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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Script and environment work is shooting ahead now, mostly been busy with coding on other projects though, but we can have an update here as well!

Script Progress:
Engine Lights for the player ship
Cleaned up the weapon code a bit
Cleaned up the AI Code a bit
Cleaned up Player-Death code so the Hud doesn’t spaz out anymore
Dynamic Tree/Rock generation at run time via placeable actors

Environment Progress:
Done more work on Environment 01
Actors for Dynamic Scenery Generation now placeable in editor
Knocked up a few more Rock assets
Optimised the trees and added LOD levels for them

Additional:
Most of the Rock and Foliage Assets for Environment 01 are done
Player Ship Texture to be overhauled
Enemy 01 Collision Cyl needs looking at since it’s dodgy on the z axis
Sound Effects Needed still ~ Engines/Weapons
Terrain Actor needs swapping out for Static mesh segments since Terrain is expensive
Tree shadows are all messed up, need to adjust the light environment for them

Development:
Settled on a theme and style now for the game, and even settled on a name (SpaceHawk).
The style will follow Tyrian’s visceral yet colourful  environment style while using Fire Fight’s 2.5d approach to cameras and progressive missions without the need for an overarching story line.

Specifications:
2.5D Camera Style using fixed point on ship
Dynamic Scenery Placement/Generation at runtime
Colourful Effects: Weapons/Engines/Lighting
Realistic Effects: Environments/Water/Etc
Exp/Level Up System
Stays True to the older frantic shoot ’em up style

These are the guidelines I will be working to, if at any point it seems that the game is not adhering to these then it’s time to revise it.

Current Progresses:
scripts compiled/working
Player Controller mostly done, extends udkPC
Base Pawn Code
HUD template (Health, Exp, Energy, Level Number, Boarders)
Basic Enemy AI (Radius Trace, Moves to player then attacks, State Based currently)
Default Weapon Code (Default Player weapon, extended for enemy weapon 01)
Basic start on environment 01
Set up for use with 360 controller
~No dynamic Scenery Yet~
~Health/Energy Display Non-functional~

SpaceHawk ~ Version 0.40

Games Engines and Physics 2B:

Starting off with some research here into existing Sidescroller/TopDown/Perspective based space shooters so I can get a base to work from.

Initially looking at Firefight, Tyrian and Some BulletHell style games.

FireFight ~ Epic MegaGames

Firefight was an isometric shooter developed and released by Epic MegaGames in 1996, there is no over-arching storyline involved here or mission Hub and it is simply fast paced shoot ’em up fun with separate progressive missions.

Tyrian ~ Epic MegaGames


Tyrian is a Top-Down shooter published in 1995 by Epic MegaGames, focusing on a central character and progressive story-based mission while offering fast paced combat and a weapon upgrade system as the player progresses. The main appeal of  Tyrian is the colourful graphical style and huge choice of ships/weapons offset by an excellent soundtrack.

Bullet Hell ~ Various



This video looks at Tohou, one of the better known Bullet Hell style games. These games follow the same principle as other isometric shooters except that both enemies and the player fire an obscene amount of projectiles and the games generally require equal skill dodging and firing. Their extremely colourful style  and fast pace makes them appealing to more hardcore fans of the genre

HUD
The hud  in all 3 games detailed above contains only simple information such as ammo readouts and health/lives, and none include anything complex such as an Experience system or progression information. This would be an interesting addition to a revival of the genre.

Controls
Generally these games rely on keyboard control rather than Mouse, however both Fire Fight and Tyrian can be played with a combination of the both, making for a more rewarding experience, it would likely be worth setting up a revival game to function with a gamepad or 360 controller, since these were not widely used/available on their initial release.

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