Welcome to the first in hopefully a series on making a space game. For some time I’ve been thinking of creating blog posts and videos about how I am creating Space Warfare: Infinite and creating a resource for other aspiring developers. I’ve been messing around with programming games since I was 11, but I am completely self taught so I never feel like an expert enough to really tell people how to do stuff in this world. However, I do lots of research and have been collecting lots of resources. So while I might post some vids / tuts on how I did things, I also want to share some places I found helpful. Below are a number of videos on how to model sci-fi scenes, space ships, and other related things. I am storing them here for myself and my own work as well as for you!
Blocking out – Design Videos – Not Blender Specific
The video above does not use Blender, but watching how he designs and his commentary is really cool for your process. No matter what software is used or what language, you can always learn from people who know what they are doing and then try to apply that learning to your own world. So don’t only look at Blender or Unity tutorials when you can apply overall concepts.
I’ve been busy since the last Dev Log, but sometime its hard to tell what to update folks on. Cleaning up code is super useful for the game, but doesn’t make for screenshots. As the base ship class gets more and more cleaned up and unifies the player and AI scripts, some cool things will happen. More ship variety, AI that can use and switch between different weapon systems on their ship to match their situation, the ability to target a Friendly, press a button and hop into that ships cockpit while AI takes over yours… (yeah thats a big one…). Almost there….
I’ve been fooling around with Blender, but need to take a few online courses on UV Mapping because I am failing or at least asking ‘this has got to be easier’. I guess art assets could be a good reason for a kickstarter in the future if I can’t get the game to look right.
A semi-ok blender model of a fighter. not the best….
I did have great success in modeling debris from exploding ships. Basically just rectangular twisted scraps of metal. Thats about my skill level. But it looks cool!!
changed the zoom out for the player explosion so you can see it and take it in for a few seconds.
New mesh designs for the enemy fighters. I think that look pretty cool. Not too original but I am excited to get the hang of it. Really this mesh is probably the mesh of the player ship or at least human style fighters. Alien races will have more interesting looks.
Targeted Missiles: Center mouse or left cmd key (left alt on PC? not sure) to lock on. And then Right click or option button since I just realized that it wont work in a browser game… mash some keys to see what does what i suppose – to launch missile
Capital Ship: Its just a place holder experiment. It has turrets that can be destroyed. The rest of the ship cannot. Will be working on a 3D mesh for cap ships and turrets so we can get rid of giant rectangles.
Distant Planet background: Now the planets are set in a 3D sky box of sorts using a camera trick. Unlike normal sky boxes, you can actually move closer to the planets — when you get close enough it will one day ask if you want to land… not yet. I think you end up flying through the planet at the moment, but it will take longer than most attention spans to do this.
Jump Gate: Spinning blueish particle thing. I am working on this concept, probably will oneday look more like a nebula cloud or something. Anyway now it jumps you to another scene in which I think controls are messed up and everything is broken – yay!
Anyway, not a huge amount of progress really. The AI still stinks and there isn’t really a game or mission or anything but turrets and bad guys that attack and the satisfying feeling of watching the enemy explode when they get hit by a missile is nice.
AI Choosing Targets Script – move away from just focusing on the player will allow NPC friendlies and we can set up real battles.
Friendly ships, non-combatants (helpless space miners being chased by pirates?)
AI Behaviors – Patrol points, search and destroy, defend, attack, flee, tactical moves, etc. Expect a few of these soon.
Working jumps to other sectors. Will just take some time to figure out how to make it work.
Ship meshes – more and probably more component based so we can build and modify them in game. Front middle and back portions that you can swap. Cap ships will probably be built out of lots of middles parts. Also had some ship model ideas:
– Porcupine Class – two top mounted missile launch boxes with semi-guided missiles – fires like 6 from each box
– ECM Class – creates interference over a set radius that shows up on radar like additional ships – masking actual ship locations
– Capital Ship with Launch Bay for Fighters
More weapons –
– Energy weapons that are strong but get weaker over distance
– Classes of projectile weapons – light, medium, heavy, capital
– Different Missile Types:
– Dumbfire – they fire straight at what you point them at – good for slow moving / stationary targets
– Targeted – initial lock-on followed by dumbfire behavior
– Seeking – lock on that must reacquire target after a certain turn radius – can get confused by counter measures
– Guided – lock on and chases target – most accurate
I spent part of the morning playing around with Blender. I made a smallish space ship model that looks better than the flying rectangles I am currently using. I will play around some more until I have something cool. The plan is to have a good enemy model and a good capital ship model sometime soon.
The trick to Blender is watching lots of Youtube videos. I have a couple books, but watching someone model something really helps. There are not alot of helpful tutorials out there on using Blender to model machines and vehicles. People focus on sculpting characters. Getting the right info for what I am trying to do has been difficult. My biggest barrier (other than how complicated Blender is) was that I needed to understand how to use a Mirror modifier so that I could make symmetrical ships. BornCG has very helpful tutorials on Blender and one is about the Mirror modifier. Now I know how to do that! You can see the results above.
Block Art Capital Ship – see I need to learn 3d modeling
Game update: Planning on uploading a new version soon. Not sure how much longer the game will work ok in the browser. Seems to be ok so far. Recent updates have included –
missiles that lock on and chase target,
a giant capital ship over a km long with turrets that track and destroy the player,
a 3d skybox set up removing the ability to crash into a planet,
jump gate that takes you to a new level albeit with a lot of bugs…