Particle Editor

Anonymous Sep 07, 2005 at 21:12


During the development of Sixth Age: A New Spirit, a turn based
strategy game created from scratch in 9 months by thirteen students,
including myself; we decided we needed a way for the artists and
designers to create the game’s particle effects. Since I was the only
programmer and was short on time I began work on a tool that would
allow the other guys on my team to build and design cool particle
effects that could be saved and then loaded-up in game from a file. To
maximize my production time I created the Particle Editor in C#. Here
are some features:

  • DirectX 9.0c
  • Control three particle emitters simultaneously.
  • Save/Load emitters.
  • Set different textures for each emitter.
  • Free moving camera with right-mouse-look and W,A,S,D keys.
  • Load Microsoft .X file meshes into scene for visual matching of
    particle effects.

  • Ability to control following aspects of each particle based on time:
  • Color
  • Size
  • Speed
  • Direction

  • Options for each particle emitter:
  • Axis alignment
  • Offsets for color/size/speed/direction/birth Position
  • Emitter position based on sin/cosine values.
  • Particle width/height scaling.
  • Set an emitter’s path to a specified target position.
  • Additive/subtractive blending modes.

You can visit my website to view more images of the Particle Editor
and 6th Age here

  • Ryan Gaule

5 Replies

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SpreeTree 101 Sep 08, 2005 at 14:15

Your images look fantastic. I downloaded your effect editor (Mr. Editor… Nice name :wink: ), but everytime I tried to do anything (load an effect, press a button, click an option) I get an unhandled exception “Object Reference not set to an instance of an object”, and I think this is stopping me doing anything.

I would just like to ask how you deal with certain issues.

Some of your effects seem to follow specifc paths (circular paths, patterns etc.). How do you allows the artist to specify the path of the particles throughout their life cycle. Do you give them a set number of options which can limit some of the paths they follow, or allow them to specify functions which control the units?

Hope you understand my question, its been a long day, and I;m tending to ramble at the moment :wacko:


Steven_Hansen 101 Sep 08, 2005 at 20:44

I think this is an old image, and the OP may be gone. Too bad too, because I am very curious about the upper left image - how was this generated? Painted by hand? Cool algorithm? Darn - I’ll never know!

[edit]Hmm, says he registered yesterday - maybe it isn’t old after all. I guess I kinda assumed when none of the download links worked on his site that it must be old.[/edit]

SpreeTree 101 Sep 08, 2005 at 21:28

If that is the case, do people want to suggest how you might go about giving the artists the ability to set mathamatical paths for each particle.

Reason I am interested is that I am currently creating a scripted particle engine, so all emitters can be generated using scripts (anything to give the artists more work :blush: ). I dont want the script effects to be drastically limited in scope due to the limited amount of information that can be passed to the emitter.


rgaule 101 Sep 08, 2005 at 23:28

For some reason when using IE you won’t be able to download the games/tools off my web page. Try using mozilla and it should work fine.

The upper-left image was generated by having the particles scale their shape according to the direction they’re traveling. Makes for some very cool effects. Most of the shapes generated are done through simple sin/cosine values with scaling.

SpreeTree - I’m not sure why you’re getting the error when trying to run the program. It’s never happend to me. I’ve only been able to test it on computers running XP with the latest service packs. The editor was written in C# so it does require .NET.

It would be quite powerful to allow the users to set the particle/emitter path using a simple algorithm instead of just the sin/cosine values.


Steven_Hansen 101 Sep 09, 2005 at 04:59

…Need…more…details… :blink:

I’ve been generating some textures like that, but… the wrong way most certainly considering I’m smearing colors over pixels in system memory. Additionally, the rays I end up with aren’t as well defined.

I’d download your editor to check it out, but I am currently IE bound. :sad: