We hadn't decided on a Top Down view or Side On view game or both. The classic arcade game 1942 was one of Alex's all time favourite arcade games and this was a Top Down view.
We animated the propeller and aeroplane using Blender. This didn't look right without a pilot, so we knocked up a 3D pilot with Helmet using Blender and put him in the plane.
We used a plain white background as we were planning to Rotoscope the animation by hand in Adobe Flash.
The animation was 40 frames long which was going to take a long time to reproduce by hand.
After doing just 2 frames of Rotoscoping we realised we were wasting our time.
When the aircraft was shrunk down to the size it would be in the game, our vector drawings looked no better than the raw animation produced by Blender.
This was going to save us hours of tedious work, but we were disappointed that much of the detail would be lost in the game.
This led us to our next problem. We programmed a very simple Adobe Flash program to fly the aeroplane around. When we put our Aeroplane graphics into the program things didn't look or feel quite right.
For the first time, our sketches, 3D modeling, texturing, and animations would come together into our Flash Air Race game. We started with a very basic background, and animated our Air Race Plane around a simple figure of 8 loop. Judge for yourself, but we felt the plane was too long, too thin, and too realistic.
We felt the plane needed to be fatter and cuter, this was a game not a realistic simulation after all. At realistic proportions the plane would have to be very small for the game to feel right.
We went from our slender realistic plane to a stubbier version. If we had used a clay model it would have taken hours, but we could just make some basic adjustments to our 3D computer model to see how it would look.
We kept the volume in the fuselage cross section to give a muscular look, but shortened the length.
The upright on the tail was left alone, but the horizontal tail wings and main wings were reduced in wingspan. We kept the cross section of the main wings and tail wings the game to add to the more muscular look.
In the next part you will see how we refined our first attempt at setting up the aeroplane in the flash game.