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  Control Problems  (Read 2793 times)
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Offline kevglass

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« Posted 2004-08-01 16:19:24 »

Finally recovered from my cold and I'm working on a game I'm hopeing to actually release proper but having a fair few problems trying to get the control system down.

The player controls a small ship which is thruster/asteroids style with a bit of gravity added in for fun.

The current problems seem to be:

1) Spend alot of time bouncing off the environment
2) Difficult to aim accurately

Tech demo is here: http://67.18.194.226/kev/grav2/grav2pg.jnlp

Graphics are currently what ever I could find so please excuse them. In addition its **WINDOWS ONLY** simply because I haven't got a LWJGL linux or mac build up to date enough. Sorry about, hopefully have it fixed sooner rather than later.

Kev

Offline jbanes

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Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-08-01 19:48:09 »

I think all you need is more thrust, more gravity, and less bounce.  The ship should "feel" heavy. To compensate for this, the engines need to be powerful enough to counteract the gravity. Also, the bounce needs to be lessened so that it feels more like a "crash". Here's a few shockwave lander games that have pretty good physics handling:

http://www.arcadevault.com/monkey_lander.html
http://www.thepcmanwebsite.com/media/lunar_lander/

Also, this Linux game (also for Windows) is pretty cool:

http://www.lysator.liu.se/~peda/thrust/

I assume you're using additive vectors for the physics? Hope this helps!

Smiley

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Offline kevglass

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-08-01 21:04:54 »

Additive vectors, yep.

Incresed the thrust, seems to have made it considerably more controllable.

Any ideas for the aiming problem?

Kev

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Offline jbanes

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Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-08-01 21:41:13 »

Dunno. Aiming seems ok to me. I think what you actually want is a higher rate of fire. This would allow the player to better target his shots based on previous shots.

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Offline princec

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-08-02 12:45:18 »

Increase the thrust  - dead right, but don't increase the gravity. If you increase gravity too much you end up all your time facing upwards and generally unable to shoot at things because you're always trying to counteract it.

Don't forget to cap max speed.

And for sure you need to be able to fire as many bullets as you like. I suggest that you fire a bullet on keydown AND keyup to double the rate of fire.


Cas Smiley

Offline jbanes

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Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-08-02 14:10:42 »

Quote
Don't forget to cap max speed.


Isn't there a technical term for that? *cough*Terminal Velocity*cough* Wink  Grin

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Offline kevglass

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-08-02 16:38:58 »

Actually the fire rate is independant of the key presses, but I'll try speeding it up none the less.

Forgot to mention, pressing F8 takes you into another mode I'd like to use, but again, it makes it really really difficult.

Kev

Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-08-02 20:05:01 »

Took me a while to suss out what the keys were, but once I did I found it pretty easy to control, which was a bit of a revelation because normally games like this I find nigh on impossible. That said, it probably means for any "real" gamer as opposed to a lame-ass rpger like myself it will be very easy.

Reminds me of a game called "Dropship" on the Archimedes, but this is a bit easier. Which is probably good because that wasn't fun at all...

The bounce factor is not necessarily bad- reminds me of a game called "Rasterscan" or something like that on the Amstrad CPC where you played a kind of souped up beachball and you had to make your way around a big old spaceship in very low gravity by bouncing. The only real hazards were getting trapped somewhere or zooming off into space but it was good fun, in a frustrating but addictive kind of way and quite funny when you got up a big head of steam and just start bouncing round at top speed with almost no control whatsoever. You could perhaps make a "ricochet shield" type power-up that makes you more bouncy but more resilient.

I think you could combine upping the rate of fire with upping the speed of projectiles a little, but I didn't find aiming very hard.
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
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Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-08-12 15:49:06 »

Updated a fair bit, shouldn't really be typing at the moment but couldn't resist. Man I'm addicted and weak.

Controls:

- Left/Right cursor - rotate ship
- Up - thrust
- Ctrl - fire

Unfortunately I just noticed timeing out doesn't do anything, but don't worry too much Smiley

Kev

Offline digitprop

Junior Member





« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-08-13 14:56:40 »

IMHO, the most difficult thing with these inertia drive games is that you constantly have to counter-balance your velocity and gravity.

I permanently switch between acceleration to compensate for gravity and deceleration to not bump into walls.

I think a certain drag would help, i.e. an automatic constant deceleration (in addition to gravity). This would make navigation easier as the player just needs to periodically accelerate.

Another thing which may just be me - I find the background disturbing. It makes the actual game map seem very flat (which it is, of course), and interferes with my suspense of disbelief. It just doesn't 'feel' like being a small space ship in a cavern system - more like being a small space ship in front of a brownish, blurry sky, with a billboard of a cavern system thrown in.

The 'F8 mode', on the other hand, is marvelous! It adds a lot of atmosphere, and gives the game a somewhat haunting, scary touch.

M. Fischer . www.digitprop.com
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Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
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« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-08-13 15:06:36 »

Thanks for the feedback, I'll add some drag and see how it works out.

Background - much more worried about this. Is it the particular graphics or just having a background? Would shadowing the tiles help?

Thanks again,

Kev

Offline digitprop

Junior Member





« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-08-13 21:05:43 »

Background: I think it's the background in general that is the problem, not the particular graphic.

How about a background which resembles the tiles of the foreground (only perhaps shaded or darkened)? In that way, if you add 'doors' it will seem like the player can switch between planes - which will convey the feeling of a three-dimensional tangled maze.

The doors need not necessarily lead to a real second plane - as long as the player is warped to a different location he will have the feeling of being in a very complex environment.

However, I would make sure that the ACTUAL complexity is not too high - nothing is more annoying than to get completely lost in a game like this.

M. Fischer . www.digitprop.com
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-08-14 21:19:23 »

Managed to tidy up some of the stuff I was working on before my arm decided to give out. Some more updates including a new level! Woo!

Kev

Offline 20thCenturyBoy

Senior Member


Medals: 3


So much to learn, so little time.


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-10-01 07:01:58 »

Just tried this, very impressive. I like the clean menus and transitions. Nice smooth graphics too. Out of interest how long did you spend to get the game to this state?

Personally I think the ship needs to be heavier. It has too much inertia which makes it hard to control.

Good work though!

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

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Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-10-01 07:05:26 »

I've been working on it on and off for about 2 months now. I'm trying to get a bit more feedback on it before designing the 40 levels I need for the complete game and getting graphics overhaul done.

However, valuable feedback like yours has all but dried up.

Kev

Offline 20thCenturyBoy

Senior Member


Medals: 3


So much to learn, so little time.


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-10-01 07:35:50 »

2 months? Wow. I like what you can achieve with Java these days  Smiley

As for 40 levels, good luck! Creating content is the hardest part of gamedev, for me anyway. Where do you get the inspiration from? As well as the artistic skills. And making each level different enough to be interesting.

Is there someone who could do the levels for you?

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