Progress Update

Hi again,

Things have been progressing very well these last two weeks. Howard has been continuing to pump out amazing artwork. As for me, I've switched gears to work on the editor as well as a much-needed asset manager. With the amount of artwork we now have, it was getting very hard to manage, so we decided to make it a priority to get the editor and the manager working. This will allow us to make tweaks to the materials and other properties visually instead of via property files like we've been doing. At first it was alright, since we had little to work with and it made debugging easier, but now it's just no longer practical.

Anyways, I'll be continuing to update this thread as we make progress. Our goal right now is to get the interface work done so that we can tweak out the demo/engine settings easier. In fact, Howard has already been making a lot of progress on making the demo look even better, and he's also added a lot of other artwork, so you'll be getting a lot more than we originally anticipated. :)

Take care,

~Joel
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Is there anything to see in the mean time before the tech demo is ready? Haven't seen anything in a couple weeks here.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
I do have a few things to show - Most of it is fluff, but some of you may find it interesting.
Firstly, I've been attempting to create my own explosions, so we won't have to rely on the ArtBeat ones. (They are sort of hokey)
Here are the results:
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo1.mov
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo2.mov
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo3.mov
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo4.mov
There are some glitches in there, and I'm not totally convinced they look "Wing Commandery" enough. Any suggestions or comments on that sumbject are welcome.

Also, here are several shots of the weapon sprites in the game. They're from the top: Laser, Mass Driver, Meson, Neutron, Photon, Particle, Plasma. I've shown them in such a way to allow for the many angles you'd see during the game.
Bolts.jpg

And here're the missiles .
missiles.jpg

So that's all I've got on the game-necessary side...here's just a nebula test I put together.
n_test.jpg

Anyhow, I did say it was mostly fluff, right?
Enjoy.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
That is a good ways off. We're not planning on having a flyable, playable demo for several months - probably half a year. The majority of the art is complete for that - but there is a ton and a half of model conversion, texture compression, and ship setup to do in the meantime. Which I'm going to do, and leave the programming in the capable hands of Joel. We're also still undecided if we're going to put walkable bases in the next demo...but if we do that's a ton an a half of more work I need to do. Fun!
 

Sonic TH

Spaceman
Hmm, sounds kinda the way VegaStrike is going once they finish the OGRE port. (walkable bases)

Anyway I was going to say there are some explosions for download on Bob Forward's site. He worked on the thunder birds movie, they might not be something you could use but they might give you an idea of what blowing up a model should look like or just something cool to base your own stuff off of.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Howard Day said:
We're also still undecided if we're going to put walkable bases in the next demo...

Meh. I'm going to be spending most of my time in space. I think the traditional hotspot system will work just fine.
 

Cargoman

Spaceman
I don't think you need to have "walkable" bases for the demo .
However as Howard has said before , it is a great way to add to
the "Being there" feel . Which the Pioneer team has pointed at as
thier goal . Being able to walk around the various bases as well as
seeing more than just the cockpit of your ship really adds to the
envelopement of the games enviorment .
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Cargoman said:
I don't think you need to have "walkable" bases for the demo .
However as Howard has said before , it is a great way to add to
the "Being there" feel . Which the Pioneer team has pointed at as
thier goal . Being able to walk around the various bases as well as
seeing more than just the cockpit of your ship really adds to the
envelopement of the games enviorment .


I think walkable bases is theoretically a great Idea. But like t.c.cgi I feel that after the first few, it will become more tedious than fun.

So the solution is to make sure you incorporate a wc4 style hotspot map for those that know where they want to go and want to get there quickly. A cool feature that could be built around the walkable base idea is that sometime stuff doesn't show up on the map untill you physically find it or are told about it. Maybe its a secret pirate underworld bar/hangout on a particular planet... the kinds of things you *don't* find in the telephone directory.
 

