Jump to content

Graphics Suggestions for BC3020ad


Recommended Posts

Well, I finally got around to viewing the quicktime BC3020ad tech trailer (previously I had only seen the screenshots). Looks good - however, there are a few things I want to point out.

Feel free to let me know what you think!

BC3020ad is intended as a frontline title so will need to have excellent graphics (great graphics are not vital for this type of game as shown in the GA-Source review, but are necessary for a frontline full-priced title).

The graphics in the tech trailer look good, and are competitive with existing competition. However, given that BC3020ad won't be released for almost a year, the graphics may fall behind the curve. Before BC3020ad comes out X-Wing Alliance, Klingon Academy, Privateer3, and Babylon 5 are expected out. Other competition may include: I-War2, Terminus, and Freespace2. Many of these games include graphics significantly above currently released games. For instance: X-Wing Alliance has 3d cokcpits and external ship models where you can see the pilot in the cockpit, Klingon Academy allows you to blow chunks out of enemy ships and see the inside decks, Babylon 5 features battles with large numbers of ships and detailed ship models (Minbari cruiser model used in the game has 1500 polygons), and Privateer 3 has a flight sim style 3d padlockable cockpit.

The following are some suggestions for BC3020ad graphics (I may have mentioned some of these before but could not find the thread). These suggestions are based on the BC3020ad tech trailer and my experience with BC3000ad:

1. More detailed ship models - ship models should have many more polygons than the models in the trailer (which appear to be retextured BC3000ad models). Texture maps are detailed on the interceptors, but should be much more detailed on the BC. One suggestion is to use a scaling method as seen in games like Shogo, where ships in the distance are rendered with fewer polygons allowing highly detailed objects up close yet still allowing high framerates. Rather than hiding objects way in the distance, it might be a good idea to render them as dots (like in EAW). I like the shape and coloring of the BC - just needs more detail. How about adding 3d articulated gun turrets on the outside of the BC model so you can see the PTA system track targets (maybe with recoiling gun barrels)? How about showing the muzzles of the IOD sticking out of the BC-s nose? Or having a little 3d pilot model in each interceptor, like in X-Wing Alliance?

2. better looking gun projectiles. Personally, I think the projectiles in Freespace look really good. Maybe use something like that for the PTA and interceptors. The IOD is a bigger gun so should fire a bigger projectile - how about something resembling the energy grenades in shogo (transparent and brilliant). How about adding a muzzle flash to gun muzzles?

3. Changing gun projectiles depending on intensity (all crafts): For instance - gun projectiles could be made translucent. At 10% setting, the projectile is 80% translucent and shaded red. As the gun intensity goes up the projectile becomes less transparent till at 100% setting it is maybe only 20% transparent. The color of the bolt could also move gradually from red to blue and at the highest settings add a Wing Commander Prophecy style lens flare. In addition to this you could also have the sound affect change depending on intensity with a more impressive sound effect at highest intensities.

4. Padlockable 3d cockpits for the interceptors. If your 3d cockpit is good enough you can skip making a 2d cockpit entirely (like Janes WW2 Fighters).

5. Dynamic reflections on cockpit glass (interceptors, shuttles, ATVs).

6. Lens flare for missile trailers. Missile trails in BC300ad look good, but adding a lens flare might enhance them. You might also try making different colored missile trails depending on type of missile launched (like in Starsiege Tribes where the mortar's green smoke trail is different from a grenades').

7. visible exhaust flame from thrusters and engines (like in Independence War 3dfx).

9. Visible external damage to capital ships including the ability to catch them on fire with this fire visible on the external ship model.

10. reflective colored lighting

11. for manual control of the PTA - how about showing the gun muzzle sticking out around the gunner's seat. Then when you fire a PTA gun manually you could see the gun recoil and maybe see a muzzle flash. Might also be cool to be able to hear the motor machine noise as you slew a PTA gun onto the target (when you are in the turret).

12. Show a hyperdrive effect around the BC while in hyperspace (maybe like the Warp effect in Star Trek the motion picture when the Enterprise gets stuck in warp).

13. Show blast effects - whenever ANY gun or missile projectile hits ANY object there should be some kind of visual flash. Look at Independence War and Freespace where every gun hit produces a spray of damage of a special effect when a shield takes a hit. This should always be accompanied by a sound effect. For objects way in the distance you could render the blast effect as a white dot (distant explosion). Blast effects should also be shown whenever a collision occurs (this might be done already).

14. Blinding explosions when close - (remember the capital ship explosions in Wing Commander 4).

15. Bigger viewing area when in cockpit views - The bridge cockpit bitmap takes a sizable area of the screen in BC300ad. If you keep the bitmap, might be a good idea to minimize the area covered by the artwork. Most people probably play without the bitmap - but it does add to the atmosphere. Same applies if you replace the 2d bitmap with a 3d bridge.

16. Animated bridge artwork - remember how in Starfleet Academy, you would actually see your underlings in front of you moving about? Animating the people on the bridge in the bridge view would better give the feeling that there are other people on the bridge. Also, you could have them all be jarred or fall about if the ship takes a hit or gets into a collision, etc. You could also have the bridge lighting change color depending on the condition of the ship or alert status.

17. Add a metal frame around the TACOPS view (this serves no function except to "glitz up" tacops - make sure it can be toggled off if you do add this).

This is all the graphics suggestions I could think of off hand. Keep in mind these are only my opinions so could be wrong. BC3000ad is a great game and in this post I'm trying to think of ways to give BC3020ad competitive top-notch graphics when it is released.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...