Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Voices of AC3 Development Staff Part 6
"Oh, I was drunk..."
Programming Team

Hi. My name is Nakano and I'm an assistant programmer.
How did I get involved with AC3? As I recall, it all started when I talked to Koike at a bar about hit checks (object collisions).
There was something I was working on for my next work, and they wanted me to make it for AC3. Then, in a drunken rush, I said, "OK! I'll do it!"
Before I realized it, I really had to play AC3.

I was also tasked with a routine where the map data was cut out by sight, but I had trouble extending the display area even a little. I spent two months poking and prodding at the hardware, trying to keep the processing speed up and get a bigger field of view.
And a hit check with polygons.
But when I write it like this, I make it sound simple.
I didn't think, "Oh, that one word of drunken stupor..." as I continued to speed up. I worked hard on it.

There was so much volume at the end of AC3 development that I didn't know how much I could put in! It was a battle between the two. Of course you have to work on getting bugs and stuff, but they'd say "Just put this in!." The enthusiasm was great. I shaved off hours of sleep as well and put it in. It got me fired up.
I'm really happy to have been able to be involved in AC3 even if just for a little while.
I'm already rushing through another project.
I will do my best to deliver good works to you again. See you soon.

Hello. My name is Ishii and I'm a programmer.
This time, I'd like to talk about the non-player algorithm I worked on.

By non-player, I mean things that appear outside of the player such as companion planes, enemy planes, ground objects, etc... I created thought and action routines for them.
How does the aircraft move from point A to point B, how do new pilots lose, and how does the near-future aircraft behave? When chasing those planes, how would an ace-class pilot pursue them and when to fire the missiles? It was made with various conditions in mind.

This kind of "making" is difficult and there were a lot of stories of struggle, but there were also a lot of fun and interesting things to do.
For example, an aircraft behavior check. Using a prototype algorithm, I let non-players play "30-plane survival battles" or "5 on 5 team battles" to check the behavior of the planes this time. It's quite interesting to see the people you created. "Oh, he's smarter than I thought!" or, "Oh, this guy's no good!" and so on.

After the checks were done, I made the actual mission and sallied out! So I start it and either Erich suddenly shoots down Rena and Fi in the first plane, the target leaves the area (really the smartest move!), or a wingman beats all the targets and completes the mission. ...The planes in the middle of development really didn't listen to me. So I review the algorithm and re-check again...

Of course, the non-player movement in the final product is perfect.
Everyone, have fun in the sky and shoot them down!

(end page 1)
(start page 2)

Hi, I'm Matsuno, programmer.
I was in charge of the clouds and the sun in the background, as well as effects such as explosions.

When I joined the development of 3, I felt a lot of pressure from the high expectations of the users, because the previous work, 2, had been very well received.

I always reminded myself that effects, no matter how good they look, should never interfere with the exhilaration and enjoyment of flight shooting. It's about how to make things more effective, taking into account the CPU, memory, and drawing volume available.
It was faster, smaller, more challenging and, as a programmer, more fun, every day.
Here are some of the more rarely talked about innovations.

●Torn pieces
Debris that come out when you shoot down an enemy plane. Depending on the size of the screen, it switches to three different drawing patterns: textured polygons, untextured polygons, and single dots. Single-polygon fragments.

A frontal shock wave that is created by an explosion in the air. The number of divisions of the circle is also variable from 4 to 32, depending on the size of the screen. They appear and disappear in a matter of 0.3 seconds.

●Lens flare, glare
No matter how hard you try, you can't make a TV image brighter than a pure white screen. The development process was a difficult one, trying to create something that felt like glare within these constraints.
After a lot of trial and error, I came up with the theory that it is more effective if you're able to see if you squint than not seeing anything at all, with a HUD that may be hard to see, which produces more glare.

● Light reflections on water surfaces
It was also very difficult to make the sun reflect off the surface of the water and make it shine.
In order to check the difference in the way we see the sun from a low point and a high point, and the difference in the shape of the reflected light depending on the angle of the sun, we went to the pier first thing in the morning to photograph the rising sun, climbed the landmark tower, and collected data on the sea surface taken from an airplane.
From meteorological data, I investigated the average slope angle of the sea surface when the wind speed is about 5 to 10 meters, calculated the apparent size of the reflected light, and did various research and calculations to make it look authentic.
As a result, it became smaller and smaller as the MAP's drawing distance was being gradually reduced, until the current size was determined. (Actually, if the angle of the sun is higher, the area will be larger, and the sea will have a texture like that of lead when seen from the sky above) but it doesn't have to be the same as the real thing. As long as it feels plausible.

Rain, snow, space, particles, the OSL.
There are so many parts that I devised that I wouldn't be able to stop writing them down.
I think I was able to include things that were at the limit of what I could do.

But if I do end up participating in the next installment, I'm sure they'll be asking for more than the limits of this one. I'm looking forward to it now. I want to cry.

(end page 2)
(start page 3)

My name is Satoshi Suzuki and I'm in charge of the game's peripheral parts. I hope you're enjoying cyberspace.

We started with the concept of "starting the game = connecting it to a computer", and the game's peripheral parts were a continuous process of trial and error, as we were trying to solidify our image while making it. In particular, the tube running in the background was fine-tuned until the last minute.
In addition, I've fallen into a situation where I'm using so many pictures on each screen that they don't fit in the memory anymore. We had to compress the data to a very low level, and when it was still not enough, we had to add the back reading of the CD, but we managed to meet the deadline. However, the screen design is more elaborate, so I'd be happy if you could take a look at the options and the details.

In the drama part, we had to battle with the CD capacity. When I heard that there were more than 100 movies in all, large and small, I was dumbfounded, but when I heard that the situation was such that I couldn't fit in 2 CDs, I was really at a loss. Still, after a lot of trial and error and asking for help from the person in charge of the movies, I was finally able to keep it within capacity. When I think about it now, I can only say that it was a miracle.
Well, electrosphere was completed by doing a lot of hard work like this, and I hope that this can serve as an invitation to everyone to the world of electrosphere. I couldn't be happier if more people got a feel for this world. 

I hope you users have seen all the movies of Ace Combat 3 and the sky that fills the TV with the staff roll!

I'm Hirai, a programmer who just joined Namco in April of last year.
I was in charge of the conversion of the movie data and the final staff roll.

Now, as Chief Programmer Koike has said, the last part of the game was a battle with data capacity. (laughs) I got the movie data from the graphics people and converted it....

"Oh, the XX byte data is over ..."
(Dash over to the graphics guys.)
"Oh, um, the data is still a little over a certain number of bytes..."
"Oh, it's still over! I can't reduce it anymore!"
"No, I think if you do this here, the amount of data will be reduced a little..." 
''Hmmm, but I don't want to do that there....''
"No, but you're going to have to reduce it or it won't come out, please!"
We hope that the movie scenes we created will help you get to know each of the characters in the game even better.