I do believe we are overdue....

Howard Day

Random art guy.
For an update!
So, I've been working on getting the Hunchback up to the new graphical spec - the old one was just too rough and...blech for it to pass muster amongst it's newer brethren. I've also been working on the the engine upgrades - the external modules they will attach to the engine hardpoint on your ship. This is another area where I just didn't like the quality of art I'd made previously, and even if I did...it simply doesn't fit in with the new stuff. So The first 3 engine upgrades are close to complete - still taking suggestions - and the 4th and 5th level are still WIP. The 5th level is the old art - nothing new there.
I've also put together a rather minor in-cockpit effect. It's a kind of scum - dirt and just residue, I guess, that builds up on the outside of your cockpit windows as you fly about. It collects slowly, and only gets removed when you do a full/complete repair. I guess they throw the window wash in for free. :D The demo proof of concept is the Ole' familiar Tarsus cockpit.
http://www.hedfiles.net/buildup4.jpg <--behind the scenes - how the geo is set up...

There are also scortch marks planned using the same basic system. Ideally, these would only show up once you've flown through and explosion at close range.

Oh, and the hunchback images here are taken directly from XNormal - a program that lets you preview next-gen art assets in real time - adjust the lighting and such. These are about as close to in-engine as I can show. It's still a bit blurrier than I would like, but that's a pretty minor concern at this point.


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Man, I'm gonna have to buy myself a new computer to run this game once it's finished! :D

It's details like the buildup of dirt on the windows that I love in a game -- I believe they'll add so much to the feeling of actually being in that cockpit. Great idea!
Excellent update. The Hunchback was indeed looking a little shabby the last time I scanned through your site.

For the last engine upgrade, maybe you could put some pipes for cooling or something in that mushroom sort of area where it thins out before the actual nozzle.

The thing that immediately came to my mind when you mentioned the grime buildup system was a feature that is being included in the upcoming Storm of War: Battle of Britain sim. You can see it in action in this preview video at about 3:35 here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=5rIiz_HnMlw The fact that you're including a feature comparable to SoW is quite impressive.
More like a pinkish fat guy. I also, just this morning, finished work on my companies latest project. And was swiftly given the boot off the premises on account of the Week-or-so of Comp time they owed me. So I'm off work till next Wednesday! Huzzah!
On that note - finished the engine upgrades. I like 'em, and any comments or changes would be welcomed!
I will now start work on the various radars.


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Ooh even dirt on the windshields? Talk about attention to details! I hope my Raedon 9200 can handle it. ^_^
Heh, I've had that discussion before. In any case, if someone wants to refer to it as a mod, that's fine. It's also a full-blown new engine and game.
As always amazing work!

Regarding sounds; besides the preverbial thrusters/afterburner/jump drive will each engine posess its own sounds? For comparison: the smallest being a geo metro vs the largest engine upgrade being something in the supercar ferrari/mclaren/saleen style.
Well, yes. Each ship has it's own ambient sounds - both engine, computer and lock tones. As yet, we don't have unique sounds for each type of engine upgrade...but there's nothing ruling it out. I don't know how noticable the difference would be, though.
The noticability would depend on implementation, so it's really up to you/Joel/whoever. :) I wouldn't discount things like that. Differing sounds can add a lot of immersion. Just think about Sebulba's freight train engines vs. Anakin's whine in the Episode I pod racing sequence.
Honestly, I'm more looking forward to your game than Arena.

You're a bright one.

The fact of the matter is, we haven't really seen anything from this project. Woo, more pre-rendered ships from someone who's good at pre-rendering ships. Months ago they were talking about getting close to a demo... and now we're talking about getting close to a filter that adds grime to your windshield? Yes, the immediate reaction is "awesome, so much detail!"... but then you have to ask yourself: "Wait, what?". It's very, very, very easy to come up with a list of complex and amazing things... and it's easy to listen to what everybody else says and respond "yeah, we'll have that!"... but at the end of the day, we've seen nothing implemented, so there's no room to drool.

Furthermore, this is a Wing Commander *tribute*. I'm sure the last thing in the universe the people in charge of it want is for idiots to use it as an excuse for being dicks. The best possible response a mod like this can get is that Arena *exists*.
Jesus christ, do you have to turn everything about Arena into an argument? I know Howie's project will take forever and may never get done. I've gone down that path before, with my own past fan project and on other fan projects. Howie's done that himself (remember the Matrix short film, Howie? I don't think that got finished, just bits and pieces).

That doesn't mean I shouldn't be more anxious to play Howie's than I am to play Arena. There's more of what I like in his project than in theirs. I'll say what I want about Arena, and Pioneer. If you don't have anything positive to say, I suggest you don't say anything, please.