Corporate Announcement

02/20/2017 -

Here at Jun and Pate, we celebrate Good Eezma (corporate buzzword in 3218). Therefore, we are taking first-person flight simulation to the next level — by putting the flight-person first. Please go find a snack like nachos and enjoy this game science video demonstration:

Okay enough of the soulless corporate buzz-chat. I’m here to talk about synergy.  Pate and I have been friends for a long time, but finally, we are finding a remarkable creative synergy. Why is this? We’ve cut our costs, we’ve bolstered our revenues, and we’ve built professional relationships that can last.

Sorry for being cheesy! I only wanted your everlasting empathy-friendship!

Ok well, this week, I worked on gameplay. I’m trying to get galactic flight to feel both real, fun, and unique. It’s a real venn diagram situation, and decisions, at times, feel tricky. It takes a weird amount of trial and error to find things that are satisfying in this regard — things that lovingly please the three circles — as they say. But hopefully, we’ll be able to come through on that.

To that end, I’ve limited the amount of thrust-drift (for fun reasons), added clouds & matter to space, and have begun working on the position-hold autopilot mode. Yes fine — flight mode is coming together. I want to make these planetary approaches a bit more engaging though. To me, all these little things sort of collaborate to create what is effectively a nifty toy (a flight simulator). Landing is a big part of other flight simulators, and while that is not required in space, it would be fun to “land” on stars. This is weird, but it’s one of those things where being able to crash (burning up in a star’s heliopause) can raise the stakes and make the gameplay more captivating.

good bye sweet cherrios, good bye you grainy rings…

Hell Yeah, Good Ole Planets and Cosmos Cowboys (More Music and World Dev)

02/12/2017 -

Chay Ho, friends. Remsa Tholdor (Our space-time is synchronized.)

A couple ‘o weeks ago I posted about working on a country song for the in-game radio. The goal is to have a nice diversity of music, which is curated by the Intergalactic Government (aka the body of power that controls much of the galaxy. In the game, If you enhance the comms system on your spaceship, you can pick “illegal” music. But all ships will have access to the government-approved radio. Let’s get to it.  I’ve got a sample of a country rock pop hit right here:

“Hell Yeah (I Got a Spacheship)” from the album Warp Driving by Jet “the Radio” LaRedo

While I was mixing sounds and singing my face off, we also made our first solar system that includes a habitable planet. Yeah baby. This will be one of the “home planets” from which the game will begin. You’re right, that IS exciting.

[Hey this is jun now.] I am busy working on an undo queue, but here’s some video from the planet editor (work in progress):

autopilot, flight controls, game science, and navballs

02/06/2017 -

Chay ho! Let’s talk some game-science. Hehe, ok — backstory about that phrase — I actually discovered a game development studio who had the courage to call themselves a “Game Science” Studio. So. I don’t want to make it sound like we don’t do scientific research (um. we go on wikipedia) (and try to stay within the bounds of “realism”), but making this game is very disconnected from things which could be considered “doing science”.

This week I built various things that thicken the flight-simulator aspect of the game. There are gauges, flight controls, autopilot modes, and a realistic physics system driving the whole thing. This is excites me, but visually — is not so much to stare at. Buuut, the whole flight-simulation is now realistic enough to cruise between stars, and that’s enough to start doing some goof-play world building — yes — pete is working on these first planets which will seed our galaxy. He is also doing some music (potentially) for next week.

Yeah. This UI is complicated, but hopefully more realistic and interesting. Fortunately, the ship computer makes flight quite simple — and after a bit of practice its pretty fun to play with. Of course, if things go south (ship computer breaks), you will have to worry about retrograde burns, momentum, and attitude stabilization – holy space forks. You also have to worry about Solar Power, and Space Dust Resistance — which is an all-the-time job — so, better have redundant ship computers. Or be the hottest stick in the galaxy.

Ok… I’m going to try to explain the major Flight UI components now… sorry.

