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YukiRaven

Suggestions needed for a "force field" effect

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I need some suggestions for a graphic effect in a GZDoom level...

 

Let's say there's a monster that's 100+ units tall.  In this level, he periodically stops (Thing_Deactivate) every 20 seconds and a magical barrier appears around him for 20 seconds.  Then it disappears and he's Thing_Activate'd again.  What sort of graphical effect would you use to portray this magical barrier?  A set of floating sprites around him?  A partially translucent 3d model large enough to surround him?  Just turn him a different color? A message telling the player to use their imagination while flowers and unicorns appear on the screen?

 

The ACS for this is already done, so I'm literally just looking for suggestions on how to do the graphics for this, because the particle spawners I'm using as placeholders right now look like ass.  If there's a resource wad that already has something that could be used, it would be preferred and much appreciated.  But I'm also not opposed to making my own sprite/3d model as long as I don't have to modify the original Doom sprite (my art skills are severely lacking).  I can always add DECORATE/ZScript stuff if I need to as well.  This level already requires the hardware renderer, so I'm not limited in that sense.

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Well, if said monster is also made with a 3D model then i recommend you use a 3D sphere model or cylinder for the forcefield effect otherwise better build the effect under sprites because the Sprites + Models combo never work all that well if the solid object (the monster in case) is a sprite, the lacking of proper depth sense in it makes the 3D model out of place and vice-versa.

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CC4-tex has forcefield textures in it. They're not something I'd call "magical", they're rather "tech-ish", for that matter. Why not have some columns of light (whatever colour) that rotate around that thing, and show a "pain animation" when hit that indicate that something has been "repelled"?

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I thought about columns of light, but I really want to avoid an obvious billboard effect on the sprites.  Small sparkle-like sprite wouldn't exhibit this too much, but a column would look very flat, just like the tech columns do in the IWADs.

 

The monster is just a sprite.  I was thinking a 3D model with translucency for the effect just because it could actually surround the sprite, just like I would do with a force field made with a sector and some translucent linedefs.

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1 minute ago, YukiRaven said:

I thought about columns of light, but I really want to avoid an obvious billboard effect on the sprites. 

Not sure how you think a non-obvious effect will get the message across. If it is too subtle, you might end up with players wasting their ammo without knowing what the reason is. Did you consider using somewhat subtle visuals alongside a somewhat distinct sound effect instead?

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2 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Not sure how you think a non-obvious effect will get the message across. If it is too subtle, you might end up with players wasting their ammo without knowing what the reason is. Did you consider using somewhat subtle visuals alongside a somewhat distinct sound effect instead?

I didn't say non-obvious, I said that I want to avoid a billboard-looking sprite effect.  Sprites always face the player, and depending on how its made, it looks obviously flat and awkward, like the tech pillar sprite can.  Sprites that look like sparkes, like you see in Heretic when you use the gauntlets against a wall, tend to look a lot less billboard-y.

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Voxels or 3D model would work well - go play Solace Dreams and check out the chess level - the king pieces have a shield that looks pretty awesome. :)

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35 minutes ago, YukiRaven said:

Sprites always face the player, and depending on how its made, it looks obviously flat and awkward, like the tech pillar sprite can.

There's an option to enable perspective for all sprites. Can't you force it only for selected objects through DECORATE or something?

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Could you not animate the "force field" sprites so they don't look flat? (I'm thinking of the Heresiarch in Hexen.)

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How about to make the forcefield graphic directly "baked into" your monster's sprites (looking like a bubble around the monster), either via TEXTURES or an actual graphic editor?

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Played with some stuff and it looks like a 3d model that gets placed in the center of the monster and is large enough to completely surround him is going to be the best course of action. It's essentially equivalent to putting a new sector around him, just like I would do if he was stationary.

 

Thanks everyone!

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