AuthorTopic: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)  (Read 39423 times)

Offline Howard Day

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Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

on: January 25, 2013, 12:54:30 am
Hey, guys - It's been a while since I've dropped in here - I thought'd I'd share what I've been working on.
Since I lost the hard drive that had my side scroller project on it ( and learned a valuable lesson on backing everything up, always), I spent  some time trying to think of the next project I wanted to work on. For the longest time, I've loved the X-Wing/Tie Fighter games, although my true first videogame love was the original Wing Commander.
Having realized this, I'm attempting to blend these two titles and come up with something new.
Originally called Dead Silent (not a name I ever really liked), we've since r-named it to Wings of Saint Nazaire.

I've done a huge amount of work for this, and I'll just share a small portion of it here:
Mood Piece:

Alien Space Carrier:

Alien Fighters:


(and old/new versions of textures)

Alien Bomber:

Alien Concept art:

(by is_chimera)

Destroyed Ship Debris:


Ambient Debris:

Human Bomber:


Human Light Fighter:

And its cockpit:


Human Medium Fighter:

And it's cockpit:
http://www.hedfiles.net/launchmockup2.png
Human Heavy fighter:

Human Stealth Fighter:


And Some might remember my old spaceshooter project... Well, you'll be happy to learn that some of those designs live on in this new project!
http://www.hedfiles.net/pixel/pirateA.gif
Turned into this:
http://www.hedfiles.net/PirateFighters.png


Originally DKH was coding his own engine to make this game (and doing a great job, here's a video of that engine in action, along with tons more gameplay!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zVXmxa3OWM <<Old
http://youtu.be/lTcHSGn2h1s <<Newer
...And then I started learning Unity at work - and started learning to code in C# - we both recognized that on a small project the more things each person can do, the faster things will go. So we've been transitioning the project to Unity.
Here's where we've gotten so far (at least in part).
The Alien Ship selection screen:
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/GrottoTest.html
And the current state of the playable game:
http://www.wingsofstnazaire.com/alpha.html
There's tons more artwork, but I've already flooded you guys. I hope you like what we're putting together here, and would love any feedback you've got!
Enjoy!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 08:31:00 pm by Howard Day »

Offline Pawige

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 05:03:54 am
Wow. Dude. Your stuff always completely blows my mind. Everything looks gorgeous! Do you mind if I ask what your process is for creating these ships? How long does it take you to make one?

Offline Cage

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 10:28:45 am
Hey, this looks lovely!

I have a thing for prerendered 3d space ships since Super Stardust ;)

I like the video you've shown, despite the modern graphics, the movement/camera feels a bit like those old flying games - especially the moments the player is closing in on the exploding ships.

The alien concepts remind me of those big organic creature bosses, which take half of the screen, from the r-type/gradius like games - this is a good thing too!

What software are you using for the models/rendering?

Offline kriss

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 06:16:31 pm
Amazing work  :y: it's all i can tell because i'm shoked  :crazy:

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 06:28:41 pm
Pawige: Thanks, dude! So, the process for building the ships has grown somewhat organically. Originally, I just sort of built the shapes - I didn't do a whole lot of detailing.
http://www.hedfiles.net/boomslang1.png
That took 2 evenings to finish.
Eventually, though - it became clear that that level of detail wouldn't work for the closer up needs of the project. Sure, mostly these ships are 256x256 sprites, but you do see them closer up at other points. That being the case, I started modelling in detail to the later ships I worked on.
http://www.hedfiles.net/hognose72.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/hognose71.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/hognose70.png
This one took two and a half weeks of evenings.
However, Since this took so much longer, I wanted to see if I could accomplish the same look of modeled detail using only textures - and thus saving me a gigantic chunk of time.
http://www.hedfiles.net/PirateFighterA06.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/PirateFighterA07.png
This one, which took only two evenings of work, and has almost no modeled detail.
This worked so well, that I went back to previous ships and applied the same texture method to them, as well - the later highly-detailed models I left alone, but some were almost in limbo between the two methods.
For example:
http://www.hedfiles.net/Cobra63.png <<Original, modeled only detail
http://www.hedfiles.net/Cobra73.png << New textures
So, today a new ship would take me a couple of days to finish. It's a lot faster than it used to be.

