thanks four your votes!