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#Actualjsuffolk

Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

So my games a third person space shooter and coming up with an intuitive targeting has constantly been a challenge. Since I use an elastic third person camera algorithm, the camera may not always be right behind the player and an ordinary crosshair does not work (shot will not go where you point).

I first experimented with a 3d crosshair, and while it looked half-decent and fulfills player expectations for some sort of targeting aid I found it did little to actually aid targeting as the target direction is actually an angle across the screen not a single point.

Under_Fire.jpg

After I was unsatisfied with this approach and was trying to cut down on UI chrome I ripped out targeting completely for quite a while (no crosshairs or other aids, just the radar). While you eventually got used to figuring out where your shots would go, it was now virtually impossible to shoot fast enemies at a distance because of how difficult it was to lead the shots appropriately.


StarFighter.png

So I switched to another targeting cue, this time I use color-changing targeting cues on each ship that turn green when targeted, red when not (yellow is a transition color since the colors are linearly interpolated). This accounts for the amount you need to lead your shots, and seems to work well in almost all scenarios in terms of actually aiding targeting.

AttackingCarriers.png

However, when I sat a few of my friends in front of this game, nobody intuitively knew what the targeting aids meant. Since they don't light up green when you point at the enemy because you need to lead your shot it's not exactly intuitive. Further, it seemed the yellow color may have added to the confusion (perhaps I should just do a hard transition from red to green).

Then there's the inaccurate weapons. Some weapons (e.g. missiles) are by-design somewhat inaccurate, have non-linear velocity, or carry the players velocity into the shot somewhat. While the latter two can be accounted for by messing with the predictive equations, due to inaccuracy, even if you've done everything correctly and it lights up green you may miss (you also may miss if the enemy takes evasive action).

While I could probably explain targeting in a tutorial stage, I'm wondering if I'm just better off without targeting aids at all and maybe I should just do away with the UI chrome for targeting and leaving it up to the player to figure out.

How do you feel about targeting aids? Is there another option that might work besides the ones I've already explored?

#1jsuffolk

Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

So my games a third person space shooter and coming up with an intuitive targeting has constantly been a challenge. Since I use an elastic third person camera algorithm, the camera may not always be right behind the player and an ordinary crosshair does not work (shot will not go where you point).

I first experimented with a 3d crosshair, and while it looked half-decent and fulfills player expectations for some sort of targeting aid I found it did little to actually aid targeting as the target direction is actually an angle across the screen not a single point.

Under_Fire.jpg

After I was unsatisfied with this approach and was trying to cut down on UI chrome I ripped out targeting completely for quite a while (no crosshairs or other aids, just the radar). While you eventually got used to figuring out where your shots would go, it was now virtually impossible to shoot fast enemies at a distance because of how difficult it was to lead the shots appropriately.


StarFighter.png

So I switched to another targeting cue, this time I use color-changing targeting cues on each ship that turn green when targeted, red when not (yellow is a transition color since the colors are linearly interpolated). This accounts for the amount you need to lead your shots, and seems to work well in almost all scenarios in terms of actually aiding targeting.

Attacking Carriers


However, when I sat a few of my friends in front of this game, nobody intuitively knew what the targeting aids meant. Since they don't light up green when you point at the enemy because you need to lead your shot it's not exactly intuitive. Further, it seemed the yellow color may have added to the confusion (perhaps I should just do a hard transition from red to green).

Then there's the inaccurate weapons. Some weapons (e.g. missiles) are by-design somewhat inaccurate, have non-linear velocity, or carry the players velocity into the shot somewhat. While the latter two can be accounted for by messing with the predictive equations, due to inaccuracy, even if you've done everything correctly and it lights up green you may miss (you also may miss if the enemy takes evasive action).

While I could probably explain targeting in a tutorial stage, I'm wondering if I'm just better off without targeting aids at all and maybe I should just do away with the UI chrome for targeting and leaving it up to the player to figure out.

How do you feel about targeting aids? Is there another option that might work besides the ones I've already explored?

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