Cage: Thanks! This project as a whole is designed to be nostalgia-bait, so I'm really glad others are getting that same feel off of it!
Here's an example of the rendered sprites that are used in engine:

And another Alien ship - a Frigate:
http://www.hedfiles.net/Frigate06.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/Frigate05.png
I'm using 3dsMAX 2012 for the rendering. 

kriss: Thanks!

I'm glad you guys like it!

Offline Indigo

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 09:01:45 am
You've made me weep with joy.  I hate you, you bastard..  Very good work here.  Tremendous attention to detail.

A couple of suggestions:
The jitters!  I get the nearest-neighbor sharp pixel vibe, but I feel if you're going to do that, draw the images at scale.  there's nothing worse than pixels jittering in size across the screen - it's distracting and breaks the illusion very fast.  I feel you should either be linear filtering and scaling - or no filtering and no scaling.

You can fake some added depth with some low-poly meshes extruded towards the screen rather than simple planes.  I've done this on some experimental projects and provides some really great results while maintaining the 2D feel.  Although this method tends to want linear filtering as well.  It might be cool to see a bit of this subtle depth in the cockpit and ships you shoot at

lastly, I feel the noise level on some of the assets is a tad bit high, but that could be preference.  Might serve the project well to conserve that a bit.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 01:21:42 pm
Indigo...Wow, thank you sir. Wonderful critique, and I hope I can adequately respond to it.
1.) Jitters - this is unfortunately a somewhat unavoidable consequence of sub-pixel movement. I am using a Full screen AA solution to try and smooth it out. I've tweaked the settings. It's very, very tricky to balance smoothing the cockpit display elements, and keeping that crisp pixel art look. Hopefully the change will better balance that.
2.) Depth - Yeah, I totally want to do something like this. The problem is that the way I'm controlling  what's turned on and off is by moving it through the flat plane of the cockpit. So those throttle displays are just slightly angled meshes pushing in and out of a flat plane. The key word is flat - adding depth distortion is going to make that system significantly more difficult. I will try and add it to other assets - but I'm afraid most cockpit will have to remain flat. :(
3.) Noisy Detail - Yes! Absolutely, I agree. Much of that noise is attributed to my over-zealousness with a dirt texture overlay. I've toned that back on a bunch of the more recent renders of these assets - the addition panel lines, and tiny detail tends to get completely lost in the final sprite, leaving just overall shape and lighting. Most of that detail will only ever be visible in a very close up. 
Please, try the build again - hopefully the crawl has been significantly toned down.
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html

Offline Indigo

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 10:59:54 pm
About the depth issue:  can't you just change the method you're toggling things on/off by just disabling/enabling the render of that asset in unity?

About the jitters:
the AA solution is probably helping a bit, but it's still a bit of a bandaid.  If you absolutely must maintain the crisp filtering you've got a couple of options as far as I can see.

1) you can stop moving various objects by sub-pixels, but rather round it to the nearest integer.  This would ensure that the asset is being drawn at 100% scale on a whole-pixel - no jitters.  You lose a bit of smooth flowing movement with this method, but gain in pixel consistency.  Often times this trade off results in a more believable experience.  The only thing you could apply this to would be things that aren't being scaled in-game (it seems like you ships are being scaled) - which would probably mean just the cockpit.  But the cockpit does cover the vast majority of the screen, so it'd probably still be a pretty big improvement.

2) I usually don't recommend this for pixel-type games, but in the case of this project it might be beneficial.  Looks like you're scaling all of the pixels on the screen x2.  If you just increased the resolution of the game window to that size, and instead drew all the *assets* x2, then the jittering effect would be far less apparent.  'pixels' across the screen wont align so neatly anymore, but you get that extra resolution you'd need for movement without having to increase the resolution of the assets themselves.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #8 on: January 27, 2013, 10:14:55 am
Indigo: Well, yes - that's a possibility for some of them. Unfortunately, I would have to hand-script every display toggle by hand. This is somewhat prohibitive, because there are LOTS of them. :( I've done some work on the jitter issue - and I discovered that if I switched my camera render type for the cockpit layer to orthographic, most of that issue disappeared. It's still on there a a bit with the displays - but I'm not ever going to be able to get rid of that entirely.

