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Author Topic: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?  (Read 6741 times)

Offline GlenSkunk

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Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« on: July 04, 2012, 01:23:29 am »
Hello there, folks - wanted to see about maybe making a little contribution to this fun little game. Starting small for now - was thinking about the plasma weapons in the game, specifically the Pistol, Rifle and Blaster.

See, they are fairly neat designs, but I did sort of wonder if they really matched the sort of design aesthetic you get from the aliens' ships, among other things. These plasma weapons seemed to be designed to be quite smooth and contoured, rather elegant looking weapons really, whereas the alien ships tend to be rather angular and spiky affairs, particularly the Scout and the Fighter. Also, some have pointed out that the plasma guns look quite similar to the weapons the Covenant use in the Halo series - in fact, I was rather struck by the similarities between UFO: AI's plasma pistol and the Covenant plasma rifle. Even with the project being free, it does worry me that there could be legal repercussions involved...

Now, I don't know how welcome or unwelcome this contribution is, but I decided to try and do some alternative designs for the plasma guns, see if I couldn't get them to seem a bit closer to the general alien design aesthetic - or at least, avoid possible copyright infringement. For this set of plasma weapons I wanted to give them an angular, aggressive appearance - in some ways I based some of the parts of the weapons on the "fins" on the Scout and Fighter UFOs. I hope they appear good enough to fit in alright with some of the existing weaponry and armor - I won't know for certain until they get constructed in 3d and textured and all that.

Now, these are just my second pass on this idea (the first pass tried to retain the more curved shaped of the original plasma guns, with somewhat mixed results), so this is all very much open to change. In fact, looking at these now, I can think of a couple of possible changes already - for the rifle, I'd probably want to reposition the fore grip and/or the rear grip so that they form a more comfortable holding position for firing. For the blaster, I was intending it to be a sort of underslung weapon design (a bit akin to the Heavy's Minigun in Team Fortress 2), but for that I think the trigger grip may need to be angled a bit forward so it's a bit more natural to handle. Alternatively, one could shift some of the elements around so that it works more like how one holds a Light Machine Gun or grenade launcher or what have you.

I'd welcome your comments on these designs - whether it's constructive critique, approval, or saying these weren't necessary and the current plasma gun designs will do just fine. I look forward to hearing from you all! Now I just need to reinstall 3ds max so I can actually make 3d mockups of these...

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 10:01:12 am »
I think we'd be open to changing our plasma weapons. I think the general shapes you use are alright, but I would suggest a little bit more emphasis on functionality, if you don't mind:

1. Get rid of the "teeth" in the barrels.

2. Get rid of the "tubing" in the rifle and the blaster. I imagine that would not be housed in such a vulnerable place.

3. Remember that we have separate models for ammo/rifle in all of our weapons. Think about where the ammo (basically a little plasma furnace) is going to fit inside the gun.

4. I think the Blaster design could work, but keep in mind that in 2.5 we have changed this weapon into a close-quarters weapon. It still fires a very powerful plasma burst. It should work, for the soldier, similar to how a shotgun works (big strong blast without too much aiming). I think your design basically fits the bill. There's no iron sights for aiming and it looks like it puts out a big blast of plasma. But I would just caution not to go too big with it because we want it fairly maneuvarable.

Our modeling requirements have increased in the years since our weaponry was developed, so feel free to push the weapon tris to the higher end of the range specified in the wiki (~500). And please make the texture a minimum size of 1024x1024. We may scale it down when it goes into the game, but it will be nice to have the option to go bigger later.

Offline headdie

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 12:10:54 pm »
Thinking in terms of soldier animations the blaster might not work with the pistol grip/trigger assembly where it is, unless the heavy weapons animations have been put into place.

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 12:46:37 pm »
Thinking in terms of soldier animations the blaster might not work with the pistol grip/trigger assembly where it is, unless the heavy weapons animations have been put into place.

That's a good point. We have limited animations for the soldiers so it's worth checking on that before you invest too much time in the design.

Offline GlenSkunk

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 04:38:58 pm »
All some good points to be made. Actually, I was thinking that I'd get rid of the "teeth" on the guns for the final models in any event, since I figured the poly limits would be pretty tight. A maximum of 500 polys (or is that 500 triangles?) should be good to work with...not sure how well I'd be able to do the texturing, but the low poly could should make it a little bit easier to do UVW mapping, should it either be me or someone else who does it.

I'll also see about doing a redesigned Blaster - the design I came up with is rather neat, but yeah, need to fit it more within the existing animations. Still, glad you guys are open to a plasma weapon redesign!

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 06:46:53 pm »
If you can't texture them, they are not likely to be used. If you can't unwrap the UVs, at least, they will almost certainly never be used.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just giving you fair warning. There are no artists on this project who finish things off like this. If you were creating content that was missing in the game, it would be different. But if you want to replace existing content you need to bring the whole package at a high enough level of quality to justify the work we'll do integrating it.

Offline TrashMan

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 10:56:14 pm »
I have been thinking of makign a whole series of really heavy weapons, along with animations to match. Keep getting distracted by other stuff....

Offline Sandro

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Re: Alternative Plasma Weapon Appearances?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 10:35:42 pm »
Now, I don't know how welcome or unwelcome this contribution is, but I decided to try and do some alternative designs for the plasma guns, see if I couldn't get them to seem a bit closer to the general alien design aesthetic - or at least, avoid possible copyright infringement. For this set of plasma weapons I wanted to give them an angular, aggressive appearance - in some ways I based some of the parts of the weapons on the "fins" on the Scout and Fighter UFOs. I hope they appear good enough to fit in alright with some of the existing weaponry and armor - I won't know for certain until they get constructed in 3d and textured and all that.

Well, the similarity to Halo was noted many times (and I agree about that). Even more, when I was thinking how plasma weapons could be made to match the current style of the game, designs that I've imaged was vry close to what you did draw :)

In fact, looking at these now, I can think of a couple of possible changes already - for the rifle, I'd probably want to reposition the fore grip and/or the rear grip so that they form a more comfortable holding position for firing.

Indeed. Stock of the rifle is too short to be put against shoulder in comfortable position. Since you've chosen a closed shape skeletal stock, I would advise to check a real-life gun with a same stock type for reference (like SVD).

For the blaster, I was intending it to be a sort of underslung weapon design (a bit akin to the Heavy's Minigun in Team Fortress 2), but for that I think the trigger grip may need to be angled a bit forward so it's a bit more natural to handle. Alternatively, one could shift some of the elements around so that it works more like how one holds a Light Machine Gun or grenade launcher or what have you.

For me, it looks like your plasma pistol design looks pretty well, rifle should get a longer stock, and plasma blaster seems unbalanced. Maybe you will consider a shoulder-fired version? Just an idea of course.

And yes, teeth in the plasma accelerator look strange. :)