Aug 2, 2013

Playing with Unity

Yesterday, I bought an asset pack on Unity for making planets, stars and space stuff. Things are getting visual, look by yourself!

The ship used here is the second version of the Hyper Spaceship. I made this small animation like a proof of concept... The ship goes in front of the camera from left to right. Simple but... HOLY CRAP THIS IS SO COOL!

This is not going to be part of the game, I'm playing with tools and learning how to manage nice effects like the reactor thrusters (they're animated) and planets / stars.

Jul 13, 2013

Still alive


Quite a long time without any communication about the projet... sorry!

First, the project is not dead. Well in fact it died. For the 2 time. But it came back to life as it did previously, long before the creation of this dev blog.

The project is now taking a new direction. Up to now, i used to code the entire game using a simple (yet powerfull) engine : Yna. That was a great journey. With this engine I could learn a lot of things about 3D. But Alone in Space requires a huge amount work. And it turned out that Yna was too much "simple" (no offense here) for my needs.

So i did my mourning. The last months of work were not lost at all. I learn so much things with this game engine (thanks to +Yannick Comte) that I'm now much more comfortable with 3D programming, management, etc...

Some people I know are using Unity to create games but I never really listened to them (yes, i'm completely stubborn). I watched some tutorial videos. Then tried the editor and... mind blowing fact : it took me about 3 hours to get the same result than after about a month of work previously. It was settled : I will use Unity.

Here is a quick wallpaper made with a new 3D model for the Anti-matter Accelerator to celebrate this new born. Cheers!

May 8, 2013

UI work in progress


I though you may enjoy some work in progress screenshots as well as global steps. I'm currently creating the UI of the Zone vision and... can't stop smiling at those simple lines. :)

As I'm cleaning the code, this is no more possible to spawn structures... It will be reimplemented soon with the brand new UI. Here we go :

This is the base layout (don't pay attention to the totally spurious resolution). From left to right, we have 3 buttons to get to the panels : diplomacy, freight and research. In the center, 2 buttons are bigger. The left one is for building, the right one is for destroying (yes, you'll have to destroy structures to avoid wasting resources!). And the 3 right ones are vision buttons : galaxy, sector and region.

The base bar contains natural resources stored in the zone warehouse. In fact, this bar is the visible part of the iceberg. By clicking on a button (which is not here yet) or by typing a top secret hotkey (not defined yet), the warehouse opens and will show advanced informations :
As the content is not ready, the size may not be accurate but the idea is here. Those informations are not important all the time so hiding them in some kind of sheet under the UI was a nice idea (I guess).

The build and destroy menu opens a vertical list of actions. The build menu shows the list of available blueprints for construction. The next step is not coded yet but additionnal informations will be shown on the right side of the buttons (price, description, customization, etc...)

The destroy button shows 2 possible actions : blast or disassemble.
By blasting a structure, it will be instantly (almost) destroy it, leaving ashes and few materials. Disassembling it will take time but more resources will be gathered back.

This is all I have to show for now. What do you think about it?

May 2, 2013

Texturing vs 3D details

I wasn't very involved the past days weeks. I had to work on another game project and also do things i never did before. And everything new to you is very tiring... The new routines are on the road. There is still a lot of work to do but it will be usefull for Alone in Space in the future so... That's not a time waste!

As I could enhance my 3D skills recently, I was adding more and more details to my 3D models. More and more faces for better rendering. Things like my last spaceship. But hey, I have to create 3D models for buildings, and there will be a lot of them. So If I continue to add details, the game will be unplayable because of big lags due to excessive details.

So I though about how I could get betters visuals without adding details. The answer is simple : textures and shaders. Up to now, I was using plain textures on faces. That's nice but huh... May be too much simplistic. Working on textures is the first step.

The guinea pig for this experimentation was the Command Center. I restarted something weeks ago but that was crappy. I started from 0 and here is the model without textures :

That's really simple. There is a lot of faces as it is a half sphere like shape, but the overall structure is quite simple. From this, I worked on texturing it to add details. Here is the result :

That's very interesting and also satisfying : not a lot of polygon, but still a nice looking structure. I'll have to gather more detail textures so this will be quite hard (I only use free textures for now).

Hard but not impossible.

Apr 2, 2013

Hyper Spaceship

Big work done on the Hyper Spaceship lately. If you follow the Google + page, you could see the work in progress during the few last days. If you didn't, well, you can go there and see it afterwards!

Making this ship was great. The more I use Blender, the more I love it. And I'm definitively sure that I only use 1 or 2% of the software possibilities... As I learn how to use it, models get better. That's nice! Here is renders of the new Hyper Spaceship. They're in high quality (1920x1080) so enjoy!

Mar 28, 2013

Things are getting epic

My 3D modeling skills are getting higher and higher each day. I had ta make a better model for the Hyper Spaceship... The spaceships models will not be used as is but will be rendered into simple 2D textures for use in the game so I was completely free to make them very detailed. Here is the first attempt :

And to get an overview, this was the old one :

The new model is completely epic compared to the first one!

Mar 27, 2013

Metal Plant blue prints

The Metal Plant is now ready to use! Textures used are simple and it looks nice. When all structures will be redesigned, I'll adjust colors for them to be easily identiable.