Jan. 12 — Where I’m At

Not a whole lot has happened since my last progress report. This has mostly been due to the fact that up until that last post, I had been working on Gateway a fair bit, and was in need of a break. Nevertheless, a few things have gotten finished, and a lot of optimizations and graphics improvements have been made.

I had a bit of an unfortunate discovery several weeks ago, and found that a lot of my in-game models and textures didn’t look as nice as I had originally thought. The next couple of weeks after that were spent re-texturing some spaceships, writing a few new shaders, and implementing a better level-of-detail (LOD) system. The game looks much better — it was well worth the extra effort, despite my overwhelming lack of artistic talent.

An FPN cruiser opens fire as it slowly emerges from a Colossal Gate.

An FPN cruiser opens fire as it slowly emerges from a Colossal Gate.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more noteworthy things that have been accomplished:

  • Several models were re-textured and some shaders were reworked, for a shinier, sleeker look to the spaceships
  • New LOD system combined with several major optimizations speeds up the gameplay noticeably
  • Mission Success menu screen has been implemented

I’ve also begun purchasing royalty-free music so I can slowly integrate it into the missions and see how they fit. What I’d really like to start once I finish reworking the last of the spaceship models is to start building the missions themselves. A lot of missions ideas are ready to take the hazardous trip from my head to the computer, but there is one major obstacle in my way that I haven’t figured out yet: voice actors.

Each of the 10 missions requires a short briefing, done by different characters at different times, as well as some initial dialogue between your wing mates at the onset of each mission. I expect I’ll need about 5-6 different voices: 2 or 3 for the briefings, and 3 for the pre-mission banter and chatter. Once I’m finished tweaking the last remaining spaceship models, I’ll begin scripting out my missions in detail to determine exactly what I need.


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