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Armada Online (open test)  by markEVS    *****


Time Spent: I work on it whenever I can
Date Added: Aug 27 2012 12:49 PM

Roger Fang and I (Mark Jordan) made Armada for Dreamcast in 1999. We upgraded the Armada Online engine and added new areas recently.
We are preparing to transfer to a cloud server, so anyone who wants to try it is quite welcome. [The current server should support up to 500 simultaneous players.]

You can download the game here (134 mb): http://www.armada-online.com
Please give the game a try and tell us what you think.

This shot shows some more of the upgraded effects, creatures, and background elements:

We wanted the effects to remain visually interesting and chaotic with repeated firings. To accomplish this, we broke the effects down into components, and used real time transformations and a lot of randomization, instead of prerenderd animation. For example, the beam weapon effects are made up of several parts. Each beam has a scaled core stretch flat, 2 origin flares, 2 destination flares, and a second stretch flat that stetches across the length of the beam as it fires, to enhance a sense of directionality. Because the color values in the source textures are relatively dark, the appearance of the effects often "emerge" from alpha addition, rather than resemble the bitmaps used to make them.

The engine supports normal maps, blur, and glow bloom, and can display a very large number of effects in the context of a server-based game, where all objects have actual locations/collisions that are identical for all players (no approximation or prediction, basically a synched rts processed on the server). One benefit of this method is that you can dodge, and overall the feel of play is more solid since small movements make a difference in combat.  

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Sep 22 2012 01:22 PM
OOoooohh, pretty. Any chance you'll support more than just Windows in the future?
Sep 23 2012 07:47 AM
Looks nice! How did you program that plasma looking effect??
Sep 24 2012 06:43 AM
Sweet! I played Armada back in the day, and was just recently thinking it would be fun to go back and play. Will have to download this when I get home!
Sep 26 2012 03:42 AM
This looks pretty impressive, quite colorful what I really like. Great work.