… While we’re at it … here’s another filter for Filterforge I’ve created recently, a generator for rendering galactic disc images …
Actually this filter has been “on hold” for a while because it was crashing the host app on some tester’s machines due to a map script contained in it that was responsible for an optional control which would display the rendered galaxy in a tilted perspective (similar like on the image above). This view mode however was just for convenience to see the graphic in a more practical use case in an instant. And so, because the script seemed to make the filter unstable, I threw it out. So you will only get a semi-cool looking render of a galaxy, but of course that’s no problem because Photoshop can fix the rest easily. If this filter doesn’t cut it for you, you might want to check out my Photoshop Galaxy tutorial, which is a lot more involved though.
Every once in a while the Filter Forge fever grabs me and then I start creating filters for it that turn out to be actually useful. So I’ve made a couple of toy camera style photo filters recently but this planet generator is my newest creation. I’ve initially built it to create some more varying worlds for my RPG project but there’s no reason why I should keep it only for myself.
In case you’re into Filter Forge and coincidentally need to render planets you can download this filter here. But be warned that this filter is a tad more difficult to use is still a bit rough around the edges because many of the slider controls have no properly defined limits so you might want to approach it with sensitive finger tips. Hitting ‘next variation’ wildly will probably lead to anything but something good looking. Also, while I added optional clouds, please don’t use them! They look awful! If I learned something from making this filter then it’s the wisdom that trying to create realistic looking satellite imagery cloud layers are a pain in the butt to make! Still, there are some decent results you can get from this filter.
A video courtesy of CRPGAddict that shows the final gameplay of the classic space exploration/role-playing game Starflight. I remember playing this game back in the day on the Amiga but never really came around to finish it. But now that I’ve read how the game’s story resolves with a big surprise in it toward the end it dims to me what a great plot this game had. There are many of today’s modern role-playing games that story-wise would pale in comparison that Starflight.
This was also one of those games from the era where I realized my affinity for science fiction-themed games. Back then whenever there was a new review to be read in a game magazine about a space-themed adventure or RPG my eyes started glowing. I liked the idea of flying around with the ship and explore a vast number of planets and Starflight was basically a whole galaxy squeezed on a floppy disk.
If you’re interested in classic role-playing games I recommend to check out CRPGAddict’s blog! I don’t know how he manages to find the time but he already finished playing 26 games since he started last year. And not only that! He analyzed them, drew maps about them, and reviewed them in a very detailed way. On top of that he made a long list of CRPGs that he yet wants to play and review and it seems he’s serious about it. Determination is everything!
There’s also the whole write-down about Starflight, no less than nine blog posts!! Check it out! You will certainly have enough to read for a while!
I’ve mentioned before that it’s possible to run Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic in DOSBox with Tandy sound enabled but I couldn’t figure out how to get it working. Today I’m back with good news in that I can tell you how to get this fixed so the trillions of SWFM fans out there can enjoy this fantastic game with the excellent Tandy sound!
There has been a lot of hype around the release of Mass Effect 2 some weeks back and some people already start claiming that this game is going to be the Future of RPGs. Rampant Coyote took a stance and so did The Brainy Gamer. Being an old hand RPGer and having played Mass Effect 1 to the end and started playing part 2 I feel I need to have my say to the hype around that game.
Today’s video pick (yeah right, as if I had a new post everyday here) is from YouTube user Five5Six and about how he managed to get Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic to run on DOSBox with Tandy sound enabled. That’s right, Tandy sound! By default the game uses those bleepy PC speaker sounds as in my own video. Personally I haven’t yet figured out how to get Tandy sound working with this game, so there … a video with the marvelous Tandy-enabled sound of SW1:FM in all it’s glory …
Back in the days when computer games still required you to use your imagination to play them there was a role-playing game pearl named Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic, one of the many scifi-themed RPGs back then which today are only sparsely seeded in retailer shelves.
Future Magic was first released for DOS and a port for the C64 was published later which looked almost equally good as the DOS version with excellent graphics done by Michael Kosaka. At times the game is quite bizarre. For example there is a planet with ranchers and farms just like in an old western. Another planet has two very high towers that reach into the orbit and these are the only colonies on the otherwise untouched surface. On another, icy planet you scout an abandoned research base which is overrun by saber-toothed creatures … but this is how the games were made in the golden age of RPG. Despite the number in the title a follower was never developed for Future Magic but instead the acclaimed Hard Nova served as a spiritual sequel.
The game let’s you control a group of five space mercs who are send out on a mission to stop mysteriously appearing raiders which are attacking ships in the local system. Right after your ships drops out of hyperspeed you are being attacked by them. However while the other ships of the space convoy with that you came are trying to fight them you are able to take some distance and locate a yacht floating in nearby space. It’s the space yacht of a tycoon named Grager which turns out to be a luxurious vessel full with the newest technology.
In this tutorial I will explain how to create a relatively realistic looking galaxy with Photoshop. I was searching the web up- and downwards to find any tutorials that could tell me how to get a similar fantastic result. There are like 100.000 planet tutorials out there and the few tutorials which were about creating a galaxy where either very basic or the result looked like everything but a realistic galaxy. The galaxy I wanted should have looked massive and intricate … just like the real ones but with a slightly more artistic touch. I’ve needed a galaxy that I could use as a star map for a space-themed roleplaying game design and the image you see above is a part of the result. Let’s go try to do such one …
[ad#gog_arcanum_box]So after about six months of absence I’ve decided to subscribe for a month back into SWG to see if things changed for the better (and to see if my stuff still exists). I spawned inside my house where I left the game last November and decided to bring my char to level 90 so I did many of the quests that I still had open. After all quests are almost the only way currently to gain XP quickly.
The game is basically still the same since I left it! Many of the same old bugs and a gameplay that has only distantly something to do with RPG. Examples: Tried to continue the ‘Secret of the Syrens’ quest but the Black Sun Bunker at the waypoint never spawns,I want to call my mount pet inside the Kashyyk Hunting Grounds but it doesn’t spawn, I want to attack that imperial trooper that permanently shoots at me but I can’t because he’s stuck inside a wall … the list could go on for a while.
… I’m not talking about fun with playing the NGE mind you … when the NGE came live there was a lot of derision and mockery on the official forums. Among all this down pour of anger, hate and dismay about the NGE there were a handful cynical postings of how scenes in the Star Wars movies would look if the NGE had affected them. Because they were so utterly hilarious I decided to save them for later and what better opportunity do I have than to post them here for people who have missed them. In this sense read on and enjoy!