This is an old post from the year 2012 recovered from the Web Archive.
Summer has at last come to a close. It is the final day of August, and for those of us in the United States, we are about to experience Labor Day weekend. Many of us in the community, myself included, have just started our fall semesters, while others will be going back to work. As I’ve stated before, it has been a productive summer for us, and we fully expect to also have a productive fall, winter, and spring as well. In previous blog posts, I have elaborated on the past and present of our project. The aim of this post, the final part of the trilogy, will be the future of Unvanquished.
For the first section of this entry, I will be giving some of our other developers a chance to have their voices heard. Last week, I made a thread in the development section of our forums, asking each developer to describe themselves and what they are currently doing for the project. I received quite a few responses, and they are listed below in the order they were posted in. Of course, not everyone got to respond, but don’t worry! I’ll be reporting their work on a regular basis, as always.
The Team: developer bios
Viech: I’m Viech, a 21 year old computer science student from germany. I’ve been using open source software and playing free games for a while now so I’m very proud to have the chance to return something to the community as a level designer for unvanquished! Being a regular tremulous player and having experience with up-to-date game engines should enable me to make maps that provide both eye-candy and a proper gameplay experience.
EmperorJack: EmperorJack here. I am a 16 year old map artist from New Zealand. I am completing my second to last year of high school. I have been involved with Tremulous and mapping for under 4 years now. Unvanquished is my first proper experience where I have been able to show official maps to the community. I am currently working on the map Thunder. I am almost on the final stretch for releasing the map.
`Ishq: Hey, I’m Ishq. I’m a 20 year old aerospace engineering student. I handle engine coding, gameplay design, and some more boring administration stuff.
Fil: Hey, I’m Fil. I’m 26 and after graduating with a MSc in Computer Science I am working full time as a Software Engineer. In my spare time I love to work on open source projects. Currently I am working on setting up the tracking and planning platform for Unvanquished (which should be up soon) and then I am hoping to start contributing to the game code (in particular I would be eager to replace the current UI system with something more modern and artist friendly)
Akele: Hey guys, I’m Akele. I’m currently 16 years old and a high school junior student living in China. I’ve been working with Photoshop for quite some years, and after being introduced to Unvanquished, I was really excited and decided to lend out a hand. Currently, I am working as the website designer for Unvanquished, designing the upcoming website (you wouldn’t have guessed a website designer designing a website right?), and will also possibly be contributing to other 2D artwork aspects of the game. I was told to also provide an image of my most recent work, but I’d like to keep your anticipations high, so here’s a small sneak peek to you all.
chris: Hi, I’m chris807 a 23 year old electrical engineering and IT student from Austria. I’ve joined Unvanquished as a hard surface 3D artist, so I’m mostly model human buildables or items. I’ve recently finished the turret.
gavlig: I’m Gavlig, age 21, student of Kyiv Polytechnic University on specialty “design of electronic digital equipment”, but I do only animation for Unvanquished, no programming or digital equipment. I’m just a hobbyist, got no special training or anything similar, just watched few tutorials on blender in the internets and that’s it. Currently I am working on human model animation, the recent animation of death can be found on my youtube channel, and above there is a shot from it.
Qrntz: Hello, my name is Qrntz. I study biology in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine and am a member of the Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. I currently work as a freelancing system administrator. I am adept at writing idiomatic C, C++, Ruby, CL and OCaml code, with OCaml being my language of choice for the last 3 years. With regard to Unvanquished, I’ve been working mostly on an external server browser application, Osavul. I have also contributed code to the engine itself and worked on translation, most notably, the Ukrainian locale and facilities for seamless translation to languages with syntactical features vastly different from those of English. I am a major open source enthusiast and I’m glad to have the opportunity to work with such a large-scale open-source project. Above you can see the latest screenshot of Osavul running on my system.
velociostrich: Hiya, I’m velociostrich, a 19 year old engineering student from the eastern US. I prefer to do hard surface modeling, but I’ve found myself doing a bit of code-grokking, wiki documentation writing, spreadsheet-wrangling, bug-fixing and reporting, Blender-script writing, animation, shell scripting, and other miscellany. Currently, my only visible contributions (in-game) are the animations for the trapper model. Work on this project has been very exciting, and has presented a number of opportunities to expand my skillset.
