This is a flat object with a texture that casts shadows. It uses a pre-computed map and much faster than POM. This is shadows sans geometry. It's pretty amazing actually. I don't have an immediate use for it in out game but I can think of a few areas I wouldn't mind trying it out. Such as the runway border regions and the quilted Chinook interior. Will do some tests in the coming days.
|Screenshot from Franck's demo scene|
I've been rounding out more mundane GUI code. The artistic concept was to try and capture a 'systems' feel, like that of the fuel system MPD screen with interconnecting lines showing option paths instead of fuel flow. I'm not convinced it works aesthetically but it does the job. Anyway, if you have a hard time with the options screen then heaven help you in the cockpit. I tried to stay away from a full MPD look which was used in GUNSHIP! and I think Longbow 2. Green didn't look so great, orange is our title colour so it had to be orange and something else which is GUI_BLUE. Note the "special tab", you'll only see that with some hardware attached.
AD has been working real hard on the Chinook control panels. He's finding that the texture map is too small to bring out text details which will probably mean breaking it down into more textures. The Chinook is looking like it will be way more detailed and use more textures than the Apache. It could quite possibly be the single worst helicopter we could have chosen in terms of detail and technical difficulty.
Using panel drawings as a template mapped to the cockpit consoles. This provides a guide for placement of labels and switches. A most labour intensive task is taking groups of these controls and baking ambient shadows for every single switch onto the panels.
Digital sets like the one with the keyboard below will require an extended version of the TComputer class so it will have a display buffer and can send and receive messages from other parts of the helicopter. Of course it helps to know what the hell it is first :)
A demo for Ace Combat Assault Horizon appeared today on Playstation Network. I was crestfallen at how awful the Apache was treated. Lovely visuals, but barrel rolls from a hover to evade missiles? I almost cried. As far as my console gaming habits are concerned, this is lined up to be the biggest disappointment of the year just behind Test Drive Unlimited 2.
And finally, I tweeted this earlier but my local airport has some pretty violent cross-winds. We caught the back end of the Hurricane which hit the US east coast and yesterday I hear the unusual sound of turbines screaming instead of the usual reverser roar. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14906539
Great fun. Should have been on my flight when the pilot was doing S bends on landing.