Level One Magic
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Pirates Online Ship Tools

Ship Tools I (video)
This tool allows for importing the objects that are represented by locators as references and then easily removing them as well.

The ship design in Pirates Online required that several different hulls all make use of the same sails, cannons, steering wheel, etc. In order to achieve this, locators were placed in the hull file in Maya that the game engine used for scale, rotation and position when placing any of the extras. All of this was designed and put in place well before I joined the project, but there were no methods available for artists to see what the objects looked like, short of importing the appropriate object and moving it into position or waiting to see it in the game, both of which were processes that took a long time due to the severe lack of tools.

At one point in this video I attempt to reference in the prow, but since I didn't have a local version of the file, it couldn't continue and I needed to deselect the prow to keep going.

Ship Tools II (video)
The ship design in Pirates Online meant that a limited number of hull files would be used for each of the different "teams" in the game (player, navy, EITC). In order to simpify the process of viewing each hull as it would look on each team, I added a list-box to the ship tools that will swap out all of the appropriate textures.

This video also shows two other tools that I've written. One is Pirates Game Display, which adjusts the lighting and display of polygon objects in the scene to look exactly as they would in-game (with vertex lighting and double-sided-ness being accurate). The other is a Level of Detail Manager that will change the visible LOD level for all LOD Nodes in the scene. It will also display the number of polygons that each LOD level has in it (most useful when there is only one LOD node in the scene).

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© 2003-2013 Andrew Kelts