Hi folks! Iain here. I’m the artist responsible for the creation of a lot of the procedural ship parts (cannons, engines, wings) and I’m here to show you the process behind an upcoming new procedural ship part, the swivel gun!

Swivel guns are a different type of ship cannon designed specifically for targeting players instead of ships. This feature is still a little ways off, but we’ve been wanting to add more ship parts that are defensive in nature, because players should be able to gear their ships specifically against attackers. Because the swivel gun would fire scattershot rounds, kind of like a mounted, oversized shotgun, it’ll only be effective in close range against soft targets, like hostile players, rather than wooden or metal targets, like ships.

Guns with a higher power stat will have a narrower spread and longer range, and those with a lower power stat will spread more. In addition to their anti-personnel capabilities, the swivel guns are also a lot smaller and more nimble than the regular cannons – they can rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing you to cover all angles against boarding parties.

To put emphasis on the more nimble movement of the gun, I wanted to keep the central pivot on the gun more upright, like that of a mounted blaster in Star Wars, rather than our standard ship cannon:


Worlds Adrift ship cannon compared to the more upright Star Wars blaster

After fiddling around with the player positioning a little more however, we decided that it looked cooler with the player more to the side of the gun:




This also offered the opportunity to have the camera position in a different place which would mean you’d get to see your character firing and reloading the weapon!



Everyone liked the idea of this new camera angle and the reloading animation too, so with that in mind I went back to Maya to start splitting up the swivel gun into its procedural parts.

As with the regular cannon, the swivel gun is split into four components:

  • Mount
  • Body
  • Barrel
  • Ammo Loader



This time around, the Body will also include a working reload/cocking mechanism.
For reference on how this worked I used this mesmerizing GIF of a shotgun being cocked:



After each shot, the character will pull back on the lever to eject the empty shell and bring up a fresh one from the ammo loader.

Now it was time to flesh out a prototype swivel gun and get it in game for real. Here it is next to one of the original cannons:



I’ll leave you with some GIFs: