Category: seren-nova

Seren Nova 3D Level 1 boss complete and other updates.

I’ve been working on Seren Nova 3D a little bit each week and I feel that the first level is almost finished.  I hope to release a version of the first level in the development stage soon to be tested.

 

I’ve created a new boss (I had two goes at this, but wasn’t happy with the first one). So, the level is functionally complete.Seren Nova 3D development version boss 1

I’ve been adding a lot of things, trying to focus on small details in the first level.  Even though I will release a version of level 1 in it’s current state, there will be improvements from feedback and also my own play-through.

 

I’ve also spent more time trying to refine and improve the controls and targeting.  I feel I have a good compromise for the 3 different controller types (gamepad, keyboard, touchscreen).  Although, playing with the gamepad the game does control a bit different to playing with a keyboard.

For the development release version, I’ve added a temporary controller select option to the main screen.

Development version Seren Nova 3d main screen

The release will be for Windows/Linux PCs.  That is my main target for this game.  Although the Android version is working and always in the back of my mind during development.

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Seren Nova 3D Level One Starts to take shape

My current development goal for Seren Nova 3D is to get the first level finished, then I can show it off.

I’m still not 100% happy with the aiming, but it is a lot better than the previous unfinished version of this game that I was working on 3 years ago.

I’ve got most of the enemy ships working how I want them to work (including this new ship below – which comes from behind the player, before turning and performing a spin attack towards the player).  I believe that I have finished the first 2/3 of the level.  I also need to create the level boss, as don’t like the boss ship that I had 3 years ago for this level.

Seren Nova 3D game

Also, this time, I’m thinking more about the environment.  So, for this level I want more snow hills and remains of buildings/animals on this dead planet.    Also, the gates to the enemy base have returned, where the player has to shoot them to open them.

The idea of this level is to provide a gentle introduction to the game, although there are some pretty intense laser battles in the middle.

Seren Nova 3D gameSer

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Seren Nova 3D Development Update

Here are the latest updates in Seren Nova 3D (my restarted version of the game; as mentioned in the previous blog post).   I’ve spent the time updating and re-implementing some of the 3D models of ships from the 3 years ago.  I’m not great at texturing or 3D models, but I have decided to at least give the ships basic textures,  as opposed to the non-textured look in the previous version of this game.

 

New Ship

I’ve also created a new ship for the player.  I did this because I thought it would be better to get away from the blue and grey winged ship that is associated with Star Fox.

Targeting Systems

I’ve also been testing two targeting systems, one which is more similar to Panzar Dragoon, where the target doesn’t reset when you stop moving it.  I am leaning towards this option, because I think that it will be easier to control for people who don’t play with a gamepad, such as people playing with a keyboard on the PC and people playing with touch screen controls on Android devices.Seren Nova 3D onrails space shooter 2018

As you see in the screenshot below, I’ve replaced the old satellites and created a sky texture.  I want this planet to look dull and like just a big planet of snow.
Seren Nova 3D onrails space shooter 2018

Cross-hairs

As mentioned in the previous blog post, I’m a lot happier with the targeting system, and continue to improve it, such as when the cross-hairs are over a target, there is a little resistance when you try to move them away.  This is so that when moving the target across the screen quickly, the cross-hairs stay a fraction longer over enemies, so the player will have a fraction longer to get a good shot in.  I’ll be making small adjustments until I think it will work well across all control systems.

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I’m back working on Seren Nova 3D

In 2015 due to not being happy with the feel of the controls and aiming in the game I stopped working on it.  However, I was recently playing around with the controls and aiming in a blank project and I found something that felt right.   So, I’m back working on Seren Nova 3D.

 

I’ve decided to restart from scratch.  I will use my original level designs and the models that I created.  But, everything else will be programmed from the ground up.

Seren Nova 3D snow worm

The game will be mission based.  I hope to try and make it a little bigger than my original idea, in that I want to use what I have learnt in the last two and a half years.

 

Last time, I completed the design for 2 levels.  So, I feel feel quite confident in finishing what will probably be the biggest game I will have completed.  Also, now that I’m back working on Seren Nova 3D, I feel very motivated because it is a joy for me to work on this game, creating the ships and levels, due to my love of classic on-rail 3D shooters.

It has also given me another reason to play Panzer Dragoon ( I love the second one) and Star Fox 64, and even the flying missions in Star Fox Assault, which are great.

Keep following this blog for more news.

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seren nova 3d laser effects space game

Improvements!

Recently, I released an Alpha version of the game in it’s current state to get feedback on TIGSource, while I didn’t get as much as I wanted, (probably because the I mucked-up the first release when people where most interested),  but it did raise some interesting points, and even playing it through myself I found a few areas that I could improve, and have.

