Ideas to make GSB Look Cooler

I just saw your twitter about the look of GSB, so I thought I might toss out some ideas around:

  1. Imperfection in the weapons firing. I always find it looks strange when a lot of weapons are firing at the exact same moment on large capital ships. Small imperfections in the timing can give the feel that the weapons are manned by actual people. Also slight offsets in the targeting accuracy as well as laser drift on stationary targets. I thinking of TNG, where often when firing a phaser, the beam will often move across a target, rather then be completely spent in a single spot. If you go with a reflecting laser, then having the beam move across the shield will create a pleasing visual effect as the reflection angle changes. Also, by cycling through various turrets so that while one is cooling, another is firing, it can allow a constant uninterrupted stream of firepower. If it’s 3 seconds on, and 2 seconds off and you have 5 turrets, you can cycle them so there is always 3 turrets firing while two are cooling by offsetting the firing start time on each turret by a second, as an example.

  2. A graphical effect of the shield being hit is also good feedback, such as the brightening of the shield, or a warble, or perhaps a slight collapsing effect. Lots of movies/TV shows have lots of various ways of doing it.

  3. The look of the lasers just doesn’t quite feel right. Maybe if you tried thickening them while also making it more transparent around the edges. I guess trying to make it look more like the laser is made out of plasma, while less scientifically accurate, may create a visual effect that is more appealing.

It’s about making the lasers look like they are unleashing incredible amounts off energy, and the shields are doing their absolute best to turn back this intense firestorm.

TV shows and Movies do have one advantage over games, and that is for every instance a weapon is fired, a team of people while decide what combination of effects will look the best for that specific scene

Another idea I just had while looking at the video of the GSB website, I’m reminded of some battle techniques that are used in real combat, and that is a rotation of the front lines. When the two fleets meet, you have ships on the front, and as they take damage, they fall back to recharge their shields, and fresher ships move in to take their place. I guess this would be part of an individual captain’s survival AI routines.

Thought I would just post this, can’t find this on Cliffs youtube page, change the link if I’m wrong. … videogames

Allot of the things you’ve mentioned are in this video, like ships firing diffrent weapons sub sets at diffrent times, also shield brightning is in some clips, also I have seen lasers move accross targets. I think a few of the videos are from earlier test phases, it appears the game continuously grows as its worked on.

I like the idea of falling ships back, I would like to see a general plan of attack during combat but its looking cool so far!

Thanks for these suggestions. I’m 100% behind anyone’s ideas as to how I can make the battles cooler. Those videos are already a bit out of date, as I’m improving the beam weapons and shields a lot already. There are a lot of subtle but noticeable tweaks like the beams fading in and out slightly, and them having a ‘grain’ to them, as well as some of them extending briefly at the start, plus the shield effect is now tweaked a bit.
I’m going to try and get the grouped turrets to fire in sequence rather than collectively, although it involves some hoops to jump through. I already have smooth turning of weapons turrets now :smiley:

I really like the way the game looks already

I think that when the big explosions happen, the ones where it goes white over the ships, there should be some kinda visual shockwave that comes out…
It wouldn’t have to affect anything, just look cool…
anyway thats all =]

(oh and maybe a tiny bit of motion blur when moving or zooming with the camera)

I think more feedback when a ship is hit by a beam is needed. Looking at the videos, it isn’t always obvious who is firing the beam and who is getting hit by it. I think a fiery glow at the point of impact would look good.

Neater looking turrets would be cool. Maybe rapid-fire turrets could be multi-barreled, with the different barrels alternating. Also a glowy power-up effect for beam turrets would look neat.

Also consider mixing up the visual style a bit with physical projectiles in addition to beams and plasma - look at Battlestar Galactica for an example of how badass physical guns on a spaceship can look. You could play around with recoil effects and ammunition loading animations then too.

all good suggestions. I’m currently fixing a few little graphical glitches which you don’t notice in videos, but because the game lets you freeze frame, and then zoom in and scroll around, they can be noticeable then…