So, I added an updated build! This one has Ripple firing of your guns, a working capacitor, smoothly damped movement, and a bunch of other under the hood improvements!
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html
I also put together a unity Particle explosion!
http://www.hedfiles.net/unityexplo.mp4
Enjoy!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 12:24:38 am
Okay! Updated the build!
The gunfire now illuminate the cockpit, and the status display accurately reflects the status of the weapons, their re-charge status, and fire pattern. You can switch the fire patterns by hitting "Q". The current options are All, Ripple Fire, and Cross Linked.
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html
There's a bunch of other minor improvements, as well.
Enjoy!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 07:52:35 am
Alright - Build updated. You can now blow up and shoot some random evil black spheres.
Q switches fire modes.
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 12:59:17 pm
Okay, update - fixed some stuff, added some reticule functionality, and better explosions and lighting...
I also sharpened up the background, as well!
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 08:03:19 am
Updated the build - added sound effects, and new music!
Music by:
https://soundcloud.com/jestmusic/starscape
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html
Enjoy!

Offline Steneslore

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 08:53:33 am
Wow these are fantastic, I especially like the insectile appearance of the alien ships.

Offline Jigxor

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 05:13:38 am
Wow. This is absolutely insane. I was a big fan of those lower resolution sprites you did, but playing this alpha is mindblowing! It's so beautiful! I can't wait to see this project progress more. Do you have a devblog/etc. for the game itself?

Offline kriss

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 02:28:39 pm
very good experience and nice fx and explosions :D

Offline Theoden

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 11:15:05 am
This is the most amazing thing I have seen in months.
Unbelievable stuff. Feels just like the good old games from 90s.
The only thing I wasn't blown away was the in game music. I think it was too calm and weak compared to the epicness of what was going on on the screen. But don't get me wrong it's still good.
If you want I can offer you my help about the soundtrack. I can work voluntary for this awesome project.
Here are some works I have done for a yet to be realeased android game called "Alien Defense": https://soundcloud.com/cuneyt_yetisenler

I wish you the best of luck with your project.

Offline Helm

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 12:09:32 pm
Howard, how has the response been to the pre-rendered nature of the spaceships a la Wing Commander instead of full 3d like X-wing? Do people seem to understand what you're referencing and are excited for it? I never liked how ships snapped into their prerendered viewpoints in WC and considered XWing/Tie Fighter to be a huge step up and I thought there wouldn't be nostalgia for the middle step of evolution in there, but I'll be glad to hear I'm wrong.

Your work is tremendous otherwise, and I do enjoy watching the spaceship explosions and debris! I just still think full 3d would look better and you even have the assets to do this!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #18 on: May 26, 2013, 08:55:18 am
Steneslore: Thanks! I'm glad you like the aliens. The basic though process behind them was... what if the alien queen head from aliens was a space ship? :D
Jigxor: Thanks, sir! So the devblog is www.wingsofstnazaire.com! We're going to try and update more frequently.
kriss: Glad you like them! They've been improved significantly in the latest build, I think!
Theoden: Wow, We're really glad you like it! On the music side, Daniel is working to create a layered music system, where we can keep track of the epicness and match the music to scale. We want to have those quiet, simple moments as well, and a dynamic music system seems well suited to our needs! If you like, I can put you in contact with Dan, and you could collaborate on the music?
Helm: Well, the general response has been extremely positive. I think it sticks out in peoples minds as being significantly different in style than just about every other game out there. That's pretty positive, from our perspective. The fact that the art surrounding that bit of ancient tech is amped up to 11 doesn't seem to hurt, either.
I'm glad you like the models - and you're right, we could totally put them in game as full 3d models. It wouldn't even be particularly difficult. As a nostalgia fiend, though... I'm gonna resist that urge.

So, there's been a bunch of updates - Jan and I have been hard at work making functional systems. the radar and targeting are now mostly functional - the targeting still needs to have some work done, and the radar doesn't quite flash as we want, but other than that, the game is looking great! There are a  couple of new additions to the gameplay. Hit "space" to spawn a random enemy fighter infront of your fighter. these fighters have a rough AI, that will try, generally, to find you.
you can select the closest ship by hitting "r" the radar moves too quickly through the details of your target, but you can see at least that part working. :D
There are new explosions, new flareFX, and new shieldFX. Also added are player-ship collisions. These are still being tweaked.
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/WOSN_Alpha.html
Enjoy!

