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Particle Effects
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07-07-2014, 04:26 PM #1
Odoacer AC Operations Team
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Status: Offline Posts:154 Threads:16 Joined:Apr 2014
Particles are tiny, usually partially-transparent images that each have independent movement and lifespan. When enough of them are spawned and drawn on top of each other they can create an interesting visual effect.

Particles are spawned by Particle Emitters. The settings for a particle emitter dictates the characteristics of the particles that are spawned from it. These characteristics include what color the particle is, how large it is, how long it lives, how fast it moves and in what direction, among many others.

I've put in place particle emitters for:

- ship smoke
- ship explosion
- grenade explosion
- grenade trail
- missile explosion
- missile trail
- shrapnel
- flag ring
- health bonus

Settings for each of these emitters can be found in XML files in your .spark_cache/particles folder and can be changed as you wish. There is a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re5XJiWy4eQ that is very helpful in explaining all the settings in the XML file. The default settings are ones that I spent very little time tweaking, so I'm hoping some of you will do the work of improving them. If improved effects are discovered, I will put them in the game as the defaults.

Some of the effects -- ship explosion, grenade trail, and missile trail -- have two emitters (and two emitter config files). The first emitter's particles are drawn, and then the second emitter's particles are drawn on top. This was done to allow more complex effects. You may disable any emitter by setting its spawnCount to 0 if it is not needed. The last effect, health bonus, is disabled in its settings file since it isn't an effect that existed in the game already.

There are two files -- testemitter1.xml and testemitter2.xml -- which can be used to test new effects. To use them, type "/toggle testemitter" in game and left click where you want the particle emitter to go. The files are re-read every time you click, so you may change them while in the game. Note that there is a particle count displayed when using the testemitter. Keep in mind that very high particle counts, while they can produce very nice effects, can also reduce your FPS.

07-07-2014, 06:43 PM #2
benevolence AC Administrator
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Status: Offline Posts:397 Threads:35 Joined:Mar 2014
Excellent stuff. Looking forward to seeing what our creative people can come up with.

07-08-2014, 08:58 AM #3
LineOf7s n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:26 Threads:1 Joined:Apr 2014
Finally, something worth reading around here. Big Grin

07-11-2014, 05:16 AM #4
oTaCon AC Administrator
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Status: Offline Posts:287 Threads:36 Joined:Apr 2014
I edited a few of the particle effects. They are slightly different:

flagring.xml

healthbonus.xml --- plus.png

grenadeexplosion.xml

missileexplosion.xml

shipexplosion1.xml

shipexplosion2.xml
This post was last modified: 07-11-2014, 05:17 AM by oTaCon.

[Image: AiDd4fG.png]

07-13-2014, 06:10 PM #5
oTaCon AC Administrator
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Status: Offline Posts:287 Threads:36 Joined:Apr 2014
(07-11-2014, 05:16 AM)oTaCon Wrote:  I edited a few of the particle effects. They are slightly different:

flagring.xml

healthbonus.xml --- plus.png

grenadeexplosion.xml

missileexplosion.xml

shipexplosion1.xml

shipexplosion2.xml

I've been updating these particle effects here and there, these are what I'm currently using: https://app.box.com/s/3qzqpt0ov8v6f6vbycix

[Image: AiDd4fG.png]

07-20-2014, 04:54 PM #6
InSoMnIaC n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:97 Threads:20 Joined:Apr 2014
screenshots fellas =]

07-21-2014, 09:00 PM #7
Odoacer AC Operations Team
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Status: Offline Posts:154 Threads:16 Joined:Apr 2014
Update: Particle emitters for shrapnel have been removed because they cause FPS spikes.






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