I noticed the shields take time to charge at the start of battle. Is that intentional?
Yes, and that's solely to cater to my geeky nature. I almost thought about including voice overs that would say "shields up", but that may be copyright infringement
You might want a second overly texture to the shields at the impact when a weapon strikes them to add a little extra eye candy and make them seem more real.
Actually, they'll have their own particle effect. I don't see why explosives would explode in a burst of fire when in contact with shields. I thought an electrical-like animation would work best. Currently investigating particleEffects to make it look better. I agree that a different feedback is essential for this (and I don't think it's JUST eye-candy).
Again with shields up should attacks stop just before hitting the ship?
I'm trying to simulate some form of depth. Assuming the shields are spherical, it would be possible for the projectile to hit at a higher depth, which would appear to hit "in" the shields, but could really just be higher on the z axis.
That being said, battles will be computed backend-side, and pixel-perfect collision would consume too much server CPU. I had started on pixel-perfect collisions, but my partner pointed that fact early enough so that I didn't need to rollback my work on this and I appreciate it. We agreed to K.I.S.S. for server-side reasons.
I could still have the impacts occur at a different distance from the center though, but I'm thinking that the different impact anim should be enough (for now).
There seems to be lack of scale and substance. I don't get a feel for why one side completely dominates over the other.
I think that's one of the reasons why I wanted to make the gauges appear before. They gave an idea of how well-armed the ships were.
The truth is that, at this stage, everything is randomized. In the actual game though, a specific ship image would be associated with a specific ship design, and as a result, players would be able to associate the visual with its relative strength. I think you may be misled by the fact all ships are randomized from a list of 3 visuals, regardless of their current strength. Note that this is for testing purposes mostly (allows me to test various configurations by just refreshing the browser window).
One of the items on top of my todo is to make a "debug input" where ships can be added by clicking a button (instead of starting with a random roster).
What I could do, to suit my needs, would be to do as follows:
(Key press) - (Action)
1: Add a ship of Type 1 to Player 1
2: Add a ship of Type 2 to Player 1
3: Add a ship of Type 3 to Player 1
4: Add a ship of Type 1 to Player 2
5: Add a ship of Type 2 to Player 2
6: Add a ship of Type 3 to Player 2
Then, I could have ships from each type stick to an "archetype" as would be the case in the game. Tentatively:
- Corvette (weak, fast)
- Destroyer (strong firepower, but weak defenses)
- Battleship (tank, possibly a carrier)
Perhaps you could scale the ships? if the ship with average hp is 1 then a ship with max hp of .5 would half the size of that ship, and a ship with three times the max hp would be three times as big.
Unfortunately I can't:
[soiler] The reason for this is that I'm using scaling to differentiate ships from fighters! *epic orchestration* [/spoiler]
I'm hoping that tying relative strength of ships to a visual will be of some help here though.
Also what about an little extra eye candy to background? Take a look at this image I grabbed off the nasa astronomy picture of the data site.
I'm on the fence on this one. I'm trying to keep a pixelated look as much as possible, but I agree that a nebula would be more eye-candy.
When I did attempt to make stellarObjects appear in the background, I was however disappointed with the result because it made the combat readability harder.
There's a bunch of things happening in a fight, projectiles, possibly text boxes and gauges, etc. Adding bright colors in the background will make it harder to "see" what happens, and I'm not sure the extra eye-candy thrumps the need for clarity.
I'll investigate a bit further, and see if I can add anything that doesn't add too much noise.
Thanks for the great feedback!