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Trees again, and tanks.

I've started work adding trees back in to the game. They look nice already with the mipmaps turned off. I think I've got the color match with the ground for summer trees.






The trees have a "shadow only" object which helps reduce rasterizer usage and match the shadow with the lamp. I'm not 100% happy with the trees right now, but I hope they will get better as I make more of them and refine the textures a little. I really don't want to waste any more time just fiddling with them. In a few days I'll take another look and see if I can see where the problem is. I think maybe the ground color is too uniformly light. It needs some more dark areas and contrasting sections.


I decided to go with the hollow health bars, I like the effect. More than the black bars.
I've also finished adding recoil and other physical effects to the vehicles. Even the guns move, with the main gun swiveling to track the enemies. It also tilts for range if it is a support or artillery weapon, and recoils slightly when fired.


I'm going to add the particle effects soon, because I think that adds a lot to the game, being able to see what the end effect will look like. Tank track marks and dust thrown up from the wheels/tracks makes the game look 100% better as soon as it's added.

Vehicle combat code is complete, but will need a lot of checking and revising. Right now artillery is doing too much damage (because of too high armor penetration) and the small caliber weapons are too slow firing. I think artillery might be too accurate as well.

I may have to reduce the speed of the vehicles slightly too as I made a mistake in the vehicle builder and accidentally doubled the weight of all the vehicles. Now it's fixed and the vehicles are too fast moving on average.

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Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative.

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative. In this blog I will talk about my own recent brush with story telling and go on to talk about how tools from creative wring can help you to better author the narrative in your games, whether they have a traditional linear narrative or a procedurally generated interactive narrative.

Narrative and structure in traditional fiction  last week I started writing a story set in the world I'm developing for my game Vinland: 1936.

I hope the story will help me to flesh out my game world and develop my own expanded universe which will be a good place to set my games in the future.

After about a week of work, on and off I've progressed the story to outline stage. For each character thread I have half a dozen chapters which plot a course through the events of the story. Each thread is told from the perspective of a different character.


Actually I started writing as soon as I had my outline, but I've since gone back and deleted what …

Back to Vinland.

I'm going back to my real time tactics project, Vinland 1936.
While working on the other project I overcame the problems which were stopping me from saving/loading the game and also cleaned up the base code a lot.

After a few weeks I'm getting near the the state I was in before.


Infantry are back to their previous state, and vehicles are running OK.
This time I'm going to push ahead with mocking up the combat system though before I work any more on the vehicle builder or graphical aspects of the game.

Map screen designs

I've been working some more on the map window. Right now you can only see the base, it doesn't show items, enemies or even doors on the map yet. These would be decals.


In the top window you can see the modified result of last night's tile based map. It looks good but there are some visual artifacts related to the problems I encountered yesterday, and as well it takes much more code and time to calculate.

The second window uses a cheap trick to fake an beveled look from a smoothed version of the 32x32 map. It uses black to mask unexplored areas.

Finally the third version is meant to look like a had drawn map. I'm using a cross hatching texture to distort it and unexplored areas are shown as blank map paper.

There's going to be a mechanic in game where you need to use some paper every level in order to activate the map for that level. From there it will fill it in automatically. Paper will be pretty rare so it might be worth keeping it safe for the more complex level…