January 24th 2009
Here's another update for you folks, this time not as huge as the last, but we thought you might appreciate a few new screenshots. This time we'll show more of the raptor cockpit, done by yours truly, a wip shot of a viper mkII cockpit being worked on now by Lt.Cannonfodder, and a shot of two basestars pummeling the crap out of the Pegasus, because you can never have enough of those
Since this time the task of updating the dev blog fell to me, I figured I'll talk about what I know here - in this case a bit of info about the raptor cockpit. One of the first things you notice about doing cockpits is that it's completely different then doing any sort of ship. When doing game models, compromise is always the name of the game; make things less detailed so they can be run in real time by the computer, while attempting to make them seem more detailed then they actually are. However, as I soon found out, the cockpits don't tolerate compromises well - any attempt to skimp on details becomes an immediate eyesore.
The main difference to doing ships is, you see the cockpit from a very close distance all the time, meaning any attempt to save on polygons or texture counts/sizes will probably look horrible - in fact, what you're seeing here is the third iteration of the cockpit, with more details modeled, and the texture count increased to make things look more detailed. Some of you might still notice some "rough edges" on the cockpit in these shots as well, since there are still things I mean to improve upon before our first release.
For the moment, the polycount of the cockpit is 8557 triangles, and will be increased a bit before the release due to some details still missing. The textures will have some detail added too - for the moment it's using two 2048x2048 textures covering everything but the forward screens; the screens themselves are 1024x1024 textures, one for Dradis and the other for the rest of the forward screens.
You might have noticed in the videos we released that some of the screens are animated; for the moment it's a simple 4 frame animation that might be improved upon before the release. The center screen will house a working Dradis, we've still got some issues to fix before it will work correctly but we're getting closer - we had to leave something for the next trailer..