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Dev Diary 15 - Strange Alien Encounters in Starflight: The Remaking of a Legend

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:21 am
by Blake00
New dev diary incoming! This time Marvin shows strange and mysterious alien encounters just as we remember them but looking so much better in his Starflight: The Remaking of a Legend project. Next article will cover more Alien Comms! :)

Requesting Permission to Transmit Data…
(Originally posted by Marvin 11/12/2018 HERE)


Well. That was quick.

After finishing up the Spemin earlier today, I decided to tackle one of the easiest “race” to do in the game… the Nomad probe. Actually, the Veloxi probe is even easier, but I didn’t think of that until later. Below is an image of the Nomad probe in the original game.


Basically, this is what I did to build the Nomad probe:
  1. Find a satellite dish model and download it.
  2. Find a satellite body model and download it.
  3. Whip out my Sawzall and hack those model up and glue them together.
  4. Brought the thing into Unity.
  5. Created solar panel texture maps and colorized the model.
  6. Added lights at the tips of the solar panels.
  7. Wrote scripts to animate the lights and spin the whole thing.
  8. Yay!
Enjoy the pictures and the video of the probe in action!

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48? 11? 39? 21? 5?
(Originally posted by Marvin 12/12/2018 HERE)


The Velox probe has been built. It’s basically two tapered cylinders glued together. The first picture below is how it looks in the original game. ‘Nuff said.


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Through the Windless Night We Sail…
(Originally posted by Marvin 13/12/2018 HERE)


…to watch the timeless dance unfold…

Another day, another character completed. These are the Minstrels, telepathic beings that travel through space without a ship. Modeling this was quite easy but fun. This is what they looked like in the original game:


Enjoy the pictures and video! I’m running out of easy characters to do. I think the next one up, the Mysterion, is the last easy character to model. After that, the rest of the characters will definitely push me to my breaking point as an I’m-a-programmer-not-an-artist. Pray for me.

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00001 01111 111111 1111111 111111 010101 010101 100001 11000 11110 111111 010101
(Originally posted by Marvin 23/12/2018 HERE)


I finished the Mysterions. What should have taken me only a few minutes to do turned into hours because I was having way too much fun thinking up of ways to animate them. And by “them” I mean the balls. Lots and lots of balls. But I’m getting ahead of myself here…

First, here is how they looked in the original game:


To start off, I created a grid of 8 by 8 by 8 balls, or in other words a 3D grid of 512 balls. Then I whittled away the corners of the “cube” of balls until it was a “sphere” of balls. That left me with 208 balls. That was it for the work needed to be done in 3D Studio Max, and it was time to bring it into Unity. Here is a screenshot of how it looks in Max:


Now within Unity, I was able to play with the balls by creating a script to animate them. I tried a few things and then stumbled upon a really nice way to move and make them grow and shrink. It’s basically a very simple Simplex noise fractal algorithm that takes up only 13 lines of code, but if you watch the video you’d swear that there’s some kind of intelligence behind the movement. It’s so mesmerizing. Ok, I’ve kept you in anticipation long enough – here’s the video!

The Mysterion Ship
(Originally posted by Marvin 31/12/2018 HERE)


I was able to quickly create and add the Mysterion ship to the game. By looking at the images from the original game, it looks like the Mysterions fly around in a sphere that is a grid. Too easy.

All I had to do was create a standard sphere in 3DS Max, then use the edit poly modifier to select all the faces and do a “negative outline”. Then I deleted all the selected faces and what I was left with was a sphere that is a grid. I did also use the tesselate modifier, and then the spherize modifier, to make the object more rounded.

Here is a video of the Mysterion ship in action!