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Hearts of Oak News 6th November 2014

Discussion in 'Hearts of Oak News' started by Armada, Nov 6, 2014.

  • by Armada, Nov 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM
  • Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Jun 11, 2010
    Game Developer
    Somerset, England

    Welcome to another edition of our Hearts of Oak progress articles!

    In each article*, we will bring you a summary of the latest development news, including work-in-progress screenshots and in-game footage, along with a more in-depth look at featured content.

    This week, we have some great development news to share regarding game mechanics, graphics and 3D artwork, but first we need to address an important issue.

    A Request
    On behalf of the development team, I'd like to ask everyone to show a little more courtesy towards our choice of game engine.

    Recently, we've seen several comments suggesting that we made the 'wrong choice' for whatever reason, and recommending other engines instead.
    We know that most people have their preferred game engine, and you are entitled to your own opinion, but if you disagree with our decision, then please keep your comments to yourself.
    We have explained our reasoning time and again, and we urge you to read our FAQ entry and announcement article for the details.

    Henceforth, we will not repeat ourselves any further if asked about the engine choice. We have more important things to do, such as making this game as awesome as possible for your enjoyment!
    Thank you for your cooperation, and for continuing to support this project and the dev team.

    Now that we've cleared that up, let's get on with the exciting part:

    Engine Development
    - Weather Tracking; @Strannik
    We're taking realistic weather simulation very seriously for Hearts of Oak, and below is a brief explanation by Strannik of some of our latest developments:

    Weather is one of the most important aspects of living upon the seas. For this reason, we are redefining how we simulate weather from the ground up, with the purpose of having a realistic weather system that will greatly add to the sense of immersion and the feel of the Caribbean in Hearts of Oak.
    Currently, we are working on the wind patterns that will fill your sails, break your masts, or becalm you in the middle of the ocean.

    Instead of simply adding random weather and winds to the game, we have decided to use modern data to create a very realistic (even if perhaps not perfectly historically accurate) weather in game.
    We can do this thanks to the fact that NASA has been measuring winds all over the world during the last 25 years, every six hours, and with a very high spatial resolution (compiled by the Discover project).

    Winds in game will have two main components (calculated using NASA’s data). The first one is a global steady wind that gradually changes through the year (but which is essentially the trade winds).
    In the following animation you can follow the evolution of this steady wind as it changes through the year. Arrow color indicates wind speed.


    The second component corresponds to random weather systems that arise from changes in pressure and temperature through the Caribbean. This will be the component that makes in-game weather unpredictable and will contain all kinds of systems, (from drizzles to the enormous cyclones that appear in hurricane season).
    In the following animation you can see how variable this component of the wind is. Now wind speed varies from white to black, while red and blue indicate high pressure and low pressure systems respectively:


    - Fire spreading system; @Trunks518
    Realistic fire spreading has hardly ever been attempted in a sailing game, but we intend to change that.
    Using some particle effects we purchased, and a script written by Trunks518 for spreading the fire, we've managed to create a truly amazing effect, as you'll see below:



    This mechanic should have serious consequences during gameplay, requiring you to act fast if a fire starts aboard your vessel!

    - Unity 5 Beta Test; @Captain Murphy
    For the past few weeks, we've mostly been showing you images and footage of Unity 4, which looks fairly good.
    Now though, our developers have got hold of the Unity 5 beta, and with relatively few tweaks to camera effects, they've been able to produce a scene that far surpasses anything we've previously shown off from Unity 4.
    Below is just a taste of how the Pirate Island content looks in Unity 5:





    It's important to note that we're starting from the basics right now; these initial tests have been done without our own assets in the scene, but later on we'll be adding back things like the St Albans to show how much better they look.
    And remember, we're still in the pre-alpha stage, so what you see above is NOT final quality. The final game will look vastly different.

    3D Models
    There are several sub-categories of 3D assets to cover here, so below we'll list various types of assets, what they're called and who made them.

    - Blandford class frigate; @Timb

    The hull of this model is now almost finished, featuring finely-crafted details both on the exterior and interior.
    Have a look at the images below for an overview of the ship from the inside out.



    - HMB Endeavour; @ODemuth
    The hold is taking shape on the Endeavour, and it looks pretty spacious. That will soon change once it's finished and filled with cargo in the game!



    - Cruizer class sloop; @SeaNorris. and @philipjn
    An English sloop built in 1752, typically armed with eight carriage guns and ten swivels.
    This model is still in its early stages, and missing details such as gunports, but the hull shape is already very well defined.



    - English East Indiaman; @philipjn
    A 28-gun merchant vessel built some time before 1768. The hull has a very box-shaped profile, which, although arguably less attractive than a sleeker warship, allows it to carry a great deal of cargo.



    We are still recruiting all types of 3D artists, and in particular we'd like to see more people willing to get their assets into Unity.
    We will also accept help from programmers and 2D artists.

    As a reminder, all of our developer roles are NON-PAID positions.
    For role descriptions and how to join the team, click here.

    We are still accepting donations to help pay for engine add-ons, software licenses and more.

    If you would like to donate to the project, you can do so through Paypal using the Donate button on http://www.heartsofoakgame.com .
    We greatly appreciate every contribution!

    You can keep up to date with how much we've raised and what we've used the funds for here.

    That's it for this week's progress; we'll have more updates for you soon!
    Don't know what the Hearts of Oak project is? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
    *Please note that we're aiming to post a new article at least once a fortnight. If there's a long gap between articles, it usually means we're very busy!


Discussion in 'Hearts of Oak News' started by Armada, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Hylie Pistof
    Just from looking at those pics there is a huge difference between U4 and U5. :love
    Thagarr, Captain Murphy and RobinPC like this.
  2. Thagarr
    Fireships! :woot

    Realistic weather will sure help for realistic sailing! :ship
    Those models are just gorgeous, great work mates! :onya

    That new engine is looking fantastic!! :thumbs1
  3. Red Back Dude
    i should rely stop looking at these updates I WANT IT TOO MUCH haha

    U5betatest1 is totaly going in my desktop backgrounds folder
    Thagarr and Hylie Pistof like this.
  4. Tyler Newton
    Looking fantastic. I assume you can climb into the lower cargo hold?
    Hylie Pistof and Thagarr like this.
  5. Thagarr
    Thanks mate! To answer your question, yes hopefully, once we get the animations worked out. Our goal has always been to make every part of the ship accessible, that is one reason our models are so highly detailed.
    Hylie Pistof likes this.
  6. MalikHyde
    Holy cow that fire effect is amazing. Keep up the amazing work ya'll!
    Thagarr likes this.
  7. BenJ30
    Absolutely Beautiful work. Keep up the amazing work everyone!
    Thagarr likes this.

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