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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-04 03:22pm
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Miles Dyson
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Location: Isle of Dogs
Everything is better with LAZORS!

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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-06 10:57pm
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Miles Dyson
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Posted Windhaven dev video #15, probably the second to last in the series prior to the actual launch. This has the breeder enemies, typhoon and monsoon attacks, character switching, the revised SFX for soaring & racing (following earlier feedback here), neat music and misc. engine improvements. Gave up on getting the friendly & enemy bird AI implemented for this video as the gap since the last one was getting rather long. The last one will have that and working airship, ironclads and island defences.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-11 05:25pm
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Miles Dyson
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On the advice of someone I work with does UX (User eXperience) for trader desktops, I redesigned the HUD for Windhaven to be somewhat sleeker. The element borders are now slightly 3D to match the stone icons, the gap between the icons and the gauges is gone, everything is a little more transparent and there is some slight vignetting on the radar pane.

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Though on reflection the grooves marking the viewport on the radar should be ridges.
I think it's a distinct improvement vs the old design :

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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-15 06:48pm
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Miles Dyson
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Prototype for the medals & trophies screen;

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I have applied an animated shine (fake envmapping), glow and reflected rays effect, which doesn't show up too well in this static screenshot but looks quite nice moving. Awards that have not been won yet are blacked out.

The IndieGold thing is an attempt by Xbox Live Indie Games devs to replicate XBL Achievements, since Microsoft won't let XBLIGs have them. Someone started the initiative and is making the server website, I agreed to develop the client side library including GUI tools, QR generator and crypto. Not sure if it will get any takeup but I thought it couldn't hurt to include it. The IG logo is just a placeholder of course.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-15 10:01pm
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The radar takes up the entire screen width? I always thought the radar was supposed to paint a compact yet quickly readable view of (1) the strategic environment and (2) objectives. It's much harder to scan across the entire top of the screen.

Might I humbly suggest:
* compressing the radar into a smaller space
- I was able to read the freespace 2 radar[1] only with practice and it still confuses me when not moving in a straight line,
- the radar used for Shattered Horizon[2] was significantly easier to use in combat
- even a fixed 2D square with a top down view looks more familiar than the system you're currently using, though maybe it's harder to tell with stills
- this all becomes null if you don't think your users can handle a compressed view

* adding a tint/shading to it to better distinguish between it and the foreground. For a moment I though the spiky balls in the first picture were radar objects. I can easily see myself making that mistake in combat.

[1]http://www.wcnews.com/newershots/full/wcsagabs01.jpg
[2]http://www.gamegrin.com/files/images/games/s/shattered-horizon/standard_shattered_horizon_2010-06-29_21-00-29-98.jpg
I'd be happy to provide descriptions of how it is used.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-16 01:21pm
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Sith Devotee
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The radar shows where enemies are in all 360 degrees around you. A traditional 2-D top down radar can't do that. I really like the radar in the old space sim Tachyon: The Fringe, where the radar is actually a circle that shows you all 4pi of spherical space on a 2-D plane. I'll see if I can dig up a good picture.



Vendetta wrote:
Richard Gatling was a pioneer in US national healthcare. On discovering that most soldiers during the American Civil War were dying of disease rather than gunshots, he turned his mind to, rather than providing better sanitary conditions and medical care for troops, creating a machine to make sure they got shot faster.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-17 07:17pm
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Miles Dyson
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Dave wrote:
The radar takes up the entire screen width? I always thought the radar was supposed to paint a compact yet quickly readable view of (1) the strategic environment and (2) objectives. It's much harder to scan across the entire top of the screen.


The gameplay functionality for Windhaven's radar is different from a typical flight sim. Ace Combat, Blazing Angels, X-Wing etc all have very noticeable HUD boxes around enemies. They have target lock mechanics that are central to gameplay and center on dogfights where you spin around a lot chasing a big arrow pointing at the enemy. The purpose of the radar is mostly to hint the player when it might be worthwhile to switch targets. In these games you have to switch to a map view to get a 'strategic picture', although that's mainly to check how you're doing clearing ground enemies, as fighter enemies keep spawning near you.

In Windhaven you are mostly facing monsters that are much slower, larger and less maneuverable than you. Weapon lethality is quite high so most of the difficulty comes from setting up decent gun passes, dodging return fire and maneuvering the birds themselves, which is a lot more challenging than aircraft controls due to the need for constant two-stick co-ordination. The tiny flock enemies late in the game are much more maneuverable than you, so no pointer chasing there either; you kill them with intelligent use of volume attacks and island defences. There is a very small amount of dogfighting (vs vulture cultists) but even there you are doing (low) energy maneuvering, not really pointer chasing. There are no HUD target boxes on any of the monsters, only enemy & ally birds get them (as otherwise they would be impossible to see at any sort of range). There are almost no ground targets (just a few special mission targets) so the strategic picture is mostly about which defenses are active, how they are configured, what groups of monsters are incoming and what their vectors are. I only use the 'big always-visible arrow to chase' mechanic for a few key mission objectives.

