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  Arcade Air Traffic Controller (4k)  (Read 4352 times)
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Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Posted 2007-11-26 03:56:08 »

This is one entry for the 2008 4k competition.

Arcade Air Traffic Controller 4092 bytes



Please give it a try and let me know what you think.  There are a lot of instructions, but please try it out on the easy level.  Once you get use to it, they are pretty intuitive.

Instructions:
Goal: Bring every plane to a good exit.  There are 2 types of good exits.  One is landing a plane in one of the airfields on the screen.  The other is to send a plane to one of the six surrounding airfields of the screen.  When sending a plance to an offscreen airfield, it must leave at 4000 feet.

Game over:  This occurs if two planes collide, a plane leaves the screen at a point other than one of the 6 exit points, a plane leaves at an exit and is not at 4000 feet or a plane exits the screen at an incorrect exit.

Screen:
  - The top left will contain the game over message and displays how long the current game has be running.
  - The rest of the top will contain the up to 26 planes that can be on the screen at once.
    - There are 4 pieces of information for each plane.
      1. A letter to designate each plane
      2. A number from 0-2 indicating the type of plane
      3. A letter to show the destination for that plane.
      4. A number indicating the altitude from 0-5 (0 - 5000) or an asterisk(*) for waiting to take off.
  - A single line below the top information will show the orders you are giving to the plane you are controlling.
  - The rest of the screen is the playfield.
    - All the dots on the playfield are 1 mile apart (horizontally, vertically or diagonally).
    - The letters L and J on the playfield are the two local airports
    - The letters M, B, C, P, A and W are the other airports of the playfield.
    - For the curious, the airports are: Montreal, Boston, Laguardia, JFK, Chicago, Paris, Atlanta, and Washington

Controls:
To start the game, press a number from 1 to 4.  This will determine the difficulty.  If you choose 1, planes will appear every 8 seconds, 2 every 16 seconds, 3 every 24 seconds and 4 every 32 seconds.

To control a plane, press the letter corrosponding to its designation.  When you are controlling a plane, its information will highlight white, the plane will highlight read and its current heading an altitude will appear in the information line in yellow. 
To tell a plane to climb or descend use the up and down arrow. 
To tell a plane to turn left or right, use the left and right arrow. 
To issue the order press the control(CTRL) key. 
You can move the orders as much as you want to set up correctly, because the plane will not follow the orders until you  press the CTRL key. 
Once you give your orders, if there is an altitude change, the plane will begin climbing or descending immediately. 
If a turn order is issued, planes will only execute turns when the reach a dot on the playfield.  It takes all planes 1 mile to change their altitude by 1000 feet.
If you issue a new order, the previous order will be cancelled.

The 3 types of planes are:
  0 Cesna - takes 32 seconds to fly 1 mile
  1 747 - takes 16 seconds to fly 1 mile
  2 Concorde - takes 8 seconds to fly 1 mile

That is the only difference.  It will still take 1 mile to change altitude by 1000 feet, but since a Concorde can fly 1 mile in 8 seconds, it will also change altitude by 1000 feet in 8 seconds.  Where a Cesna will do the same in 32 seconds.

You can speed things up at any time by holding down the space bar.  This will accelerate time by a factor of 4.  As soon as you let go of the space bar, time will return to normal.

Pressing ESC at any time will exit the game.

If something doesn't seem clear, try it out in the game.  If that doesn't clear it up, please ask me here and I will explain it.

Also, since this is an Arcade version of being an ATC, there are no rules about keeping planes a certain distance apart.

Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 5
Projects: 7


games4j.com


« Reply #1 - Posted 2007-11-26 16:46:10 »

I have never tried any of the ATC games out there so this was a first for me, and it was a bit hard to get anything to it's proper destination for me. Didn't help that I read instructions a bit sloppy and chose level "1"  Shocked Then I got a Cesna and directly thereafter a Concorde from the same location. Not sure if it was even theoretically possible to avoid a collision there.  Tongue Out of 4 attempts to land a plane only one plane did really stick to the runway, the rest just went past it (0 alt) Huh. It was also very hard to see the letters and the info about selected plane when there are a lot of planes on the screen, and flightpaths(?) color is a bit too similar to the other dots. Maybe make a bit more difference in colors would help out a bit. Probably just getting used to it should help a lot as well.

