Now that the simulator is more or less solidified, we’ve moved on to much less familiar territory: graphics. Of course, before we could actually start building the graphics system, we needed a rough idea of the sort of things we’d want to be able to do. Thus we set about creating concept art to define the style we’re aiming for; concept art such as this teaser image. This is a small security-drone robot which would be found hovering through passageways in any given level.
As you can see, we’re going for a clean silhouetted vector style more complex than N’s, but still fairly minimal; possibly there will be support for different palettes/skins. Smooth anti-aliased edges are super-important to making this look good — it’s going to be a challenge to match the quality of Flash’s software renderer, but we have a few promising OpenGL-based leads.
Since this is our first graphics system, the specifics of how to best represent and process the graphics geometry are new to us — there are all sorts of behind-the-scenes details, such as triangulating concave polygons, that we’re used to having Flash handle automatically. Curse you, delicious Flash! Keeping things as simple as possible has so far prevented us from being overwhelmed, and we’re trying to avoid complex problems by introducing constraints which limit or prevent the problem from needing to be solved, rather than making a super-powerful, super-complicated system. Otherwise known as “the easy way” 😉
The other types of in-game graphics, such as background and HUD-type elements, are on the back-burner until we get the object and level graphics working. We’ve got several ideas we are looking forward to expanding on.
There’s still plenty of time to enter our third Contesque, celebrating the release of N+ XBLA level pack number 3. You could win a copy of whichever version of N+ you’d like, and as a bonus you get to show off your creative skills.
The contesque closes November 2, 2008. That means there are about 2 weeks left to show us what you’ve got — keep those contesque entries coming!