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Sir Sapo

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Hey everyone!

I've got a few new features to show you guys tonight, and I'll also go through creating a level in A22 step by step, so read along!

Exploding Things
I know, I know, lots of stuff explodes already in Angels 22, but what makes these things different is that they actually pose no threat to you whatsoever, so they are just there for show. These new "things" range from stationary cars to dumpsters, and we use them to spruce up the terrain, and make cool stuff happen when you strafe cities.... not that you would do that or anything[wink] Anywho, they just sit there until something hurts them, then they explode and fly upwards, and once they hit the ground, they stay there so you can view the carnage you caused. Anyways, here's a before and after screeny of some of the new objects you'll be seeing in the levels....

Before


After


Creating An Angels 22 Level
This is a pretty long segment, so I'm just going to cut to the chase and go step by step through the process (with pictures too!).

Step 1: Create a blank Canvas
This is done by opening the in-game editor, and double clicking the RESET button at the top of the sidebar:



Step 2: Form the Terrain
This step is done via the terrain sculpting tools in the sidebar. We usually use the extruder to pull the heightmap up to where we want it, then we use the more precise vertice grabber to fine tune the layout. As you can see below, I've created a small island.



Step 3: Make things fuzzy
What this does is make abrupt changes in the heightmap less noticable and it also looks kinda cool. Anyways, all you have to do is select the type of overlay you want (in the case of the screeny below, grass), and then drag it over the vertices you want affected. See how much nicer it makes things look in the screeny below:



Step 4: Add "Doodads"
Doodads are simply little things that make the terrain look unique, such as trees, cars, buildings, etc. As you can see below, a few houses and trees can create a picturesque little village, which is much more exciting than desolate grassland....



Step 5:Add Enemies
This is pretty straight forward, just don't put too many together, or the game quickly gets frustrating....



Step 6: Finishing Up
All thats really left now is just to add a player spawn (in this case the carrier), and tidy everything up.



Step 7: Scripting (optional)
While scripting isn't necessary for a level, if you want to add some cool effects and make the level not so much a plain shoot-em all level, then you could try a hand at scripting a level, but its not that fun, trust me.....



Well, thats all I've got for you guys today, check back tomorrow for (hopefully) another progress report. Peace Out!
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One thing that comes to mind while perusing all that is that the heightmap manipulation looks pretty tedious. Ever thought about having a system where you've got a brush that effects the closest X heightmap handles on each side, with the amount of influence exerted falling off with distance? Sounds a lot more usable to me.

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Actually, it's really easy, you'd have to see the terrain tool in action, although it is kind of hard to get a perfectly level surface.

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Yeah, you don't have to manually grab each vertice into position, we have a tool that instantly pulls the closest vertex to the height of the mouse, so you can quickly make mountains and stuff with a quick drag of the mouse.

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