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GFX Mods: AI Defenses

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This topic was previously titled 'AI Eye alternate graphics', but I'll be using it for other mods too.

Some of the new graphics in 4.0 look a bit too organic (mainly in materials used) for my tastes, so I'm spicing up some of them a bit, just for fun. Feel free to use 'em if you like 'em. However, unless otherwise stated, these are not open-source, since they're based on the official graphics and I hold no ownership over them, so use them only in AI War. :P

A recurring theme in these mods will be additional red lights. It's a colour that draws attention, has a 'security' feel to it, and is generally somewhat sinister and evil against a dark background.

If I get enough of these done, I'll make a compilation for easier download.

Installation Instructions

Just extract to the 'RuntimeData/Images' folder, the files should go to correct folders.

NOTE: if you're uncertain whether to keep these or not, make backups of the original images first. The folders in question are listed below the download links. If ever in doubt, just make a backup of the whole 'Images' folder first. ;)


AI Eye (v2)

I'm starting off with the AI Eye, which I felt lacks the feel of being a warp gate, or a mechanic structure.

I gave the Eye an eye, which is also the warp gate / wormhole the reinforcements assumedly  spawn from, and possibly direct feedback to the central command of the AI. Also dropped the saturation on the whole thing and flattened a few surfaces to make it appear slightly more metallic in material. Well, I suppose it looks more grey rock than metal, but anyways. A few red lights and pipes to give it a mechanic, AI feel.

Ideally the 'eye' should glow between brighter and darker light, but since the official Eye only has one frame... no animated glow. :P

v2 has a blue tone for the rocky/metallic texture, to match better with the other mods (suggested by Wyvern83). Also decreased brightness and increased contrast slightly.

Download here:
AI War - AIEye gfx

Images to be replaced are in following folders:

AI MLRS Guard Post Included in official release in v4.037  :D

For this one I added some red lights, a shiny red light on top of the central 'tower', some tiny holes at the ends of the foremost 'barrels' to signify missile launch points, as well as changed the overall colour, with one string of tubes being different colour altogether. Supposedly it could be the part housing ammo, hardware or what have you. Couple of wires at the bottom too, though perhaps an unnecessary detail at that.

Icon remains the same.

(Distribution node sold separately ;))

Download here:
AI War - MLRS Guard Post

Images to be replaced are in following folders:

AI Short Range Guard Post Included in official release in v4.037  :D

Basic treatment for this I did cut off a few outings though, to attempt to break the repetitive pattern, and covered the gaps in the fan-shaped part on the top left with techy stuff and red lights. The reason for cutting the outings and changing the fan-structure is that the shape of the structure is nearly identical to Passive Guard Post flipped upside-down. So I figured it's best I try to separate them from each other in whatever ways I can. For the Passive Guard Post I'll probably keep the fan, and use some different kind of decorations and colours. Didn't really end up looking like something that shoots bullets, but oh well. Since it's short range stuff, we can just imagine there's more processing power and sensors than firepower in this one. ;p

Due to the shape of this structure changing somewhat in general, I made a replacement icon. It's not that different from the original, I think, for those who hate having to relearn icons. I could be wrong though, heh. At least it represents the shape of this version better than the original.

(Silly scraps ruining the screenshot. Shoo, shoo.)

Download here:
AI War - Short Range Guard Post

Images to be replaced are in following folders:

AI Missile Guard Post Included in official release in v4.037  :D

This one may look a bit odd, but I needed to do something drastic about it. The original is (IMO) basically a small asteroid, with thin bars of metal strutting about from it. I needed to give it some content, since it fires long-range missiles. I had no real plan what to do here, so I just started playing around with stuff and ended up with this. Basically, it now has a large tube running through it in the center, which could be long launch tubes or ammo storage. The remaining metal bars are probably there as some sort of support beams. The top end has transformed into something more mechanic, with a bunch of holes near the top, ideally being missile launch points. See, I figured long-range missiles could be like cruise missiles, so they're launched up (figuratively), then curve to their targets. I also decided to give the upper area some more random padding, and a few red lights, as per usual.

