Starfleet Pilot - A complete graphics overhaul!

Hello everyone,

after a long break, I would like to share with you quite a major update to Starfleet Pilot -- a complete graphics overhaul!

I have spent the last couple of months working on a completely new look & feel for both in-game environments as well as the UI (which you can get a sneak-peak of here as well).

There are two things you will immediately notice:

  1. environments are not made out of Voxels any more. This may be a disappointment for some of you, but this allowed me to have more freedom in what I can show on the screen and how things look. I finally learned a bit of ProBuilder to model simpler shapes, and also invested in procedurally generated meshes. So far ships and enemies are made out of Voxes (but I am not yet sure if they will change in the future).
  2. we are moving away from dark and depressing looking environments to vibrant and significantly more readable color palette, which was the main motivation for updating the graphics. I wanted to experiment with more balanced color palettes, but was limited by the features of the MagicaVoxel

Take a closer look at the attached screens, and let me know what do you think!

The wasteland

Our pilot's journey starts at the wasteland, but this wasteland is not an ordinary empty desert. There are quite a few objects to interact with and destroy: various rocks, research stations, accompanied satellites as well as wrecks of other brave pilots that were not as lucky.

There are also remnants of the ancient alien technology -- precious chests you can destroy to open and collect some handsome reward.

Those which can survive long enough, are rewarded with checkpoint outposts in which they can replenish their shields, before charging into battle again:

Procedural mesh generation

Since I watched Technical Artist Bootcamp: Introduction to Proceduralism on GDC Vault, I was fascinated by Houdini's procedural non-destructive workflows. While designing the new environment, it became obvious that I would benefit from similar tools in my own game, to speed up repetitive level building tasks -- it was very hard for me to predict which kind of walls I will need later in the game.

Currently I have 4 types of procedurally generated environment elements:

  • walls
  • floors that have holes in them
  • bridges
  • generic object placer along the path (that I currently only use to place rims on the bridge)

Here you can see how easy is to create walls of arbitrary shapes and change some properties:

I could not write these components that quickly, without using fantastic free libraries that are already available for Unity: 2D Geometry library for Unity, Sprite Shape for Unity (which I updated to server as a generic polygon editor)

Let me know if you want to hear more technical details about these tools.

Game Jolt

In the meantime I also created on Game Jolt profile which you can follow as well for updates and listen to the soundtrack online.

What's next?

Hope you enjoined this update. There are may new features coming soon, one of which are new enemies -- a heavy tank is already lurking the wastelands, so you can expect an update on this too (especially challenges in the path finding algorithm).

Until the next time!

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