Offline Theoden

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 10:36:39 pm
Theoden: Wow, We're really glad you like it! On the music side, Daniel is working to create a layered music system, where we can keep track of the epicness and match the music to scale. We want to have those quiet, simple moments as well, and a dynamic music system seems well suited to our needs! If you like, I can put you in contact with Dan, and you could collaborate on the music?

Sure, that would be great. I can create some sample tracks and send them to Dan and see what he thinks.
Can you PM his contact info? Thanks!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #20 on: May 29, 2013, 12:41:38 am
So here's a small update on the WIP human ship selection screen.

Thoughts?

Offline surt

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 06:39:18 am
Looking gorgeous, but the ship still looks very noisy. It makes the silhouette ambiguous, causing the ship to blend into the background.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #22 on: June 02, 2013, 11:08:51 am
surt: Thanks, man. I've made some changes to help with the readability of the shapes. Hopefully the ship pops more, now!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #23 on: June 07, 2013, 08:02:03 am
Okay, here's an update!

here's what you'll be able to see (this will move around a bit, and parallax)



Here's the whole thing:



And here's an empty bay:



The different ships will swap through as you select them.

Thoughts?

Offline Crow

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #24 on: June 07, 2013, 08:37:50 am
I'm curious: in the back, where those hallways (?) end in nothingness right now, what will be going on there? Anything interesting?
Discord: Ennea#9999

Offline pistachio

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #25 on: June 07, 2013, 03:48:57 pm
Sublime work overall! Picked up the 90s arcade influences immediately, having played a few of those myself.

:0'

Nice new image as well. Has a bit of an Aliens feel to it (which you mentioned earlier), all the more for nostalgia.

Quick 2 cents: readability/depth edit, if such a rendering is possible and not too intensive, which it shouldn't be (ground spotlights largely aside, those are pretty overblown, and missed the ship legs at right):

Link here

Primarily behind the hull: added a large-scale lighting tweak there which offsets the greebly detail, and keeps the shadowed area behind the ship hull from blending into the BG and, by extension, the shadowed loading arm above it value-wise. Removing some of the hanging cables right about there, or shifting the distant loading arm, could also fix this.

If not, then just parallax does suffice, bit less so but I'm still happy. Very happy! :y:
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 05:13:06 pm by pistachio »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #26 on: June 08, 2013, 07:08:53 am
Crow: Those are landing strips - large exterior access ports. In the in-game version, those will be showing exterior space and debris and space dust whizzing by.

Might help get a feel for the scale. you can fly around that carrier in the demo and see it from all angles. :D
pistachio: Thanks! Glad you picked up on it - hopefully we can deliver on that.
I like your idea of the underlighting... but it's something the aliens have a lot of, and I'm trying to separate them thematically with differences in color, shape, and lighting.
Here's what the alien ship selection screen looks like:
http://www.hedfiles.net/WOSN_Alpha/GrottoTest.html

Okay, here's the latest!


I hope its better!
Enjoy!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 08:23:42 am by Howard Day »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #27 on: June 22, 2013, 05:33:45 am
OMG take my money! :y:
You should work at RSI...  :D

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #28 on: July 29, 2013, 09:44:34 pm
Decroded: I doubt they'd have me. I don't think my style would fit with the game they're making. :D

So! We added missiles to the game, along with momentum-inheriting explosions, death spirals of out of control fighters, and speed streaks to help indicate player motion! We've also added motion blurred background stars!

http://www.hedfiles.net/deathspin.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/speedstreaks.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/missiletest.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/missileloop.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/bigkill.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/alphastrike.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/streakystarsflashes.gif

Enjoy!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #29 on: August 18, 2013, 08:42:52 am
Working on a new cockpit, for the Cobra...

