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Thread: Helium Rain - A realistic space opera for PC

  1. #1
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    Helium Rain - A realistic space opera for PC




    Helium Rain is a single player space opera for PC. Orbiting a gas giant, you are alone inside your small ship.
    It is up to you yo decide what happens next...

    Helium Rain is a trading/fighting/exploration space sim built around realism. We want to build a world that feels real. Everything is precisely calculated, scientifically verified, to ensure that nothing breaks immersion.

    We strive for original gameplay as well. Your ships have generators, radiators, weapons, engines, cargo bays or life support systems - they all work together. Every thruster on your ship plays a role. Aim for engines to pin down your enemies, or send them spinning around by destroying power stations. Most of our ships have more than thirty individual parts, some of them twice that !



    About

    The game is slated for release on Windows and Linux in Q2 2016.
    We are, of course using Unreal Engine 4 as well as the open-source Blender modeler. Some of the technologies used with UE4 include the Slate UI, layered materials, fully dynamic lighting...

    We are a team of two engineers with a background in embedded software.





    Learn more

    We will frequently post updates - pictures, video, making-of... Please don't hesitate to ask technical questions about how the game is done ! We will always try to answer



    This post is kept updated with the latest images.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    Luminary
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    1,675
    This looks awesome looking forward to further updates

  3. #3
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    Hi there !

    We've been working on the navigation system - more on this when we have a full-featured UI

    In the meantime, take a look at our latest ship, the Atlas transporter. It's the largest ship in the game yet !




  4. #4
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    looks cool!

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  6. #6
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    Wow.......

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    Hi guys,

    Really love the ship design and the UI design, very appealing style!

    Word of warning though, just this one pic looks pretty bad, I'd ditch it in promo stuff until you get a version of it that looks as nice as all the other stuff:
    Name:  gnhrEB1.jpg
Views: 5538
Size:  558.9 KB

    The planet and the feature ship look good, but the smattering of little red and green squares/triangles look like an old mobile game.

    Maybe consider adding trails to ships to imply their thrust vectors and a sense of three dimensional movement?

  9. #9
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    Luminary
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    I love how this is turning out

  10. #10
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    Veteran
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    476
    That menu is so crisp!

  11. #11
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    The ships look awesome!

    I do think that the targeting reticule is a bit thick on small targets - maybe beyond a certain point the 4 triangles should shrink in size? Eventually you can't even see the object in question, just 4 green/red pieces

  12. #12
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    Thanks !

    Quote Originally Posted by ioFlow Studios View Post
    Hi guys,

    Really love the ship design and the UI design, very appealing style!

    Word of warning though, just this one pic looks pretty bad, I'd ditch it in promo stuff until you get a version of it that looks as nice as all the other stuff:

    The planet and the feature ship look good, but the smattering of little red and green squares/triangles look like an old mobile game.

    Maybe consider adding trails to ships to imply their thrust vectors and a sense of three dimensional movement?
    Thanks for the feedback !

    I've just tried making the designators smaller. Here is how it looks like. What do you think ?


  13. #13

  14. #14
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    Promoter
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Really digging the nice clean UI, looks a bit Destiny-inspired :P

  15. #15
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    you did that whole thing in slate? that's impressive.

  16. #16
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    We did that, and more ! Slate is hard to master but it does let us build some cool menus. Here is the games' navigation menu, for example.


  17. #17
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    Hi guys ! Here are some new stations and ships that we built for the game. Enjoy !






  18. #18
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    I like the 3D compositions. Its very detailed and complex and the texturing and UVs are top notch!

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    Looks pretty great. I'm curious, what are you doing to make it feel like a space opera? There's a little je ne sais quoi required to capture that feel. I'm quite interested.
    Current Project: Shadow Over Isolation

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbnewsom View Post
    Looks pretty great. I'm curious, what are you doing to make it feel like a space opera? There's a little je ne sais quoi required to capture that feel. I'm quite interested.
    Glad you asked !

    The realistic space opera line is self-contradicting, really. Star Wars for example is anything but realistic on pretty much every level (still awesome). We're two developers and we're both engineers, we love hard sci-fi, so we wanted to create a world based on actual physical constraints, and still keep the awesome of Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica. We simulate heat, cooling by thermal radiation, our guns fire smart shells, we have a Newtonian flight model and no sound coming from outside the ships. We stay in orbit around a single planet and we don't have time travelling, laser-firing spaceplanes.