Anyway, felt like a great achievement to actually get some planes to its destinations, and with a bit of practice it might get quite enjoyable.

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #2 - Posted 2007-11-26 17:22:49 »

I have never tried any of the ATC games out there so this was a first for me, and it was a bit hard to get anything to it's proper destination for me. Didn't help that I read instructions a bit sloppy and chose level "1"  Shocked Then I got a Cesna and directly thereafter a Concorde from the same location. Not sure if it was even theoretically possible to avoid a collision there.  Tongue Out of 4 attempts to land a plane only one plane did really stick to the runway, the rest just went past it (0 alt) Huh. It was also very hard to see the letters and the info about selected plane when there are a lot of planes on the screen, and flightpaths(?) color is a bit too similar to the other dots. Maybe make a bit more difference in colors would help out a bit. Probably just getting used to it should help a lot as well.

Anyway, felt like a great achievement to actually get some planes to its destinations, and with a bit of practice it might get quite enjoyable.

Thanks for trying. 

It can take some getting used to at first.  Definitely start with level 4 to get used to the display and controls.

The flight paths are really just a guide, but I will try to make them easier to see.  I'll also contrast the plane info section more to make it more obvious.

For your landing problem, you can order a plane to 0 altitude right away.  It won't crash, it will just keep going until it hits the landing point.

For the Cesna then Concorde, if you order an altitude drop immediately when a plane comes on the screen, if another one comes on like that, it will miss because the first plane is descending.

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Offline Morre

JGO Knight


Medals: 2
Projects: 10


I'm Dragonene on IRC.


« Reply #3 - Posted 2007-11-26 19:37:19 »

I tried it very shortly - will try it again when I have some more time on my hands. I will admit that this isn't my type of game - strategic stress was never my style. It's a cool idea and seems nicely executed, though Smiley

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #4 - Posted 2007-11-26 20:54:29 »

I tried it very shortly - will try it again when I have some more time on my hands. I will admit that this isn't my type of game - strategic stress was never my style. It's a cool idea and seems nicely executed, though Smiley

Thanks.  Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for the design.  I based this on an old Commodore 64 game called Kennedy Approach.

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #5 - Posted 2007-11-27 04:53:14 »

I have uploaded a new version.  The colour scheme is not pretty, but should provide enough contrast.

Arcade Air Traffic Controller 4085 bytes

Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 5
Projects: 7


games4j.com


« Reply #6 - Posted 2007-11-28 13:26:50 »

Have played it a bit more and it has a certain charm, but if you are new to this type of game (niche game, so probably many are), then it is quite hard to begin with (at least). I managed to get a few planes to the proper destination mostly because they were already heading in the correct direction from the start which is nice. But even so I had 12 planes in the air after I had gotten 6 to the right destination on "easy". I find it hard to believe that (m)any persons will have a chance at the hard level. So I suggest that you make the levels a bit easier. "Easy" should probably be a tutorial level, so that people get a chance to figure out what to do without being overwhelmed and then giving up (I imagine many people will). Maybe even one plane every 45s or so. This should be ok, since you can press space to speed up if you don't have enough of work. It would be a shame to scare people away, since this game actually grows on you, and you can't say that about many 4k games.  Cheesy

Another smaller annoyance is that it forgets previous commands. That is, if I direct a plane to 1000 ft., then do some other work, and need to change the heading of the first plane, click the letter for the plane again, then the alt command is the current alt rather than the last command. Same thing for the heading.

Since you have 11 bytes left, you should fix that Wink

Q: Can you land a plane where a plane is parked, about to take off?

Aside: Funny that you print the info about planes not around, with blue on blue  Smiley

Gotten 24 exits, so starting to get the hang of it. A bit more practice and I should be able to "survive" easy level.


Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 5
Projects: 7


games4j.com


« Reply #7 - Posted 2007-11-28 13:39:37 »

Not sure if I should post this, but one funny thing I just noticed is that you can use the really wide and extremely short runways as well  Grin Have to hit them dead center though.

That should probably help surviving a bit longer, but definitely feels a bit wrong, but just a little bit. Cheesy

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #8 - Posted 2007-11-28 13:42:32 »

Not sure if I should post this, but one funny thing I just noticed is that you can use the really wide and extremely short runways as well  Grin Have to hit them dead center though.

That should probably help surviving a bit longer, but definitely feels a bit wrong, but just a little bit. Cheesy

Yeah, I didn't have enough space to properly check headings for all exits, so I left that as a "bug".  And like you said, it makes things easier.

