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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytesting'Zero' + [new screen 4.18]
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lowpoly
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« on: April 02, 2007, 11:00:54 PM »

'Zero'
temporary name / I'm going to treat this as a worklog for now / no download yet :[

'Zero' is a top-down, 3D space combat game inspired by Wing Commander I, Asteroids, EVE Online, and a touch of the movie Aliens. Although the primary gameplay will be focused on arcade action, the game will feature a rich universe and emerging storyline that can be experienced in a quasi-RPG style. More on that later, onto the screens:

added new screenshot 4.18.07










The most recent milestone for me has been nailing down the look and motion of the background environments. The models in these shots are being shown at various stages of completion (untextured, unlit, etc.) but I'm not overly concerned with finalizing any of that at this moment. Enemy AI is too inconsistent to warrant releasing any sort of build, however, if anyone is interested in beta testing in the future, send me a PM.

Looking forward to everyone's feedback.  Kiss
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 12:10:16 AM by lowpoly » Logged

Alex May
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 11:35:08 PM »

Looks great. I must have mouse control! I must have it!!!
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wonderpus
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 11:41:45 AM »

awesome work .. very nice
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ravuya
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 02:16:14 PM »

I really like your HUD.
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Derek
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 03:54:13 PM »

It looks quite nice!  I'm interested to see what it'll look like with textures.  Maybe something like Homeworld? Kiss
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lowpoly
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 11:10:35 PM »

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I appreciate it!

Looks great. I must have mouse control! I must have it!!!

It's definitely a possibility down the road, but right now I'm focusing on gamepad control. I have this somewhat lofty goal of being able to play the entire game without touching the keyboard. It's a stretch, but I think there's something to be said about simplified control schemes. The game currently has keyboard controls working, but they're inaccurate

It looks quite nice!  I'm interested to see what it'll look like with textures.  Maybe something like Homeworld? Kiss

I'm interested to see what it'll look like with textures too! Wink I'm yet to really nail down an aesthetic for the game models, I keep jumping back and forth between really simple and really worn. I'm going to do a lighting pass first and go from there.

From what I remember of Homeworld, there was a lot of blues and oranges, right? I think ultimately the look will probably resemble WWII era fighters.
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 01:43:02 PM »

A thorough reference for Homeworld 2 concept art:
http://shipyards.relicnews.com/hw2/concept.htm

From what I've read the artists were inspired by the Terran Trade Authority Spacecraft series of books from the '70s:
http://www.khantazi.org/Rec/TTABooks/TTABooks.html

I own one of these, very imaginative stuff, and infinitely more interesting to me than the usual gunmental and caution stripes style.

To be honest though I'm not even certain you need textures.  Unless they're high-res its easy for them to look like a mess.  I like the clean look of flat-shaded models, especially if you provide interesting articulation and surface detailing, and choose unique colour schemes for the different parts.

I caution against a really worn look for the textures simply because it's very common, and it's really really easy to overdo (scorch marks everywhere!).  It will be hard to make a space shooter look special, I think, but the TTA books might be a good reference.  Especially if you want a World War 2 fighter look, that's something they seemed to draw from a lot.
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lowpoly
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 12:17:38 AM »

A thorough reference for Homeworld 2 concept art:
http://shipyards.relicnews.com/hw2/concept.htm

From what I've read the artists were inspired by the Terran Trade Authority Spacecraft series of books from the '70s:
http://www.khantazi.org/Rec/TTABooks/TTABooks.html

Thanks for the links, inspiring stuff there.

Updated the original post to show some of the latest texture and lighting. I'm aiming for a mostly clean look, focusing on shading and form. Real time lights add a little specular shine when appropriate, I think it comes together nicely when in motion.

Appreciate the feedback as always!
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2007, 09:03:25 AM »

The texturing doesn't seem all that aparent, it just looks like gourad shading to me.  Is that the screenshot or am I missing details?
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Alec
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2007, 09:13:49 AM »

The texturing doesn't seem all that aparent, it just looks like gourad shading to me.  Is that the screenshot or am I missing details?

The models in these shots are being shown at various stages of completion (untextured, unlit, etc.) but I'm not overly concerned with finalizing any of that at this moment.

Looks like a sweet start.  Smiley
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lowpoly
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2007, 09:08:48 AM »

The texturing doesn't seem all that aparent, it just looks like gourad shading to me.  Is that the screenshot or am I missing details?

The models in these shots are being shown at various stages of completion (untextured, unlit, etc.) but I'm not overly concerned with finalizing any of that at this moment.

Looks like a sweet start.  Smiley

So it's a little bit of both. Everything in that screenshot has a texture applied to it. I'm exporting my models with flat colors, then applying a texture map that mostly consists of color and shadows in multiply2 mode in Blitz. I'm split on how much further I want to push the look, as personally I really enjoy the aesthetic. Not every mission is going to take place in deep space so certain parts of the game will have much more detailed texture work and geometry.

For things like the satellite in this screenshot, I'll probably go back 2 or 3 more times before I'm 'finished' adding small texture details. Prob bump the map size up to 512 in the end. But for things like the ships that take up so little screen space, I feel like any fine detail work will end up getting lost at that size so I concentrating on form.

I guess I'm trying to articulate the style and tone of the game with these screenshots more than anything else. I hope that comes across.

Again, thanks for the comments guys, it's appreciated
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2007, 09:35:20 PM »

Quote
I guess I'm trying to articulate the style and tone of the game with these screenshots more than anything else. I hope that comes across.
Yes, seems to be working.
Quote
For things like the satellite in this screenshot, I'll probably go back 2 or 3 more times before I'm 'finished' adding small texture details. Prob bump the map size up to 512 in the end. But for things like the ships that take up so little screen space, I feel like any fine detail work will end up getting lost at that size so I concentrating on form.
Would you mind showing a texture map?  I've done some texture work myself and I'm genuinely curious how much is visible in the shots.

I think the orange and blue-gray on the fighter looks really sharp, by the way.
Quote
Not every mission is going to take place in deep space so certain parts of the game will have much more detailed texture work and geometry.
Does this mean planetary missions?  That would be really interesting for a top-down space shooter.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2007, 09:01:50 AM »

One question, which doesn't seem to be obvious in this thread: does this game have a significant story portion, or is it just shooting? One thing I loved about Wing Commander was the interesting story and characterization it had (the different pilots with their different personalities influenced how they acted as your wingmen). Your screenshots don't seem to show any of that, so I was wondering if it has that or if it's planned.
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lowpoly
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2007, 10:18:23 AM »

One question, which doesn't seem to be obvious in this thread: does this game have a significant story portion, or is it just shooting?
I guess I kinda glossed over that in the original post. Yes, there's a large RPG-ish story portion to the game planned right now. I spent some time giving it legs and the core functionality of it works, but in terms of art there's very little done beyond placeholder assets so I'm not really comfortable showing it off yet. Although limited, the interaction you had with other pilots in WC was one of the biggest draws of the game for me. I'm hoping to provide a similarly enjoyable and expanded dynamic to my game, backed by an engaging storyline. Just need to finish writing it Smiley

Would you mind showing a texture map?  I've done some texture work myself and I'm genuinely curious how much is visible in the shots.

ya, I don't see why not...

Does this mean planetary missions?  That would be really interesting for a top-down space shooter.

Probably not planetary missions per se, but def missions where you are in an enclosed environment. I don't want to use the word 'cave' because we're talking outer space, but that's a loose metaphor for what I have planned. It's actually what I'm working on right now so we'll see what comes of it.
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