Sunday, July 26, 2015

Starfighter: Models to Virtual Reality

Much like the Enterprise project I started in 2011, Starfighter in 2012 began with "let's see if I can make some Blender models and turn it into a game in Unity." Unlike Enterprise which was more of an architectural simulation at the beginning, Starfighter had much more of an X-Wing space combat sim in mind.

Between working on Enterprise and nearing my final year as a Computer Science Master's student, Starfighter had many more gaps between updates. A full year went between modeling a TIE Fighter.

TIE Fighter: 2012-2-10

TIE Fighter: 2013-2-25
Death Star tiles: 2013-2-25
Ironically Disney closing Lucasarts inspired me to continue the project. Throughout April 2013 I would continue making basic models of the Y-Wing, X-Wing, and Death Star surface tiles. Fun fact: The Death Star tiles were based on 2D sprites originally designed for my Starfighter Klik & Play games from 1998-2002.

Y-Wing model and Dynamic Tile Generation in Unity: April 5, 2013

X Wing Model: April 9-11, 2013
By May I began working on gameplay mechanics. I scripted flight interaction for both 'X-Wing' and 'Rogue Squadron' control schemes.

Imperial Star Destroyer models and normal maps for low-poly Death Star Surface: May 9, 2013

Modeling an X-Wing cockpit: May 22-23, 2013
Fast forward to May 2014. By this point I had written and defended my Master's thesis and figured it was time I get back to Starfighter. Using the CAVE2(TM) Hybrid-Reality Environment at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Mechdyne Corporation's getReal3D for Unity,  Starfighter moved to virtual reality!

May 12, 2014

Arcade Style Interaction and Weapon Test: June 27, 2014

In November, I combined the 'X-Wing' style flight controls with the TIE Fighter AI. AI and targeting computer mechanics still need refining, but the basics are there. Running on the CAVE2(TM) 36-node virtual reality cluster at 40 FPS with 32 vs 32 fighters. Decent cluster synchronization overhead, but still impressive (this runs at 120+ FPS on a single desktop).

Combat Flight Test: November 5, 2014

This concludes the state of Starfighter as currently documented on my Google site. More recent entries from 2014 and 2015 will be added in their own post.

Coming soon:
  • Stormtrooper modeling and animation test
  • More detailed X-Wing cockpit
  • More CAVE2(TM)

No comments:

Post a Comment