A design for Hyperventila: The Game.
A light transport shuttle, designed and built at Moga Shipyards, first launcher in the year 4102. Luxurious on the inside for its time.
A design for Hyperventila: The Game.
ICPH-8 'Phantom Bat'
Transport - Class III
Manufacturer: Intercorp Manufacturing
Operating Designation: ICPH.80-847
Constructed: Year 4193
"A robust deep space transport vessel built to the latest technological standards of its time. Designed for the 4200s, it comes with advanced shield generators and extensive communications arrays.
This craft was rumoured to be used for several GC black operations in Cespian space."
It's another spacecraft made for my Hyperventila universe.
Hyperventila is a space fantasy kind of place, kind of like Star Wars, and it's based on a fantasy world I created many years ago but then taken several thousand years into the future. The spacecraft are generally "retro-high-tech", made in the style of old kit-bashed physical models they used when filming movies in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
For the past few months I've been experimenting with the Godot game engine instead of my previous go-to tool that was Gamemaker Studio. YoYo games, the studio behind Gamemaker, has been going in a strange direction since they got bought by Opera and I can't say I'm as comfortable with trusting this company as I was previously. YoYo accounts are being migrated to Opera accounts and the whole thing is giving me flashbacks to when Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft just to keep funneling people into their 'ecosystem'.
On top of that Gamemaker now has a subscription payment model which, luckily, I don't have to use as my own permanent license still appears to be valid. Who knows how long that will last though.
I do find this odd though, Gamemaker as an engine has barely changed in the last decade and looking at their roadmap, the new features they are planning on adding are... unambitious, let's just say.
I don't see how any developer is going to look at Gamemaker now, considering the price of the subscription model and the features that Gamemaker has, and think "yeah this engine seems like it's worth it".
It used to be in the past, a single one-off payment for an engine that was the pinnacle of 2D games development. But that was years ago, now there are so many options out there, many of which are completely free to use or offer more versatility and Gamemaker just seems stuck in its own little corner, never budging, never moving with the times.
Personally for me I started realizing that my journey with Gamemaker had come to an end when I started experimenting with 3D in Gamemaker. Obviously the engine isn't really made with 3D in mind but considering where Gamemaker's long lasting strengths lie, in Gamemaker Language and in its fast workflow, I don't see why Gamemaker shouldn't be a 3D engine. Speaking of the lack of ambition in their current roadmap, I do feel like more 3D support like a 3D viewport and built-in 3D model importer should have been right up there.
All of this is what lead me to Godot, an engine that is very much built for 2D and 3D.
It's has been an interesting few months. Godot turned out to be a lot easier to use than I initially imagined. It clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Unity (unfortunately) but doesn't shy away from adding its own improvements, or its own way of doing things, where it feels like they can be made.
Many of the things I struggled with in Gamemaker like pathfinding and quickly doing some UI design are a walk in the park in Godot, super easy. Other things that are very easy in Gamemaker can be a little tricky to figure out in Godot, like multi-dimensional arrays for example. Godot script is no Gamemaker Language unfortunately but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it.
For the past month my mission has been getting the familiar with the engine and making all the things I never could I Gamemaker. For this project I've basically been trying to re-create one of my favourite games, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, in Godot.
I started out by adding a basic movement system and re-creating a map from the game in Blender, then porting it into Godot. The map I chose was CQB training for no particular reason other than that it was small and fairly symmetrical and therefore not a lot of work to build:
It was fairly basic, some assets from the original game were in there as well but nothing is really textured and there's no gameplay to speak of, just a ghost town for now.
With a map to play around with though, I could start adding some gameplay. I added some basic enemies, pathfinding, interactive elements like hidden doorways for easter eggs and over the next month I kept adding any feature I could think of. Kind of sticking to the original game as a framework but I'm not trying to create a particularly faithful re-creation of RS: Vegas 2, for now it's anything goes.
After one month of progress I had added a bunch more weapons, a weapon attachment system and customization menu. There are some basic load-out options, save-games, rank and leveling, stats tracking and some basic sound effects:
From here on I'm currently building a larger library of properly textured assets that I can use to create a better looking map where I can start trying out some rendering techniques to make it all look better. Right now the whole game is lit by real-time lights in the engine which doesn't look great and isn't perfect for performance either, I'm hoping to learn some light baking for the next map I'm creating and hopefully have it all looking a lot better and running much smoother for the second map.
I also want to try adding some LAN multiplayer just to see how that works in Godot.
The last few days however I've had to pause this project for a bit as my computer started developing some OS related freezing issues, so I had to re-install Windows 10. I took this as an opportunity to try out the Win 10 Ameliorated version, a project set up by a group of people who wanted nothing to do with Microsoft's tracking and data-gathering that comes built in to Win 10. The process of "ameliorating" Windows isn't very straight forward but after three or four tries I succeeded in getting it up and running in a way that I felt comfortable worked.
