The ramblings of a stark raving lunatic follow...

Monday, June 25, 2007


So I finally broke down and got the original X-Com up and running on my computer, ostensibly to do "research" for my admittedly ambitious DS project. As with the first time I discovered the game, I didn't stop playing it for a couple hours. All in the name of research, though, of course.

It's funny, though, revisiting it made certain mistakes and omissions painfully obvious, compared to the numerous games that tried to emulate its formula. Just various little interface niggles, some more serious than others. It still stands as a fantastic game, mind you, but things like not being able to see how many APs will be consumed by travelling to a particular location, not having any feedback on whether a highlighted square is obstructed, range of movement, LoS displays, etc. are a bit jarring. Something to keep in mind when designing the interface for my own project for sure.

In related news, I've decided I'm going to scrap the character models that I was so happy with, and do up a bunch of isometric sprites. Even at 100 tris, which is quite literally the absolute lowest I can go, the models are simply too heavy. With sprites, even assuming I go with a paperdoll sort of system (and I do so want to), that's knocking each character down from 128 tris (plus weapon) to 6 sprites. I think I'd much rather spend those polies on the environment, since that basically gives me maybe 1500 polies (tris/quads? depends on the eventual programmer, I guess) just for the environment, up from maybe 800. And that's being conservative.

That said, doing that many 8-way iso sprites, plus all the accompanying animation, is going to rape me.

A shot of the enviro, as of before my week in reservist. Everything's still WIP, though coming along, and I threw on some vertex lighting. Click for full size:

click for full size

On that note, my week back in the Army was actually kind of fun. Got rid of the mohawk, obviously, and showed up to camp with a high and tight.

Oh, a little sprite I did to test out a palette that Prometheus is working on:


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