New Space Sim in the works

|BoH_Havoc|

Spaceman
Well, this isn't exactly Wing Commander related, but here goes:

We are currently working on a new space sim which will be multiplayer only (for now). It will most likely be free to play and we are currently thinking about storing all game relevant data (levels, equipment, playerspeed, etc) in databases, so it will be easily moddable (might get interisting for wing commander related projects then :) ) and also easier for us to add content.

Some facts:
- 5 modes ( (Team-)Deathmatch, Station Siege, Assault on the Transport, Capture the wreck, Asteroid football )
- currently 6 types of ships
- 16 players (might increase, we recently switched the network lib to another one which should not only be faster, but also has more features like VOIP)


My job:
- shaders & special FX
- playerships, equipment
- texturing
- overal look

The reason i post here? Well, we decided to upgrade our engine to the latest version. We are now able to easily integrate post processing and render to texture effects. Now it's my job to write all those fancy shaders and create kick ass gfx.

And i need you guys to comment on it, so i can be sure i'm on the right track :)

Current features:
- Fake HDR-R (Tonemapped Bloom with dynamic gamma correction)
- Dynamic Softshadows
- Volumetric Paticles (Explosions, Nebula, etc.)
- Refractions (Engines, Shield, Warpgate, etc.)
- Normalmapping
- Diffuse and Specular Lighting
- Luminance Mapping
- Environment Mapping and Lighting
- Planet Shader
(- Depth of Field with autofocus . Not really needed... but hey, it was fun to create ;) )


- ALL SCREENSHOTS ARE TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE ENGINE -

First shots of the new visuals (April 05 2009):






Heat Haze / Engine Effect (April 10 2009)




New Asteroids & Shield Effect (April 13 2009)





Planet Shader (April 14 2009)




So what do you guys think? Am i on the right track? :)

cheers and have a nice day!
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
Are you on the right track...?

Dude, it's frackin' BRILLIANT, in my opinion. The word I used when I was looking at them was "beautiful".
 

DarkOne

Spaceman
Very good work and if you have a website where I can get more info or if you want to take a few minutes to post something showing off your work on my site it would be appreciated. It is looking very good and keep up the work. That engine and the models look great looks like you been doing this for years :)
 

|BoH_Havoc|

Spaceman
Dude, it's frackin' BRILLIANT, in my opinion. The word I used when I was looking at them was "beautiful".
Hmm, guess it's not that bad then. Thanks :)

Very good work and if you have a website where I can get more info or if you want to take a few minutes to post something showing off your work on my site it would be appreciated. It is looking very good and keep up the work. That engine and the models look great looks like you been doing this for years :)
Thanks :)
There is no official site yet (just a dev-forum).
I will create some kind of press kit when i have the time and will post it here and on your site



Keep the feedback coming guys, we really need it :)
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
The images look allready very promesing.
Keep us updated about it. Also you got any video footage to show use some stuff in motion?

Another question, is your engine DX or OpenGL oriantated and what systems will it be running on?

Also one of the images seams to have some "field of depth/distant blur" going but the others don't. I find it an pretty cool effect to have something like that.

PS: One of the asteroids looks strange...kinda like the textures aren't seamingless.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Will someone need to host the multiplayer, or will it be forever running on a seperate servers, like battlefield or World of Warcraft?
 

DarkOne

Spaceman
Hmm, guess it's not that bad then. Thanks :)



Thanks :)
There is no official site yet (just a dev-forum).
I will create some kind of press kit when i have the time and will post it here and on your site



Keep the feedback coming guys, we really need it :)

Thanks BoH_Havoc. Soon as you have a site up I can send people to I will post something on my forums (or you can) and get you a little more support/feedback. Look forward to the next update.

-D1-
 

|BoH_Havoc|

Spaceman
Also you got any video footage to show use some stuff in motion?
There is an outdated internal video, showcasing PvP. I will post a video with the new graphics as soon as possible :)

Another question, is your engine DX or OpenGL oriantated and what systems will it be running on?
The engine we are using is built on DirectX. I can't give too much detail on hardware, but it will be playable on basically every PC which can run windows xp and directx 9 games. It won't look that good of course, but it will be playable.
Currently a gfx card with at least pixelshader 2.a is needed to activate all those neat shader effects. I will try to get it down to pixelshader 2.0 so more ppl can have all those shiny pixels on their screens ;)

Also one of the images seams to have some "field of depth/distant blur" going but the others don't. I find it an pretty cool effect to have something like that.
Yes, that one picture is using the depth of field effect i made. It's nice, but will be very disturbing when in combat. It's also very unrealistic, as depth of field doesn't appear in space, as far as i know. :)
Well, it's build in and can be used. So if we need it someday, we will definately use it. Maybe later for some kind of cinematic effects/cutscenes/i-dont-know

PS: One of the asteroids looks strange...kinda like the textures aren't seamingless.
Yup, those were the old asteroids. We are using new ones now, as you can see on the later pics :)

Will someone need to host the multiplayer, or will it be forever running on a seperate servers, like battlefield or World of Warcraft?
A player has to create a server so other players can join. Our game is not and will never be a Massively Multiplayer Online Game with persistent worlds! Think of it as Counterstrike in Space for now ;)

I'll help out with any testing needed, and maybe some concept art, if you would like.
We'll let you guys now, once there is a beta test :)

Soon as you have a site up I can send people to I will post something on my forums (or you can) and get you a little more support/feedback. Look forward to the next update.
Sweet, I'll do that then :)




Just noticed our game is on the news!
Thanks Chris! :D
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Yes, that one picture is using the depth of field effect i made. It's nice, but will be very disturbing when in combat. It's also very unrealistic, as depth of field doesn't appear in space, as far as i know. :)
Uhh.... What? It's an effect created by the fact that we see in 3D. Depth of field has to do with focus. If anything, not having depth of field is unrealistic. However, the catch is that we can adjust our focus on the fly. So whatever we focus on is clear whereas anything i front or further back is out of focus. You can test this at home. Put you hand in front of your face and move it as far away as possible and then bring it closer to your face until you smack yourself on the noggin. While focusing on your hand you will have noticed that you really can't focus on anything else at the same time. That's just how your eyes work (unless you are missing one).

