Turrets

March 27, 2009 | Filed under: game design | gratuitous space battles

I’ve finally got code written that supports the same ship module having different sprites on different spaceships. What this means is that the same weapon (fast pulse laser) can look different on a rebel ship to a federation ship, so hopefully they don’t ever look too out of place.

This works fine, but right now I’m assuming I’m using the same hi-res 3d image for the weapon on the ship design screen, regardless of which ‘race’ the ship hull is from. I have several ways to fix this, none of which are ideal…

I could have different 3d renders for each turret on the ship design screen, depending on the race of the ship hull. This is a lot of work, and also might be confusing. Shouldn’t the player be able to recognise a pulse laser icon regardless what race he plays?

I could have a generic 3dĀ image for the design screen, but represent it differently on each ship, which is easier, but it means breaking the visual connection between the 3d render and the 2d sprite which might be confusing.

I could scrap the idea of the turrets representing individual variations, and just have 3 or 4 turrets for the battle screen, and tons of different 3d ones for the design screen.

I really like the idea that placing a turret in the design screen reflects exactly what the ship will look like in battle. However, it doesn’t really matter in gameplay terms, and ease of use on the design screen is the most important thing. Maybe I keep all the data the same, but have different sprites and 3d renders depending on the selected ship hull. In any case, there is tons of 3d modelling, rendering and data entry to do…

3 Responses to “Turrets”

  1. Paul says:

    How about a generic 3D turret, but have the 2D outcome on the same screen.

    So have both the generic 3D ship on the screen with a cutout box showing the 2D ship. The new turret appears on both.

    Then the connection can be made.

  2. lordarod says:

    a post in a football forum:
    “Re: Pinball Manager 2009
    When I saw this I thought you were going to suggest a new game, where you design pinball mechines like you would a formation. You don’t know how relieved I am…”
    An idea for your next game?

  3. Gavin Clifton says:

    I think the question is whether a rebel pulse laser is different from a federation pulse laser from a functional point of view. If there is a difference other than how they look then I would use different sprites in the design view because they are two different weapons. If a pulse laser is a pulse laser no matter which race is using it then I’d use the same image.

    I’d go for a generic icon type image rather than a fully renderered image in the design view. Something like this:

    http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/1291/pulselaser.jpg

    That way people will quickly know what a pulse laser is in the design view without having to figure out what It looks like for that specific race.