Offline jice

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #30 on: October 21, 2013, 08:39:59 pm
man, sir, your excellence, that's the most amazing thing I've seen for decades.  :D
I'm also a huge fan of the two first Wing Commander games, but even without that, I would keep throwing money at my screen until this game happens !!!!
Here's a suggestion :
1/ make a quickstarter
2/ grab the billion
3/ finish the game

Offline tim

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #31 on: October 23, 2013, 10:15:42 pm
I agree. Make a kickstarter, you should get a million easily.
Founder of Odd Tales
Art Director - Game Director - Game designer - Motion designer

Offline Decroded

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #32 on: October 24, 2013, 01:49:34 am
Honestly I like what ive seen of ur style better than space citizen (still keen for it and have prepaid!) Because urs looks more true to old school flavour while bringing a shit-ton of freshness to it.
please dont stop.
ill donate for sure if ur gonna release.
what I do love about space citizen though is the free-roaming, because privateer (original) is one of my all time faves more so than wing commander.
So something to consider for down the track, perhaps a spin-off game in same universe recycling much of ur sexy content.

Offline dkh

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #33 on: October 25, 2013, 05:43:49 pm
Hey, dkh here, the Programmer working alongside Howie (and Daniel, our composer). Thank you for your support everybody, it means a lot to me. We're definitely considering a kickstarter/indiegogo crowdfunding campaign - we'll see!

And I agree, free-roaming would be amazing for a Wings of Saint Nazaire 2 or something! :)

Also, we now have a complete website with forums where you can reach us more easily. You can also follow the game on twitter @WingsOfNazaire for regular updates!

Offline Inviz

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #34 on: November 05, 2013, 06:33:15 am
Wow guys this is breathtaking. Watching through those steps of the WIP feels like watching god at work. Lots and lots of detail and space romantics is thrown at you at rapid pace. That totally works, keep on doing it.

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #35 on: January 17, 2014, 05:32:17 pm
Inviz: Thank you sir! We'll try to keep it up. :D

Okay, some updates! We got a new cockpit and ship in the game, the Cobra, and it looks awesome. I also implemented Beam-weapons for the fighters in the game. They're very sexy, but they'll also be a very challenging weapon. Since they've got a duration, you'll need to track your target to hit them with all the damage potential. That means that if an enemy takes evasive, your badass beam weapon might only deliver a sliver of its total power on target.

http://www.hedfiles.net/cobracombat.gif
http://www.hedfiles.net/cobraexterior.gif


Enjoy!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #36 on: February 09, 2014, 06:39:38 pm
Hey, first time I see this thread, needless to say it's awesome!

I have one pedantic nitpick, about the spaceship bay inside view: those hydraulic hoses don't hang in a realistic way.
For all I know they might be program-generated, but if you hand-made them, then they could be hand-tweaked.

A perfectly flexible hose (or a chain) would assume the shape of a catenary (red curve), not a parabola (blue curve): the curvature is more even, and the extremities steeper. (More examples)


A real hose also has some rigidity and possibly permanent curvature: the shape is pushed further away from the parabola.


Hope this helps!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #37 on: July 09, 2014, 01:44:21 am
Finished up the latest cockpit, the Diamondback:

Working on the human bomber next!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #38 on: July 10, 2014, 06:30:32 am
Love this work! Tremendous energy! Speak to Saitek, its time to bring the Joysticks back! ^_^
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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #39 on: July 11, 2014, 11:55:07 pm
Thanks Buko-Studios!
Manupix - I fixed the pipes. :D
I worked on the human ship selection screens - each of these is filled with parallax, with around 12 different layers that shift as your viewpoint changes.
Boomslang:

Copperhead:

Diamondback:

Cobra:

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #40 on: July 12, 2014, 05:54:47 pm
Your art direction & rendering is top notch. Pretty sure it will be a big hit !
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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #41 on: July 13, 2014, 12:17:37 am
Looking amazing howard.

One general critique about the ships themselves; I think the greebling texture work is too high contrast - That, in combination with how the flow of the greebling is pretty independent of the form it adorns, it breaks up the forms from being interpreted as well as they could.  Just looks a bit messy and a lot of cool things get lost.  The color variation of the ships have the same problem - it verges on random and is more akin to dazzle camouflage than a fun paint job.  As camouflage it's doing a good job, but for a game asset I think it's hurting the piece.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 12:22:00 am by Indigo »

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #42 on: July 16, 2014, 07:53:33 pm
tim: Thanks, sir!
Indigo: Thanks. The texture work is really high contrast, and I agree with what you're saying The only issue is that when these guys are rendered to sprites, the textures need to be that high contrast to  even show up and look like anything. What that screams to me, is that I'll need two texture sets - one for the sprites, and one for the hangar scenes. My next task after the hangar is finished is to go ahead and do just that. I'll post updated images once it's done.

