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 Post subject: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:19 pm 
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I am writing my own original EXE to mimmick the original game mechanics as much as possible. I am a bit new to modern programming (been over 8 years since I wrote for DOS/Win9x games). I have refreshed myself upon Windows 32 API and Graphics programming.

The Strategic level is simply a windows application to a point with the low level GPI (probably using part of Direct X but part of that for 2D is being phased out forever in DX10 so I want my native code to run on any windows OS. Later the 3D battle engine will be based upon tried and true Direct3D but open source I may go with for the SDK is terribly expensive and requires Vista which I refuse to upgrade to. Sorry M$ too much change for me.

I can write my own library game engine to do 3D math and transformation too. :) I have time to do this since I am retired due to some sad health issue, but my interest is plenty alive --> I have alot of time on my hands. I may as well program one of my favorite games.

Anyways, the new engine EXE will allow complete change to all bitmaps pics , bugs, gameplay, behavior, all the hardcoded stuff that was a bane for this game. Plus I can write a very smart AI to challenge you (it will think and learn on its own :wink: .

I do not want to make all the new art resources so I am recycling the old art work from the game; these pics of course can be replaced by higher resolution art made by fans or snap shots from other games or movies. This is non profit. I think I might have to require you to have a copy of the resource .dll from your disk do to copy infringment (if it was all in one downlod, it would be like a pirated game!). So you will need a original copy of Rebellion to use this fan made EXE to use those resource pictures. 'Custom' sound and picture libraries .dll can be made by fans but it must be 'legal' under the ELUA stuff.

I am keeping it KISS. Simple, just the basics and it can be added onto in modular format. Some thing I feel no one uses in game (saving the sector picture minimized off to the side), and first version will not have MP or the full 3D battle engine -placeholders for auto calculated results. One thing at a time. I just keep making better versions upon the foundation skeleton blocks. This is how I code modular style and open source as much as possible (M$ keeps changing their tools so much! I really rather stay away from that mess).

I will add a new feature Planetary Assualt animated random movie view, and a Mission Movie made from in game animation which is semi-random groups and backgrounds in 3D scripted of course, but cool to watch due to randomness success and and failures. Think of it like a rewind and review replay action. I thought that would have made the 1998 game so much more cool to watch the Planetary assauts, Bombardment, and Missions in a movie like animation capture instead of the plain old static screenshot. New technology and computers we have today are so much more powerful than 10 years ago!

I made the framework...back to coding! Here is the first engine skeleton shot, a very basic teaser. Note I can use other bitmaps and art work if you can help me, such as for the strategic window, and back ground galaxy map. This is from the original game resource.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:25 am 
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I wish much luck for your project.When u will finish with it ?


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:26 am 
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Interesting idea. Using the existing art is handy.
But I'm wondering if this is going to limit you to future expansion, esp where people would want higher resolution, better features, etc.

One of the problems with Rebellion was its interface. Awkward and mouse-driven. I would want to see any future game completely redesign this to make it less of a clickfest. I would like to see some kind of scripting language used (LUA is very popular), so recompiling the entire program would not be necessary.

I look forward to this attempt. I think you're going to get those fans interested in Rebellion already :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:11 am 
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Are you restricted to using .bmps? If you could, using .jpgs would make the game look far less 'rusty'

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:45 pm 
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It is most certainly easy to re use the pics. It can be changed quite easy later on, after everything is working correct.

I do not know LUA, I wish I did. Much easier to get the new stuff into the engine. :(

Because of the ever changing Visual C++ Studio, I need to write using that one main compiler. I tell you about the different versions of DirectX and compatibility with Vista (I do not like it) forcing C .NET on every one. I feel Microsoft monopoly on game programming is gettting to be over the top. XBOX city. (X came from DirectX), MS want all to prgoram in their special cross platform language JPT whatever it is, then they have the new XNA...good grief I feel sorry for new programmers.

Many games use XML and LUA for a good reason. ( I wonder how long it would take me to learn that...a year?) I hope thing go well for me.

I really just want to program in native windows and leave the DDRAW out of it maybe... I may need to use it to speed thing up especially for higher resolution and better format like jpg and such. Indeed for sound, using a OGG file is 10x smaller than the WAV file of the original.

