Sunday, May 27, 2007

3D Flight Engine Prototype # 1

This is my first attempt at the flight engine for the game. The terrain is done with L3DT and exported to Torque as an Atlas terrain. The building is part of Tim Aste's Combo content pack I bought. The rest is stock Torque Game Engine Advanced. The space ship is a placeholder Belair Cruiser I made for another game. Enjoy!

Brave Prototype Flight Engine @ YouTube

Apologies for the low qual - but it's the best way to broadcast it versus bandwidth.

I've also been working on the design for the ship which is blogged here...

BAE-Hawk 271 Ideas

The idea is to have a ship you can reconfigure and based on your choice will determine how you try to win each level. I have also been thinking about AI. I'm going to have citizens and troops running around on the ground manning turrets, refuel bays and buildings, and they manage themselves. However aliens come down and grab them so you will have to protect the humans to keep your resources, and back-up weaponry ticking along.

I was thinking about the bit where you will have to rescue a snatched human. Most probably you shoot the alien taking it back to the mothership (think Defender). But when they fall, if you just grab them like in Defender, you will rip them to shreds - which I will let happen. What you have to do, to save them is match their descent speed and allow them to fall into your cargo bay at less than half a meter per second. Once you grab them safely you have to drop them where they can run back and man a building, vehicle or turret - should be interesting to program, but will make a cool game dynamic I'm hoping.

I'm having a fairly easy time sliding into TGEA from TGE, but there are some annoying bugs, such as tears in the Atlas terrain, no shadows from DIF's and limited view distance.

However I'm really digging the water, the extent of the terrain and playfield, the ease of adding shader effects and how quickly I was able to port my old flight code to the new engine.

Next I'm going to work on missiles and lasers and blowin' stuff up :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hawk design ideas

Here's a sketch of the Hawk space ship the player flies. I've implemented the multi-purpose attachment nodes on various parts of the ship. This allows different things to be attached to the ship such as thrusters, legs, missile launchers, tracks, cargo pods and drop pods. This makes the ship multi-role and the player will need to select the appropriate load-out to complete each mission.

Friday, May 11, 2007

B.R.A.V.E Story and Game Design

British Response to Alien inVasion of Earth. Okay pretty abstract but it works for me!

1984: The SETI Institute is founded as a home for research investigating all aspects of life in the Universe. Initially, Institute activities were supported by NASA.

2002: On a particular warm Autumn night in California, a new star system, 55 Canceri was under the scrutiny of planet hunter Debra Fischer of the University of California, Berkeley. Referring to one of NASA's next generation of space telescopes, said, "This planetary system will be the best candidate for direct pictures when the Terrestrial Planet Finder is launched later this decade".

2010: The Terrestrial Planet Finder is launched, and upgraded to see into 55 Canceri. What they see is unbelievable. A massive fleet heading towards Earth.

2011: In what was considered the worst attack in history of Earth invasions, aliens from the nearby system of 55 Cancri, a star system about 41 light years away decimated London. A particularly wiley bunch of miscreants from the British Isle decide that enough it enough. One of the youths, Rick Eastlake, a decendant of one of the main engineers of BAE / British Aerospace (John Findley - The company was formed on April 29, 1977) takes this rag-tag rebellious youth gang to a hidden hanger. There he reveals the BAE-Hawk 271. This jet can fly underwater, through air and through space - "heck we might just jig it to jump FTL if we have the right mechanic" he is known to have said.

2012: Present Day

The young rebels are ready. Earth is in tatters as wave after wave of 55 Cancri aliens, or "Kanks" as they are known on Earth, scour the landscape, looking for precious "meat" for their young, and transforming anything else into "nuke cake" to power their machines of war. The action begins now. Power up your ship and help in the fight to bring Earth back from the brink of destruction.

The Earth needs you now! Are you B.R.A.V.E?

Engine / Gameplay

This game will be a 3d land, air and space shooter paying hommage to Defender, Asteroids, Blaster and Bosconian.

You will start on Earth defending the surface, and as each mission completes you work your way back to the Alien homeworld.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Games and Theory # 1

I want to base the game dynamic like that in Robotron, Defender and Llamatron. That premise is basically "save all humans", something used in Half-Life. I will be including the game dynamic of having the aliens swoop down and grab people from the ground, rise up into the air and the moment they get high enough they mutate into a nastier spaceship.

I also found this, the final official William's Defender game, called Striker Force...

Strike Force is an arcade game that was released by Midway in 1991.

The game shares many features with earlier Defender and Stargate in that play takes place in a horizontally-scrolling play field above a planet's surface on which humans are under attack from alien invaders. In all three games the player gains points and other advantages from protecting and rescuing humans from these attacks.

Strike Force adds several new features; two players may share the screen at one time, the surface of the planet is littered with various special weapons that can be picked up and deployed, the humans can be "mutated" into small green creatures that will fight against the player (although the player may still pick them up for points as with the unmutated humans). The mutants may use vehicles found on the planet's surface against the player.

One weapon the player may deploy is the commando, who will hang off the bottom of the player's craft shooting at enemies, or drop to the surface to pick up humans, mutants or weapons for the player. Many commandos can be in play at once.

So I think I'm going to grab all these elements (borrow) and put them into the game. The game is going to be about making a space shooter fun and strategic.

Another element I want to add is depicted here, the drop ship manoeuvre.

It's like the reverse of Choplifter. You pickup troopers from your base, fly into a hot zone, drop off the troopers who go onto to attack a cocoon, which releases humans. If there are troops captured in here (all collected by harvesters - below) they can go on to join the attack force. You can pick up these troops at any time.


Friday, May 4, 2007

B.R.A.V.E Kickoff

Here's my rundown of the all the elements I want in the game in the form of coding achievements, assets and game elements. Next I might start planning out the game play dynamics and control system because that's what's going to form the core of the game.

BRAVE - Work list / Progress

- install and start using L3DT for terrain

- compile a library of placeholder objects for

  • BRAVE ships
  1. - jet
  2. - hover craft
  3. - earth mover
  • alien ships
  1. - lander
  2. - mutant
  3. - harvester
  4. - serpent flying craft
  5. - saucer dropship
  6. - bud launchers
  7. - ground hive
  8. - ground bug
  9. - turrets
  • instances
  1. - trees
  • difs
  1. mothership
  2. buildings
  3. colony hut
  4. cargo
  5. barrels
  6. landing pads
  7. corridors
  8. doors
  9. storage
  10. drop ship/escape capsule
  11. use d&d plans in blue book
  12. pre fab with cardboard kit
  • textures
  1. terrain maps
  2. star fields
  3. planets - solar system and alien world/system
  4. hud
  • characters
  1. people
  2. alien trooper

- music
- sounds
- splash screens
- persistance code (save / load / stats)
- use existing space engine -> port to TSE
- level design (lightwave exporter?)
- develop AI
- develop combat engine
- build actual elements to replace placeholders
- create levels
- level stager
- test
- package