The purpose of the radar then is to hint the player where the monsters are when they can't see them, due to distance, fog, terrain or being at the wrong height level. It replaces the 'chase this arrow to find enemy' HUD element with something more informatie but slower to interpret. Which is absolutely fine, because the tactical picture does not change as rapidly as conventional sims and you won't need to look at the radar while executing hard maneuvers. As Hawkwings mentions, the radar is implemented as a 360 degree fisheye view, and the very wide aspect ratio is essential to that; it makes the box in the middle have the same 16:9 aspect ratio as the visible screen. This reinforces the fact that it is an extension of your normal vision for player intuitiveness. It also stylistically fits the game in that it represents a 'psychic sense' rather than a technological radar, and is functionally and visually distinct from technological flight sims.

Quote:
even a fixed 2D square with a top down view looks more familiar than the system you're currently using, though maybe it's harder to tell with stills


Pressing A toggles between nothing, fish-eye 'radar' and top-down map. The map takes up most of the screen, shows the whole island with elevation lines, and is more opaque.

Quote:
adding a tint/shading to it to better distinguish between it and the foreground. For a moment I though the spiky balls in the first picture were radar objects. I can easily see myself making that mistake in combat.


The original radar design was much more opaque than the second screenshot above; there was a bug when I took that which deleted the background pane. I was skeptical of the new reduced opacity of the radar and gauges when it was proposed, but it actually works fine. The reason is that these are static foreground elements against a moving background, and the brain is very good at distinguishing and filtering depth planes (even without focal cues). With this level of translucency the HUD elements are no longer distracting, but you can easily see them when you want to.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-17 09:26pm
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Miles Dyson
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Initial design for the bird locator HUD rings : the inner and outer rings slowly counter-rotate :

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Obviously not necessary at this range but vital for reliably spotting birds at 300m+. I will get a proper artist to make unique patterns for each character / bird species. Might have to increase the saturation and fiddle with the scaling, depending on playtest.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-19 08:14pm
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Miles Dyson
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DEFENCE GRID ONLINE

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Tower defence is still cool in 2012 AM I RITE? The first of the four defensive obelisk modes (hunter bolts). These are good at killing medium size enemies. They are similar to the nightmare star plasma bolts but faster, bluer (because BLUER = MORE ADVANCED, as SG-1 taught us) and with a sound effect based on heavily processed church hymns instead of heavily processed screaming.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-26 11:37pm
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Miles Dyson
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Many hours of custom shader programming, endless sound recombination in Audacity, but it was all worth it because now I can finally say

COMMENCE PRIMARY IGNITION

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I give you the searing beam defence obelisk attack. All emission modes are fully compliant with the New Geneva Conventions of 2040 (section 18.5 Wave Motion Projectors - clause 3, 'must display gratuitous sucking-in lines and massive charge-up sound prior to firing'). This thing has a horribly slow rate of fire but will kill absolutely anything in one shot.

Also the starburst mode, which are essentially deadly homing fireworks (lethal against slicer flocks, ok against claws/rays, useless against large enemies);

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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-27 05:10am
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Ooh, nice. Do the towers prioritize targets based on what mode they're in, or would the player have to manage tower modes for maximum effect?



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Fragment of the Lord of Nightmares, release thy heavenly retribution. Blade of cold, black nothingness: become my power, become my body. Together, let us walk the path of destruction and smash even the souls of the Gods! RAGNA BLADE!
Lore Monkey | the Pichu-master™
Secularism—since AD 80
Av: Elika; Prince of Persia

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-02-27 05:25am
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Miles Dyson
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Darth Yoshi wrote:
Ooh, nice. Do the towers prioritize targets based on what mode they're in


Yes. Bolts also retarget in flight if their original target is destroyed.

Quote:
or would the player have to manage tower modes for maximum effect?


Activating a tower takes 30 to 60 seconds of looking at the map, finding a ring of the appropriate colour, flying to the ring, flying through it and then to the tower, then flying under the tower. The player is not expected to change tower modes often (mainly just in survival mode); the challenge is to get them turned on in time and to pick appropriate modes in the first place.

