Revi Capital Ship Dreadnaught

first look at the new Dreadnaught

Been working on the design for a while. While this isn’t 100% it’s getting there. Still needs some scale/window checks and some engine intake love. Might move on to other ships just get the more going.

Art Preview: Sagaris, Corvette, Revi Light Fighter

As stated in a previous post a new artist, David, recently joined the Eterium team.  David has been busy in his spare time putting together some ships for Eterium.  He has just come off some other projects and can now now devote his attention to Eterium.  He has provided me with three rough renders of the ships he has been working on.  Check them out (UEA Sagaris Medium Fighter, UEA Zhukov Corvette and Revi Light Fighter):

UEA SagarisUEA ZhukovRevi Light Fighter

Procedural Missions: Ship Placement

Ship placement is perhaps the most important aspect of creating procedural missions.  For procedural patrol missions in Eterium, placement is handled by providing a maximum difficulty and an individual encounter difficulty for the mission.  Encounter difficulty determines how many and which type of ships can be placed at a particular encounter (e.g. en route to Nav 1), while the maximum difficulty is the sum total of all encounters.  The latter ensures that a mission will not be generated that consists of several brutal encounters in a row.

Procedural Missions

There has been a lot of talk about procedural missions lately.  Most recently, Skyrim has been touting its Radiant Quest system.  The Radiant Quest system is a system to offer players unlimited quests.  Of course any game that relies solely on procedural missions would be quite boring.  Skyrim did it right.  They used their radiant quest system to compliment scripted quests and provide pointless side quests to help increase the realism and depth of the world.  I believe this is a great idea and I have been thinking of ways I could incorporate a similar system into Eterium.

Camera Shake

When using afterburners the course of the player’s ship adjust slightly and violently making controlling the ship a constant struggle to stay on course.  This is done, not only to add excitement and a feel of power to the afterburners, but also to discourage heavy use in combat.

New Cockpit

Cockpit ScreenshotI’ve been working on learning to use 3DS Max better. I have modeled a much better cockpit.  Using render to texture, I am rendering the radar, two video displays, fuel gauge and weapon gauge to the cockpit itself.  As the ship moves, the cockpit and instrumentation, lag slightly behind the camera.  This is an effect that cannot be achieved with a HUD alone.  Still to do, I plan to attach the rest of the HUD to the cockpit so when the camera shakes the HUD does not stay fixed to the camera.

I do not really like how the cockpit video displays turned out because the text on them is far too large for my liking. However, since the Xbox 360 is one of my target platforms, I must keep in mind how it would look on a TV.  The information on the Video displays needs to be readable from across the living room.

New Artist

A new artist, David, has joined the Eterium team!  For the last few months, David and I have been reviewing the existing concept art and discussing how we can make the game look better.  Some of the assets are starting to reach the final stage and will be appearing in media and screenshots soon.

Welcome to the Eterium Developer Blog

Eterium is an indie developed space flight sim game in the spirit of Wing Commander.  The game has been in development for a while and is nearing completion.  I have started this blog to keep people up to date on our progress as we finish off this game.  Stay tuned for more updates!