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Member Since 27 Nov 2009
Offline Last Active May 17 2012 08:21 AM

Topics I've Started

Wanted: feedback on multiplayer ideas and target platform

26 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

I'm an experienced developer (coder,artist) who has collaborated on a number of small free games and a few personal projects. I am hoping to branch out on a solo project, and if possible I would like to start making a bit of money from it. As an 'unknown' dev I'm really just testing the water rather than looking for a solid income stream though. I have a day job that pays well and allows me the free time to do all this stuff.

The concept is for a casual top-down shooter with a short but sweet single player campaign, but with the emphasis on the multiplayer aspect. The action is intended to be fast-paced and with plenty of depth, but very, very simple to get into. I am looking at a strong use of humour, puzzle/problem solving, and .. well the rest of it is really the 'secret sauce' that I think will make it all work.

With the multiplayer aspect I intend to offer an option between a) collaborative team-based ie: players facing a puzzle / level / AI opponent, and b) team vs team duel (ie: 1 team defending an objective, the other attempting to infiltrate / destroy etc).

My 'free preview' would offer a completely free short but sweet single player campaign (with tutorial), with access to the multiplayer option in a limited capacity (ie: a restricted number of player classses / types, and no stat save).

Unlocking the game by purchasing a login would offer extra classes for the multiplayer, saving of stats, ability to skin the player avatars, plus extra single player levels.

I have developed a prototype in C++/Win that I've distributed to a test group and some contacts, and feedback has been pretty awesome.

I'd like feedback on a few things here:

Free/paid content balance: How does my idea sound? Would a strong single player campaign that hooked you make you want to purchase more levels? If you enjoyed the multiplayer, would you pay for more involved multiplayer access (ie: playing as a different class, saving your stats, etc)?

Target audience:
Does this sound a good game idea for a casual gamer audience? Is there a market for casual multiplayer games?

Target platform :
I read everywhere that the download to disk market is not so strong any more, and I read elsewhere that this is not true. Opinions?

Would this work as a mobile game, or are mobile players not so interested in realtime multiplayer? I am also concerned about connection latency of the mobile signal, and control methods on mobile devices, does anyone have experience of how well these work?

I am thinking of aiming for a browser game (pop in the url, log in, play). This gives me the advantage of always offering the latest code (no version conflicts), with also the option of promoting any other titles I create in the future via, for example, a quick splash screen. Opinions?

Getting more specific, I am torn between unity (forces a user download, but faster dev time), and Java (installed most places, but lower level and possibly slower?).

Pricing structure : I'm thinking maybe only a couple of dollars/pounds to purchase a login for life that unlocks the features.

Feedback on any of this would be very helpful to an experienced coder but novice businessman!


What happened to the pc game industry?

08 May 2011 - 07:30 AM

You could say I've been living under a rock, so forgive me for this question.

When I graduated some years ago there was a pretty decent PC game industry. I could walk into a game or music shop and find walls of new and older PC titles plus a healthy pre-owned section.

When I left uni I dropped out of the computing scene pretty much altogether and spent my time on other things. Only recently I started getting the urge to get back into gaming and programming.

Yesterday, I decided to take a wad of cash into town and see what games I could buy. In the three game shops I tried, one did not have ANY pc titles, the other two had one row of shelves with about 15 different games, and no preowned section whatsoever. The places were full of console games.

I feel like I'm stepping back in time to the death of the Spectrum or the Amiga, when you couldn't buy new software anywhere.

Yet as far as I know the majority of people own PCs.. far more than do consoles. So I don't really get it.

So, I left with my bank balance intact and probably will continue to do so. The only game that really caught my eye was Fallout New Vegas (yeah I haven't played it yet..). I was all for giving them the huge amount of cash they were asking, but then I noticed the red box on the back about Steam. I suppose this is for another thread, but I already vowed never to buy another steam game, for so many reasons.



08 May 2011 - 07:21 AM

I've looked all throughout my profile settings and it's not jumping out at me. Is there a setting to change one's avatar to an image?

Considering the majority of folk here have no avatar or a standard icon, I think maybe not. But there are a few who do have a specific image.. is this a VIP feature?


Best place to start shader programming

25 April 2011 - 11:24 AM

I've only ever programmed the fixed function pipeline and want to start playing with shaders. Where, in terms of sites, books, tools and language, is a good place to start?

Assume I have good knowledge of 3d programming but no knowledge of shader technology at all, how it works, etc. What are the things I should know? What are the main shader languages and what are the differences? Do I have to write different shaders for OpenGL and DirectX?

I'd also be interested to know what level of shader programming is currently 'compatible' with most of the PC hardware base just now.



Consistent mouse<->physics behaviour across machines

15 April 2011 - 05:47 AM

Having a problem with my input, where the forces obtained from the mouse are not obtaining the same results when pushed into my (very simple) physics system, when run on slower/faster machines, or even just when I enable vsync.

The game is 2D top down. I'm using the delta X movement of the mouse per frame to add a rotational force to my spaceship.

So it looks something like this:

In my input component:
void playerControl()
	float deltaX = input->getMouseXDelta();
	...the rest of the input...

in my physics component.......
void addRotationForce(float amount)

//then on each timestep
void onUpdate(float deltaTime)
		//apply forces
		rotationalAcceleration = rotationForce / mass;
		rotationalVelocity += (rotationalAcceleration * deltaTime);
		heading += rotationalVelocity * deltaTime;		

		//simple friction
    	rotationalVelocity += (rotationalFriction*-rotationalVelocity*deltaTime);

		//reset forces
		rotationalAcceleration = 0;
		..other physics stuff...


When I enable vsync or run on a slower machine, the mouse inputs seem to get massively multiplied and the ship spins too fast.

The input is coming from an Irrlicht device, which takes the windows mouse movement messages and adds them to a deltaX, then resets the cursor to screen centre. As you can see I reset the deltas every time I read them above.

It seems to me the physics isn't producing the same output when the mouse input forces are supplied in lots of small, frequent values (ie: when running at 500fps) when compared with far less, larger values (ie: running at 60fps with vsync).

I'm guessing the smaller, more frequent values may be getting 'eaten up' by the friction?

What am I doing wrong?