The Animation of ‘Death Star Attack Simulator’

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I’ve recently published a Flash game based on the Star Wars universe, called Death Star Attack Simulator. Yeah, I know! Who makes a Flash game in the same month that all the major internet players decided to abandon Flash? Well, the game was originally made in 2005 when I was trying to get into the games industry. I rediscovered the source files in 2014 on an old hard disc, and decided it would be fun to ‘revamp’ it based on the things I’ve learned during the last decade in games development.

 

The original 2005 version, called ‘Red 5’.

 

The all-new 2015 version!

 

The project was great fun to work on over the course of some six months. I was partly inspired by that wonderful Star Wars anime video you may have seen, and I especially enjoyed working on the animation FX. With that in mind, I thought I’d write a little about some of the techniques I used. But first, you have to go and play the game! (Flash-enabled browsers, obviously). Or, if you can’t play it, here’s a  gameplay video:

Tie Fighter Explosions

The hook to this game, I felt, would lie in the the satisfying feel of the explosions. So from an art point of view, that is where I began the reskin. I hand-drew some ‘anime / manga’ style blasts that I felt were a stylistic improvement on the previous art (see first image). With the addition of a little randomisation, colour tints and tweened sparks, and some suitable audio (ripped from the movies, obviously), they conveyed that distinctive Star Wars feel, and set the my personal art bar high for the remainder of the project.

Conveying Cockpit Damage

It was important to communicate when you – the player – had been shot. So, as well as the tinting the cockpit orange and adding an impact sound effect, I chose to animated electrical sparks damage on the ship console.. Again, these were a combination of timeline tweens and hand-drawn sequences – the latter adding to that comic book feel.

I’ll be posting more on the game soon. Thanks for reading.

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