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An indie game project with the goal of reviving our favorite game type, the epic space adventure! By mixing favorite aspects of classics like StarFlight, Star Control, SunDog, Universe, and Tradewars, we hope to bring what we loved as kids to the current generation. Quirky aliens, arcade space battles, planetary mining, and adventure around the galaxy -- should keep us busy developing for a while. The project is a family affair, Wife on art, son on music, and code-monkeying by me. We are currently in early development for the PC,Mac,Linux platforms... XboxOne or PS4 if we can swing it.

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1 comment by friken0 on Sep 23rd, 2014

We were using smoothmoves in unity for animation of our 2D aliens. It worked but the workflow was very slow. example of an idle animation using it:

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The results were workable but it took a lot of art tweaking to cut up the characters just right to not notice the seams when animating. Also because of only being able to scale or rotate each body part, we were very limited w amount of movement before seams were obvious. I picked up puppet2D for unity and it supports bones/IK and mesh deformation. Great I thought... well after two days of messing with it I just couldn't get it to do what I really wanted, which was to speed up my workflow. I spent forever with a single rig trying to get the IK system to work right w more than two bones and then when I got that sorted I spent forever manually setting per vertex bone weights.

The end result... a bit more funky than what I already had but just in different ways. I was about ready to go back to smoothmoves but saw uni2D... so tried it and within 10 minutes or so of rigging I had something I liked a lot. It will also speed up the workflow a lot since we won't need to cutup anything that doesn't overlap another sprite. It has a great system to make a mesh sprite and auto grid the mesh w #vert/horiz points. then you can simply click some bones on top and it morphs the mesh very well. This is an exaggerated example of a quick animation so you can see how it warps the mesh feeling very organic. We couldn't have moved the neck/arms/face nearly as much with the old system without seams showing.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 11)
-Farflame-
-Farflame- Aug 28 2014, 11:55am says:

It looks really nice and interesting, congratulations. Revive gameplay of Star Control and similar titles is good idea, but Im worried about one thing. And that is lack of innovation or improvement. To make basically the same game as SC may be enough to make some fans happy (and the outcome may be good) but I think there is room for improvements (well, there always is...) that can make the game even better.

For example combat system - devs of SC doesnt have many options when they were designing combat. Nowadays it can be enhanced into small fleet combat without the need to completely change core gameplay. Imagine one main ship (classic SC-style) + few (just few) AI wingers. Wingers listen to your basic orders (attack X, help me attack, defend, fight on your own...) and consist of different types of ships (defensive, support, anti-fast enemy...) depending on players choice (or they can be upgraded to have such roles). You start the game as lone ship but in the course of a story you may recruit some alien captains as winger(s) or get support (ships and ship upgrades) from alien races. So player will control one ship like in old games and wingers will add another tactical layer. More aggresive player can prefer support wingers so he could fight mostly alone, while others may play more defensively and use aggresive wingers. Enemies will have different preferences too so it will make combat more diversified and engaging (closer to real fleet combat).

So I dare to ask - what is new or improved in StarDiver? What is different from SC?

+2 votes     reply to comment
friken0
friken0 Sep 8 2014, 10:55pm replied:

Hi Farflame. thanks for the input. While we are big star control fans we are also big fans of starflight, sundog, moo and other classic space games. Considering Star Control is over 20 years old and only one of many influences the differences will be numerous. One aspect we are still debating as we playtest is one on one combat vs one/many or even ai controled wingmen. So far the most fun has been the one on one combat. It really ends up having that rock paper scissors vibe of picking which ship is best against which enemy... or which ship you are best at using for a given foe. I love fleet battles in good rts games, but I find it to fall apart in action games. Of course other's mileage may vary.

+1 vote     reply to comment
-Farflame-
-Farflame- Sep 17 2014, 12:06pm replied:

Thanks for answer, friken.
- Could you name at least one of these differences?
- 1 vs 1 SC combat - I see but it feels very staged and arcad-ish. Maybe we have different visions about SC-genre - for me its not pure action game.
- I dont find this idea "rock paper scissors vibe of picking which ship is best against which enemy" appealing so much. Its based mostly on trial and error, not skills or tactics. Learning stage may be fun but after that fun factor goes down IMHO - because you already know the best solution (which ship to pick) and combat came to be much easier and all the same. Just my opinion.
- Maybe you could make wingmen optional feature. In wingmen mode you would fight more numerous enemies (with better AI). But it would need more work and testing. I dont know if its doable for you.

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black-lodge-games
black-lodge-games Jul 5 2014, 10:01pm says:

Found you guys on Twitter, love that you shared your Greenlight Concept stats, and I love the art and direction of this game. Looking forward to playing it!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Doci
Doci May 18 2014, 4:54am says:

Oh my god u did the models with the machine :D Amazing c:
very well done !
It reminds me a bit on Starsector !
I will follow xD

+4 votes     reply to comment
KendallCoombs
KendallCoombs May 16 2014, 7:34pm says:

Just commented over TIG after posting my own Devlog. Was lookin around to see what the others looked like and your project looks gorgeous. Ill definitely keep an eye on this one :)

+5 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Apr 14 2014, 3:06am says:

This is just too good to be true... lovely. I'm just speechless, sorry. Want to play. Now. :D

+4 votes     reply to comment
Doci
Doci May 23 2014, 4:10am replied:

hahaha :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
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StarDiver
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, XBONE
Developer
GravityRide, LLC.
Engine
Unity
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Official Page
Gravityride.com
Release Date
TBD
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Role Playing
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Latest tweets from @gravityride_

Bucket-list item checked off... I can split spaceships with a bolt weapon: T.co #indiedev #gamedev T.co

2hours 50mins ago

Added Ship damage. Loose parts. Video of krex loosing a chunk: T.co #indiedev #gamedev #unity3d T.co

6hours 20mins ago

@GravityRide_ or forked bolts :)

Oct 21 2014, 8:57pm

I kept working on the lighting weapon to add folked bolts: #indiedb #gamedev T.co

Oct 21 2014, 6:54pm

@spazchickens :) got the neogaf twitter list going... great stuff

Oct 20 2014, 5:17pm

Benev ship gets propulsion and weapons. zap zap... #indiedev #gamedev T.co

Oct 20 2014, 5:10pm

#screenshotsaturday Salrith ship about to split a Krex in 1/2. video: T.co #indiedev #gamedev T.co

Oct 17 2014, 9:52pm

Happy to see the Lipoc ship come to life. video:https://t.co/F8Zr054sgh #indiedev #gamedev #unity3d T.co

Oct 17 2014, 6:40pm

Ornyon ship received some more detail #indiedev #gamedev T.co

Oct 16 2014, 9:30pm

Tiny Realms: Battlegrounds! Looks fun: T.co

Oct 16 2014, 2:00pm

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