Unity 3D – Space Runner Game Demo

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Space Runner Unity Demo - Click To Play

This demo is my first real attempt at making something in proper 3D using Unity and follows on from the 2D Asteroids style game I made back in January. As with that earlier demo, I used C# to write all the main game scripts, while the graphics and sound effects are from downloads available from the Unity Resources section of the Unity Technologies website.

My aim was to make something reminiscent of classic on rails shooters like Starfox, Afterburner, Rez and the Panzer Dragoon series. I spent quite a while looking at those games and trying to mimic the controls and camera behavior for this demo, and while it’s clearly not a patch on those games, I guess there are a few similarities in places. If you would like to play the demo please click the image above.

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Stardust Particle Effects – X-Wing Demo

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Stardust X-Wing demo

The aim of this demo was to update John Grden’s legendary Papervision3D X-Wing model – as seen in this classic papervision demo – and really bring it to life with some nice animated 3D particle effects.

The demo combines Papervision3D and the Stardust Particle Engine to add particle effects to the existing 3D model. I used Stardust’s built in Papervision extension to add the classic red glow of the X-Wing engines and then animate those engines as the ship accelerates away from camera. It’s quite a subtle effect, but if you look closely you can see a kind of red heat haze, I also like the way the white flames fade in and out as the ship speeds up and slows down.

I know this kind of effect could easily be done in something like Unity but I think it’s pretty cool to see it done in real-time in Flash. The original Papervision3D X-Wing demos were a real inspiration to me, and it’s amazing just how much a little effect like this can add to what is already an amazing 3D model.

Click here to view the demo and source code.

Stardust Particle Effects – 2D Spaceship Demo

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demo8-screenshot

This demo is another example of the cool effects that can be made in Flash and ActionScript 3 using the Stardust Particle Engine.

By combining a simple particle effect with lots of Flash filters and some BitmapData processing, it’s possible to create some pretty abstract looking flame effects. The initial idea was to make something similar to the neon particle systems seen in games like Geometry Wars and Grid Runner, but after playing around with the Flash bitmap filters for a while I ended up with this cool looking flame effect instead.

The code is actually fairly similar to my earlier tutorial on using the Stardust engine, but this time I’m setting the velocity of the particles based on the speed and direction of the spaceship to create a nice engine flame effect that reacts to the ship’s movement.

Click here to view the demo and download the source code.

3D Ribbon class for Flash Player 10

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Following on from my previous post about the new 3D features of Flash Player 10, I decided to take a look at a more advanced way of drawing 3D graphics in AS3, using the new drawTriangles method of the updated Graphics class.

This demo was my attempt at creating a version of Soulwire’s Papervision3D Ribbon class using native Flash Player 10 code, and while the demo doesn’t support the more advanced features of the Papervision version, the final result does look quite similar. In fact, if you take a look at the code you’ll see just how simple 3D can be when using Flash 10.

Using drawTriangles to render 3D graphics is fairly straight forward, requiring you to pass in a number of different Vectors to describe the geometry of a 3D mesh. A Vector is Flash 10’s new typed array class, and is very useful for making sure that an array contains only one type of data. The drawTriangles method accepts four parameters, three of them Vectors, but I won’t go into this in detail here as there are many good articles that explain it far better than I can, such as this excellent introduction to drawTriangles by Ryan Taylor.

What I will note is that from my tests and what what I have read, it seems that drawTriangles (while very useful) is best suited to quick and simple 3D effects. If you’re looking to render light sourced materials with proper z-sorting, or more than one texture map per object, then you will probably need to write your own classes to do just that, much as this post by Neuro Productions explains.

In fact, what really makes 3D in Flash 10 shine are the new utility classes such as Matrix3D, Vector3D and Utils3D. If you look at the code for the demo below you will see that there is really not much complex maths being used, instead it is mostly taken care of with these new classes.  And it is these classes which new engines like PapervisionX or Away3DLite will most likely be using to boost speed and improve visual quality in Flash Player 10.

demo6-ribbons3d

Click here to view the demo and source code

Music Visualizer with Flash 10 3D effects

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So I finally got around to setting up Flex 4 with FlashDevelop 3 and thought I would have a go at making another music visualizer, this time using some of the new features in Flash Player 10.

Setting up Flex 4 turned out to be much easier than I expected (was just a case of swapping it for Flex 3 in the FlashDevelop compile settings), and while you don’t get code completion for the new Flash 10 classes everything else runs fine.

While there’s lots of great new features in Flash 10, the one thing I wanted to try out was the new built in 3D transforms and drawing API. So I set about trying to make some kind of 3D sound tunnel, the aim was to get something that looked like an old Llamasoft game, although I’m not sure quite how successful that was.

Anyway, the code turned out to be surprisingly easy to write, it seems that Adobe have gone to some real effort to make sure that the new 3D effects in Flash 10 are as easy to use as possible. In many ways it’s actually quite similar to how Five3D works, you can rotate any display object on any axis, move the vanishing point of the scene and even adjust things like camera focus and field of view, although as far as I know you cannot actually move the camera itself.

While this is all great, there are a few limitations to these new 3D effects as Keith Peters has pointed out in his posts about the visual quality of 3D in Flash 10 and the effect this has on nested display objects with 3D transforms. Some of this, such as the lack of anti-aliasing, you will be able to see in the demo below.

Despite these issues, I think the Flash 10 3D effects will come in very useful on some future project where low file sizes and simple code might be more important than higher visual quality.

Check out the demo and source code below, as usual the music (or you could just call it noise) was made using the Hobnox AudioTool ToneMatrix, which is their version of the Yamaha Tenori-On.

demo5-soundvisualizer

Click here for demo and source code

VizualPV3DPhysics – combining VizualPV3D with JigLibFlash

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Following on from my earlier post about loading xml from a VizualPV3D scene into Papervision3D, this class extends VizualPV3DLoader by adding some basic integration with the brilliant JigLibFlash 3D physics engine.

At the moment it is really more of a tech demo than a fully featured class, but it shows potential and I thought it might be useful to post it here. The class takes any cubes that are listed in the scene xml and turns them into physics objects using JigLibFlash, creating a set of static surfaces that could be used as the backdrop for your project. You can then create extra physics objects manually in ActionScript and add them into the scene as well.

So what could you do with this? Well theoretically it might be possible to make a simple 3D game using VizualPV3D to build the levels out of cubes, then animate parts of each level to make moving platforms or doors, before adding other more interactive elements like enemies or a player character using some extra ActionScript.

For more inspiration, there are some really cool JigLibFlash demos over on the project’s main blog, which are definitely worth checking out.

Here’s an example of how you might use the class in a project.

//include the class
import me.pv3d.VizualPV3DPhysics;

//elsewhere add it to your physics enabled papervision3d scene
var light:PointLight3D = new PointLight3D(); //light
var physics:Papervision3DPhysics = new Papervision3DPhysics(scene, 5);
var pv3d:VizualPV3DPhysics = new VizualPV3DPhysics('./assets/', light, physics);
pv3d.load('scene.xml');
scene.addChild(pv3d);

//then when the scene has loaded access objects by name and move them about
var mybox:RidgidBody = pv3d.getPhysicsBodyByName("mybox");
mybox.y += 10;

Here’s a very simple demo based on the game idea above, links to the demo and source code are below.

demo4-physics

View demo and download source code

VizualPV3DPhysics