Decided to release iter 6.1 since I love the new shading system so much and because I wanted the artists hard work to be highlighted. Still in its infancy, it is already adding a lot to the game, I’m very excited about the visual future of this project. The game is in another state of flux, the new models have pretty high resolution textures, eventually I will probably scale these down on some ships, and have different texture levels as options for players. I also plan on a “notebook mode” which will make the ships back to the solid colored low res textures, but should give decent performance on even laptops with those standard intel graphics chips.
Here’s a screen shot of another shader in progress, this time it is a diffuse, specular and emissive (the glow) shader. The below screen shots demonstrate the desired effect. Basically some portions of the ship will “glow.” Behind the scenes the emissive texture tells the graphics card to ignore the light in the scene and thus make these elements appear fully colored no matter what light levels/angles/etc exist.
On the left is the diffuse and specular shader, on the right is the diffuse, specular and emissive shader:
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Here for comparison you see what happens when the lights are turned off, the emissive portions appear to glow:
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What’s really great about the emissive shader is that it allows for a neat visual when the ships otherwise wouldn’t be lit up if they have their backs to the sun.
In more gameplay related news: I’ve started working on the “Hook” ability for the command ship, initially I wanted this to only work on cargo pods, to draw them near the command ship instead of forcing the player to have to make contact with the pods, this hook was intended to pull the pod to the command ship. But hey why stop there? Why not have this hook work on friendly/enemy ships as well? Drag them, anchor yourself on them, whatever, what’s neat is that it allows for combinations of abilities. Hook onto an enemy ship, then engage the “Charge” ability to drag the ship away, then blast it with offensive weapons away from the main conflict.
Also I’m re-doing the Trading ship gui, this will be the first step in expanding the game play to include conquering the neighborhood (then creating an economic base for futher actions) instead of just defending yourself from onslaught.