Cognitive's Next Project: 'The Zenith Project'

sure, you can PM me the links to the most interesting of the bunch Jace. or just zip them all up and put that on savefile or something, either way, thanks! we really appreciate the contribution, every little bit helps.:smiley:

Here’s my initial design for the main menu screen. It’ll probably change significantly as we progress to include new artwork, etc.

I think the words are too small. You need to bring the ship forward and have the words get bigger. Looks good, though. I like the stars.

P.S. I’ll see what I can do regarding the ships, sorry it’s taken so long. I’ll get back to you when I have some free time :).


The image is 50% of the actual size. I thought it would be too big to post the full size version. For future images I’ll use thumbnails to show the larger images :slight_smile:

Okay. You scaled it down. No problem. I really figured you’d be smart enough to know the text was small. Wasn’t completely sure, though :).

I still like the ship. A lot. Those awesome propellers are so… leading to a whole story in itself.


I still like the ship. A lot. Those awesome propellers are so… leading to a whole story in itself.

hehe, thanks!:slight_smile: yea, im inspired by stuff thats a bit off the norm, so you’ll probably see more stuff like this later in development…

ktbluear is working on a couple of cool concepts too, we’ll probably get some screens of that work online soon. I havnt done much for this project since the original post…I have a bullet contest entry, and im working alot on it right now. That will all be done soon though…

hey everybody!:slight_smile:

time for some new updates on the design end of things…

Andy wanted me to make a detailed planet for the main menu, something that would be a bit more interesting than just the A-13 fighter just hovering there…I thought it was a cool idea, so I ran with it, heres the outcome:

It really turned out looking just awesome…I made some detailed, custom planet maps so that the planets would look a bit more exotic than just an earth map, and the clouds are on a seperate alpha sphere which is animated, so the clouds actually move slowly around each planet. Andy hasnt integrated the menu elements to this yet, but when its done, we’ll show you all an animated preview of it…

Next, here are some ship concepts which ktbluear has been working on…

The first one, an insect-like alien ship concept and the second, called the “Neo-Flineach Slip Fighter”, which is equipped with a chaingun and missle launcher.

And finally…I needed an explosion effect for my bullet entry, so today I decided to kill two birds with one stone and fix up an explosion effect for that and for this project. Below is a link to a DivX video clip which showcases the explosion effect. (about 500KB)

It’s a volumetric explosion(not just a flat halo texture)…these types of explosions seem more realistic to me, and plus the player can actually fly through the explosion since its fully 3D. this is still a WIP.

So, what do you guys think of the new work?:slight_smile:

lastly, I got a question…Since this whole behind-the-scenes thread is about education, would you all be interested in some tutorials relating to the work we’re doing? Maybe some gameplay/python tuts and some advanced graphics tuts(like making a custom planet map/planet, or making a volumetric explosion for example)? None of us have really talked about making tuts yet, but it might be a possibility if enough people are interested and we have enough time…just curious…

if you have anytime, ofcourse i would be interested in some tuts. especially python and volumetric explosion.

Nice work as always TMan. Integrates quite nicely into the menu and looks alot better than just a single ship. Next step is the Space Station :wink:

The planet map tutes. I was trying to make a Freelancer-type game (before I played Freelancer, I might add) where you could, if you wanted, fly to another planet on a conventional drive. My planet maps were…less than adequate.

Wow, again, those textures are really good. However I would recommend a star map that’s a little less dense perhaps. As it is, it looks a tad regular. It’d also be really cool if there was like a large nova or something behind the planets. Just a thought. But really the work is incredible.

we’ll keep that in mind.:slight_smile:

hey, thanks alot!:smiley: yea, the starmap is pretty regular…just a standerd star map, nothing special. Your right though, some more details might improve the scene, like some extra alpha-plane planets in the distance, an alpha-plane sun, and perhaps even odd, exotic satalites orbiting around the planet…though I think a large nova might make it a little cluttered, but we’ll see.

What’s the story behind the two Earths? Or are they different planets?


nah, neither of those planets are Earth.:stuck_out_tongue: its pretty obvious since these planets have completely different continents and landforms…you can tell from the screens even.

Though they are somewhat like Earth(though very different on the surface)…I havnt really developed a backstory for those yet though, so maybe i’ll have a small story behind them soon. Hell, we might even integrate them somewhere in the playable game, maybe…we’ll see.

Development Update!

On the design-end, I completed a new low-poly enemie ship awhile ago…this is a model of friedbrain’s which I eventually textured.

Been pretty busy myself with the bullet contest, portfolio work, etc., but I did manage to finish most of the work for the main space station scene tonight. Basically, the player will launch missions from this central scene. The gameplay will probably be somewhat open-ended but different kinds of missions will become available to the player as they progress through the game. Jumpgates/hypespace portals will be found around this scene when its finished, and the player will choose from whatever missions are available and then fly towards the specific jumpgate to start the mission. The space station you see here is actually a standard battle cruiser which will be found in several missions, in the final game, this will be replaced with a unique, huge/detailed space station.

On the gameplay/coding side of development, Andy continues to work on the menu system, he’ll soon be working on the menu for upgrading ships/choosing missions. Now that most of the work is done for the space station scene, I will probably start working on basic gameplay mechanics(controls, AI spawning, etc.), using the scene as a test bed. Once the basic controls are down we might release a little test blend so you all can actually fly around and explore the scene.

Lastly, we have decided to make this an OPEN PROJECT! Basically, we will provide an on-going list of basic models that could be used in the game, and anyone can pick things off the list that they might want to make. It’s a great way to get involved in a cool project and help us out, without actually putting in much time.:stuck_out_tongue: You can ofcourse join the team as well, if you would rather be more involved with the project, or if you want to help with its core development.


  • asteroids, comets, space junk, sattalites, etc.
  • enemie ships. should be relatively low poly, but look good.
  • player ships. these ships can be a bit more complex(like the A13), but should still stay below 1500 tris, preferably below 1000.
  • planets. fully 3D and 2D halo-mapped. make sure they are detailed and have somewhat high-rez textures.
  • space stations, battle cruisers. should be detailed, but still below 5000 tris.
  • various space textures…nebula, planets, etc.
  • missions/levels. once we have the core mechanics down, we should be able to take any space scene(try to keep it below 10k tris) and turn it into a mission for the game…you can even give us details about how you want your mission to play like, give us specific models unique to your mission, etc., and we’ll make it happen.(as long as its possible.:p)
  • sound effects (laser blasts, explosions, spaceship engines, other space sounds)
  • music
  • you will be credited in the credits for any contribution. If you want to make something for the project, just upload the blend and post it in this thread or PM me or ST150.

As always, crits and comments are appreciated!:slight_smile:

Looks very good! I might be willing to contribute a model, do they need to be textured (and possibly rigged)?

Wanted Bob


We prefur that the models are textured, however we’ll accept non-textured models.

Yeah bump mapping is defently a good thing to implement. Will it be possible to enter the planets atmosphere?

nope…It would take a lot of work to make that realistic. visually there would be alot of work involved, not to mension a complex LOD system. Though that would be cool.:stuck_out_tongue: heh, but it really has nothing to do with the core gameplay, so really it would just be a waste of time to work on something like that.

Ofcourse you’ll be able to fly pretty close to the gas planet, since it is fully 3D…

just one minor thing. you’re playing god there for a moment because you’re making your own reality. As far as I know the rings of planets are the same as the lines on itself. thats caused by the rotation of the planet. So the ring should go same horizontal as the planet.

also the planet should be a big bigger on the y/x axises then the z axis. this defromation is also caused by the rotation.