Early Development Album
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Author:  Richard [ Sat 14 Jun, 2014 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Early Development Album

When we started development for SPAZ 2, we decided we wanted to develop two versions of the game. One was functional, but looked like grey cubes firing red spheres at each other. The other was a graphics version, where all the assets and environment construction took place. We took this segregated approach because we didn't want to develop all the visual technology alongside the base gameplay functionality and have them constantly collide with one another. It took several months before we folded the two projects into one. In this album we'll gradually show some early visual tests, the fusion of the two projects, and the development of the game up to now.

After one month we had a basic procedural assembly of environments. The planets are randomly generated, with animated cloud and ocean layers. It worked, but looked very waxy at this early stage. It took some time to get used to programming shaders. The environment and star colors are also randomized, informing all the light and fog layers accordingly.


3 Months in. Lots of post effects and shaders progress. We finished a basic set of generic ship parts, however, these are baked out of Maya. The functional ships were still grey block at this point. I also couldn't help but put myself in the game as the little dudes that get sucked out of hull breaches.


After 6 months, we finally fussed the art and functional builds together into a single project. No more grey block! Multiplayer and ship AI were coming together, allowing us to stress test the complexity of our new ships.


Lots of early visualization tests here. We tried opening the floodgates on auto assembled ships as a test. It's hard to tell how many ship parts we're looking at here, but it's obscene. The game runs at about 1 frame a second with a ship like this, but we're happy the system didn't crash. You'll never see a ship like this in-game, but its good the system can handle just about anything we can throw at it.


It seemed logical at the time to use a single massive texture atlas for all 100 ship parts. The idea was to save time on creating art assets, while being able to batch the rendering of these objects into a single call. Batching turned out to be impossible for ship parts since each part can be individually scared, damaged, burnt, and infected. The texture memory savings were negligible, so after a quick visual test, we decided all 100 parts needed to be individually textured.


After the prop system was implemented, we tested a pile of different object types. A few features here have since been removed from the game. The large prop based space station paved the way for real player built star bases, which at the time was not part of the current game design. The large hollow asteroid was cut along with all other static objects. We wanted everything you can bump into to be fully destructible. Most of the assets (foliage, signage, etc) were relocated to other props and given destructible states and effects.


1 month old working build of the game


Author:  EvilNinja [ Sat 14 Jun, 2014 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Wow. I'm still getting the original SPAZ vibes from this, but everything's looking more up-to-date and 3D! This looks exciting.

Author:  Richard [ Sat 14 Jun, 2014 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Hehe, these images are painful for me to look at now :) You'll see how it's progressed when I post more of these early dev screens in the coming weeks.

Author:  Richard [ Sat 21 Jun, 2014 4:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Updated at the top

Author:  Toggbott [ Sun 22 Jun, 2014 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

excitement is building for this game.... HURRY UP!

J/K... do it right guys

Author:  ViroMan [ Mon 23 Jun, 2014 2:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

... where is my alpha invite? :(

Author:  Richard [ Sat 28 Jun, 2014 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

update again

Author:  ViroMan [ Sat 28 Jun, 2014 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Some questions and comments regarding informational pic #3...
It it going to be easy to tell what each module does by looking at them?

Are there going to be modules that don't do anything other then add hull length to attach more modules to your ship like I might be seeing in "large ship test"?

Can you repair a module to be used? Or can you pick up a damaged module and repair it while in flight?

Shit son... drone's got HP bars now... ohh crap its gana kill some poor ppls fps if enabled.

Wings on space ships... HUH? These things gana land on planets with atmospheres? Why not directional thrusters that turn instead of wings if your using them as rudders in space?

Author:  Richard [ Sun 29 Jun, 2014 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Every module does something, and every module is unique.

You won't see this many drones in-game. Just a stress test. The bars are placeholder. Our UI doesn't look like that.

Yes you can repair them. They can also get sick :)

As for realism, we chucked that out the window years ago. Wing, flags and sounds in space for everyone.

Author:  DestinyAtlantis [ Sun 29 Jun, 2014 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Humanity will go downhill if they stop making wings on space-craft.

Author:  ViroMan [ Mon 30 Jun, 2014 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Sounds in space are quite possible if your thinking of them as EM and pressure "noise".
Flags... that is possible too provided its made of ultra light solar material so it will flap in the solar breeze or the dust pushing it around as you fly.
Rudders in space... well, what ever floats your boat on that one.

Author:  Richard [ Sat 05 Jul, 2014 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Moar update!

Author:  EvilNinja [ Sat 05 Jul, 2014 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Update Hype!

The engine fx are looking a lot more interesting than those in SPAZ 1.0 in my opinion.

Question: I see the camera angles on the stress test. How much zooming and camera rotating will you permit us in this game? (I don't remember if this question has been asked recently)

Author:  PcChip [ Sat 05 Jul, 2014 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

My son and I can't wait to play SPaZ 2!

We'd love to help alpha/beta test it if you ever send out invites :)

Here's a video of him playing SPaZ two years ago, he was four at the time:

We're both extremely excited for the second one!

Author:  Richard [ Sat 05 Jul, 2014 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

The overhead camera allows you to zoom out to see the entire encounter space. It'll be far less constricting than it was for SPAZ 1.

Glad everyone is stoked for SPAZ 2 :) We're not yet sure what our alpha / beta strategy will be, but we'll squawk loudly when we do know.

Author:  scarletmadness [ Sat 05 Jul, 2014 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Looking good. Keep chugging away at it ~~~ :3

Author:  Richard [ Sat 05 Jul, 2014 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Hehe, this stuff is so old, its hard to look at it now.

Author:  MemoryKill [ Sun 06 Jul, 2014 12:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

So that last image...is a stress test of one MASSIVE ship? Lol, crazy.

So...btw, are all ships going to look that "blocky"? Or are these just placeholder images? because at the moment they just look like loks of cubes all put together to make a "ship" like shape, especially the third pic of "large ship test" it just doesn't look "appealing".

Don't get me wrong, i don't mind chunky looking ships, hell, I love the style of the WH40K "battle barge" as it has great personality and character to it, but atm, these look too much like blocks put together to make a weird, disjointed shape, can we expect so see smoother and more aestheically diverse looking ships/ship parts? Just wondering :).

Author:  Richard [ Sun 06 Jul, 2014 2:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

That ship is constructed out of 2 parts, at the moment we have over 70.

Author:  suprtommyman [ Fri 18 Jul, 2014 6:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

I hope the Bounty Hunters are back stronger than ever.
It got a little too easy destroying their maximum base with the Manta and a few ships.

Author:  Richard [ Sat 19 Jul, 2014 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album


Author:  blakeariel [ Sun 20 Jul, 2014 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Oh looking good looks fun can't wait to start playing SPAZ 2!

Author:  EvilNinja [ Sun 20 Jul, 2014 5:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

This is some hugely detailed stuff right there. But if you say Unity can make our Computers run it, then all I feel is joy.

Author:  Richard [ Mon 21 Jul, 2014 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

Ya, this stuff won't eat your CPU up. It's just texture memory. Currently the game is only 500 megs on disk. Most of that is a placeholder FMV and music. We might be able to get this on a CD :)

Author:  ViroMan [ Tue 22 Jul, 2014 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Early Development Album

NO... I demand so much content it requires a DVD or a blue-ray! I demand Blizzard quality CGI scenes at 5+ minutes per.

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