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

Trying to improve armor glow effect

Several people commented on the armor ‘glow’ effect to represent an armor hit, but not hull damage or a shield hit. Ideally the effect says “this hit the ship and got through shields, but it didn’t get any further’. my plan was for the ship to look like it ‘glowed’.
The problem was, that with the whole ship glowing, it looked a bit overdone, and non-specific. After a lot of fiddling, I can apply an expanding and fading sprite as a ‘decal’ to the ship (which is fiddly without assuming shader support, and involves some interesting multi-texturing code and so on…)
Here it is: ( i stupidly called it shield effect test. it’s armor effect. doh!)

Is this better? If not, what would work better?

17 thoughts on Trying to improve armor glow effect

  1. I like it. But it may look better if the colour of the hit (currently red) was a similar tone to the colour of the ship?

  2. I think it is a bit better(as the whole red flashing was pretty jarring), but I am not sure if it is right yet.

    Could you just have tiny explosions happen on the hull(perhaps in combination with this effect?) Not necessarily changing the ship chasis afterwards though.

  3. i like it as well never really had any problems with it anyway.

    Kudos to listening to us though Cliff :)

  4. I quite like it for energy weapons. It really does look ‘absorbed’. I’m not sure how I feel about it if it’s getting used for kinetic impacts too – maybe a little inoffensive puff of smoke?

  5. Imo just make the bullets bounce off the armor.

    Maybe make it flash white as in shiny armor.

  6. Nice effect, my two cents worth, maybe a more reddish colour to indicate heat and a darkening after to indicate a scorch mark?

  7. Whats the difference between armor and hull?

    Maybe little armor shards flying would make a nice effect. Really small grayish particles, perhaps with some glints, would do the job.

  8. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to really convey the effect of breaking shields but nothing else. Perhaps the effect might be better placed on the shield rather than the ship, like some kind of hole in the shields that seals itself up. To me at least, anything happening on the hull conveys that damage is happening. It just looks visually correct for a hull hit to result in damage, if only because to see a hull hit and no damage looks a bit off.

    Do what you will, that’s just my contribution. I would say anything to speed the game along, but nobody likes a rushed product, so do what needs doing.

  9. I agree, something is not quite right. I think that the red flash indicates damage, and not absorption. Changing the color from red to either a grayish generic color, or the color of the ship would go a long way towards making it look less menacing.

  10. Ha, everyone wants it to be a different colour. Poor Cliff.

    If it is not a damage indicator, then I would not think of it like a damage effect. Maybe more like a indicator, as anything like bits of metal debris or most grey-ish effects are just going to look like damage.

    What about something more temporary?
    Like a shock-pulse, or a vibration or a metal shine?
    Something with a different rythem then damage effects, slower or faster or more temporary or movement based?

    That said, a ‘Ping!’, a small spark effect for a second, and combined with the bullet bouncing off and tumbling into a fade might work.

    – Michael.

  11. nehhh, they kind of look like little puffs of orange smoke to me, but that just may be the youtube-ification of the clip. I realize you’ve got a dozen different opinions after these dozen comments, but here’s mine: maybe try making them more transparent so more of the ship texture shows through? The effect seems to lack the surface detail of the ship below, so it looks like a flat-ish circle of heat rather than a (red) hot version of the hull geometry below.

    A second suggestion: how might it look if you didn’t scale the glow hits uniformly in every direction? For example, if a projectile is coming in from the bottom right and scores a hit (well, penetrates the shields at least), the scalingCenter passed to D3DXMatrixTransformation2D (if thats what you’re using) would be somewhere in quadrant IV of the sprite. So most of the expansion of the sprite as it cooled would be in the opposite direction of the incoming projectile, so it would seem like the glow carried some of the momentum of the projectile? Just a thought!

    And also, congrats on the fighter movement AI, their flight paths in groups looks really organic. And the visuals are stunning, without being garish. Ver’ nice!

  12. I think that while that’s ok for some hits, I think you should also include a directional particle effect to show that the weapon maybe broke apart on impact.

    An example of this effect would be in this review(around 2:20): (couldn’t think of a better example =-P)

  13. This is really much better. I didn’t like the flashing-red effect. This is awesome.

  14. Come to think of it, how about no effect for a hit on armor, but the same effect you have now for a hull hit? This way it will appear as though incoming fire that was stopped by armor had no effect, but the current little flare for when they got through?

  15. Well with a hull hit you get a proper full-on explosion with particle effects and flames and allsorts. What I’m after is the effect of ‘you hit the ship, but its armor is holding out for now’

  16. I really like Michael’s idea of a metal shine effect occurring when something hits the armor but doesn’t actually cause damage. It might not look realistic, but it would definitely allow the user to understand that damage did not occur.

Comments are currently closed.