I've recently been working on a series of new visual effects for certain retail weapons, in hopes of inclusion in the MediaVPs. I got done with all the weapons I intended to improve the other day, so this post will provide some screenshots and videos for the fine people of HLP to evaluate.
The pack is on Knossos as a mod, but unfortunately there seem to be some issues with that, and people haven't been able to get it to work properly. Hopefully that'll be fixed soon. In the meantime, I've uploaded it to Mediafire, so if nothing else you can download the raw files. There'll be a link toward the end of the post.
Now. On to the eyecandy.
All right. Hopefully that'll be enough screenshots.
Here's a small test scenario, showing off the Subach, Shivan primaries, and Terran and Shivan blob turrets.
This one displays my Shivan flak, as well as the Subach.
A larger scenario, showing off all the various weapons in a more elaborate context. You can see the Vasudan blobs and Mekhu here, too.
EDIT: Another version of the first test, showing a new iteration of the Shivan turret laser.
Here's an explanation of the rationale behind the Shivan primaries. I'll likely edit in a more thorough and organized version of this, covering all the weapons, in future.
First of all, the basis for the look I ended up with is rooted in headcanon, and headcanons will vary, but even if you don't agree with my interpretation of Shivan technology the effects ought to work fine as simply arbitrary pretty effects.
Now, when trying to come up with visuals for Shivan weaponry, I had a few concerns. One is that the Shivans are supposed to be advanced and powerful. So, one approach would be to give them things that look like supertech doom weapons.
But, problem: the fact of the matter is, in terms of gameplay, Shivan weapons (at least the fighter weapons) are very unimpressive. So I could make the effects smaller and less spectacular to reflect that, but that doesn't seem ideal either.
One other thought I had was this, and this applies to many of the other weapons, too: I want to provide space for mods to escalate into. That is, various mods dealing with the Shivans will no doubt give them more impressive weapons. Those weapons ought to have matching visuals, so I want to be careful to make the visuals for these retail weapons somewhat proportional, in a sense -- so that the mods have somewhere to go with their effects.
Now, in my interpretation of the Shivans, the reason so much of their tech is oddly weak is that the ones we encounter in FS1 and 2 are in something of a degraded state. BP provides a similar excuse -- there, the Shivans are deliberately non-optimized, and so they have weird vestigial technology lying around that isn't implemented properly.
So that gave me my motif: the Shivan weapons should look like supertech doom weapons...which aren't working correctly. So: in that early screenshot, the Shivan PoV one -- the main effect there, with the rings and the flash bits, is not the projectile. It's sort of an extended muzzle-flash. The idea is, the weapon is supposed to fire this ball of concentrated hurty-juice, held together by some sort of gravitic containment field.
But the field generators are broken, or not aligned properly, so the projectile shoots out -- and then the containment field shoots out too slowly to catch up, fails, and breaks apart.
The projectile, meanwhile, goes shooting toward the target -- but it's leaking hurty-juice all over the place, so it's trailing this inconstant gaseous effect. Then it hits the target, or dissipates, and blows up in a puff of gas. Still pretty destructive, but not as destructive as it was supposed to be.
I think this provides a nice balance of visuals that look good while not seeming out-of-place for the rather weak weapons that are the Shivan primaries.
A few known concerns that I have:
- Given the teal color I gave its starting phase, the Mekhu comes out looking very Kayser-y. I may end up changing the coloration a bit to remedy that.
- While I stand by the concept I used for the Megafunk turret, the animated bitmap I used on the projectile is a little lackluster. This has to do with the fact that I'm using fairly primitive tools -- creating that animation was pretty time-consuming, and iterating on it would be even more so. I might take another crack at it in the future, though.
- I don't love the way the Shivan Turret Laser ended up. It's okay, but it'd be nice if I could figure out something better. I'm open to ideas, though if possible I'd like it to remain distinctive.
Here's the Mediafire link:http://www.mediafire.com/folder/xoul6kj93vt79/mvptweaks-1.0.1
Please take a look at the screenshots and videos -- and play the mod, if you can -- and let me know what you think.