Anyhow, Last night I got the logic for the ship selection screen all working. I've still got to add effects and more stuff on deck in each shot, but the basics are there!

We're going to be working on getting this polished up for you, and the next big Alpha update will let you fly 3 of the 5 different ships!
 

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #43 on: July 16, 2014, 11:11:39 pm
Killer stuff. Really shows that prerendered stuff is totally viable today despite what everybody thinks in the industry.
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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #44 on: October 03, 2014, 07:00:53 pm
Finished the missile locking system and the Power management systems! Here you can see me quickly locking onto a Dfhertas and ripping off a Phoenix heatseeker. Just before it hits, I manage to lock on and fire a Cyclops Image Recognition missile as well.

Here, I just hit a Dfhertas with a Phoenix and then mess with a bunch of power settings after it explodes.


Here's a breakdown of how each power system works. Low is 25% power, high is 100%. Unpowered is < 25%.

Shields: Low 50% recharge rate, high 150%. Unpowered, shields drain.
Guns: Low 25% recharge rate, high 175%. Unpowered, gun capacitors drain.
Engines: Low 66% speed on regular and afterburner, high 133% + 150% fuel consumption. 200% consumption on Afterburner! Unpowered, afterburners are disabled and fuel consumption goes up.

Here's an example of the Boomslang with its engines at 100% over powered. It's pretty much the fastest thing in the game - but it's going to have a hard time shooting anything or taking more than a couple of hits.

Anyhow, now I'll be working on further damage modelling for individual components.
Enjoy!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #45 on: October 05, 2014, 11:03:16 pm
Eugene Indie Game Con Recap!
(and slight art update)

It was a huge success, and here's what our musician Daniel Hoffman had to say about his attendance:
"Daniel here, just got back from Indie Game Con in Eugene. It was a blast! Thanks to everyone who came out and checked out the current build of the game.

Some feedback included:
"This looks amazing. "Wow, I really like the colors!" "The art is a amazing" "It feels really great!" "Blowing up ships feels great" "I could blow up ships all day" "feels really natural" "This has a lot of potential."

Things I noticed from watching lots of people play one after another is: On the radar the large ships are confusing, if they could have a different look on the radar than a giant orb I think that would help. People would constantly orient themselves to attack them while actual enemies were wizzing behind them.

Also when you come out of the launch bay the first thing you see are friendly ships. so the first thing people do is shoot them and then feel embarrassed that they shot the good guys. If you could see enemies first then your guys swoop in would be cool.
Of course everyone knew it was Alpha and that little things like that will be tweaked.
Also Ashley who has worked multiple cons said that was the busiest table she's ever been at.

Oh and a little kid wanted to be able to ram other ships with the big tank ship. I told him I'd pass that on.

My favorite was a very young girl who had a bunch of buttons who started playing then said "I'm going to be honest, I'm just playing so I can have one of your buttons" Then after when we gave her a button she said "And I liked your game too actually."

(Ashley: Knower of Lore, and Daniel: Maker of music)

This feedback has been invaluable, and we've added the critique to the Todo list, and hopefully the next release will have it implemented.

(Art update)
In the meantime I've re-implemented a trick that somehow got disabled. It's a method to add pseudo-3d lighting on pre-rendered sprites. The trick is this - all our sprites are displayed on planes. These planes aren't merely 4-vert polygons, oh no - they're a bit more complex.

What we have is a 4x4 grid - and each of the vertex normals are bent around the edges of the plane, until they're facing the back of the plane entirely. This simulates a spherical surface when lighting is applies. And since these ships are roughly spherical (very, very roughly) this actually works very well!
Here's an example of it in action:

Pretty convincing! Especially so for quick bursts of lighting like laser bolts or explosions.

Enjoy, and thanks again to everyone who checked out the booth at IndieGameCon!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #46 on: October 12, 2014, 08:40:55 pm
Yesterday I added shield read-outs to the targeted ship display. The day before, Jan had helped me get the armor/ship damage looking right - before it wouldn't show the proper damage for the proper angle of hit.


