space prototype

Reactor Control

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Hey Folks! I started on the reactor control UI today, splitting time fairly evenly between research and layout. The fire-up sequence is one of the more important parts of the upcoming teaser, not to mention one of this game's design goals: satisfying and meaningful pilot controls.

Players should feel like they're Wash, powering-up the ship for a full burn, flipping switches and turning knobs. And in the spirit of NEO Scavenger's attention to detail, these buttons and knobs should be based on some minimum level of reality.

Mr. Fixit

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Hey Folks! Busy day today, as I shored-up the spark vfx and integrated it with repair actions in-game.

Early in the day, I finished tweaking the spark vfx to use the correct lens flare sprite, increased spark speed, and disabled collisions. The collisions were causing problems any time the AI was too close or turned in such a way that the vfx intersected a nearby object. And for how subtle the bouncing particles was, it wasn't worth fixing.

Once that was done, it was time to add it to the game.

Sparks Fly and Crew Sits

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Hey Folks! Made some decent progress today on some visual features which should help in the upcoming teaser.

First, I finished getting crew to sit correctly in ship equipment like toilets and nav stations. I ended up adding a new field to objects to store the current idle animation name, and allowed interactions to change that. This way, when the crew is awaiting a response from equipment, like when using a control station's UI, instead of the default standing "Idle" animation, it can use "Sitting" as the idle animation.

Important Business

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Seeing a man about a horse. Dropping the kids off at the school. Whatever you call it, this is the grandeur of my work today.

It started off a bit more dignified, as I setup a sitting animation for using the ship's nav station. There's going to be a shot in the teaser where I need crew sitting at a console, so that was next on my list. After a bit of testing, though, I realized it could iterate faster if I just used the toilet, since it only required one button press to load a compatible scene, and it has a lot of similarities. (In terms of animation, anyway.)

NEO Scavenger Map in Unity

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Hey Folks! Notice anything unusual about today's screenshot? If you guessed "that's a Unity workspace," you're right!

As mentioned yesterday, I'm working on a tool to help record footage for the upcoming teaser video. And today's screenshot shows current progress. I've got the NEO Scavenger hexes loaded into Unity, randomly arranged in a map. I've got a handful of creature sprites loaded in, and they randomly walk around from hex-to-hex. I've got rain sprites, camera scrolling, and a few surprises as we scan towards the horizon :)

Teaser Teaser

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Hey Folks! Not a lot of progress today, as quite a few interruptions and admin work got in the way.

What work I did manage to do, however, was for the upcoming teaser video. And today's image is a teaser for the teaser, so to speak. Joshua and I were chatting about possible scripts for the teaser, and I think we've settled on this establishing shot: we see NEO Scavenger hex tiles, and we pan up into space. From there, we show off in-game footage of the new game.

Batch Rendering, Light Sprite Fix

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Hey Folks! I managed to make a pretty big optimization today to the renderer, as well as fix a few visual issues with the headlamp.

The headlamp was just finishing-up yesterday's work. I found and fixed the scaling and position issues for the sprite, and also hooked-up the sprite to the on/off code triggered when the helmet is donned/removed. Now, we get a nice little pin light appearing from where the helmet's light source emits, and it follows the crew around correctly as they animate.

Light "Cookies" and Other Improvements

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Hey Folks! More incremental improvements to lighting and rendering today, as we approach parity with the features we had with the older 3D system.

One of the most obvious differences today are what Unity calls "spotlight cookies." Basically, they're textures that mask the brightness of lights so you can add noise, patterns, and other details to the area a light touches. They're frequently used to make lights look like they are passing through a grate, an imperfect lens, or other filtering medium.

Depth Sorting, Light Sprites, and Brightness

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Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Feels like it was a busy one here, though I can't seem to pinpoint why. Chalk it up to parenting, I guess :)

I resumed work on the new renderer today, fixing and tweaking progressively smaller factors. The aim is to hopefully arrive at the quality level we used to see with fully 3D lighting, but with faster performance allowing us to have more of them.

Tile Fix, Lighting Sprites, and Trailer Work

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Hey Folks! Another light update day today, as a chunk of my time went towards working on the teaser/trailer script. I'm feeling pretty good about it, though, which is a relief. Before I reached out to Josh and got this started, I was a bit anxious it wouldn't be possible to make something exciting with the limited gameplay so far. But I'm definitely more hopeful now :)