Astromender VFX Breakdown

AstroMender was a game I worked on during the Global Game Jam in January 2020.

This thruster effect was the biggest piece of VFX I completed during the 48 hour jam. Let’s go through the pieces to show how I did it.

The Vertex Offset

Most of the this thruster VFX is in the shape of the vertex displacement.

Composed of scrolling noise and a streaky mask texture to create a wavy fire motion with lines of intensity.

The noise gives that underlying fiery feel and when applied to the vertices it give it an even more explosive feel.

The Textures

I used these three specific textures:

The noise texture responsible for the fiery scrolling.

The “teethy” streak texture I made with triangular shapes. The black parts of the texture control which areas are not affected by the noise vertex offset.

This gradient keeps the intensity of the color bright towards the origin of the thruster and less intense and therefore transparent towards the end.