The overall shape is more like a cylinder now, so I had to make a new icon. It's pretty easy to learn though, like the original, since there are no other structures with similar figure, tall, straight, curvy ends.

Download here:
AI War - Missile Guard Post

Images to be replaced are in following folders:

AI Beam Guardian (v2) Included in official release in v4.038  :D

Today I've spiced up a Guardian. Beam Guardian to be exact. I wanted this one to be more symmetrical, since it's basically a ship. Ships tend to be mostly symmetrical in AI War. At least until 4.0. Rather than try to crop and mold the thing to be symmetrical, I opted to just mirror the half I liked, and go from there. Beam weapons also got their own barrels. I'm not sure if I like the 'red-eyed' front though, so feel free to share your opinion on that. I can still change that. Overall, no other red lights on this one. Let's keep that mostly a guard post feature for now. ;)

New icon, slightly different from the previous, what with the symmetrical shape and all, but I think also easier to identify from such as Artillery Guardian.

v2 edition has the cockpit-like front removed (thank the community for making me decide on removing it ;) ), and slightly increased brightness for the icon.

Download here:
AI War - Beam Guardian

Images to be replaced are in following folders:

AI Passive Guard Post (v2)

Passive Guard Post is basically no guns, lots of weirdness. Need I say more? ;) This one looks quite a bit different from the original, mainly due to having a good portion of its outings cut in the bottom right area.

New Icon included, which has a very distinctive look to it. Despite needing a moment to relearn it, it's much easier to differentiate from other guard posts. Kind of like spread wings on top.

Version 2 has the telescope shortened to about 1/5 of the length of the original, to look less 'Dumbo'. Added a few new things under the central area to compensate for the loss of content. Icon updated too, and a preview of the icon is shown in the new screenshot below.

Download here:
AI War - Passive Guard Post

Images to be replaced are in following folders:

I actually really like the current AI Eye graphic... but this is awesome too!

Maybe this could be the new AI Eye and the old AI Eye could be the new AI Supervisor?

Okay, that was awesome! Can we please beg Chris to make it animated (as in have frames)? That would be friggin epic!

I'll gladly make the additional frames if it ever ends up used officially, and/or with animation. ;)

Indeed, looks pretty cool. :)  When we start doing AI Eye variants, I'll have to remember to snag this!

As far as animations go, I'm pretty much not doing much in the way of ship animations these days, for two reasons:
1. Most of the time, players are very zoomed out and it's not something they see, anyway.

2. Having multiple large frames really EATS up the ram.  That's always been the case, but with the explosion of new ship types and such, it's going to be an increasing problem if I'm not careful.

My plan, when I have some spare time (whenever that is) will be to actually remove a lot of the existing frame-based animations that are just things like lights blinking or exhaust firing.  Things like mechanical movement would stay, and obviously rotations are done on-the-fly rather than being frame-based.

BUT, in place of those frame-based blinking-light/exhaust animations that waste so much ram, what I'd then rather do is make a way for ships to get external animations for things like the lights and the exhaust.  In other words, even if there are a dozen or two kinds of lights and exhaust, those graphics are individually tiny and can be reused all sorts of interesting ways on ships.  It would actually look significantly better than now, while also being vastly more friendly to ram.  The downside is that it involves more CPU/GPU load when you're very zoomed in, but I figure when you're at that zoom it's limiting what it's drawing enough that often that's no problem.  Plus it's the sort of thing that we can automatically turn off when the game is running to slowly, or when players want to reduce visual stimulation.

That's a fairly big overhaul, though, so it's not for the moment and possibly not until the next full expansion.  But that's where my head is at re: animations, I'm pretty much just not doing any new ones for now to conserve RAM and then that would be the ultimate solution later.


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