Escorts, Flight Controls, and Planetoids

May 6th, 2010| Posted by Andy Korth
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Today we’re showing off a few new features. There’s a bunch of new flight controls stuff, and we figured the best way to demonstrate that was to throw together some player-commandable escort ships.

Target an asteroid by clicking on it to send your escorts to attack. Mouse wheel and the +/- keys zoom in and out.

I’m also demonstrating some new planetoids. These are designed to be quickly produced in bulk. I can paint a heightmap in photoshop to get a general shape, and then I’ve got a set of actions in Blender to turn them into a mesh. I then have procedural scripts to generate a nice normal map for them. I noticed the diffuse texture isn’t set quite right on them, and we’re still working with a few parts, but you get the idea of how the player might interact with the shape. Imagine coming in to dock on a landing pad or dodging fire from a planet-mounted turret.

We’re also polishing a few things with our rewritten ship builder- so that’s next!

Click the image to try out our playable demo in your browser.

Controls are on the demo page.

  1. James McNeill
    May 6th, 2010 at 21:05
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Interesting! I’d love to see an example of the input and output files for a planetoid.

    The simplified controls implement a more car-driving style of flight, don’t they, where turning the vehicle changes the flight direction?

    I have a couple of bugs to report; not sure if they are within your jurisdiction, though. Chrome crashes consistently if I open the Unity player into a background tab (by middle-clicking on the picture above, for instance). Firefox doesn’t appear to have this problem. The mouse wheel is problematic in both. Under both browsers (Windows Vista here) the mouse wheel events go both to the window and to the Unity player, so the window scrolls as you zoom.

  2. James McNeill
    May 6th, 2010 at 21:10
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Just tried IE 8 for comparison. The mouse wheel event thing is the same in that browser as well. Opening the Unity player into a background tab works fine. I’m guessing that the fact that Chrome is launching a new process for each tab has something to do with the crash.

  3. Andy Korth
    May 7th, 2010 at 08:34
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Interesting. On my mac, in safari, the scroll wheel input will go only to Unity once you’ve clicked once in the webplayer window AND have the cursor within the bounds of the webplayer. Otherwise it also scrolls the window, which is obviously not helpful here. Heh.

    And yep, those are definitely outside of our ability to fix. Yay Unity… I guess I can add them to my list of 21 open bug cases (out of 38 filed).

    The simplified controls always attempt to keep a constant speed in your ship’s forward direction, yup.

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