You can also see the updated player ship status display - it now also shows readouts for your top/bottom armors. Next up, fixing some ship damage bugs, adding more damage effects to the ships (arcing lightning, sub component explosions, engine sparks)
Until then, Enjoy!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 08:44:02 pm by Howard Day »

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #47 on: October 13, 2014, 07:50:46 am
Tonight I set up the missile code to only let you fire one missile per slot (limiting the Copperhead to 5 total missiles, for example) You no longer get a new missile every 10 seconds. Sorry!

I also set up the status display representation of your missiles to do a little animation when they're fired. Enjoy!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #48 on: November 06, 2014, 05:56:49 am
Hello! Tonight's update brings you the working retro boosters, in the game, finally! You can now boost backwards! (At 60% of your max forward, non after burning speed) Jan finished the code for the movement earlier this evening, and I added in the effects and some tweaks in logic.



Still to do: Custom throttle animation for RetroBoost, add boosters to all ships, human and alien, not just the Copperhead, enable the AI to use this in combat, and smooth out the transition from forward movement to reversing slightly.

We've also added a bunch of new damage VFX to both enemy fighters and your own, all players now take the same damage as the enemy fighters, and the enemy damage sensing has been cleaned up, fixing numerous bugs. We also solved the issue with navpoints, making that entire system completely functional. Next up for me is the autopiloting cinematic between navpoints.

Enjoy!

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #49 on: November 10, 2014, 07:22:13 am
Hello, everyone! Over the last few days I've been working on polishing a rather stale part of the game - the orbit camera. As most of you know, you can trigger this by holding down tab, and then rotate around your ship. It's very pretty, but the motion of it and the general feel was very, very basic. So I took some time away from extremely frustrating bugs (more on that later) to build myself a better, more dynamic system. I focused on making the motion smoother, having the camera react to the action around it, and generally tying to make it feel more exciting. Here's where I landed!

As you can see, we also have reverse thrusters working on all the fighters, now. It definitely adds another wrinkle to the gameplay, and I know I will have to revise the missile AI so they aren't constantly fooled by it. :D

The other part this Orbit camera revamp allowed is more cinematic external shots of your ship. That being so, I took the opportunity to add a long-missing part of the game... Autopilot cinematics. These play when you transition from one nav point to the next. I'm pretty proud of how these are looking. I still need to add some trail/engine effects to the whole shebang, but it's still really neat looking.




I love the homeworld style cinematic black bars, and I always have.
Anyhow, I'm working on polishing this up, and then building the first actual demo mission! the only cinematics/gameplay loop left to do is the landing sequence, and I have a pretty good idea what needs to happen there.
Till next time!



(P.S... Those frustrating bugs were fixed within 5 minutes of Jan signing on yesterday, making me feel like a right moron. :)

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #50 on: November 11, 2014, 01:07:26 am
Not a lot of people are commenting, but I'm sure everybody here is captivated by your work.
You have my full support. The cinematic camera is sexy as hell and to me, you have the best control feeling / art direction of all the upcoming space shooters like Star Citizen / Elite etc. I'm really looking forward the finished game.
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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #51 on: November 11, 2014, 02:59:32 pm
Yeah it looks really awesome

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #52 on: November 14, 2014, 11:28:15 pm
Thanks, guys! I really appreciate it. I do wish people would chime in more, I know it's not perfect and I'd love feedback on how to make it better. :D

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #53 on: November 15, 2014, 01:34:01 am
Goodness i wouldn't even know how to make this better, the colours, models and the general treatment is super on point.

All I can chime in and say is holy dang there wow

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Re: Wings of Saint Nazaire (Large Images!)

Reply #54 on: November 15, 2014, 09:30:51 am
Hey Howard, thanks for bothering to keep this tiny remnant of a community up to date on your gangbusters project. much appreciated. I guess since it's not classic pixel art, most people here just don't know what to say much useful.

There are a couple technical decisions about your project that I find strange, and if your particular project weren't looking as great as it does, maybe I'd argue them, but since it does, I won't, and in fact it makes it even more interesting by being so exotic. Just being different is not always good enough when it is just awkward, but the ability to make it fly better than expected is all the sweeter then. Not sure if these how-abouts of creation fit just about anyone, but you it does suit very well.

One thing I'm curious about, are these capital ships you fly by prerendered sprites too like the little fighters, or actual models? That I have this confusion from the gif is pretty cool.