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By: Greg Szemiot

Needed for this tutorial:
3D Gamestudio (Extra, Commercial, or Pro only, as Standard has no alpha transparency)
Image Editor (Something more advanced than Paint)
WDL Editor (Notepad will do, but don't use word or wordpad, they'll ruin your WDL code with their format crap)

So, if you're like me and millions of other people you've been playing Metroid Prime for the Nintendo Gamecube. You've been through the first level and really love the graphics. Now you want to make your own little ship with force fields and stuff. It's not that hard actually.

I have to thank Acidcrow, it was his Glass Effect script which gave me the idea on how to make the flicker.  So, thanks Acidcrow.

Ok, this is a short one, but oh well. There is very little editing of the script for the effect, so just copy and paste (However if you want to you can change alpha numbers to give different effects, like broken force field emitters and other cool effects).

action force_field_effect
{
my.transparent = ON;
my.alpha = 90;
while(1)
{
if(my.skill1 == 0)
{
my.skill1 = 85;
}
my.alpha = random(10) + my.skill1;
wait(2);

}
}

As you can see, I've made this a very easy script to use. In WED, the lower skill 1 is, the fainter your force field will be. This can make some cool effects, like broken emitters, and if you any more flexability, change

my.alpha = random(10) + my.skill1;

to read as

if(my.skill2 == 0)
{
my.skill2 = 10;
}
my.alpha = random(my.skill2) + my.skill1;

Now comes the tough part actually. You have to make the sprite that will have this effect. The shape is up to you, but it should have some variations in the color.  Like the one I'm using, pictured below.

As you can see, it has some veriations that make it more interesting. This is accomplished by using a cloud filter in Photoshop. Try out different techniques until you get it looking just right.

Now, bring the sprite into WED. Place it where you want the force field. Open up the properties and check the Bright box. Then give it the force_field_effect action.

You can place multiple sprites for a better effect. With just this small tutorial, I was able to make a very convincing futuristic prison facility. Observe:




All of those blue fields flicker indepentently and it give it a more authentic feel.

I hope this tutorial has helped or inspired some of you in you games. I know it's very basic, but, we all need help sometimes.

If you have any questions or comments, or you want to send your work using this tutorial, you can reach me at gscbw@hotmail.com

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