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Helicopter game approaching liftoff.


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Well, hello again!

It's been quite some time since I've been by these parts, but I thought it was a good time, because I am currently deep into the process of making My First Game in Torque! (At least, the first game that is all mine, and is a serious, intent-on-publishing-come-hell-or-high-water sort of project.)

I'm posting this in the Megamotion section because it comes directly out of my Megamotion project, which is sadly mothballed at the moment, except for this game.


The game is a helicopter combat flight sim based on a fictional invasion of the West Coast by a combined force of Russian and Chinese troops.

As the player, you are a third rate rookie Russian helicopter pilot, who is being called up now because everybody better than you is dead. Your task is to drive the rebel forces from your side of the river, and then pursue them and destroy their base on the other side.

The hardest part of the game (and it's going to be quite difficult, sad to say) is flying the helicopter, because it is a fully simulated Kamov Ka50 gunship and no helicopter is easy to fly, they basically want to turn over and kill you the second you let down your guard for a moment.

You need a joystick (and a windows box) to play this, but if anybody here has a joystick with twist-rudder, or rudder pedals, and wants to join my playtest pool, you will definitely get free copies for life and my eternal gratitude. :P

The building heights and the textures are all fixed now, to the level of 2001 Counterstrike that you can see in the images anyway :lol: but here is a video of me flying around during the city building process. The small window on the right is FlightGear, which is running alongside Torque and providing the helicopter flight dynamics. The big breakthrough of the past couple of months was being able to make a FlightGear build which can go "headless" and therefore not be visible to the end user, but for debug / demonstration mode I keep it visible.

Credit: thank you @Duion for the sandbag nests, I sniped those from Uebergame. :)

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This is already far beyond 2001 Counterstrike quality, you could not have such big levels back then. From the distance the city is already relatively convincing, if you now maybe use a terrain generator and use some proper textures, it will look very realistic. Should only take you a couple of days to get used to generating nice looking terrains in a terrain generator of your choice, I use L3DT since it is free, but there are better proprietary ones.

PS: Why are the sandbags flying in the air?

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Thanks, Duion!

Hehe, sorry about the flying sandbags, they've since been fixed, they were placed at terrain height in an earlier rendition and then the ground changed under them. :-) The textures could certainly use an overhaul, no argument there.

I can't replace the terrain itself, as in the heights, because I need to stay matched to what FlightGear has so my heli can still land on the ground. However, what I can do is replace the current FG terrain for this area with some higher res height data, this was built off of 30m height data and I have access to 10m height data, which should help a lot. I hope it fixes the river, because the biggest problem right now is the Willamette River in FG overflows its banks and knocks out several blocks of downtown on its west side. That's what those empty blocks are on the right side of the picture, because the osm2city tool I used to generate the buildings wouldn't put them in the water.

One thing I could really use some help on is the weapons effects - I haven't done a lot of really high grade work with Torque particle systems, I guess I should go through the AFX stuff and see if anything pops out. The biggest issue right now is the machine guns, I have an attempt at a rocket, but my machine guns are just a raycast and a particle effect where they hit, I really need a falling stream of bullets/tracers. I'm thinking about trying to do that with PhysX but I'm open to suggestions. I need collision detection where they land so I'm not sure I can do it with particles.

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Well then stick with the terrain, using a terrain generator is not only about making a new terrain, but it will get you better textures also. To make it short avoid using blank textures that are also in the wrong color, make at least some variation and put correct colors.

With weapon effects I cannot really help, all you can do is try find some free sounds and use some particles that are already close to what you need and then modify them within Torque until they fit your needs. The weapons in my game only use sound+light+smoke+camerashake so there is not really an effect that does the shot, just SFX that make you feel a shot is fired. Muzzle flashes in default Torque3D are done by an animated texture that is part of the weapon model, that was too complicated for me so I skipped it.

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