    What we want to give the player is freedom to explore, or trade, or fight other factions, and a setting that makes it interesting. Games like X3 would let you build gigantic fleets of warships, but there wasn't really anything to do with it. So we're trying to build a world that gives you a lot to discover, doesn't try to destroy you when you're playing nice, gives you a challenge and a reward for fighting. We want the player to organize large battles on his own because he's following a plan, like in a Total War game, but we don't want to make that a vital necessity (like in a Total War game).

    TL;DR: What we really mean in realistic space opera is that it's a mashup of different game styles.

  22. #22
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    Today's news : we have a production system with the production and storage UI !


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    Some news ! We're gearing up for Steam Greenlight in a few weeks. We're still working on trading and economy, and the art side is moving to station building. You're going to see more and more different stations in the future.

    Here is one of the latest screenshots, directly from the game...


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  25. #25
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    this is looking great, love the style and menus so far, gives me a maxis vibe.

  26. #26
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    Looks great! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind...

    1. How long has this been in dev?
    2. How do you handle AI navigation in 3 dimensions?

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  27. #27
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    Always love space games and it's great to see such lovely ship models being built in Blender!

    Like others said your Slate UI is really well done, that settings menu is amongst the best I've seen with UE4 to date. So you're not using any UMG at all in here? Great work in any case.

  28. #28
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    Thanks guys !

    Quote Originally Posted by Brumsky View Post
    1. How long has this been in dev?
    We've been 18 months at this, with a team of two. It's going slow because there is so much stuff to do, but it's getting there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brumsky View Post
    2. How do you handle AI navigation in 3 dimensions?
    Well space is mostly empty so we base navigation on collision avoidance, not on pathfinding. Ships go were they have to (next dock, next target...) and avoid obstacles in the way. For every object, we compute potential trajectory intersections, and how far they are. If a trajectory intersection is near, we thrust in the direction opposite to the other object's trajectory. It's a basic algorithm, works well in 2D or 3D.

    A complicated part was to handle the ship itself, since we have 20 to 30 individual thrusters on every ship - all contributing, all destructible.

    Quote Originally Posted by VSZ View Post
    Always love space games and it's great to see such lovely ship models being built in Blender!

    Like others said your Slate UI is really well done, that settings menu is amongst the best I've seen with UE4 to date. So you're not using any UMG at all in here? Great work in any case.
    Thanks ! No, we keep to Slate and C++. We're both C++ programmers at heart so Slate was fine, UMG didn't even exist when we started, and it's still not interesting for us today.

  29. #29
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    Very interesting exploration experience.Keep up the good work and best wishes guys.
    I f you don't know just ask!...

  30. #30
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    I t looks like a Space gun. Awesome.Question: How do you use blender? I have blender but not know how to use it to change the model presented to me. Oh and is it the Pixar's Blender?

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    Cool looking game - really nice aesthetic. Best of luck with it!

  33. #33
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    Nice thread, love the destiny looking UI (Though never played the game) and cool looking models, love the contrast between shapes.
    Keep them coming!
    Timothy Dries - Graduate Environment Artist


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Teaser !

    Looks great, what happens when ships fly near / into planets?
    Last edited by franktech; 12-26-2015 at 10:25 PM.

  36. #36
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    This looks great, I can't wait to see more. I will definitely be following your devlog!

  37. #37
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    There is always more !



    Quote Originally Posted by franktech View Post
    Looks great, what happens when ships fly near / into planets?
    They can't. Space is really really big and the battle above happens 1500km above the surface, going a few m/s isn't going to get you there.
    The game is cut into small (a few km wide) areas where stuff happens. Ships fly from one sector to another. We don't let the player fly outside a sector.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    We don't let the player fly outside a sector.
    Interesting... How do you enforce that? ...Invisible barrier, self-destruct, stall-xyz / velocity halving algo, warning countdown, other...?
    Last edited by franktech; 12-30-2015 at 08:14 PM.

  39. #39
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    I would love to know the philosophy behind the awesome spaceship designs. Some really interesting visuals, and combined with that snazzy UI, just <3! And dat gif!

    I am very impressed.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlightlyLive View Post
    I would love to know the philosophy behind the awesome spaceship designs. Some really interesting visuals, and combined with that snazzy UI, just <3! And dat gif!

    I am very impressed.
    Well the basic philosophy is to make them logical. Large ships need a centrifuge section for the crew, fighters have a hull shape that minimizes the cross section when attacking, engines and weapons are modular attachments, every ship needs dozens of RCS thrusters... We have a lot of exposed radiators as well, because in the real world that would be a necessity. The ISS actually has a very large cooling surface as well, for example. We put solar arrays on small craft, nuclear reactors on largest ships...

    Once you've got all these constraints, it's really just a matter of designing a hull around all those components so that the ship makes sense.

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