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  I need some help with the controls :(  (Read 3742 times)
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Offline princec

JGO Kernel


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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Posted 2004-05-03 21:07:33 »

Hi all,
I don't know whether my new game is too "awkward" or not. I like the controls but Charlotte hates them. Has anybody got any constructive thought on the controls?

http://www.puppygames.net/downloads/hallucinogenesis/hallucinogenesis.jnlp

I've tried a hands-free version as well that rotates in the direction you move the mouse but usually that means you're facing away from the things you're trying to shoot :/ My only other alternative I think is the accursed crosshair and keyboard for movement. Aargh!

Cas Smiley

Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Duke




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-05-03 21:17:53 »

Well, hmmmm, being completely new to the game, all I could figure out how control was move the ship using the mouse and fire with left button. But the ship always faced to the right and I always shot to the right. If that is the limitations, then I found it fairly easy to control. But I was trying to figure out how to turn the ship around unsuccessfully.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Offline Luke

Senior Newbie




I love YaBB 1G - SP1!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-05-03 21:30:59 »

Have you thought about Llamatron style - rotate in the direction you move the mouse when the mouse button is up and lock the direction when it is down (and fire all the time)?
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Offline thaaks
« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-05-04 06:00:58 »

I vote for the accursed crosshair! Aim and shoot with mouse and use the cursor keys for movement - similar to Alien Flux.

The current control system got me totally confused. I was constantly shooting the void and trying to fiddle around with X and Y keys. And the rotation itself was way too fast.
BTW: The tail of collected objects often covers the ship so you can't even see the direction you're targeting at.

Otherwise it's a funny little game with lots of explosions  Grin

Tommy

Offline princec

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Medals: 407
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« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-05-04 06:41:34 »

Ok, I'm going to update it with a new version that allows you to switch between the different control methods we've thought of and see which one you prefer. Then I'll post a poll.

Cas Smiley

Offline javawillie

Junior Duke




Hola, Paco.


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-05-04 07:16:17 »

I don't know the Llamatron game, so I don't know the controls for that, but the game reminds me of Asteroids a bit.  That might be a way to do it (two rotate keys, thrust, and fire).

It took me a bit to figure out how to control the ship but I was able to do it.

Willie
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-05-04 08:28:34 »

>Charlotte hates them

me too :>

Luke's suggestion sounds pretty good. But I would do it the other way 'round. Aim in the opposite direction you are moving. Press the mouse = fire + direction lock.

If you are at the screen boarders you need to be able to fire towards the center, that would work by either using a dead zone (a border you cant enter) or by working with deltas instead of absolute coords.

I would also turn the smoothing (speed cap) almost off. Heh it's a mouse if you want it slow just move it slow Wink

This way it should be rather twitchy.

Oh and for the relative stuff... since you can be directly at the screen edges you need to mark the spots were enemys appear (small flashing arrow) or just blast em into the screen in places were you currently not are. But it's nicer with random spawns imo, because it forces the player to move more - thus the perceived action is a bit stronger.

You could also use two different arrows. Simple '>' alike thingies for slow appearing enemyies and bigger flashing (beep beep) warning arrows for enemy formations wich bust in with high speed.

<played again>

Hmm... right now they spawn somewhere in the middle - effectively forcing you to the borders. That feels a bit restricting and is also kinda anti 360°.

The spread of the bubbles make it also hard to adjust the aiming direction. Those "bullets" are used as primary feedback for the direction you're aiming at, therefore it should be a bit clearer (straight ahead).

Oh and if you want to know how good your controls are, make it one hit = dead. Then you'll see. Btw having a energy bar in a shoot'em up, jump'n'shoot or jump'n'run is a two edged sword and in general it's more on the bad side. In the design phase you won't necessarly notice unfair things, suspense is softened, the amount of important decisions per minute is highly decreased and players with some experience will say things like "Oh an energy bar - i'm sure the controls suck." the first time they see a screenshot. Well, most won't say that but their intuition would tell 'em something like that.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 407
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« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-05-04 09:39:11 »

New version now up has "locking" and directional control. Use shift, RMB, or caps lock to lock the direction you are facing in. Just move the mouse to move now. Z and X are still enabled for comparison.

Please take no notice of the start level. A very small percentage of levels are going to have a swarm of aliens spawning in the middle and following you like that. "Fruitini!!!" (4,5) is what most of the levels will be like.

