On the Up

Posted on 2012-02-22 in Stingray Incursion
I'm in a better mood regarding the development this week. It's been a great weekend.

Earlier in the month I visited The Bakery Studio in Claremont who agreed to assist in making sound effects for Stingray. That process was completed this week and I picked up the sound effects from them. To put it simply, it was worth the very reasonable cost. The engine sounds and stuff were pretty much spot on and went into the game without a hitch. Actually, that's the case for 90% of the sounds. I was quite amazed at the difference it made. Of course there were some technical implementation issues as usual, but some intellegent queueing and what-not seems to have solved most of the issues.

And so with that in place, a gameplay video is on the cards, but there's a few things I need to do before I record one. Chief of which is the controls. The prototype control system was a bit too jerky and had a whole host of issues. I've come to know how to get around those through all the play testing, but keen viewer eyes will certainly pick up on the issues when watching the movie. So I finally pulled out the old (1998) physics text books from varsity and started overhauling. The effect was quite dramatic. It actually works very very well, and it's not super higher-grade flying mechanics either. Well, play-testing will reveal that, but so far it's smooth and weighty. It has a nice feel. However, to alleviate some complexity I've also had to build a feed-back system that basically tries to keep the chopper from ascending and descending when there's no player input. All that's left now is the tail-rotor physics. When all this is done I hope to tune it such that it will be possible to do some very cool evasive and strafe-attack manoeuvres.

I've also identified and determined the 10 main story points. This is a great leap forward for me since it will make determining the content and AI scope going forward a lot less daunting and random. In fact, I have already drawn up a list of all the various static defence systems that will be in the game. It will include beam weapons :) So go dodge that :P

Other posts in Stingray Incursion
Animations. I've come to realize that this is a very important part of game development. Of course there are various different types of animations, and in this blog post I'm going to talk bit about hierarchical ridged body animation.
Not much to say in this update. I put the gun in the game proper, fixed a projection bug, and started mucking around with normal maps for the environment.
In wrapping up preparation for my submission to IndieCade, I've spent some more time on visuals. My focus last night was on getting animated textures working, specifically to do good normal mapping for the constantly changing water.