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  chopper game pre-release question  (Read 5662 times)
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Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Posted 2005-02-19 11:06:43 »

hi,

i'm currently working on a chopper game.
it would be nice if you guys could have a look at it and tell me what you think about the chopper control system.
in my opinion it's too complicated to play, but i have no other idea how to simplify the controls AND move the chopper (and the cannon impact point) as realistic as possible.

here's the game:
http://games.rastaduck.org/EscalationChopper/EscalationChopper.jnlp

note:
*) the game name "EscalationChopper" will most probably be subject to change without notice. Wink
*) the red dot is the cannon impact point. the blue line shows the rotor slope vector. both will of course be removed later.

Offline Morre

JGO Knight


Medals: 2
Projects: 10


I'm Dragonene on IRC.


« Reply #1 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:10:02 »

I like it.

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #2 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:12:28 »

Shocked have you tried firing at a stone? in my opinion it should be easier to shoot at a target. currently you have to be rather lucky to bring the chopper in a good position to shoot.

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Offline Morre

JGO Knight


Medals: 2
Projects: 10


I'm Dragonene on IRC.


« Reply #3 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:18:50 »

I agree... I think the biggest problem is that when you turn the chopper, the slope control point remains the same... try turning that an equal amount, so that "forward" is always in the direction of the chopper, so to speak.

Offline cyberyoyo

Junior Devvie




Java games funk


« Reply #4 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:20:06 »


Well one of the principal particularities of an helicopter is the possibility to hover on a certain area , while it seems that your helicopter is constantly moving, and it takes a bit too long to change the velocity direction.It should be possible to vary the speed too.
Apart from that the ocntrols are okay.
Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #5 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:21:59 »

Quote
I agree... I think the biggest problem is that when you turn the chopper, the slope control point remains the same... try turning that an equal amount, so that "forward" is always in the direction of the chopper, so to speak.

i tried that already but i had even more difficulties with this type of control. Sad

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #6 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:24:19 »

Quote

Well one of the principal particularities of an helicopter is the possibility to hover on a certain area , while it seems that your helicopter is constantly moving, and it takes a bit too long to change the velocity direction.It should be possible to vary the speed too.
Apart from that the ocntrols are okay.

the speed can be limited by moving not too far away from the slope control origin. but i agree regarding the "constantly moving" thing. i think everything could change faster. just let me adjust some parameters...

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #7 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:33:30 »

... done. it's now a tiny bit easier to bring the chopper in a good shooting position.
please have a look again.

i think i'll try to improve the parameter settings and leave the control as it is.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #8 - Posted 2005-02-19 12:48:53 »

Standard approaches in these kind of games are:
- make the aiming point much closer to the chopper, perhaps square root of what you currently have it at

- make the aiming point not move when you change angle (or not move *much*)...they have gyros, so the gun etc can automatically move in response to changing pitch of the chopper

- use a modern chopper aiming system, with auto-targetting, and player just uses tab or similar to change targets

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

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #9 - Posted 2005-02-19 13:22:04 »

Quote
Standard approaches in these kind of games are:
- make the aiming point much closer to the chopper, perhaps square root of what you currently have it at

ok, i'll move it a bit, but not that much. i think too close to the chopper would look strange.

Quote
- make the aiming point not move when you change angle (or not move *much*)...they have gyros, so the gun etc can automatically move in response to changing pitch of the chopper

- use a modern chopper aiming system, with auto-targetting, and player just uses tab or similar to change targets

that's what i planned but not implemented yet.
there will be an "auto-aiming" key for the cannon and the rockets.

btw, do you know a good (and free) chopper game where i can get some inspiration?


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Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 8
Projects: 8


games4j.com


« Reply #10 - Posted 2005-02-19 14:47:40 »

Quote
Shocked have you tried firing at a stone? in my opinion it should be easier to shoot at a target. currently you have to be rather lucky to bring the chopper in a good position to shoot.

I was wondering if you couldn't move the mouse control to the w,a,s,d keys (like FPS ctrls), move the rotation keys to q and e and then simply aim with the mouse. You could allow a shooting angle of ~45 degrees if the heading of the chopper, so moving mouse to the right you shoot a bit to the right of the heading of the chopper. Move mouse up will shoot closer to the shopper and vice versa.

One other advantage with using keys is that you can "auto-center" so that when you let go of the keys the chopper will slowly come to a standstill.

If that gets to difficult you can always just rotate the whole chopper with mouse right left and skip the q and e keys.

Not sure if this will make it easier to control, but probably will make it easier to blast things to pieces and that's what's important, right?
Cheesy

Looks very promising!

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #11 - Posted 2005-02-19 15:45:06 »

Quote

I was wondering if you couldn't move the mouse control to the w,a,s,d keys (like FPS ctrls), move the rotation keys to q and e and then simply aim with the mouse.

yeah, i had that idea already. i did some tests with keyboard entry and my first thoughts were that only analog control (-> mouse) leads to realistic behaviour. but i'm sure i can modify the key event handling in a way which simulates analog control.

