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  Starfarer  (Read 38991 times)
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Offline avm1979
« Posted 2010-11-20 01:25:21 »

You can see the trailer here (fractalsoftworks.com).
--------------------------------------

Hi guys.  My first post here, I was referred by the good folks over at the LWJGL forums Smiley

I want to tell you about a (needless to say, Java) game I'm working on - Starfarer.

A little blurb to set the mood:
Quote
Two hundred years ago, the galaxy was ravaged by war.  The story of Starfarer concerns a sector left largely untouched by the flames.  Humanity has been slowly slipping into anarchy, and few outposts of civilization remain - it is a time of frequent conflict, rampant piracy, and shifting allegiances.  A time of great profit for the few traders able to ply the old trading routes.  A time of great danger and greater opportunity.

It's a single-player, sandbox-style sci-fi roleplaying game.  You explore the different star systems, build up your character and your fleet, establish outposts or trade, and engage in lots and lots of fleet actions.  It's been in development for about a year, and a beta version will be out in the coming months.  Here's a link to our site, with lots more info about the game and a bunch of screenshots:

http://fractalsoftworks.com

And here's a screenshot just to get you started:




If it looks like something you're interested in, consider following our RSS feed.  We'll be posting regular updates ... well, as regular as it can get while still making progress on the game proper  Smiley

Thank you!


Offline Nate

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Esoteric Software


« Reply #1 - Posted 2010-11-20 02:48:40 »

Looks very cool. Any chance you'll post video?

Offline avm1979
« Reply #2 - Posted 2010-11-20 03:21:25 »

Yep, for sure.  Actually working on it - hopefully it'll be ready in a week or two.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #3 - Posted 2010-11-20 06:31:38 »

Lovely backgrounds, how did you make them?

Also the particles/glow/bloom effects look great, how are you rendering them?

Looking forward to the a demo, great job!

Offline noblemaster

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2010-11-20 09:55:19 »

Looks very nice!  Grin

Offline avm1979
« Reply #5 - Posted 2010-11-20 15:59:08 »

Lovely backgrounds, how did you make them?

That's the Orion nebula, courtesy of NASA from this gallery - all public domain stuff!  There was some fancy photoshop work involved to make it fit in with the rest of the game, the details of which I'm not familiar with Smiley  The image is pretty big (2048x2048) so randomly offsetting it, especially at a lower resolution, gives some variety for free.


Also the particles/glow/bloom effects look great, how are you rendering them?

Most of the particle stuff is using glBlendFunc(GL_SRC_ALPHA, GL_ONE), with various textured-quad particles - so it's what you'd expect in that regard.  One thing that works well almost across the board is a particle that's bright in the middle, and doesn't just use a super-smooth linear/quadratic transparency dropoff towards the edges.  Like a small bright particle superimposed on a large dim particle.  You get a more nuanced look with fewer quads.  YMMV, though, since so much of it was just tweaking the relative sizes of things until it "looked right".

Not quite sure what you mean by glow/bloom... the ship engine glows?  Those were actually pretty tricky to get, and ended up nothing like what I thought when I first approached them.

The "heated metal" look around the nozzles is just a particle at the base of the engine flame.  The actual flame is where the real fun is.  The base for it is a scrolling, tiling texture that looks kind of like a sine wave with a reflection around the X axis, really rather non-descript.  That's rendered a bunch of times, going from short and wide to thin and narrow.  There's yet another pass to render a flame-shaped dim outline that you can't even make out specifically, but that makes the overall flame look much smoother.


Looking forward to the a demo, great job!
Looks very nice!  Grin

Thank you!

Offline Captain Awesome

Junior Devvie


Medals: 2


Hi


« Reply #6 - Posted 2010-11-20 18:47:06 »

Looks cool. Btw I love sandbox and rpg games so I can't wait to try it out Smiley
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #7 - Posted 2010-11-21 04:16:35 »

Thanks for the explanation, good tips with the particles.

I thought you were using the so-called 'bloom' effect to achieve the glow, but sounds like your using the particles. There's some examples of bloom here (http://www.curious-creature.org/2007/02/20/fast-image-processing-with-jogl/)

Nice job with the NASA images, they really suit. I thought you might have generated them somehow.

Offline avm1979
« Reply #8 - Posted 2010-11-21 19:48:16 »

Quote
Looks cool. Btw I love sandbox and rpg games so I can't wait to try it out Smiley

Thanks!  Looking forward to releasing more than just screenshots.


I thought you were using the so-called 'bloom' effect to achieve the glow, but sounds like your using the particles. There's some examples of bloom here (http://www.curious-creature.org/2007/02/20/fast-image-processing-with-jogl/)

Ahhh, that.  Thanks for the link - never knew the details, and that's a nice simple explaination.  Seems like an awful lot of trouble if one is not already using shaders, though the results are impressive.

I thought you might have generated them somehow.

I wish.  Tried that, using noise etc, and the end result was passable, but not in the same ballpark as the stuff created by the big bang Smiley

Here's what that looked like btw:



The above is just perlin noise for the blue bg, with the same noise matrix used to affect the probability of generating stars.

The nice thing was you can generate it on the fly, but pretty much have to use FBOs for performance, and that means putting in fallback pbuffer code when FBOs aren't available, and that was just a big pain.  Could of course just generate and then save it, but then it's no longer dynamic...  When I saw the NASA stuff, though, it was pretty clear I should just stop going down that path.  Until that point, I thought the above looked kind of good Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


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« Reply #9 - Posted 2010-11-21 19:57:59 »

The game looks beautiful - the style kind of reminds me of Master of Orion II except actually pretty. The premise also seems like it could be awesome; really looking forward to this one.

