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T3h Vid3o

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Hey everyone!

Good update tonight, read on!

Video!!!!!
Its not quite a demo, but its better than screenshots! Tonight's video is (sadly) silent as my microphone is still broken, but there is a portion of it with the sounds of the game being recorded, which is kinda cool. Anyways, download the video and see A22 in action!

A22 Video Update (~13.6MB)

Muzzle Flashes
So Mark's been on my ass about implementing these for quite some time, and today he finally sent over some flash sprites (the lack of which was my last excuse), so I got to work on them. In the process I created a "TimedDecal" object that is simply an animation that remains visible for a certain time and then goes away. Anyways, I finally got the things working correctly, and I must say, they add quite a bit to the feeling that you are shooting a gun (or that a gun is being shot at you). It looks much better than a bunch of tracers popping out of a gun barrel, and I'm glad I spent the time implementing them. Anyways, here's a screeny of a Gatling Flak unit trying to blow me out of the sky on a night level, which makes the muzzle flash much cooler looking[grin]



The Partisan MkIII
So as you all may remember from Mark's journal, near the end of the game you recieve an upgraded version(Partisan MKIII) of your old fighter (Partisan MKII). The new fighter has lots of neat little features in addition to it being faster and more agile than your previous plane. While I don't want to spoil too much about the plane, I will tell you it is equipped with one hell of an anti-missile system, but thats all you get to know for now[wink] Anyways, Mark recently gave me the completed in game MkIII texture, so I got to work on creating the new plane definition (which was suprisingly easy considering I haven't created a new plane type since the beginning of the project). After screwing around with the MkIII for a couple hours, its really hard to go back to the plain old MkII, which is a good thing I think[grin] One of the awesome things about the new fighter is that it can perform its 180 flip really quickly, which comes in really handy when you're dogfighting or dodging a SAM. For example, I was testing the dogfight AI, and I couldn't get the guy off my tail, so I sped up and performed a 180 flip, fired a missile at him, then, while moving backwards, I performed another 180 flip and continued going my original direction. In short, it makes you feel really cool[wink]. Here's a screeny of the MkIII rolling, showing off its different design and paint scheme....



Search Lights
I was watching an old WWII movie last night, and there was a scene where these bombers were coming in to bomb a city, and searchlights began to turn on one by one and sway through the air. I really wanted to emulate that effect, so today I created another new object, the SearchLight. SearchLights are essentially Light Flak's with a search light instead of a weapon, and when activated (via a scripting command), they turn on and begin to search the skies for your plane. The beam of light effect is pretty simple, and it doesn't look very good, but its more the feeling that you are being searched for that I want to convey, and the current method does that just fine. I also created a flag in the Light Flak code that allows them to fire eratically into the sky when they can't see you. Using my new toys I was able to create the scene you will see in todays video, where the plane sets off the searchlights and flak during a night mission. Here's a screen of the searchlights "in action"...



Sound
I've been adding sounds to the game like a madman tonight, as it is one of the big things Mark complains about. All the framework is there for the sounds, I just have to sit down and map all the sounds to their respective actions. It's boring work, but it really adds to the immersion when the flak cannons make deep "blam"'s when they fire. I'm a bit skeptical whether I'm doing the sound system right though, as I'm just letting FMod find an open channel whenever a sound is played, which I'm sure is not the 'proper' way of doing things. If anyone knows the answer to the question I posed in this thread, please let me know.

Stability
I've been really focusing on making the engine a lot more stable, and I think I've been making loads of progress, as I haven't had a hard unexplainable crash in days. I'm also trying to make the level editor a bit more user friendly, as it is full of intricacies that will cause a crash if you're not careful, which gets on Mark's nerves, as he never listens to my warnings[grin]

Menus
Another boring thing I worked on were the menus, which are probably the most boring aspect of game development IMO. I implemented a bunch of GUI classes to get the menus functional, and created a MenuManager class that handles transitions between the various menus and the game itself. Hopefully everything will fit together okay in the end and I can never touch that code again....

That all for now, be sure to download the video and check out all this stuff in motion. As always comments are welcome, Peace Out!
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Congrats, it's looking good.

While you're working on sound, one thing I always missed in A-20 was the lack of any kind of warning when a missile was fired at you. Obviously you generally see it happen, but the immersion factor would ++ if an alarm started going off and "Missile Warning" started flashing in red at the bottom of your screen.

Also, something you may want to try with the search light is putting a texture on there as a bit of an alpha mask that rolls off at the edges. Don't know how easy that would be to do with your engine setup, but I think it would look pretty good.

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Thanks for the comment,

Don't worry, we already have a HUD element and a sound loop for the missile warning, so no more unexpected deaths from offscreen.

As for an alpha blended searchlight texture, I'm thinking thats a good idea, I'll have to throw a texture together with the GIMP and give it a shot.

Thanks again for the kind words!

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My mind screams "demo" and so do a couple of my friends.



But I won't, what I am curious about, how does the scripting work?
Could you post a snippet of it?

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