Quote
Not sure if this will make it easier to control, but probably will make it easier to blast things to pieces and that's what's important, right?
Cheesy

ahh yeah, man! Cool

Quote
Looks very promising!

thx. looks like this will be my coolest game so far.

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #12 - Posted 2005-02-26 10:39:57 »

hi again!

i have now completely changed the chopper controls.
would you mind having another look at the game and telling me your thoughts about the controls?

http://games.rastaduck.org/EscalationChopper/EscalationChopper.jnlp

note: no mouse controls anymore, start the game with enter. instructions are shown on the intro screen.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #13 - Posted 2005-02-26 11:29:15 »

I think it's totally unplayable now, unles you are willing to spend mucho effort "learning" this particular game - which is bad for you if you want many people to play it.

But ... I think it's a great control system for a chopper; it captures rather well the "spirit" of chopper flying (the weirdness of a control system where you have two joysticks, and can do very funky manoeuvres, etc).

So, I suggest you try a "lock" mode where the *background* spins instead of the chopper, but otherwise everythign is the same. I suspect this would be much easier for people to get up and running with (and, probably, give them time to get used to the controls without having to try too hard, then later they can move on to the "unlocked" mode (what it is now) and the change will be easier for them).

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

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #14 - Posted 2005-02-26 11:43:25 »

Quote
I think it's totally unplayable now...

wow, i thought i made it easier. do you think the previous mouse control version was better?
what exactly disturbs you with this type of control?

Quote

But ... I think it's a great control system for a chopper; it captures rather well the "spirit" of chopper flying (the weirdness of a control system where you have two joysticks, and can do very funky manoeuvres, etc).

yes, i wanted to create something between arcade/fun and realism.

Quote

So, I suggest you try a "lock" mode where the *background* spins instead of the chopper, but otherwise everythign is the same. I suspect this would be much easier for people to get up and running with (and, probably, give them time to get used to the controls without having to try too hard, then later they can move on to the "unlocked" mode (what it is now) and the change will be easier for them).

hmm, i think this would require too much code change and i'm not sure if i could achieve that change AND have the same framerate that i have now.

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #15 - Posted 2005-02-26 12:38:23 »

i've combined strafing and rotation now. the player can now move the chopper only with the arrow keys.
additionally rotation still works with the D and F keys.

Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #16 - Posted 2005-02-28 04:50:39 »

any comments on that?  Huh

Offline dranonymous

Junior Devvie




Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2005-03-01 12:32:11 »

While Jeff Foxworthy says here's your sign, I say - Here's your list!  Grin

- Controls seemed fine to me.  For a second or two I got disoriented about how the controls worked, but then it was fine.  One problem you will have though, is a person can't backup while shooting something.

- The targetting was frustrating for me.  I wanted a constant 'shooting point' or target area.  I couldn't gauge where my shoots would be until I was firing.  If you are going to limit ammo at some point, that would get very annoying to have to fire just to figure out where you are going to hit.

- The enemies don't flash or give any indication you are hitting them until they explode.  Intermediate feedback would be helpful.

- I was flying along and suddenly stopped due to hitting a world boundry I guess.  I could back up and then ram into it again, coming to a stop right away.  Could you implement a wrap, so the world seems continuous?

- Sound was good.  I definately like the shooting and explosion sounds.  What about adding a rotor sound?  This would be really great if you incorporate taking off and landing, since the blades would start and stop.

- Graphics were nice.  Very good explosion.  Nice effect of the guns shooting.

- There was an occasional long frame time ( I was getting above 50 fps normally), but every once in awhile I got a visual stutter.

- Great start on things!

Dr. A>
Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #18 - Posted 2005-03-01 12:49:10 »

thanks for answering. after not receiving any replies for days i thought i'm annoying people or something.

please note that the game is not ready at all. what you can see now is about 30% of what i expect to have in the end. therefore some of your suggestions will definetly be added to the game. but i haven't had the time to add them yet. the only reason i posted this question was if people are getting along well with the chopper control.

what do you mean by "a person cannot backup while shooting"?

there will be a target point.

there will be some indication if an enemy is hit or not (maybe some different impact sound)

the world boundaries are disturbing. i know. this will be changed too.

sounds are totally incomplete. i'm planning to have background music and rotor sound and stuff...

all my games have visual stutters. i can't get rid of them. most probably related to garbage collection.

thanks again for your answers.

mod

Offline javatypo

Junior Devvie





« Reply #19 - Posted 2005-03-16 15:10:47 »

that is pretty cool!

i think u should make the mouse control the direction you are going and then forward arrow is acceleration forward backward arrow acceleration backward mouse button shoot, and left and right arrows strafe.  u definitly should add indicators, and if u are going to add a wrap so that there is no level boundary, then i think u should add things to the world that people can identify as a certain place so that players can have an idea of where they are in the world.
Offline MasterOfDisaster

Junior Devvie




O_o


« Reply #20 - Posted 2005-03-16 19:05:47 »

thx. i had mouse control implemented at the beginning and most people complained about it. to be honest, i also found it too difficult. thats why i switched to keyboard controls and i think it's now easy enough to have fun playing the game.

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