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #9 - Posted 2007-11-28 13:43:57 »

Have played it a bit more and it has a certain charm, but if you are new to this type of game (niche game, so probably many are), then it is quite hard to begin with (at least). I managed to get a few planes to the proper destination mostly because they were already heading in the correct direction from the start which is nice. But even so I had 12 planes in the air after I had gotten 6 to the right destination on "easy". I find it hard to believe that (m)any persons will have a chance at the hard level. So I suggest that you make the levels a bit easier. "Easy" should probably be a tutorial level, so that people get a chance to figure out what to do without being overwhelmed and then giving up (I imagine many people will). Maybe even one plane every 45s or so. This should be ok, since you can press space to speed up if you don't have enough of work. It would be a shame to scare people away, since this game actually grows on you, and you can't say that about many 4k games.  Cheesy

Another smaller annoyance is that it forgets previous commands. That is, if I direct a plane to 1000 ft., then do some other work, and need to change the heading of the first plane, click the letter for the plane again, then the alt command is the current alt rather than the last command. Same thing for the heading.

Since you have 11 bytes left, you should fix that Wink

Q: Can you land a plane where a plane is parked, about to take off?

Aside: Funny that you print the info about planes not around, with blue on blue  Smiley

Gotten 24 exits, so starting to get the hang of it. A bit more practice and I should be able to "survive" easy level.



Your right about that.  I can't even do level 1 very well and I have had a lot of practice.  I will add 8 seconds to each level.  That will make level 4 40 seconds.

I will try to add a cancel command.  It depends more on my data structures than size.

Yes you can land where a plane is about to take.  In the real game, that I modelled this after, planes need to be 1000 ft apart or 3 miles apart, so that is what controls take off and landing.  But since this is an "Arcade" version, there are no rules about planes being close.  They can be 5 ft apart and it wouldn't matter.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #10 - Posted 2007-11-28 13:58:30 »

Uploaded new version.  Added 8 seconds to each level.

Arcade Air Traffic Controller 4086 bytes

Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 5
Projects: 7


games4j.com


« Reply #11 - Posted 2007-11-28 16:08:07 »

I will try to add a cancel command.  It depends more on my data structures than size.

Cool, but what I was trying to say was that when you select a plane I think it is more intuitive to get the command set to the last command, rather than the current heading and alt. For instance when a plane comes from W and should land at J. I instantly set alt to 0. After it has moved a few dots I want it to turn left to a heading of 270. The plane might have descended to 2000 ft. and I look at the plane and turn it to a heading of 270 and press ctrl. I then actually change the alt command to be 2000 ft. So if a plane is descending and I want it to turn, then I have to set the alt AGAIN.

It also cancels the previous command just by selecting a plane, so if I had set the alt to 0 and heading to 90 and selects the plane again while it is turning and descending (say with heading 0 and alt 3000), then it will just keep the heading and alt while it is selected.

Exits does not reset to 0 when you restart.

It also happened that I got a "bad exit" message when I don't think there really was a bad exit Huh No plane was highlighted either as I think normally happens. Not sure what that was.

I like the easy setting a lot better.

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #12 - Posted 2007-11-28 17:22:58 »

Cool, but what I was trying to say was that when you select a plane I think it is more intuitive to get the command set to the last command, rather than the current heading and alt. For instance when a plane comes from W and should land at J. I instantly set alt to 0. After it has moved a few dots I want it to turn left to a heading of 270. The plane might have descended to 2000 ft. and I look at the plane and turn it to a heading of 270 and press ctrl. I then actually change the alt command to be 2000 ft. So if a plane is descending and I want it to turn, then I have to set the alt AGAIN.

It also cancels the previous command just by selecting a plane, so if I had set the alt to 0 and heading to 90 and selects the plane again while it is turning and descending (say with heading 0 and alt 3000), then it will just keep the heading and alt while it is selected.
Don't know if there is enough room for that.  I will check.

Quote
Exits does not reset to 0 when you restart.

I'll look into it.

Quote
It also happened that I got a "bad exit" message when I don't think there really was a bad exit Huh No plane was highlighted either as I think normally happens. Not sure what that was.

I like the easy setting a lot better.

No, there was a bad exit, but there is a bug that sometimes makes the plane disappear instead of highlighting it yellow.

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