What there isn't in space are points of reference. Also, most objects are at such a distance that it doesn't matter since you can't focus on more than the generic shape anyway. There's usually nothing else to focus on which hopefully isn't the case in your game. But our eyes definitely do not work differently just because we're in space.

Not being able to focus on a fighter no matter what it's distance seems a little wierd though if that's what you mean. So forcing a set focal distance will definitely be odd.

Personally I would mimic depth of field in space by opening up the focal distance of the (virtual) lense if you want to think of it that way. Have everything in focus. Then, when you lock on a target have the focal distance shrink so that the fighter in front of your ship is in focus with everything else just slightly blurred. If you lose sight of them then everything is in focus again.
 
Ok, the game looks good. It might be nice for those people who have the better computers to be able to download and upgrade or expansion graphics pack to boost the quality but that doesn't need to be done right away. The graphics are great, but the ship models do look a little blocky (I suspect they might just be the testing models).
 

|BoH_Havoc|

Spaceman
A little update:
Implemented a first version of shader driven explosions







Uhh.... What? It's an effect created by the fact that we see in 3D. Depth of field has to do with focus. If anything, not having depth of field is unrealistic.
Of course Depth of Field is an effect created by the fact that we see in 3D. If we only had one eye there won't be any DoF. But i think i red somewhere that you also need some kind of atmosphere (i.e. air) to get the effect. I will do some more research on that matter :)
But even if it turns out that i'm right and we don't have DoF in space, we might implement it anyway as it looks cool and you guys seem to like it. You will have the option to turn it off though, as it might affect gameplay to much ;)


The graphics are great, but the ship models do look a little blocky (I suspect they might just be the testing models).
The shipmodels are not placeholders. But i'm thinking of redoing the normalmaps and add more detail to them. They look a little outdated. If this doesn't help, i will refurbish the models itself.




Thanks for the feedback! :)
 

Andrewas

Rear Admiral
Of course Depth of Field is an effect created by the fact that we see in 3D. If we only had one eye there won't be any DoF.
I think you are confusing the terms 'depth of field and 'depth perception' here. The latter is an effect of having two eyes, by comparing the two viewpoints the brain can extract depth information. The former is an optical effect, caused by the fact that a lens can only bring a certain depth into focus at one time. Anything closer or more distant is out of focus.

You are right that its unrealistic in games, since in reality the eye rapidly focuses on whatever you want it to, while the computer will simulate focus on a given object.
 

DarkOne

Spaceman
Thanks for the new pics BoH_Havoc, they are looking good. Have you picked a name for your project yet and is there a webpage coming?
 

GreyViper

Rear Admiral
New Asteroids & Shield Effect (April 13 2009), Planet Shader (April 14 2009) pictures look the best. Question is there a flash version of the explosion, because currently its hard to judge. And lastly any info on how this space sim will play out? Reason I ask is this, there were few good looking space sims released in the past. Dark Star One and Tarr Chronicles, but unfortunate they ended up either boring or controls were so bad that you just didn't bother with it.
 

Germanunkol

Spaceman
DarkOne: yes, we have a name :)
GreyViper: Boh_havoc told me the explosion is not yet animated. We'll try to combine his shaderwork with my particle explosion soon, maybe this week if we find the time. So atm. there's no flash version yet. For the gameplay: We will rely on more feedback from all of you to make it really fun. But, trust me, fun and usability are gonna be our main goals.
trinijoy: that sound great, thank you! We'll keep you posted.

-the programmer
 

|BoH_Havoc|

Spaceman
I sat down with Germanunkol this weekend and we implemented most of the shaders in the actual game. (shader driven explosions and shadows are still missing). He also threw in some nice engine trails and an overbright effect when looking into the sun.
After all the coding and testing we had a little match :D

Here are some ingame-screens:

cruisin' around


testing the afterburner


germanunkol disturbing my sightseeing :D


our coder get's locked (depth of field gets activated and the enemy always stays in focus. it's way to strong at the moment, we know :D )





i finally get him (he kicked my ass three times before, so i was just lucky i guess :D )



two other ships in action






Well yeah that's pretty much how the game looks at the moment :)

Also, netcode is working pretty well, Germanunkol did a great job so far :)

So what's next? Well, i'll just quote our coder:
"I really have to get those wingmen working, then i'll kick your ass! And be assured that they will only work for me and only i will know the special code to unlock them! :D"

Have a nice week everyone!
 

DarkOne

Spaceman
DarkOne: yes, we have a name :)
GreyViper: Boh_havoc told me the explosion is not yet animated. We'll try to combine his shaderwork with my particle explosion soon, maybe this week if we find the time. So atm. there's no flash version yet. For the gameplay: We will rely on more feedback from all of you to make it really fun. But, trust me, fun and usability are gonna be our main goals.
trinijoy: that sound great, thank you! We'll keep you posted.

-the programmer

So whats the name of the game going to be. And those new screenshots look very good nice work and the afterburner effects look great.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
Like the warping effects at high speed. I sure wouldn't want to be in the cockpit hitting one of those asteroids...
 
Top