See my work:
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Offline SwampChicken
« Reply #10 - Posted 2010-11-22 01:52:45 »

Could someone post some screenshots in here?
(the main site is blocked for me)
Offline avm1979
« Reply #11 - Posted 2010-11-22 04:05:43 »

The game looks beautiful - the style kind of reminds me of Master of Orion II except actually pretty. The premise also seems like it could be awesome; really looking forward to this one.

Thanks! Smiley  MOO2 is definitely a big influence.  Going for less big-picture strategic and more focused on a single fleet, though.


Quote
Could someone post some screenshots in here?
(the main site is blocked for me)

Weird, any idea why?  If you PM me your email I can send you a zip w/ the screenshots.

Offline OverKill

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #12 - Posted 2010-11-22 11:18:51 »

Looks and reads very nicely.
And yes, it really does remind me of Master of Orion II and Galactic Civilizations II. Which is a GOOD thing!
And if it runs on *nix systems, all the better (GCII does not really).
I would LOVE to play it.

Keep up the great work!
Offline avm1979
« Reply #13 - Posted 2010-12-06 17:08:09 »

Well, we finally finished the trailer!  You can see it here (fractalsoftworks.com).


Quote
And if it runs on *nix systems, all the better

It'll definitely run on Linux - I've been testing it out every so often on a Ubuntu box (one with an embedded graphics card, no less) and everything works just fine, thanks to LWJGL.  The lack of a dedicated video card is... well, it's not nearly as bad as I expected Smiley

Offline kappa
« League of Dukes »

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★★★★★


« Reply #14 - Posted 2010-12-06 18:59:21 »

Wow looks great, even better in motion. (can't say the same about the choice of the trailer music Smiley)

I'm going to flex some showcase moderator discretion here and move this to the Featured Games Section. The level of polish already shines through, games like this come along rarely Smiley

Will be reviewed once released.

FEATURED.
Offline avm1979
« Reply #15 - Posted 2010-12-06 20:38:52 »

Thank you, this just made my day!

I'll update the original post once the alpha is available for download, or there's something else noteworthy enough Smiley

Offline CyanPrime
« Reply #16 - Posted 2010-12-06 20:43:10 »

Looks great, but it's got a bad name. I thought it said starfarter at first >_>
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #17 - Posted 2010-12-06 21:54:28 »

Ha ha, I like the name, but that's a funny thing to read. Smiley

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
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I always win!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2010-12-08 01:45:13 »

Awesome graphics. I love the realism of the beams, how the shields react with the environment and being pummeled, planets rotate and its atmosphere, hows damage can be dealt to different areas of the ships hull , gun rotation and recoil, and every single graphical detail that is in there, the particle effects on the explosions, projectiles and exhaust is super. The artwork on the sprites is awesome.

Hard work comes to mind Smiley

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Offline avm1979
« Reply #19 - Posted 2010-12-09 01:59:07 »

Whoa, I'm amazed you picked all that out of the trailer.  Thank you!  I think for most of these, I was working on and thinking, "I wonder if anyone is even going to notice" Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #20 - Posted 2010-12-09 05:01:59 »

Awesome graphics. I love the realism of the beams, how the shields react with the environment and being pummeled, planets rotate and its atmosphere, hows damage can be dealt to different areas of the ships hull , gun rotation and recoil, and every single graphical detail that is in there, the particle effects on the explosions, projectiles and exhaust is super. The artwork on the sprites is awesome.

Hard work comes to mind Smiley
It is indeed bloody gorgeous. Seriously pretty. Awesome. Inspiring. This is what Master of Orion combat should have been...

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #21 - Posted 2010-12-09 05:45:14 »

Wow! Very cool trailer. You should send it to lucasarts and get hired  Cool

The classical music, the real galaxy in the background, the battle, i love it!

Offline OverKill

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #22 - Posted 2010-12-09 08:37:52 »

Who0ot! That trailer rocked!
You are far to brutal, teasing us like this!
Some extra exclamation marks for good measure: !!!!!
Offline avm1979
« Reply #23 - Posted 2010-12-09 21:55:26 »

Thank you guys!  I'm going to bottle up this shot of extra-added motivation for a rainy day. Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

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Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #24 - Posted 2010-12-09 21:57:20 »

PS awesome use of parallax.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline SimonH
« Reply #25 - Posted 2010-12-10 00:50:23 »

Er, have you been preempted?

People make games and games make people
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #26 - Posted 2010-12-10 15:16:57 »

Er, have you been preempted?
You can get an EXE here:

http://www.starfare.eu/articles/7/starfare-download.html

Looks like lot worse than StarfareR, though. :-P And it won't go on my Mac.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline avm1979
« Reply #27 - Posted 2010-12-11 16:08:38 »

That 'r' makes all the difference, right?  Right??? Cheesy

PS awesome use of parallax.

Glad you like it!  That took an embarassing amount of time to get working just right.

Offline avm1979
« Reply #28 - Posted 2011-01-20 03:37:59 »

Wanted to tell you guys that I've put up a video with some more in-game footage.  And lots of explosions.  You can check it out here.


Offline SwampChicken
« Reply #29 - Posted 2011-01-20 04:22:42 »

Can I make a suggestion? How about stating that the game is written in java in your blogs & youtube video, (and maybe add a 'java' tag or two...)
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