Currently I have a requirement that you also connect rings to shrines to allow them to charge third tier attacks, but I may drop that as excessively tedious.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-07 02:58am
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Miles Dyson
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Continuing my quest to steal all good ideas from Ace Combat, this time the per-character kill tally from AC5;

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Although I think it's more relevant when you can actually control everyone as opposed to just the AI taking pot shots.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-18 09:15pm
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Miles Dyson
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Implemented the ability to connect the rings to the obelisks, which powers them up in one of the four possible defence modes. The visual effect is a glowing persistent incorporeal tube that pulses with energy. After ten minutes playing a night level this results in the island looking like it has been draped with giant strings of christmas lights;

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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-19 03:41am
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Y'know, I see that and I think "ooh, warp tunnels!" Obviously not, of course, but from the ring end it superficially reminds me of Stargates.



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Fragment of the Lord of Nightmares, release thy heavenly retribution. Blade of cold, black nothingness: become my power, become my body. Together, let us walk the path of destruction and smash even the souls of the Gods! RAGNA BLADE!
Lore Monkey | the Pichu-master™
Secularism—since AD 80
Av: Elika; Prince of Persia

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-26 08:24am
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Miles Dyson
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The budget doesn't allow for a custom fail screen for every mission, but the most important ones have them;

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Sadly helium-filled airships aren't available on Windhaven.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-26 10:32am
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Sith Devotee
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Everyone's thinking it, and I'm speaking it out:

Why do people who can transform into birds need airships?

8)



The Greeks are somewhat undependable allies when it comes to keeping promises. I am sure the fleet of 300 galleys they promised will turn out to be 3 guys in an oversized cooking pot. (Thanas, revealing the plans for German world domination)

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-26 11:16am
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Miles Dyson
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LaCroix wrote:
Why do people who can transform into birds need airships?


Why do humans need trucks and buses? Also, as detailed in this thread only approx 1 in 3000 humans on Windhaven has this ability. Which is just as well, as there is no way the Xbox360 could handle thousands of birds fighting tens of thousands of monsters. :)



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-27 05:55pm
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Miles Dyson
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Map and radar are almost complete, just need the obelisk engagement range circles and the glowing lines for the power ring -> obelisk connections.

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The radar is somewhat smart, in that it only shows shrines when you need healing / mana recharge, only shows obelisks when you're dragging a ring charge, does some range-gating on the enemies to reduce clutter in dogfights etc.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-27 06:08pm
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GET THE FUCK OFF MY OBSTACLE!
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Okay soooo....when does this go to cert? Will you have a PAX-East booth? a PAX prime booth? AN E3 BOOTH?! Have you shopped this out to publishers?



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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-03-29 05:35pm
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Miles Dyson
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Chardok wrote:
Okay soooo....when does this go to cert? Will you have a PAX-East booth? a PAX prime booth? AN E3 BOOTH?!


The cost of attending any one of those would probably exceed the budget of the game, and that's without the cost of a booth.

Quote:
Have you shopped this out to publishers?


Right now various devs are trying to convince me that $5 on Xbox Live Indie Games is suicide, $3 is extremely inadvisable and all games should be $1. Meanwhile assorted Youtube commenters are complaining that it should be free. I did send an early prototype to the Microsoft XBLA guys two years ago, but they turned it down.

OTOH I see assorted niche PC indie developers making strategy games and space sims and selling them successfully at $10 or even $20. The amount of content and gameplay in Windhaven is comparable to say Ace Combat 4, and while the art/music/etc won't be as polished I think they're of reasonable quality for a budget / XBLA game. So perhaps it might be commercially viable, but who would publish it?



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-04-01 03:54pm
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Miles Dyson
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"Bei den Götter, wir sind gerettet, die Zeppeline sind angekommen!"

"Eröffnet Feuer mit der 20cm und ladet die Todesstrahlgeneratoren!"

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Texturing in progress. Engines and weapons are cartoonishly large because they're gameplay elements that need to be easily visible to players.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-04-02 10:46pm
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Miles Dyson
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Airships are done :

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Apparently civilisation on Windhaven just happened to standardise on the exact same aircraft nav light scheme as 20th century Earth, but if AC's Strangereal can have the exact same aircraft designs...



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-04-03 04:46pm
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Miles Dyson
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A couple of ether breeders gating in from the 8th dimension; the swirly mass of sparking fog looks better in motion. I always found the pop-in of spwaned enemies in Ace Combat etc annoying, and I think it's better to have spawning enemies fly out of these than fade in. That said I should probably suppress firing the beams until they're fully materialised.

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Also, behold the battle zeppelins in action;

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Self-indulgence you say? Well it is a recreational programming project...



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Project PostPosted: 2012-04-04 12:07pm
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GET THE FUCK OFF MY OBSTACLE!
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why not start a kickstarter? or have you already tried that?



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