I know for the seperate 3D battle engine, I probably need DIRECT3D but the SDK is not compatable with my old version of Visual Studio...and Windows XP. Microsoft basically is forcing everyone to use all their new tools with Direct 10 and exclusive Vista OS only bull.

Thus I can write suing a older version of directx such a VC 2005 and DX 9.0 I think would go together under XP, but I do not own 2005, mine is the older VC6 compiler (it actually works great for native C++ without the .NET hassle MS is forcing on everyone).

So at my age, and old stuff, I can make a decent game rewrite, and a brand new 3D game engine. I can write my own 3D game engine, nothing fancy, but heck alot better than 1998 sad off graphics!

Of ocurse fan made models haver to be supportted, I am no artist. I have MS .X format, the freeware Blender, and GMAX, OpenGL....or I may just make my own custome 3D Editor? lol that would take forever.

So the easy part is getting the basic strategic 2D engine. I know it is a bit of a clickfest, I rather make it all 3D like EAW, but maybe in the future version of a real Rebellion 2. Still, this is like old Rebellion, but you can change everything about it since it is a new engine "no more hardcoded headaches". And you can make it higher resolution...using fan made graphics of course. even a decent AI, custom scripts ( I know, I need to learn XML and LUA, but what I use can be easy to change).

2D graphics are easy to program. the 3D battle engine can be a seperate 'exe' call with the data supplied to it. I will cross that road when I get there. Exactly what is the best route to make the 3D engine. It is not a trivial matter due to the major changes .NET , Windows Vista, DX10 etc. I want to keep it old school, DX9 using DIRECT3D maybe, under a copy of VS 2003 or 2005 which will support it.

If I go the freeware route, and write native code, I would not have to worry about that stuff. It would be alot more to code...but it would be more platform independent as far as Windows and DirectX is concerned. Confusing? :?

Indeed wish me luck. All I can do it try. Yoda: " No try, do". :)

6 months? to finish...


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Evaders99 wrote:
Interesting idea. Using the existing art is handy.
But I'm wondering if this is going to limit you to future expansion, esp where people would want higher resolution, better features, etc.

One of the problems with Rebellion was its interface. Awkward and mouse-driven. I would want to see any future game completely redesign this to make it less of a clickfest. I would like to see some kind of scripting language used (LUA is very popular), so recompiling the entire program would not be necessary.

I look forward to this attempt. I think you're going to get those fans interested in Rebellion already :)


I should say I am setting up for 1024x768 screen. The lower resolution stock bmp I am stretching/convert to that higher resolution. So in game the old bmp maps will look like 640x480 but in reality they can be replaced with a much better looking bmp in higher resolution, something the fans or I find off the net, or from a picture.

I will try to improve the mission clickfest, but reuse of resource pics may become problematic. That is why I really do not want to change that stuff too much since I am not writing from a game document. I just know this game, behaviour, and reuse the resources for speed of production.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:57 am 
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Try OpenGL? That may be the best thing to do if you're not doing DirectX.

I would personally like to see a more 3D interface as well. If not, push all the systems into a 2D scrollable and zoomable map and get rid of the popup sector windows. You can define boxes that still represent them, but I hate having to open each sector map and close them. I should be able to do as much as possible in one window.

Those are just my thoughts. Probably not relevant right now, but if you make good work of this engine, then I could see upgrading the interface to what I would want :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:27 pm 
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A good idea, I did think of that myself. It would be great useing 3D similiar to EAW and zoom. OpenGl is useful for the graphics part, but the DirectX SDK package contains stuff for sound and movies. OpenGL is only of for visual.

The SDK that will support DirectSound is being/been dropped already this March 2008. Plus must run under Vista OS. relpaced by hybrid xbox window XAudio 2 function. in other words, what a pain in the arse to make everything come together and work together if I want to use MS products and solution. DX10 is really a big change since about this last decade after moving from 16 bit Windows 9x series to 32 bit NT stuff, now 64 bit Vista. MS is going to drop support for alot of stuff. Long live open source.

I thought the easy way to compromise and by Summer things should calm down to where the 3D battle engine can be done. Myabe it is not ideal, but I could make using Windows inherent GDI one big 2D map than can be scrolled around, flat of course, but the zoom funtion would be a bit odd, since not being true 3D, I would have to similate it using layers of sprites...which means artwork...unless I just shrank and renamed the originals (reycle those into 1x, 2x , 3x, etx in size ) from one tiny dot into one normal size bitmap.

