Alexis Lange is not only a friend of mine, but also a Battlestar Galactica pilot based in Eleggua (call sign "Panther".) Last week she came to me looking for a way to make her flyer more realistic, specifically by adding a massive rocket plume.
Easy, I thought. Just build a particle emitter that shoots out the right mix of shapes and colors to visually appear as a plume. Then paste it on the a**-end of the flyer. I quickly constructed a disc-shaped "Afterburner" emitter that could fit well within the thrust tubes of the powerful flyer, shooting out white-yellow flames.
It was going fine until I dropped by the Eleggua airfield (which is itself hundreds of meters in the air) and gave Alexis the Afterburner prototype for testing. The device worked perfectly, and even synchronized with the flyer's start and stop chat commands.
The trouble began when I suggested that Alexia link the Afterburner to the flyer so that she could fly off and not leave the emitter behind on the deck! However, it turns out that the permissions on the flyer were no-Modify, meaning she cannot link any objects to it, including the Afterburner.
I was about to abandon hope of getting this done easily, short of begging the flyer's maker to somehow include the Afterburner, when I had an idea.
Instead of attaching the emitter to the flyer, I realized we could attach it to Alexis! Yes, while she's sitting in the cockpit, the emitter goes off as designed, but the plume still appears as intended. Flames blast out from her spine backwards and appear to come from the flyer's engines. With some simple adjustments, I'll be able to make a rocket plume Alexis can wear in any vehicle.
In fact, I think I'll be making an entire line of wearable aircraft effects including explosions, smoke trails, rat-tat-tat or what ever else seems appropriate or just plain cool. There will be no need to equip every vehicle with effects - just bring them with you instead! Thanks for the inspiration, Alexis!
Two things were very important for me on this adventure:
- There are always more ways to solve a problem than you think at first. Never give up - just keep trying, even ideas that are, well, crazy at first! You may bump into the answer.
- No matter how bad the situation, you can usually find a way to make something good out of it. Learn something, change something, change your self!