This week I’ve been working on particle effects. Particles systems are one of the fields in game graphics that are relatively separate from the rest. They exist in the same world as everything else but compared to how a model and its animation have a symbiotic relationship particles tend to be tacked on wherever they make sense.
Their main purpose is to indicate states, for example if food is hot you can have steam coming off it, indicating its current state. If a character is poisoned, having puffs of poison come out of him can give the player at a glance information that he might be in trouble.
Most particles are limited to being textured planes, emitted and then behaving randomly inside the limits defined for it. In some cases you use custom meshes instead of planes and/or animated textures, this allows to make some effects that would otherwise be impossible to do.
I’ve spent the past few days working on the PR front, getting things into place for when the big day comes to let Astrobase out into the wild. It’s important to get your ducks in a line well ahead of time, since it can take quite some time for some groups to get turned around and release a piece.
Since getting noticed is a huge issue for indie Devs, we’re trying to stack the odds in our favour by investing some time early on.
I’ve also been working on getting some screenshots and wallpapers ready to go so you can keep a little digital piece of Astrobase close to your heart (or your screens). Here’s a work-in-progress preview!
To cap things off, I’m currently working on a series of icons that will represent Daniel’s groovy new social modules.
This week I finished the procedural conversation that characters engage in on the station.
I spent this past week working on more updated versions of Datapad GUIs. I wrapped up the promotion program and got through most of inventory management. Here’s a preview of promotion to give you a feel for the visual style.
I’ve also had a chance to integrate a prototype version of Dave’s conversation work in action. It’s kind of amazing! Looking forward to showing that off in-game!