E-Mxp: Oh hi there! I’m E-Mxp, a 21 year old dutchman that studied video editing/special effects and animation. Most will know me from my presence at the forums and from the Hotfix Hud that I made for GPP and Unvanquished. Ishq has asked me to work on the coding behind the menu’s and though I consider myself to be just a small part of the team, I’m very glad to be able to contribute in the development to this great project!
Gireen: I’m Gireen, a 2D artist from Germany. For Unvanquished I design icons,HUD and the user interface. My goal is to make the controls of the game so easy and intuitive as possible. Currently I’m finishing my alien HUD (see above) and working on a concept for the build menus.
Development: the future of Unvanquished
Early shot of some promotional art
Many ideas have been floating through our development channel, and we’ve been quite active on the private development section of the forums as well. We’ve been discussing things like what we’d like to implement, how we’d like to see Unvanquished’s gameplay change, and other things. In this final section, I’ll be discussing some of the things we’ve had in mind. I can’t give exact estimates on when these ideas will be in-game, and at any time, proposals can be scrapped and rebuilt in entirely different ways. We will strive to include as many new gameplay elements as we can during alpha, but some of these may be pushed into beta. As you may or may not recall, beta will be declared once we have fully replaced all of the Tremulous assets with our own.
The first idea I would like to discuss is something that the community has been waiting a very long time for, and that would be the flying alien. We have officially decided that we want one in-game, and I have given it the tentative name of ‘vulture’. At the moment, we are still trying to figure out the right game mechanics for it, including the sort of flight physics that we would like to use for it. It may or may not have an advanced form, and it would likely be available at stage 2. In terms of size, it would be somewhere between the basilisk and marauder for the main body portion, but the wingspan would be much wider.
Portrait of a proposed design
Another planned feature is a female model for the human team. It would mainly be a cosmetic difference, as she would likely play exactly like the male model, but with a completely different appearance. Naturally, a separate voice set will be provided as well, so that she doesn’t use the same one as the male model. We’re still in the stage where we’re drawing concept art, but you can expect to find her in-game during beta.
One of the planned goals for Tremulous 1.2 included first-person alien arms, usually called ‘choppers’ by the community. We have been working on implementing them, and you can expect them in-game very soon. The first alien to receive fully original choppers will be the tyrant, since the model is permanent, and once we finalize the basilisk, marauder, and dragoon, they will also receive new first-person arms. For those three aliens, we will use temporary placeholders in the form of Stannum’s 1.2 choppers, all of which are fully functional. Typically, the arms will only display when you are attacking, and will not take up space on your screen otherwise.
We’ve also been looking to vastly overhaul the interface system, both in terms of HUDs and menus. For instance, we’d like to make some nicely detailed building menus that are both functional and informative. We’d also like to make some new menus for evolution and purchasing things from the armory. On the technical side, we’re planning on allowing third party assets in HUDs, and we’ll be adding the ability to select a HUD for each team from a menu. We intend on having several HUDs available by default for each team.
On my end, I’ve been resuming work on the background story for Unvanquished. Currently, I have a draft timeline up here, so that you can get a peek at some of the ideas I have in mind. Once I’m finished establishing the setting, I’ll be writing material from both sides of the conflict, although I’ll mostly be focusing on the human perspective. I will also be rewriting all of the flavor text for the equipment, buildings, and alien forms present in-game. At some point, I may even write a story for a potential campaign.
Thank you for reading these blog posts! Expect many more from me in the future as I continue to update you on the exciting development of Unvanquished. This concludes the three-part retrospective. I will now leave you with this thing.
Till next time!