This is the radar. For now it shows where solar power and space dust resistance are (relative to the ship), but in the future it will show many more volumetric-like effects: dark matter, electric storms, and other made-up space weather. Navigation is intended to be important, and this is only a small tactical radar map. More serious navigation \ planning modes will probably take up the whole screen.

resistance

Velocity & Acceleration vectors. These vectors help you control your velocity. Ships in space build momentum, so you need to know where you are drifting, where you are burning, and where you want to go. Blue is the desired velocity (controlled by pointing ship and choosing a speed — see below). The red is your current velocity. And the green is the way the ship computer is going to burn the engines, such that the red and blue become the same. Effectively, this means that the ship computer will help you go where you point!

autop

This red button enables that velocity autopilot. When enabled, the green vector is used for burns. When off, you just burn in the direction you are facing (not great when it comes to erasing any momentum you may have). The throttle controls the engine’s burn rate, and the velocity controls your desired velocity. The autopilot sometimes takes control of these. They are important for slowing down so that you can safely enter solar systems.

autop2

These are various attitude indicators (pitch-roll-yaw scales, the navigation ball, and the mouse fly controls). When in mouse-fly mode, you use the mouse to control the ship’s attitude. You can enable stabilization to stabilize your attitude. This is important for flying to specific points. The navball is basically a 3d compass which allows you to fly various headings in space. My Kerbal space friends will find this very familiar.

attitude

Finally, here’s a video showing it all running at once. I highly suggest clicking the little gear and enabling 1080p High-Def mode.

 

 

 

Robo Operas and a Refreshing Moop Light (TM)

01/29/2017 -

Chay ho (hello) friends. Torbo Vin Meloni (May your nose be unoffended).

 

I have it. I finally have it. As promised, I present to you a finished copy of the hit song from Pupansky’s space opera, You Compute Me. It took a bit of tweeking, and I’m not even sure I’m done tweeking. But I do want to stop away from it for a little bit as I’m more or less satisfied with what came to be:

 

“Beep Boop, Or Love” — From You Compute Me

 

So the recording includes my voice (robbert the robbing/criminal robot) and a lovely local actress who appreciates the silly sounds of our world. The music was purchased, and the SFX were added with permissions.

I read recently that sound/sound engineering is generally the red-headed stepchild of gamedev.  Graphics, story, and gameplay all get priority to sound in deadline-driven contexts (and I completely understand why they should), but sound should be more or less equal to those elements. I mean, we can more or less imagine some iconic voice, music, or sounds/sfx that really shaped how much we enjoy a game. So I’m sort of experimenting with a “sound first” approach. Seeing what stories, quests, or happenings that would be created if I could hear the world before I could “see” it.

Next up, I’m working on country song about spaceships. And Jun has some exciting developments regarding his balls. His UI navigation balls, that is.

 

wild pythons playing together (a.k.a. UI design)

01/22/2017 -

Chay ho (hello), moon dwellers. Bonsino (I love your hair). Here are some updates regarding week 10 of our game-science adventure.

Pate sent me these beautiful space-country audio trax — which is a genre that I’m new to — like most people — but if you’re still resisting — make a U-turn baby. You probably won’t get upset. Unfortunately, these are scratchy audio songs that are works in progress, so they are not ready to be heard. But NEXT WEEK, we will post some audio. I swear this on the grave of Rue. Not a lot of people know this, but after the hunger games ends, you know — the child battle stadium (CBS Arena) is still there. And ha – well — it’s pretty much abandoned — so there’s a ton of loitering there — kids just doing nothing. Just.  Doing nothing, totally disrespecting the historical significance —  drinking their soda beers — they’re doing nothing — playing beyblades.

I built widgets. These are various UI components that will be used for flying \ piloting your ship. But don’t jump out of your computer chair. First of all, the current plan is to have six different operating systems in the game — three versions of Jundows and three versions of Pateintosh. So although you see one style of the widgets here, there are probably going to be more versions of the same basic flight components in each of the operating systems. There is alot more to do.

The other thing is that although we have much visual progress here, there is still a ton of work to do when it comes to organizing these code files. I’ve been coding like a whimsical forest ant — stuffing apples into dirt holes — without keeping track of anything.  I have three major systems of code to integrate right now, and the longer I wait, the worse this task (might) get. There’s the engineering models (how ships are designed \ fail \ degrade), the flight models (which deal with physics, flight planning, and flight controls), and the user interface (which requires multiple levels of abstraction so that players can tweak their version of Pateintosh to their liking).

Anyway, it all feels like a crazy endeavor. So much is still disjointed — there are many shifting components — but each week, a few things seem to fall together — which is nice and well. Sometime in the mildly-distant-future, I imagine the code will begin to solidify like cream of wheat.  From there — it will be all about content & more isolated features. I’m excited to get here — to have a foundation. There are definitely parts of the code that are maturing and calming down. But most of it still seems like wild pythons playing together. It’s truly anti-jun to continue working in this winding mess of growing code. So next week may just be pictures of elegant code, haha.

Anyway, here’s a video, and some cool pics.

 

screenshot

a_serious_screen_shot charging_bats hdg_tape  uiwork