Firstly, I’ve created a little 2D effect to show when lasers hit your enemies, while you can see the little blue cross-hair type things in the screenshot, it looks better in the game with movement and animation.seren nova 3d laser effects space game

I’ve also moved the ship closer to the camera and sped-up the forwards movement in Seren Nova 3D by a tiny fraction.  Also, one thing that was brought to my attention was the draw-distance, in that enemies seemed to suddenly appear in front of the player, so, I’ve increased the draw distance by a big amount.

 

One other change that has really improved the game, is that now your lasers can go further, this means that you can hit enemies further away in the distance, and removes the feeling that I had before of that I was shooting at enemies but not hitting them and that maybe the aiming in the game wasn’t accurate.

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seren nova 3d space shooter game shields

Shield Upgrade in Seren Nova 3D

I’ve previously mentioned that I’ve added shields to the game.  But, for some reason making a shield collectible that can be picked-up in the game slipped through the Seren Nova 3D development.

So, finally, I’ve done it!  If you find this beauty during the game, you’ll get shields, which will last until they’ve taken too many hits.

seren nova 3d space shooter game shieldsYou’ll also notice the blue circle below it, I’ve added this to all the pick-ups in the game such as laser upgrades and energy, it rotates and makes the pick-ups and collectibles more easier to recognize.

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seren-nova-battlefighter

New Laser Beam Firing Enemy Ship

Like the robots in the first level, I wanted to add a more difficult enemy in the middle of the second level of Seren Nova.  I’ve created a ship called a Battlefighter that shoots a new type of weapon in the game, a laser beam.  The laser beam can cut through anything and continues to cause damage to the player as the player is in contact with it.  What’s worse, is that this ship fires two laser beams.seren nova 3d battlefighter

However, the ship is slow to change direction and can only fire the laser beams every few seconds.

seren-nova-battlefighter

Also, now rockets/missiles can be collected during missions, as I’ve created a rocket collectible. It doesn’t stand out too much, so I’m going to add some glowing effects to it later, and maybe improve the rocket model.

seren nova 3d rocket collectable space

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seren nova 3d enemy starfighters

New Enemy Starfighters and more!

Firstly, I’ve created some enemy star fighters, these ships come in from the side of the screen in little squadrons, they’re easy to take down individually, but much tougher in groups.seren-nova-starfighter

This is how they appear in the game, (I’ve since added a booster effect to the back of them)seren nova 3d enemy starfighters

Also, I’ve added some forcefield generating enemy ships, these ships come in packs of 4 and create a forcefield between them, that causes the player a lot of damage if touched.  Luckily, the forcefield can be brought down by destroying at least two of the ships on the corners.  In the asteroid field level (the second level), I’ve created a gauntlet of them, which is hard to get past and takes some sharp shooting to navigate.

seren nova 3d forcefield generating enemy ships

I’ve also worked on some of the effects for the game, such as I’ve given all the enemy ships a little booster effect (such as the blue light that comes out of the player’s ship).  I’ve also added explosions to every ship or object when it’s destroyed.  I’ll probably try and improve the effect of the explosion in the future, but for now it works and makes the game feel better with a little more visual representation of when an enemy has been destroyed.

seren nova 3d explosion effect

Finally, I’ve implemented the start of a mission select screen, for now it’s very basic, but functional.  I’d like to turn it into a space map screen with stats, such as in Star Fox.

seren nova 3d mission select screen star fox a like

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asteroid field

Asteroid Field! The Second Level!

I’ve started working on the second level, which will start within an asteroid field.  The asteroids will be big and can cause some damage, but can be destroyed by a few lasers.

Here’s the beginning of the level being edited in the Godot Engine editor:

second level asteroid field

And how the asteroid field looks like in-game:

asteroid field

I’ve also changed an enemy that I had previously designed.  Now, when you first approach it, it looks like this:

astroid field space turret

This is it’s back, which is shield protected and so all lasers just bounce off, but every few seconds it turns around to face the player and fires some shots, the front is exposed and can be destroyed.  Here it is, turning back after firing some shots:

asteroid field space turret

I’ve also added some particles to the space level, which look like little space debris particles flying past you.  Also, I’ve increased the blast range of explosions from the rockets that the player has, which means a few asteroids can be taken out at once with one, but then again, you have a limited supply.

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godot snow particles

Mission Over Screen

I’ve had a break for summer, but now, I’m back working on Seren Nova 3D.
Firstly, I’ve added a basic mission over screen, I hope to make it look a bit prettier and have some basic conversations between the characters.
seren nova 3d mission over screen

Also, I’ve added snow particles to the snow level, which fly towards the player.  It’s hard to see their effect from the screenshots, but they give the player more of an idea of speed and flying through a gentle snow storm.  The Godot engine has quite a good and easy to use particle system, which meant that setting it up was trivial, and the hardest part was drawing the snow flakes.godot snow particles

I’ve also changed the circular lasers, to release three at the same time, this gives them a bit of depth.

circular lasers in seren nova 3d

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