Here is the new entry in Nordenfelt‘s weekly development log. This week I was busy researching and testing explosion effects.

You can help getting this project done, test Nordenfelt’s latest versions and discuss the game in the secret development forum with other preorderers by preordering Nordenfelt. If you like to stay in touch, be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed, email newsletter or listen to my tweets at @black_golem.

To get an idea how I should create stunning explosions I’ve investigated games like Gratuitous Space Battles or Crimzon Clover in motion. For this I ripped some of their gameplay videos from YouTube with UnPlug. IMO it’s hardly possible to research a game while you’re playing it. Therefore it’s better to investigate videos. YouTube is a game researcher’s best friend.

The most impressive fact about explosions and particle effects in general is that they are made from just a few sprites:


Check out the sprites in the top left corner. This masterpiece of smoke, fire, debris and glares was made from 6 simple sprites. The trick is the procedural arrangement of the graphics. Such an explosion would look great in Nordenfelt but it would also bring the game’s frame rate to its knees. Therefore it’s necessary to bake smaller explosions and reuse them as prefabs.

For this reason I’ve integrated animations into the particle engine. This new feature allows combining several smaller effects into a prerendered sprite sheet. The good news is that there are some good explosion sprite sheets available on the internet. Have a look at this free one from TurboSquid:

Explosion Sprite

At the moment I’m testing a few explosion animations with some extra particles for debris, glares, shockwaves and smoke. I’m curious how these SFX will evolve.

That’s it for this week. As mentioned before, feel free to support the project by preordering Nordenfelt. See you next week.