The more elegent solution is to use 3D. I kind of wished that for a true remake of Rebellion 2. It would need planets spheres (easy primitive) with a texture, then neat to add a rotation, particles, animated stuff...that would take one person like me a very long time to create. I would like that for a longer term goal.

After I get my hands dirty working on this stuff, since the strategic is seperate from the 3D battle engine, I can always go back and redo the strategic interface into a more modern and comfortable 3D look. The code for gameplay mechanics is modular, so the interface remake from 2D to 3D is not that bad, once I gain more experience with it.

I first thought to make all the 2D really 3D objects with the third dimension removed. All ready to go in the future upgrade, but the artwork for the planets need to be done...

I must be careful. Most projects have failed because they tried to do too much too fast and end up never even close to finished. My original design goal was to just remake the runtime exe so we have access to the game mechanics and scripte events and improve the AI, recyle the artwork but leaving the door open for atleast better higher resolutions pics made by fans, or whatever I can snag off the Net. Then get a basic decent 3D battle engine made, then go back and improve the original part. This way is quicker, more fun to play with something sooner, and it won't take years to complete. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:15 pm 
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I really recommend going open source and using SDL/OpenGL for 2D/3D graphics and OpenAL/SDL for sound/input. Opening source is not necessary, but has certain advantages, like being able to embed other OS libraries and change them according to your needs (although many libraries are released under MIT-like licence, LUA for example). Also making the game portable will make lots of Linux and Mac users happy :wink:

I can also recommend LUA especially if you want to embed/extend it. It's very small, so making minor changes is very easy (eg. Python is the exact opposite).

And if you're comfortable with Makefiles and gcc compiler (or for example Eclipse IDE), you can ditch all the visual nonsense and use MingW (gcc ported to Windows).

Also if you would want to help me with Terra (basically an engine for Rebellion2 disguised as stand alone game), you're welcome :wink: It's fully scriptable 3D engine, which uses all the above mentioned stuff (surprise, surprise). I should have a working demo ready in a month or two, otherwise I won't pass one course :lol:, so that should motivate me enough I guess.

If there's anything else I can help you with, just ask.

Good luck.

Edit: For the planet artwork you can use NASA's textures of Earth (blue marble: next generation) and recolor it in photoshop/gimp or otherwise tweak it (clone stamp perhaps?).

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:49 am 
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Slocket wrote:
Because of the ever changing Visual C++ Studio, I need to write using that one main compiler. I tell you about the different versions of DirectX and compatibility with Vista (I do not like it) forcing C .NET on every one. I feel Microsoft monopoly on game programming is gettting to be over the top. XBOX city. (X came from DirectX), MS want all to prgoram in their special cross platform language JPT whatever it is, then they have the new XNA...good grief I feel sorry for new programmers. Many games use XML and LUA for a good reason. ( I wonder how long it would take me to learn that...a year?) I hope thing go well for me.

I know for the seperate 3D battle engine, I probably need DIRECT3D but the SDK is not compatable with my old version of Visual Studio...and Windows XP. Microsoft basically is forcing everyone to use all their new tools with Direct 10 and exclusive Vista OS only bull.

Thus I can write suing a older version of directx such a VC 2005 and DX 9.0 I think would go together under XP, but I do not own 2005, mine is the older VC6 compiler (it actually works great for native C++ without the .NET hassle MS is forcing on everyone).

6 months? to finish...


Well I do wish you the best of luck, I can not in good concious pass by without attempting to correct the errors in your perception of the current indy gaming scene.
1. Direct X 9 works under vista. No one is forcing you to use Direct X 10. DirectX 10 is an option if you wish to use advanced geometry shaders and other modern techniques.
2. XNA is not an acronym. The "X" does not come from Direct X (although obviously it uses DirectX, why wouldn't it?)
3. XNA has been massively successful in revitalizing the indy game genre. The XNA community is thriving, and is well supported by Microsoft.
4. .Net is a blessing, not a hassle. Managed code is significantly easier to develop with that straight C/C++. C# is a very popular language, making it easy to find tutorials on the web.
5. No one is stopping you from using XML with C++ or whatever you want (or maybe you knew this, it was hard to tell)
6. No one is being forced to use Vista. I work on game programming every week on my XP machine :)
7. Visual Studio isn't expensive. Microsoft has released free express versions of the most recent versions. They are more than adequate for game programming, and I have used them with good results for a variety of projects.

