I think I forgot to post last weeks update but here’s #5 anyway :
Hey all time for another weekly update. On the engineering side we’ve primarily been focused on bug fixing, more website improvements, and working on our new installation/deployment platform - none of which is particularly exciting to talk about unless you’re a programmer. What is exciting to talk about however is ships and weapons! The art team has been hard at work concepting and creating rough 3D mockups for all of our new ships as well as their fixed direction and turret based weapons. The first revision of these will be completed on Wednesday.
As I mentioned a bit last week our goal is to get rough un-textured meshes into the game as soon as possible so we can begin iterating on major gameplay systems. Sometime shortly after this coming Wednesday we’ll begin integrating these 3D mockups into the prototype starting with the smaller ships, like the interceptor, and working our way up to the capital ships. While it won’t be pretty we want to begin getting a feel for the mass/controls of the ships, cockpit visibility, weapon placement, balancing, and relative sizes.
Currently capital ships haven’t been implemented in any playable form so there will be some amount of extra work to get our first capital ship up and running. Once that’s complete we’ll begin integrating 3D mockups for our weapon systems. This will also be quite a bit of work to implement in its first iteration as we only have a simple fixed-direction blaster type weapon currently implemented and both turrets and missiles will require their own targeting AI. That being said it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch as the game starts taking shape!
I am really happy that you share design progress in the forums for us to see. It really helps to build anticipation of the new models.
Yet for the ingame prototype i would suggest to do as car developers do:
This way, when people from dev tier access post ingame screenshots or videos in public, it will send a clear message that it is work in progress (not that it is not clear when a model doesnt have any textures at all, but still…).
Those were great.
Incendently, that star citizen ship reminds me of a ship that reminds me of a ship that reminds me of a ship that reminds me of a Casio CFX-400 digital calculator watch from the 1980s…
I guess at some point, every ship ressembles to another in another game / tv serie / film
The purpose of the ship creates the design of the latter. The “long line” style of the corvette makes me think of a great firepower on the front of the ship, while the destroyer makes me think he’ll be able to tackle ennemies from most directions.
The current faction, or should we say rather “nation”, is the “Starfold Confederacy”. Their design is meant to be blunt and straight to the point. Quite the opposite of what the “centauran” nation will have.
I am well aware of the SFC style (as well as Centauran and Deltan), still the concept has more obtuse angles (slight slope at the top of the cockpit and at the tip of the nose). It breaks the horizontal lines of the profile.
As all of them are placeholders, we should focus on testing the things they are meant to allow testing of: Cockpit visibilty, weapon placement, truster placement, flight model and so on.
Imho, nailing the functionality BEFORE fully commiting to a certain visual design is a very, very good idea. It is a good idea in general, because any good design is based on form follows function, but it is even better for Infinity, that has unique requirements because of the complex 3d combat environment. ( Example 1: A lot of the old community contributed ship models looked great but did not really plan weapon placement and LOS/Fireing Angles to be actually useful. Example 2: One of the biggest challenges, as proven by the ICP and soon to be re-proven by the prototype is a really good hangar layout for a carrier that allows quick landings in a hot environment. Launching is much easier. And Example 3, my personal pet-peeve: A lack of beefy retro trusters that visually balance the big ones in the back and make the strong deceleration ability of ships more believable. ) And is a tripple good idea for the SFC style is hard brutal functional designs, so testing functionality first will also make them look better, not just function better.
Car manufacturers do this because the design confuses the eye and makes it difficult to fully resolve the details of the bodywork, especially while it is in motion. Any clay or otherwise untextured model I think sends a pretty clear message that it is incomplete.