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I'm creating a game inside of a game called "ROBLOX". The game gives you some scripting tools to allow me to basically create anything I want. The world is created up by decently large blocks. There are few exceptions to this (such as ramps, spheres, tubes, etc.)

I want to create a subtle hint of wind. It will be affecting the game play a little bit and I want the wind to be predictable. I first thought of creating a flag, but, a flag isn't very well made in such a game as ROBLOX.

So my question is, what different kinds of way can I imply that there is wind? What other methods will provide me with a natural representation of wind (I don’t want to put a meter or something, I want them to have to find it/figure it out for themselves).

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3 Answers 3

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Often games will use semi-transparent blocks with that good old 'wisp' effect that gives the impression of wind. A kind of white swirl in the direction the wind is, I'll try to find a sprite sheet to show you what I mean later.

Here is a screenshot of a tile-based game some friends of mine made, you can see the wind represented by the white 'swirls' and it tiled pretty well.

http://www.thomas-planques.com/wp-content/uploads/Level%20Design%205%20-%20Jump%20Gap.jpg

Here there are some prite sheets for special effects; the wind one looks more like a tornado, a bit of clever editing and transparency may help it 'calm down'.

As Olhovsky said, you could also use particles, this is really dependant on what type of 'feel' you want your game to have, you could mix particles with animated floor tiles (moving grass for example).

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Most particle systems are great for this kind of effect, and just like 3nixios said, you can easily keep the block motif. –  Lunin Jun 1 '11 at 17:35
    
where you able to find the sprite sheet? I think I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure. –  Xan Jun 1 '11 at 21:52
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Draw small transparent particles that move in the direction of the wind.

Like snow particles, except they could just be (very) small grey puffs. Apply a combination of sin functions to the particle positions to offset them from their usual path, to make them swirve around a bit (e.g. move upward sometimes), so that they don't always simply fall in one direction (which would make them look like rain/snow instead).

If you want to maintain a blocky look, just make the particles small transparent squares (or cubes).

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I guess I could do that! I could base the actual effect off of the map terrain (depending on the map determines how much wind will be involved). It's going to be a sniper/tank/RPG based game. These exotic terrains will be perfect!! Thanks for the ideas! Unless 3nixios shows me the sprites he is talking about, your idea sounds like the next best thing and I'll deem you the Answer! –  Xan Jun 1 '11 at 21:55
    
that's exactly what Team 17 used for "worms world party". In the Following image, upload.digiex.net/files/ojb03lktfjgnqn1jh6nn.png , the Coin-sahped objects in the background indicated wind speed and direction –  sum1stolemyname Aug 23 '11 at 11:36
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SFX can strongly improve the illusion of wind, especially when used in conjunction with a subtle visual effect.

You can even use the volume of the sound in comparison with the background sounds/music to imply strength of wind. (You don't necessarily have to keep raising the volume of the wind for this, having the background sounds/music fade slightly as you reach more intense wind can have just as much if not more of an effect without simultaneously making your game too loud)

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How could I use this to define the direction the wind is moving? This will be helpful (to keep the mood of the game). –  Xan Jun 1 '11 at 17:57
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You can use directional sound so it is louder in the direction of the wind effected area (there are 2D and 3D methods of doing this) though in general this would be best for telling presence so people look for the visual cues. I imagine if you wanted to get really creative you could have a different wind sound for the side towards and the side away from the wind, and change the amount of each in each ear/speaker based on how much each side's vector aligns with the wind one, but that may be more complicated than you require. –  Lunin Jun 1 '11 at 18:55
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