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Horizons Dev Journal #15 on special effects at RPGVault

(PC: MMORPG) | Posted by Rendelius @ Tuesday - March 18, 2003 - 00:45 -
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Ryan Mitchell and Casey Robinson tell you about special effects in Horizons in the fifteenth Horizons Developer Journal at RPGVault. Here's a little something from that:
The system itself is constructed of small modules that describe the particle's behaviors. These modules are created by the programmer and used later at Casey's discretion. A module can be combined with other modules in different orders to create individual effects while not requiring the programmer to create individual code sets for each effect. What the programmer does do is create new modules to be tossed in the pool of options available for Casey. With each new module, the effect options available to him expand in an exponential fashion.

The modules themselves deal with certain aspects of the effect. For example, a module that effects the birth position of a particle could be combined with modules that bind the birth position to a bone, moves the particle in a random direction, and a module that renders the particles as a sprite. This in effect would place fire on a sword. The true power of the system comes from the fact that if we just add other modules, then we can move the particles to a target, having them swirl off in strange directions all while being rendered as lightning. All of these options are just a module away while also not requiring the programmer to change or alter already operating code.
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