By all means, don't use Microsoft products if you don't want to, I just don't want anyone else to get a wrong impression of XNA based upon what you said.

on a lighter note, I could email you a couple 3d models from my aborted Star Wars game if you are interested. They are not the greatest however, so probably not worth it.

Best of luck :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:40 am 
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Thanks for all the advice. Considering the last time I programmed was under DOS, I am new to this stuff. I guess if I was around fore the last eight years, I would be up to speed.

It just seems to me the variety of SDK patforms and Directx compatibility changes/changed alot over the years.

Much of the new free VS 2008 SDK will not load up older projects made with VS 2003 (9x window stuff).

So far, I am just programming in basic Win 32 GDI using no DirectX and the VS so much and the libraries. Of course that would change if I want to do any real fancy 3D, unless I am willing to write my own transformations routines. It is just vector math and using matrixs, but special affects would be lacking for the time being. Display the triangle mesh vertexs and add the texture surface, then transform onto the camera co-ordinates 2D plane from all the rendered 3D model data projection. Maybe add in some nice lighting and particle glow elements. Not using anyone's 3D tools.

Understandly, I am bewildered by the advancements in computer languages. I just want to keep it simple for the graphics, my weak spot. I can make a 3D model and display it without using Microsoft's D3D stuff. The OpenGL tools may also be problematic for me. Doing it myself has its advantages and disadvatages. Maybe in the end, I would have to bite the sword and learn the new stuff since what I know is not what VS and DX will support. Years of study.

I think MS assumes you make a project under a given set of tools version of DX and SDK. Forward compatibility is not guaranteed forever -since if you have alot of experience in that area - is a problem for me. So I want to keep it simple and old school. So yes, I am an 'old' n00b. :) Simply just making a new source engine to run the old game in 2D with a decent 3D engine for what I know about the time that game was released but access to modify the AI and other hardcoded things in the game. They used DirectDraw but it looks as if they used some Bitblt to make the 2D strategy GUI using the plain old Window 32 API. Hybrid.

The future looks like they really want Xbox to take over the PC. Of course all the languages they will develope would be cross platform compatible. A professional would need to know this new stuff to make a living. I am just doing old stuff for a hobby.

Quote:
on a lighter note, I could email you a couple 3d models from my aborted Star Wars game if you are interested. They are not the greatest however, so probably not worth it.


Sorry to hear that it got aborted. Thanks for the offer, but I probably would not understand how to use them in my own 3D engine. :(

Hopefully my version of this simpler game rewrite will not end up aborted because I am Keeping It Simple: KISS.
No fancy stuff. I leave that for the professionals.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:33 am 
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OpenGL is actually easier to pick up than DirectX, since you don't have to bother with buffer objects if you don't want to (you can basically work in immediate mode, which was removed from DX a long time ago)

Slocket wrote:
So far, I am just programming in basic Win 32 GDI using no DirectX and the VS so much and the libraries. Of course that would change if I want to do any real fancy 3D, unless I am willing to write my own transformations routines. It is just vector math and using matrixs, but special affects would be lacking for the time being. Display the triangle mesh vertexs and add the texture surface, then transform onto the camera co-ordinates 2D plane from all the rendered 3D model data projection. Maybe add in some nice lighting and particle glow elements. Not using anyone's 3D tools.


I beg a pardon, but are you saying that you want to write your own software renderer? One of the principles of software engineering is "to reuse", which basically means that you shouldn't do anything outside of your project's scope and instead try to find a way to benefit from already written code. Writing a software renderer is surely fun, but it doesn't 'keep it simple'.

Also how do you want to make a good AI, if your CPU will be spending most of it's time rendering graphics? This is the main reason for the neverending demand for hardware graphics (and soon physics :)) accelerators.

But if you really want to do this, check out MesaGL, a software implementation of the OpenGL library, so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel more than necessary.

