Archive for June, 2007

Callout for HELP! How do I produce good art for Additive blending?

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

I’ve just been replying to a comment about my game on, but I got thinking I should really blog this one.

Synthcat suggested I do some Additive blending for the bullets (trails?).

I’ve tinkered with Additive blending but haven’t had much success with it yet. I had a go at making my clouds, smoke and explosions use Additive blending but I just couldn’t get them to look acceptable.

I followed Eli Tayrien’s (XNA team) great article about Additive blending.

As Eli mentions, the art assets themselves (textures) need special skill to look right with additive. I haven’t figured out quite how I should be producing them. Even my colorful explosions ended up looking like a white glare. Likewise for my smoke, which should darken rather than lighten as it gets thicker.

So far, I haven’t had much luck in finding a good explanation on how to produce good art for Additive blending.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Just released a new version of "Sharky’s Air Legends" (free XNA game for Windows)

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

As promised, I’ve just uploaded the latest work-in-progress, so feel free to try it out. Get it here.

The main addition in this release is the Special Maneuver feature I talked about earlier.

When the Special Maneuver control is pressed, the  plane will perform a move appropriate to the direction it was flying.  Currently these moves are either a vertical loop (climbing or diving), or a horizontal bank & turn.  Very handy for avoiding mid-air collisions, or when trying to shake the foe off your six!  It’s a lot of fun when you get the hang of it.  The game play is a lot more dynamic, and 3D feeling now.  Especially fun with the 2 player multiplayer (the computer opponent has a very small brain).


Special Maneuver

special maneuvers
special maneuvers

I’m very happy with the new feature.  As often seems to be the case, it was a lot more complicated to implement than I ever imagined.  It exposed a lot of my “smoke ‘n mirrors” techniques, so I had to revisit quite a bit of the core code.  For the better I think, and I certainly learnt a lot.

The biggest problem is now in my skybox implementation.  So as to not expose its flaws too much, the planes can occasionally leave the visible screen, but will bounce back eventually.  I’ll be working on resolving that next, but I thought it was worth releasing anyway.

Hope you enjoy it.  Your feedback is always welcome.  I highly recommend XBOX 360 (for Windows) controllers to play this  However keyboard is still supported, albeit a bit cramped with 2 players.

Get the new version from the Latest Build page here.

Update: Note that this release requires the latest version of the XNA framework recently released. (v1.0 “Refresh”). You can get that here