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SlingBots - Turret Installations in Park, Improved Player Controls, Mini Map

Septopus

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Okay some new/improved things:

  • Mini-Map!  Displays player location(direction arrow doesn't point in the "moving" direction yet though..), arena level locations(still just 1 atm) and turret locations.
  • Turrets now pay out 20 rings on disable!  The good kind of feedback.
  • There are now 10 turret installations in the park(in a circle around the hill for now) to keep the jump rings company. ;)  These installations will be more "interactive" and "adaptable" in future builds.  But it makes freestyle play a little more entertaining as is.

I've also done some more player control tuning and have locked a few axes out of the physics simulation, this has eliminated the left/right drifting on straight thrust.  It's also made the player even more accurate to steer and aim.  You might still find yourself slightly airborne when you cross a terrain mesh seam(invisible) but they shouldn't cause you to spin out of control anymore, just a random vertical bump..  Still trying to figure out how this is happening.. haha.

Can somebody let me know if the NPCs in the race courses are too easy to beat?  I am not challenged by them in the least anymore...  lol  Some of that might have to do with improved control accuracy and easier flight too.

 

Thanks again to all the folks who have given me feedback so far, it's beyond invaluable!!

SlingBot Boarding v0.4.1: https://www.kongregate.com/games/WilliamOlyOlson/slingbot-boarding

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I had a few suggestions after playing some more. :) 

I noticed when I have a snow ball ready and if I try to buy rocket fuel in the menu when I click it will launch the snow ball. I think it would be a good idea to disable the throw until out of the menu. I knocked myself off the track in a race sadly while buying fuel.

Would it be possible to have a trajectory indicator for the snow ball, or maybe a aim dot to give an idea when the snow ball will go? I believe it just goes in front of the player regardless of camera, but would be a cool feature.

I was always thinking it would be nice to have a free camera toggle with alt or something else to just unlock the camera. :) 

Just a few ideas. Nice work! :) 

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Aha, yes, I'm working on how to filter out the clicks properly...  It's very annoying when you are trying to click on GUI elements(the menu should be easy though since its GUI element takes focus anyhow.  There are also a few other instances where fire triggers are caught when they shouldn't be at all that I've got on my fix list.  :D

Trajectory Indicator is also something I would like to do, it's an even tougher one though...  Predicting physics math.. not my strength..  The snowball does always fire in the same direction as the board is traveling (y axis exactly), but the velocity is a combination of player velocity and applied forces + gravity..  I've been working this over in my head since I first built the mechanic, but I haven't tackled the code yet.. lol ;)

By free-camera/unlock I'm assuming you mean lock camera to mouse cursor?  ;)  I had a free-camera mode initially but it wasn't very useful so I disabled it, I think if I actually locked the view to the cursor(so you can pan and tilt) and locked its follow position to its normal follow position that might make it work better, it was a little too free-wheeling and hard to control at these speeds in the previous design...  That sound about right?  haha :D

Thanks again!  Appreciate the feedback immensely! 

Edited by Septopus

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What I meant by a free camera was just the view. You would still move the player the same but the mouse would allow you to view without a lock so you could rotate the view around the player. By having a toggle it would allow people to go back in forth between camera settings. The reason I thought about this again was because I was trying to hit those turrets but when I slow down and try to turn left or right the camera doesn't work the way I want so I can gage where I need to go. :D 

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12 minutes ago, Rutin said:

What I meant by a free camera was just the view. You would still move the player the same but the mouse would allow you to view without a lock so you could rotate the view around the player. By having a toggle it would allow people to go back in forth between camera settings. The reason I thought about this again was because I was trying to hit those turrets but when I slow down and try to turn left or right the camera doesn't work the way I want so I can gage where I need to go. :D 

I think we're saying the same thing... ;)

Have you tried using the Reverse-Thrust + Holding-Right-Click(I should make this a toggle probably)?  It aligns your view exactly with your velocity/firing trajectory.  I'm still gonna work on the free camera though, but I know it's going to make me want to add twist movement into the player so you can aim where you look in free camera mode... ;)

Yeah, what I'll probably do is make the "align with velocity" camera angle a toggle that aligns the camera with the current velocity angle, not the reverse angle only...  Then whenever you right click, it toggles you a perfectly aligned view of your shot no matter what direction you are currently heading. ;)

Then overlaying targeting information might be a little easier actually....  hmmm.   :D

Edited by Septopus

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I did try the back + right click but it doesn't pan the way I want. It just gives me a rear view. Maybe I'm not using it right, who knows. :D 

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1 minute ago, Rutin said:

I did try the back + right click but it doesn't pan the way I want. It just gives me a rear view. Maybe I'm not using it right, who knows. :D 

Yeah, as it currently works you actually have to switch to backwards is your new forward direction and deal with the fixed camera straight ahead instead of following the velocity direction.  I think if I make it a right-click toggle that goes either forward or backward depending on direction of travel it will be more useful as an aiming camera.