Slocket wrote:
I think MS assumes you make a project under a given set of tools version of DX and SDK. Forward compatibility is not guaranteed forever -since if you have alot of experience in that area - is a problem for me. So I want to keep it simple and old school. So yes, I am an 'old' n00b. :) Simply just making a new source engine to run the old game in 2D with a decent 3D engine for what I know about the time that game was released but access to modify the AI and other hardcoded things in the game. They used DirectDraw but it looks as if they used some Bitblt to make the 2D strategy GUI using the plain old Window 32 API. Hybrid.

The future looks like they really want Xbox to take over the PC. Of course all the languages they will develope would be cross platform compatible. A professional would need to know this new stuff to make a living. I am just doing old stuff for a hobby.


M$ guarantees neither forward, nor backward compatibility. It also doesn't try to achieve cross platform compatibility (sorry, but XBox <-> PC is a joke, not cross platform). But as Nordwind said, M$ does not force you to use it's products, there are other viable options.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:17 am 
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Quote:
Also how do you want to make a good AI, if your CPU will be spending most of it's time rendering graphics? This is the main reason for the neverending demand for hardware graphics (and soon physics ) accelerators.

But if you really want to do this, check out MesaGL, a software implementation of the OpenGL library, so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel more than necessary.


Well, yes my own. But as long it is simple in the sense of the render engine in software is rather primative 'not complex' using low polygon count models, I think a modest computer of today would have no problem. Of couse not taking advantage of hardware acceleration is a big drawback. I do not know how to do it. It would be software only and it would suffer from it but not too badly by keeping a basic engine. I am not trying to make it look like the latest greatest graphical beauty out there. I want it to have brains. A good AI. There already are plenty of nice looking games with a AI IQ of practicaly zero.

If I cannot make it work the way I want it to, then I will need to learn years of programming to catch up. I wish not to do that at my age. Maybe I would use the VS 2005 SDK and DX9 from 2007, seems to go together and there are working examples abound for those.

Anyway, thanks for the tip on MesaGL. I hope your Terra project works well and a decent Rebellion Mod works for it. That would be a true Rebellion 2. I am just trying to update the old Rebellion so I can play it with 'A Open Source Engine' for improved gameplay and a better AI. The original hardcored behaviour really stucks for this cool game. 8)

I have yet to see anyone make a complete game upon this, I mean a real working game of some sorts. Alot of talk, alot of stuck in the complicated details. I am just trying to what I can do. I feel like you guys want me to fail or something. Thanks for the encouragement. I will try to do my best, then you guys can laugh at me .

He who laughs last laughs the best. What does anyone yet have to show? One fancy ISD model that went nowhere? An empty website?Sorry if I sound taken aback, why all the negative criticism? Yes, pardon me.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:48 am 
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Slocket wrote:
I have yet to see anyone make a complete game upon this, I mean a real working game of some sorts. Alot of talk, alot of stuck in the complicated details. I am just trying to what I can do. I feel like you guys want me to fail or something. Thanks for the encouragement. I will try to do my best, then you guys can laugh at me.


I'm sorry if it looked that way. Nobody wants you to fail. I was simply trying to point you in the direction I consider the best, that was all.

Happy coding :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2008: Remake of a new Source Engine.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Slocket wrote:
He who laughs last laughs the best. What does anyone yet have to show? One fancy ISD model that went nowhere? An empty website?Sorry if I sound taken aback, why all the negative criticism? Yes, pardon me.


hahaha well if that is in reference to me I did manage to get a bit farther than that. My ISD's could move in formation,detect and attack targets, and travel through hyperspace to other regions of the galaxy. They took commands from an overseeing tactical AI, and were capable of following simple mission assignments. If they were critically damaged, they would jettison escape pods before drifting off into space.
I even made a couple videos: http://nordwindranger.com/idoe.aspx

I can't speak for everyone else, but the reason I stopped my project was that I could not find enough information to support the concept that Lucas Arts would let it exist as a fan game. I decided that it was not worth putting more effort into a project that would ultimately have to be canceled because it was not my intellectual property.

Instead I'm currently working on a WW2 tactical combat sim/rpg lite. Currently working on a blood modeling with my particle engine, and modeling bullet physics.

As far as being negative, I'm sorry about that. I was considering deleting my post, but had decided against it.

if you start a website to chronicle your progress, make sure to post it here! I am looking forward to following your development.

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