Okay, so, I'm done with the Procedural Generation Contest
. I'm not completely happy with how it ended up, but still, 22 days for a non-l33t coder like me... I shouldn't be too down on myself.
I wanted to keep K2 moving, albeit at a much slower pace than for the competition, so this is my thread to do that in.
I was looking back through some old files recently, and found a bunch of screenshots from the original K. I keep linking to
, but that is really blitzed by youtube's compression. I found an old, half-developed backup build of it, from before the time I introduced some really nasty bug which never got fixed, and I was sort of struck at how well the visual style holds up. I figured you might like to see some clearer screenshots from around 2001.A Trip down Memory Brane
This was one of the original concept drawings I did. as you can see, I wanted more of a free camera, top down, remote-control style 3D game. Ultimately, it changed itself, though.
A ship concept from buddy JP, inspired by the flight-of-the-navigator ship. I wanted to go for some very abstract ships, although, as you'll see, there may have been some *ahem* Lucasian inspiration which distracted me from this goal...
Close up of the Tie Interceptor model. I actually made this in under half an hour, to explain to my friend how to model in milkshape. I'm not a modeller, obviously, but I was kind of proud of doing that in such a short time.
To get the line drawing effect, I simply loaded in models, figured out where the ends of polygon groups were, and drew gl lines around them. It was a cheap tricky to avoid making tools to individually craft the detail lines.
Experimenting with the landscape shading. This was using an environment map in a sorta bizzarre way. The same sort of idea is used for rim-lighting a lot in cartooney games, nowadays, like Mario Galaxy.
I gave cel shading a go, but because of some bug in the normal calculation, it didn't really look that great. Remember, this was in the days before shaders dominated everything. There's a lot of old-school hacks using the nuances of opengl which were clever at the time, but are now a bit redundant.
The original landscape engine was by David Hillier, and was meant for more realistic terrains. I dabbled a bit, and decided that my texture art skills would not be up to scratch, hence the totally abstract look.
Starting to get ships into the game.
Contours and shading, here, are generated by two passes (using oldschool texture combination). One is an environment map, and the other is a transparent texture, except for the stripe.
O look, that's not a tie fighter rite?
This was a slightly newer version of the engine, donated by David Hillier again.
Contours/shading turned into a clever trick. They used one texture, which had a stripe on the Y-Axis, and the shading blended along the X axis. A flat-on texture co-ord generator was used for the V component of the texture (to generate the contour), and the U component used the environment map method, generating the shading. Or something like that. I forget.
Starting to get game play in. The key idea to K is that the free-roaming cross hair fixes problems of parallax error. Most games really lock your camera behind the ship, because the shots don't line up properly with targets, but when you project the cross hair out to the same distance as the target, you reduce parallax error immeasurably. This allows for a freer camera. Unfortunately, all kinds of other problems meant that I had to have my camera a bit closer.