Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Changing some shield stuff

I did a fair bit of speedup code today, added a new ship, then put some effort into the shield effects. The old graphcis were 512px square, which is pretty big with mipmaps. A basic test showed 1024 px images looked noticeably better, but they get pretty big filesize wise.

So I did what lots of games did, and cut the images down to quarters, and in code I mirror/flip them to draw all four quarters of them. It’s an old trick to save filesize. There’s an image below showing it in game, and file itself.

I also added support for different shield graphics for different races, so you have aliens with their funny foreign-colored shields :D

6 thoughts on Changing some shield stuff

  1. I wonder who was the first to decide that shields ought to be spherical/round.

    Why shouldn’t they be like clothes, ‘wrapped around’ what’s wearing them?

  2. it’s somewhat accepted that shields are like a “protective bubble”

    but some shields, like “Deflector Shields” from Star Wars, are wrapped according to the shape of the ship. But in Star Trek, and many other SciFi shows/movies, they’re bubbles.

    …in any case, it’s an accepted showing of what “shields” are.

  3. In addition to CaesarGhost’s explanation, it would be an inefficient use of the clock cycles to have to draw a skin around the ship like that every frame. You get the idea of what the shield is for in the bubble form without all the hassle!

  4. **Doublepost**

    I’d really like to see shield deformation however. When a shield takes the impact of a large missile, the shield should buckle and ripple to show that its absorbing the impact of the kinetic energy. However, this is probably a very cpu intensive feature on a game that is trying to kill you by its sheer gratuitously lasery nature.

  5. Screw the old laptops, get some fancy SM 4.0 geometry shader in there for shield deformation :)

  6. “it would be an inefficient use of the clock cycles to have to draw a skin around the ship like that every frame.”

    Regardless, it’d look better in my book.

    Just because something is more CPU intensive doesn’t mean it’s not a good design choice.

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