Saturday 31 July 2021

Selection Screen: Aircraft and Insignia

 What's a plane game without a pre-mission briefing and selection screen? Lacking that's what. So here it is.

Choose Your Fighter! Literally in this case ...

Here is where you get to choose stuff for the forthcoming mission. The overview screen is where the menu is, as well as a reminder of the mission objectives and the important specifications of the currently chosen aircraft, which boils down to maximum level speed, stall speed, and at what speed the ailerons completely lock-up and you wish you weren't in a 90 degree vertical dive whilst holding down the turbo button.

The aircraft selection screen details all pertinent statistics of the aircraft, displayed as a percentage bar based on the min-max of all other aircraft; 

(range max - range min) * (value - min value) / (max value - min value) + range min = percentage

All except, that is, for Lock Start which is based on percentage of Max Speed, and Lock End which is based on Max Speed * 2.

The Fastest Paint Job Changes In The West

The Insignia screen is where the player can choose their aircraft skin. I was going to call it Paint Job but insignia seemed more fitting. In fact I had a good trawl through the thesaurus for flag, badge and logo before deciding on insignia.

Any skin which can be carried over to other aircraft will be added to newly selected aircraft back in the Aircraft Selection Screen, or default to Dazzle Camo if not.

I am splitting aircraft up into distinct roles (fighter, interceptor, striker/bomber) which have differing effects for lock-up, turbo (WEP; War Emergency Power), stall turns, etc, and am naming these after cavalry units.

So, still to do for the pre-mission screen;

  • Create a Briefing overview where the player can select which aircraft they want to conduct the mission as. Different wings of aircraft will have different roles as mentioned above. Really hate escorting strike aircraft to attack a target? No problem, fly the strike aircraft and have the Ai do the escort mission. This style of play also lends itself rather well to online multiplayer co-op mode.
  • Create a Payload Selection screen that allows aircraft that have external hardpoints to fit bombs and rockets. Also need to create a system for the use of bombs and rockets, as we only have primary and secondary guns coded at the moment.
  • Integrate all of the player choices into the actual mission when it starts.

And here is the whole thing as it currently stands in video. There are three aircraft and about ten skins each.

And that was the month that was. It started with me in shorts getting sunburnt and has ended with me soaked to the skin and wearing a jumper. Classic British summer.