I have adjusted the speed of the mouse tracking; it's much more responsive now.

What do you think of Fruitini, Angry Pumpkin, Strawberry Fields, Swarms of Twitchy Pods and Once Twice Thrice?

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-05-04 10:27:18 »

Well, it finally runs on linux (instead of just crashing), but the mouse pointer is seriously f-d - cursor responds to input at a rate of approximately 1Hz!

Got to the screen with all the question marks, had no idea what to do next. Clicking, double-clicking, and hitting enter all did nothing.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline AndersDahlberg

Junior Duke





« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-05-04 11:29:39 »

Works on linux and my computer too ( Roll Eyes )

Likes the z+x+mouse version best - even though pressing z or x IMO rotates the ship to much (minimum of ~45 deg. - I guess about 10-15 would be great instead)

Also a possible bug: in angry pumpkin my ship and the pumpkin got lost "out of screen"?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-05-04 11:48:31 »

>what to do next

Click on one of the quads without a questionmark. (maybe they should blink or something?)

---

I like the shirt/rmb lockable way much more, but I still think, that I would prefer aiming in the opposite direction.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline princec

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-05-04 12:13:03 »

You'll only prefer aiming in the opposite direction on the few levels where you need to actually run away from aliens chasing you and shoot them at the same time. Most of the levels aren't going to be like that! The red spikes/bubble level is just a test.

The sensitivity problem is... a bug in the timing code! It's completely getting the timing wrong and running at like 200fps! Don't know why yet :/ Works on my XP boxen, Nvidia and ATI, dual and single processors.

Cas Smiley

Offline princec

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Medals: 407
Projects: 3
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« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-05-04 12:14:53 »

No idea why your mouse cursor is b0rked blah^3.. again, might be the timing code going awry, somehow. I'm investigating.

ps. Try clicking on the only different square on the map, in the middle...

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-05-04 13:22:46 »

Quote
No idea why your mouse cursor is b0rked blah^3.. again, might be the timing code going awry, somehow. I'm investigating.
Cas Smiley


I have similar massive slowdown problems with the latest cosmic trip (c.f. my post in that thread), with less than 1 FPS on the menu screen.

It may be there's something funny with latest versions of LWJGL. However, right now I'm more for blaming linux for having screwed itself up (this is the machine I was trying to rebuild, and have only partly got there). I will let you (and Kev and etc) know if I still have problems post-reformat-and-install.

So don't worry much unless someone else gets the same problems...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline 20thCenturyBoy

Senior Duke


Medals: 3


So much to learn, so little time.


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-05-04 13:53:56 »

That's a really fun game you've got there in the making Cas. I love the mouse control! To me it is much more intuitive than keys.

"I have never done unit testing and I don’t find it a very useful concept" - Jonathan Blow
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-05-04 17:45:20 »

Works for me!

I like the "mouse to move, LMB to shoot where ship is facing" system.  It's a bit tricky to fire in a specified direction when you are being pursued, but that's half the challenge, hey?

Is the RMB being used for anything atm?  Could be used for an alternate (back-facing) fire, if you wish.

Probably a bit early for this, but hey:

[BUG] Strawberry Fields.  Naturally I decided that the best way of grabbing everything was moving the mouse really, really fast.  Unfortunately the player ship completely left the screen... Grin

Edit: Hmm, just caused a complete VM crash as well.  You generating any logs anywhere?

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-05-04 18:16:34 »

I've crashed on Twitchy Pods twice now.  Webstart console log:

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Java Web Start 1.4.2 Console, started Tue May 04 21:05:56 BST 2004
Java 2 Runtime Environment: Version 1.4.2 by Sun Microsystems Inc.
Logging to file: C:\My Documents\Webstart.log
Not creating bubble.appearance
Not creating jelly.appearance
Not creating gunner.appearance
Not creating twitchypod.appearance
Not creating pumpkin.appearance
Not creating orange.appearance
Not creating banana.appearance
Not creating apple.appearance
Not creating strawberry.appearance
Creating room.5,5
Creating room.4,3
Creating room.4,5
Creating room.5,4
Creating room.3,4
Creating room.4,4
Creating a genesis.TitleScreen
Creating a genesis.MapScreen
Creating a genesis.InstructionsScreen
Creating a genesis.GameScreen
Creating a genesis.EndGameScreen
java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: No more sprites are available.
      at com.shavenpuppy.jglib.sprites.SpriteEngine.allocate(SpriteEngine.java:128)
      at genesis.Screen.allocateSprite(Screen.java:323)
      at genesis.Emitter.emit(Emitter.java:101)
      at genesis.Room.collectionEffect(Room.java:694)
      at genesis.Player.collect(Player.java:393)
      at genesis.Behaviour$Action.doAction(Behaviour.java:463)
      at genesis.Behaviour$Action.access$0(Behaviour.java:443)
      at genesis.Behaviour$Event.doAction(Behaviour.java:554)
      at genesis.Behaviour.handleCollision(Behaviour.java:766)
      at genesis.Alien.onCollisionWithPlayer(Alien.java:105)
      at genesis.Player.onCollision(Player.java:151)
      at genesis.Room.tickAllEntities(Room.java:533)
      at genesis.Room.tick(Room.java:404)
      at genesis.GameScreen.doTick(GameScreen.java:270)
      at genesis.Screen.tick(Screen.java:183)
      at genesis.Screen.tickAllScreens(Screen.java:332)
      at genesis.Game.tick(Game.java:437)
      at genesis.Game.run(Game.java:380)
      at genesis.Game.main(Game.java:358)
      at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
      at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
      at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
      at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
      at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.executeApplication(Launcher.java:837)
      at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.executeMainClass(Launcher.java:797)
      at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.continueLaunch(Launcher.java:675)
      at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.handleApplicationDesc(Launcher.java:390)
      at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.handleLaunchFile(Launcher.java:199)
      at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.run(Launcher.java:167)
      at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)


Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-05-04 19:39:16 »

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java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: No more sprites are available. 
 at com.shavenpuppy.jglib.sprites.SpriteEngine.allocate(SpriteEngine.java:12 8)

Mwahaha, can I interest you in a ResizingSpriteEngine Cas? Grin Grin

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 407
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-05-04 20:27:53 »

Hehe Smiley Bugger off, I'll just allocate more sprites!
Logs are found in docs & settings\<user>\Hallucinogenesis

RMB locks your ship's direction. Not the easiest thing in the world to use. Shift might be easier.

For reasons that will become clear to you as I reveal more levels, firing backwards with another button ain't an option...

Cas Smiley

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-05-04 21:50:14 »

Quote
Logs are found in docs & settings\<user>\Hallucinogenesis

Heh, it's created a C:\WINDOWS\Hallucinogenesis directory on my Win98 box.  But there are no files in there.

Quote
RMB locks your ship's direction. Not the easiest thing in the world to use. Shift might be easier.

I have to say that that's a control system that sounds bloody awful on paper, but in practice works really, really well!  But I hope you realise that it makes (for instance) the red sparkle levels essentially trivial?


[BUG] Something that's really annoying me: the angry pumpkin needs an angry face! Angry

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline BugBear

Senior Newbie




Ground FX Racing


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-05-05 00:49:12 »

This game is impossible on a 3000+ AMD (way, way, way too fast).  My video card is a geForce 3.

When I start the level, it looks like an explosion of white lights surrounded by red and I was dead in about 1 second.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 407
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-05-05 07:10:06 »

The bug in the timing code is driving me crazy :/ I have the sneakiest suspicion the hires timer isn't working, nor vsync!

Cas Smiley

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-05-05 07:16:52 »

Quote
The bug in the timing code is driving me crazy :/ I have the sneakiest suspicion the hires timer isn't working, nor vsync!


Hm. If it's setup like the demo game loop thingy... then I would guess the driver claims that vsync is working and enabled but infact it isn't.

(Or do you use time based movement now? Since AF was tick based)

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 407
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-05-05 08:05:27 »

It's tick based.

Cas Smiley

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-05-05 08:42:15 »

Quote
public static boolean isVSyncEnabled()

Determines to the best of the platform's ability whether monitor vysnc is enabled on this window. The failsafe assumption is that when vsync cannot be determined, this method returns false, and you should rely on using a hires timer to throttle your framerate rather than relying on monitor sync (even if monitor sync is actually working). Therefore you can guarantee that if we return true from this method that we're pretty certain vsync is enabled.


...pretty certain Tongue

Well, good to know that there are drivers wich can dodge it. Ok then just use capping around your loop in any case and aim for hz+1 fps. This way you shouldn't miss any blank signal and it will run with the desired speed (ok a fart faster Grin)

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
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