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Moving Right Along with Ship Movement

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Eck

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Personal Update:


It looks like I won the Week of Awesome III [size=1]unofficial judging award! >.>

I had a lot of fun playing all the entries and participating at least peripherally in WoA III. Congratulations to the winners, kudos to all the participants, and special thanks to all the contributors who made up quite the prize pool this year. I'm not sure when I'll get time to make my belated entry, but I'll let you know when I do.

Professional Update:


I made a few pages for my website at ecktechgamescom. One for each Unity Asset that I've submitted and an About page. I spent more time than I intended on styling and layout, but I think it looks nice now.

I've been messing with my turn-based battle system and I've added ship movement to the mix. Each ship has a limited amount of movement and spends this time to turn and move. Currently there aren't shield arcs or firing arcs so movement doesn't mean too much yet. The AI just picks a random spot near the player to move to, but it looks more interesting than sitting still and trading licks. I should have recorded a video with slower turning ships so you could see the ghost indicator's range shorten up as you try to move behind yourself.



I stumbled across another sci-fi turn-based game Stars in Shadow and saw how their combat is HEAVILY influenced by Master of Orion 2, and that's when it dawned on me. MOO2 combat is really what I'd love to have in my game, so I'll be trying to emulate that as best I can.

There's a ton of stuff to do, so I'm going to start fleshing out my design a little more and start knocking things out. Here are a few off the top of my head:

  • BattleSystem improvements
  • Better Ship Blueprints/Configuration system
  • Ship components - Engines, power generators, armor, shields, etc
  • Weapon Mods
  • Multiple Combatants and Initiative Queue
  • More Weapon Types
  • Shields / Shield Arcs
  • Firing Arcs
  • AI that's at least somewhat interesting
  • Unit/Target Selection Indicator
  • Better UI System
  • Crew/Internal damage

    My main efforts are going to be these items for the next week or two. It's not that I'll be done in 2 weeks, I just want to move on to some different game elements once the combat is good enough to be a placeholder.

    Tip from your Uncle Eck:


    I didn't really run into anything weird or gotcha-worthy in Unity this week, so I'll just share some Eck wisdom. Here's the secret to losing weight:
    [spoiler]Eat less, move around more.[/spoiler]
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I'm curious about your movement system, is it where you have a certain set of Movement Points, and those points are spent when the ship needs to turn (which it does in place), or when it needs to move.  And then certain ships have a higher cost to turn per degree?  Or are you a tile/hex grid under the hood?

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I'm curious about your movement system, is it where you have a certain set of Movement Points, and those points are spent when the ship needs to turn (which it does in place), or when it needs to move.  And then certain ships have a higher cost to turn per degree?  Or are you a tile/hex grid under the hood?

 

Right now it's all free-form movement using Unity's transform.position which is a Vector3. Ships have different turn rates which translates into how many degrees per movement point they can turn. If they have a turn rate of 60, then turning 180 degrees costs 3 movement points. A movement point also allows you to move 1 unit in the world. You're allowed to turn and move fractional movement points.

 

This movement system emulates what Master of Orion II did. Turn in place, then move to your destination. I don't think it looks nearly as cool or natural as your tanks and their smoothly turning arrows indicating the planned movement, but it was relatively easy to implement. I really like what you did though. :)

 

One day I might go with a hex grid since I think it lets you better plan tactical actions by seeing what limited movement options you and your opponent have. Or I might go with square grid system since that's what Master of Orion II was.

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Yeah, I like hexes for facings, though that could be a holdover from playing Star Fleet Battles as a kid.  

 

And thanks, it took a bit of work to get right, and at all performant.  Though if you don't have any obstacles to path around, the complexity goes way down, as then it's just a Dubin's Curve.  Might be worth looking into if you end up committing to a gridless game.  But I agree that a discrete tile or hex grid tends to make movement much easier for the player to plan around.  I worry that while my movement system is snazzy, it also makes movement very fiddly for the player.

 

 

Though I did have a prototype version of a hex game with costs to turn, it gets a little wonky as it's kind of weird trying to display all the tiles that a unit can move to, as the unit can move to a tile and end in multiple directions.  I end up displaying multiple arrows in a tile, but I never liked the kind of cluttered look I had.

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