Friday, December 24, 2010

Fafnir Complete

Murakami Steamworks first airship is now available at our shop. Many weeks went into this ship and now that it is complete all the new advancements it received will trickle down to all our other vehicles in the coming weeks as we slowly update everything.

Next on our list is the Goblin light tank which is getting a massive overhaul. In addition to the weapon and camera control improvements from the Fafnir, it will also be getting a machine gun installed on the turret for taking care of infantry. It will also be able to hold a third crew member who will take position at the turret hatch, such as a tank commander would. This makes driving in mouselook very fun, but on the flipside you will be exposed to enemy fire. Should be interesting...

For those curious what our roadmap is currently...

1. Complete Goblin overhaul (75% done)
2. Update artillery and AA guns to new dial controls and to re-balance them. -not started
3. Updated Miniclads game for sale (25% done)
4. Wyvern fighter plane (needs to float on pontoons correctly, 60% done)
5. Update naval vessels to use new Fafnir technology (huge update) -not started
6. Ammo swap system for all combat vehicles (shot, shell, grapeshot) -not started

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Murakami Steamworks Returns

Well after a small break Murakami Steamworks is back! We have been working on many projects in the backroom and now is a good time to show you what we have. First on the list is our airship Fafnir we talked about awhile ago... The ship has gone through many evolutions and is 99% complete...

The Fafnir is not only our first airship, but also carries with it many new enhancements to our vehicles as a whole and some of these are quite revolutionary (for us at least). For starters, the ship now has sculpted turrets in place of the 2 prim ones, saving us a massive 6 prims which we used to enhance the look of the ship. I have been able to grasp how to make complex sculpted prims as well as texturing thanks to Sidney Arctor who is an expert sculpter and indeed one of the best I have ever met. Check out his shop here if you would like to see his work. With my new skills I should be able to go back and reduce the prim count on many of our ships, allowing me to add some details I could not before.

We also changed the way movement controls work, in which instead of having engine speeds 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9... etc etc we simply have SLOW, HALF,FULL. This reduces the amount of times the pilot needs to press the forward/backward keys to get to their desired speeds as well as reduce the amount of overhead between the ship and HUD. We also got rid of the automatic turning so now you must hold down A or D to rotate the ship. This again reduces some overhead and makes turning more smooth and controlled. Ascending and descending work just like our submarines do.

Weapon controls are the biggest change, heavily reducing the complexity of aiming and firing. If you look at the picture above and zoom in on the HUD, You will see there are no aiming buttons for the cannons. This is because it uses a new dial method taking advantage of llDetectedTouchST. This means instead of having to click on say...6 buttons to control the angle, you can now just click anywhere on the dial to aim them and have 45 different angles instead of 6. Suffice to say this is huge, and it will make our monitor type ironclads 10 times easier to operate. MrBunwah originally had something like this rigged up way back when llDetectedTouchST was first introduced but because many of our customers were still using older clients they could not actually use this new method as it required a client upgrade.

The next big improvement also uses this new dial method. If you look at the center of the HUD you should see a circle dial with a smaller blue side dial next to it. This is the new camera system. The way it works is you press anywhere on the circle to rotate the camera in that direction relative to the ship, then you use the blue dial on the side to adjust your camera pitch. So instead of having to click on all those buttons for limited camera angles, you now only have 2 dials which can move the camera almost anywhere you want. This is huge, as the way SL utilizes cameras is terrible. Our ships have always been plagued with camera problems but with this new system we have finally fixed it and made it a viable alternative to simply using the click drag camera in SL.

Last but not least is the implementation of BNWCS into the ship, making this our first real dual combat system ship. It might take some updates to get it balanced right for BNWCS, but what we have now works very well and seamlessly with ICS.

Up next is our first fighter plane, the Wyvern. This plane will be unique in that it will not have 1 but 3 combat systems implemented. ICS,BNWCS, and TCS. This will make it a very versatile fighter that can engage almost anything else it comes across...except perhaps for VICE equipped vehicles (future update perhaps?). The Wyvern will also have an auto pilot mode that stays in the sim, useful if you need to go afk or type something up while in the air.

The picture above shows it with landing gear, but the final version will have pontoons allowing it to take off and land on the water. I may also incorporate our advanced camera system mentioned above if it proves to be useful, however I would like to have this be a HUDless vehicle if possible for ease of use... but who knows.

The final version will also have ICS/BNWCS bombs that it can drop on larger targets, as it's ICS machine gun rounds can't damage ships above 250HP. Like I mentioned before, I want this to be a very versatile fighter...

Last thing I want to show you is our medium tank, the Trollkin. Both our tanks will be getting a huge upgrade that will incorporate all the enhancements mentioned above. The Trollkin is the 2nd of a series of 5 tanks we plan on making. Light, Medium, Heavy, Mortar, Amphibious. The Trollkin will sport 2 machine guns for dealing with infantry, and a large howitzer for armored targets.

That's it for now! Will keep you posted when these are released.