Aplha 1-1

Spaceman
I think walking around the bases can be a great idea and add to the atmosphere of the game, hell even use it for plot related elements. One thing on my mind though is this: If we can walk around places does that allow out of the cockpit action (don't be seen by mr. so-and-so, excape capture by confed foot patrols etc.....) or would any additional non-flight controls just get in the way?
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
AD said:
A cool feature that could be built around the walkable base idea is that sometime stuff doesn't show up on the map untill you physically find it or are told about it. Maybe its a secret pirate underworld bar/hangout on a particular planet... the kinds of things you *don't* find in the telephone directory.

Aplha 1-1 said:
I think walking around the bases can be a great idea and add to the atmosphere of the game, hell even use it for plot related elements. One thing on my mind though is this: If we can walk around places does that allow out of the cockpit action (don't be seen by mr. so-and-so, excape capture by confed foot patrols etc.....) or would any additional non-flight controls just get in the way?

I really don't like the sound of either of these. When I have to find the secret spot or am forced to sneak by some arbitrary thing my urge to uninstall the game and never play it again is insurmountable. They're both strange time-sinks that I get no enjoyment out of.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I think I rather like that stuff. If it's a game I'm into, exploring and finding new areas of a base is a really great feeling. I don't much care for action stuff. That gets into a different genre entirely. But adding areas to your map along the lines of AD's suggestion sounds great. It reminds me a bit of how Wing Commander 4 would initially show you connecting FMV shots between rooms that you explored for the first time.
 

Sonic TH

Spaceman
Yeah it doesn't have to be part of the plot although if the game is as good as the artwork looks I don't think walking around would really be so bad. But my point was easter eggs can be fun, they could be hidden on bases and not be part of the main plot, maybe restrict walking around on bases to sub-plot quests and such.

Of course if you've played games like FF or other RPGs walking around a base is nothing. :)
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Sonic TH: Hey, if you'd provide a link with that, I'd be appreciative. Google doesn't like me right now.
AD, t.c.cgi: Well, you're in luck. The first playable demo will not have walkable bases. However, they are still very much part of the final product. And, yes, you will probably learn to love them. The amount of immersion they provide is astounding. However, if it becomes obvious that is a big point of contention as to whether or not people like the game - we may - and I do mean may - provide a toggle that allows tyou to switch back and forth between the walkable bases and the traditional stuff. As for being forced to find secret bars, and shadowing people for money.. If you don't like like it, don't accept the mission. That's pretty simple. Anyhow, I think the main thing is to the the bases themselves working correctly. Have no fear - we're not putting anything in there that doesn't work, and work well.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Howard Day said:
Sonic TH: Hey, if you'd provide a link with that, I'd be appreciative. Google doesn't like me right now.
AD, t.c.cgi: Well, you're in luck. The first playable demo will not have walkable bases. However, they are still very much part of the final product. And, yes, you will probably learn to love them. The amount of immersion they provide is astounding. However, if it becomes obvious that is a big point of contention as to whether or not people like the game - we may - and I do mean may - provide a toggle that allows tyou to switch back and forth between the walkable bases and the traditional stuff. As for being forced to find secret bars, and shadowing people for money.. If you don't like like it, don't accept the mission. That's pretty simple. Anyhow, I think the main thing is to the the bases themselves working correctly. Have no fear - we're not putting anything in there that doesn't work, and work well.


I hope I didn't give the wrong impression. I like the idea. But I do feel that it could be tedious after the millionth time of landing having to run around for 10 minutes on a quick layover just to refuel. It's a simple solution though. Weapons ordinance fuel and generic (non contraband) cargo could all be right by the landing platform, so you really only nead to run around for conversations, shady underworld stuff, joining guilds, and finding secret bars and such.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
On the map idea, how about a hybrid solution: you can "teleport" to hotspots that represent places you've been to before (as in WC4), but you should walk around to find new places (including the bar, etc. in a base you've never set foot on before).

On the gunshots graphics: Any particular reason you chose to make the mass driver shots like that instead of the classic metal ball shape?
 
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