This new Windows experience is actually quite a lot like older windows versions, reminding me of Windows 7 and XP. It's a bare-bones Windows experience that feels out-of-place in 2022, but in a good way. It's a reminder that software nowadays often has a dual-purpose, to serve you and to gather data on you. Windows that only does the basics of being an operating system feels like a breath of fresh air and there isn't this nagging feeling that Windows is spying on you in the background with everything you do.
It is also MUCH faster, start-up is really fast and right-clicking used to take ages on my old install where Windows Explorer was doing whatever it was doing in the background before showing you the menu, now it's instant. You do need to make sure you install anti-virus and such because of course Windows Defender isn't there either, same with Windows Update.
Overall though I'm very happy with this new install of Win 10 and I'll keep using it for a while I think.
That's it from me. Check out my next blog to see how progress on my Godot Rainbow Six remake project is going.
Back in 2010 I had a lot of strange and ambitious ideas for games, mods and designs. None was more ambitious at the time than Space 3102, ACE's Void, a flight sim/first person shooter featuring the M40 Asteroid Class Explorer. This tiny shuttle was a research vessel, designed for high maneuverability in dense asteroid fields and capable of spending weeks in deep space before returning to base. It featured laser cannons, traditional cannons, advanced collision avoidance systems, had lots of scientific equipment on board and was piloted by the best scientists/astronauts the Earth Space Administration and Defense force (ESAD) had to offer. A real Swiss-army knife of spacecraft.
In this old blog post I looked at the ACE and some of the story behind how I came up with it at the time, but I also challenged myself to create a third iteration of the design I had at the time. Perhaps it wasn't the greatest design I had ever made but then again I had only been doing 3D modeling for about two to four months or so.
So now, twelve years later, I have finally revisted this design and hopefully improved it a bit, I think that even my seventeen year old self would approve.
Finally came the rest of the interior and the renders (the animation took several days to render because I don't know how to optimise my 3D scenes):
Overall this has been a fun side-project, even though I rarely got to work on it, I actually started this project back in December 2021, but I'm happy to call it finished. Maybe I should revisit some other ships from this era, like the Aloadae II, the massive paddle / delta wing passenger shuttle or the Athena, my personal space yacht. We'll see!
Until next time, and as always have a nice day.
Been doing quite a few Gamemaker Studio experiments recently, including messing around with 3D for the first time. 3D has been a challenge as the vector math, and lack of built-in functions have been making it much trickier to work with than the usual smooth ride that is 2D in Gamemaker. Still I've come up with some fun projects and I will be using 3D for most future projects for sure.
Besides that I also made a quick bird to ward of other birds from our balcony. This was done in trueSpace, of course, and then made in wood and finished with an acryllic paint.
That's it for this quick update. Until next time.
The Mallard Starcruiser is a spacecraft inspired by the great sea-planes of old. This spacecraft is a bit of a quick design but I had fun making it nonetheless.
Once again I returned this year to update a game project I work on once every year; the anniversary boardgame. Once a year for our anniversary my girlfriend and I play a game that captures our memories from the previous years, our experiences and in some cases our troubles. Every year I also like adding a new gameplay mechanic and this year I decided to take it a step further making it a full on RPG with even a basic questline.
The game features various levels with cutscenes in between where I created renders. The character models are animated and made using a mix of MakeHuman and sculpting in Blender.
I tried not to get too carried away with the character designs but overall it ended up being a little more work than anticipated and me only getting it done just before the actual anniversary.
Here are some highlights of that...
There is also a companion app that goes with the boardgame where each of us can control our avatars on the board by giving them simple commands like hostile/defensive stance, toggle weapons and change the direction in which we're facing on the board, just for fun.
This was a fun project to work on for sure and I can't wait to see what I come up with next year. With the app and the RPG mechanics, there's a lot of potential for expansion so who knows, maybe next year I'll turn it into Elden Ring...
Redesigned my old TCO-14 rifle from my Interstellar Marines fan-art days. The design wasn't actually made specifically for Interstellar Marines but was a concept I'd made some time earlier that I then turned into a 3D model as it seemed to fit the theme of the game. I always liked the compact design of the rifle and the top rail design that I added later and given the fact most of my client requests now are for firearms ...be they science fiction or more realistic looking... I figured I'd use this as an opportunity to improve my understanding of what makes these things tick, so-to-speak.
This is the end result of a lot of 3D modeling and animation in Blender as well and while I'm not too happy with either the design nor the animation, I learned a lot during this project and I'm much happier with the overall design of the redux version vs the original.
The VITRIOL 3D Blog
My name is Tymen, an illustrator originally from the Netherlands.
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