I'm not much of a T3 fan to be honest. When I play i often disable the "game ender" type of units/buildings and play with T1.5 or so. Aren't most T3 units fan made anyways? I'll be quite busy with the original ones, and will probably bore before I get to the fan made classics.
More Arm doodads. A lot of the planes look kind of similar in TA so I tried to find some anatomical elements to play with, making the bombers look alike, etc. Hawk... hawk Concorde beak, I dunno if it's working. I like how the Globe (random fan unit that I stumbled upon) is very different in shape and would instantly read on the battlefield, so I toyed around with a derivative design just for kicks. I should be concentrating on the original designs though.
I'm thinking the Sumo could almost be like... T2.3. Perhaps that's what the Sumo-ish thing on the image a few posts above is.
Ah, I figured that was the case, but wasn't sure. A lot of the larger turrets feel like T3 to me.
I'm not that familiar with the fan unit library out there (I remember downloading a bunch, only really liking the 4 legged daddy longlegs out of the big ones, perhaps I'll do that one). I have a vague memory of the Monkey Lord from SC being based on a TA T3 fan unit. Is that correct?
Here are some StarCraft and Dark Reign unit homages. DR in particular had such great building and unit design. I just had to do a boxy Arm version of the Dragoon. I think a more curvy Core version would've been closer to the original, which would've been cheap (i.e. too close, I wanted to change something). I was more after the silhouette and iconic power of its general masses.
No clue what's going on with the DR Sky Fortress, and the Harvester is a bit up in the air. I couldn't quite think of a good way to give the designs meaning in the visual TA language that I'm trying to develop/discover. Perhaps the Sky fortress is this slow and relatively sturdy gunship which uses an alternative method of propulsion.
Regarding the harvester... I just really like the harvesting mechanic because of Dune II. Perhaps in TA there could be a naturally occurring, or genetically engineered Metal-Making crop, and this provides the warring factions with an alternative source of metal on some worlds. Currently you can build energy generators and metal makers on metal-poor worlds, so the idea was to expand on that. I like the idea of a resource that's between "mine spot" and "mine anywhere".
Visually, I like the harvester in DR. I ended up trying to take my version in another direction. A harvester is typically a big Jawa Sandcrawler which says "look at my mouth and big belly". The little flat pads are something which I used on my jets earlier, but would a metal harvester fly around? So, I thought... maybe it's more like a hovering bumble bee, jumping from patch to patch, and I ended trying to push that idea visually. Gave it a little mosquito slurpy-straw. I think the pads need to be relocated, and the body needs to be less rigid. The design still a bit too busy with anonymous greeble, but maybe the grate is at least reminiscent of that of a bee.
TA uses a global resource pool, but traditionally the crop needs to be "refined" into metal at a refinery, which of course could look a bit (but not blatantly) like a bee hive then. In TA spirit, there could of course be an alternative... sandcrawler style harvester+refinery all-in-one unit. With little laser turrets on top.
Hey Arne! I think what people love about your concepts is exactly the kind of criticism and comments you've made. You understand how an RTS works, how outline, shape, important areas of color etc function to make a unit instantly recognizable at a distance while still making it fit within a coherent visual framework. What you said about the BA:R stuff is spot on, the alternating checkers of teamcolour (blue)/grey is not impactful enough. They need to broaden up their palette- black, camos, silver (on more than just gun barrels), and place their colours in a way that emphasizes different areas of the unit.
Your concepts are always fantastic, and were a big inspiration for some of the stuff in Zero-K. My Spherebot in particular was inspired by some of your designs, though a bit more humaniform:
I know, I know, it probably suffers from all the same problems you've been talking about- The texture is closer to an FPS level of detail, but the guy who did it is really talented and it looks neat cloes up? :S I did the lazy thing, and re-used the same model as a base for a whole factory. I tried to vary stance and the shape of positioning of weapons (large, black shapes that stand out), but some are still too similar for my liking so I'll be working on them further. Seriously though, even Starcraft units don't look this good up close (Spring has infinite zoom dangit, even if you never play like that T_T):
P.S. polycount doesn't matter anymore, not a bottleneck, you can have 100's of these guys on the screen at once no problems and the pathing kills you before the rendering ever does. So you don't even need LoD's.
Scaling and variation in color patterning alone is probably enough to make units distinct/identifiable. I think if I were to prioritize, I'd say that color placement comes first, then silhouette/masses, at least when it comes to an RTS game where the background can sometimes make silhouettes/masses hard to read, and the units are 3D so the silhouette keeps changing anyways. As an example, imagine that unit colors were random, and the only way to spot your units was silhouette/masses. It might only work if you were talking about something as different as Spiders and Bulldogs. Also, imagine the familiar shape of the mickey mouse head, broken up with "Dazzle camouflage" (do an image search on it!). It might be pretty hard to recognize that silhouette on a metal map. Dazzle camouflage was not meant to hide ships, but rather to make visual identification based on silhouette as hard as possible.
I have a cheap netbook with intel GMA something for fun and games. It can actually run Spring (.81) surprisingly well if I lower the gfx settings. It has trouble with special effects rather than with polycount it seems. I did run into trouble when I had a hundred or so Bulldogs on screen. However, some mods/games outline the units and this slows the simulation to a crawl. I know there's a hotkey for changing selections into boxes, but I pressed it by mistake and can't find it again (._.) Edit: It was a selectionHalo setting in BOTA's Lua file.
I've sorted the units onto sheets, but didn't add/change much.
DR.. my second most favourite (RTS) game of all times! the graphics and the sounds of angry/pissed units made it for me. my favorite unit was the imperial heavy tank .. ion-tank or something like that, though.. i think that is mostly due to to cool gun, shoting sound and animation it had. if that would would have been used for an artillery, it would easily have been my most favourite unit ever. ... how easy to please a child :D
Joined: 10 May 2009, 11:27 Location: on new sidney
Erik what model you talking about ? mine or behes yeah hoijui , i loved the freedom guard hover tank, Triple rail gun thingy, the shooting sound of that thing, i loved it. Mass groups of 4 and hit and run. And the music was awesome.
Maybe you could redesign the style of the Catapult (the funny two-legged box shooting a bunch of rockets)?. Imo that unit's design is just stupid currently.
I don't see the problem with its design? It can move and it can shoot - what more is a combat robot supposed to have necessarily?
You really have quite low requirements for an RTS unit, Sir! Well, for me games are about fun. The units have to please me, then I have more fun. I dont care much about realism. Like "is the center of mass designed correctly"? Might be my personal opinion but that catapult looks stupid, REALLY stupid No offence but that unit looks like it was designed by a five year old... Its just a box that shoots rockets and has two chicken legs.
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