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1 minute ago, Septopus said:

Yeah, as it currently works you actually have to switch to backwards is your new forward direction and deal with the fixed camera straight ahead instead of following the velocity direction.  I think if I make it a right-click toggle that goes either forward or backward depending on direction of travel it will be more useful as an aiming camera.

Oh okay. :) 

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Btw, you're almost certainly going to get a design credit in this game!  :D

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6 minutes ago, Septopus said:

Btw, you're almost certainly going to get a design credit in this game!  :D

Heck, you should at least put me as the executive co-producer! :D 

When are you continuing on the main parts of the game? :) 

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1 hour ago, Rutin said:

Heck, you should at least put me as the executive co-producer! :D

Hehe, for real!  

1 hour ago, Rutin said:

When are you continuing on the main parts of the game? :) 

Constantly..  Lol.  I'm building out the 10 park installations, they will each have a prize within them that is granted to you when you defeat the entire installation.  The arena levels are only briefly stalled as I devise some additional defensive countermeasures.

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4 hours ago, Septopus said:

Hehe, for real!  

Constantly..  Lol.  I'm building out the 10 park installations, they will each have a prize within them that is granted to you when you defeat the entire installation.  The arena levels are only briefly stalled as I devise some additional defensive countermeasures.

I'm glad! Looking forward to all your future updates. Did you find yourself a texture artist yet for the robots?

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7 minutes ago, Rutin said:

Did you find yourself a texture artist yet for the robots? 

Nope, haven't strategized on that one any further..

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12 minutes ago, Septopus said:

Nope, haven't strategized on that one any further..

Maybe hit me up in the future if you're still looking for one. :) 

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Just now, Septopus said:

Dude!  Certainly!  :D 

I have experience with robots as well, so no problem doing emissive lights, and visors, plus other features. ;)

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TAKE MY MODELS!! 

haha, but really, what would you want exactly, if I was ready to say they're ready, for texture magics.. ?  If that makes sense?  E.g. would you want to work with a rigged/weighted and "optimized" mesh that you can add detail to and then bake back down or?  How does this stuff actually work best, I certainly don't want to just hand off the piles of schtuff I have floating around right now, lol.  They need some polish and cleanup... ha!

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57 minutes ago, Septopus said:

TAKE MY MODELS!! 

haha, but really, what would you want exactly, if I was ready to say they're ready, for texture magics.. ?  If that makes sense?  E.g. would you want to work with a rigged/weighted and "optimized" mesh that you can add detail to and then bake back down or?  How does this stuff actually work best, I certainly don't want to just hand off the piles of schtuff I have floating around right now, lol.  They need some polish and cleanup... ha!

I'll send you a PM tomorrow regarding this. :) 

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How is the collaboration coming along?  excited to see what Rutin cooks up for you.

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I can't ask the wizard for help until I know what kind I need. ;)

The subject of PBR came up so..  I've been testing the limits of my fairly terrible graphics card and it's just telling me NO NO NO on anything even close to PBR, so I've gone back to zero-design mode for the moment and am working on the code/shaders and optimizing everything I can to see if I can't squeeze a couple of nice things in there somewhere.  Meanwhile I'm also working to figure out what I want to do visually with the game as I've not really spent any time doing that part either..  It's always about the tech and the mechanics for me, most of my visual art is decidedly NOT digital unfortunately..

So...  I think I'm going to focus on an optimized mobile game for this first release as that suits my dev environment, almost exactly(gfx wise).  LOL!  Then maybe it will earn me enough to buy a real graphics card.. maybe.. :D  At that point, I'll think about a real PC or console release.

Been a busy week of swapping out shaders, revising code, revising stand-in textures, changing compression and lighting settings on EVERYTHING several times... bleh... 

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Very exciting.  I had to look up what PBR actually is. 


impressive stuff.  You would like to incorporate this level of rendering for your project, wow.

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I mostly work in PBR but also work in non PBR if needed, and know my fair share of tricks. Good stuff! :) Thanks for sharing.

Good video with some more detail. I work in the Metal Roughness workflow, not Spec Gloss but both are PBR workflows. They're referring to the Spec Gloss workflow here.

 

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2 hours ago, Awoken said:

Very exciting.  I had to look up what PBR actually is. 

I did too, as it pertains to Unity anyhow.. lol..

2 hours ago, Awoken said:

impressive stuff.  You would like to incorporate this level of rendering for your project, wow.

The thing is, it's the default setup for Unity these days(and a few other engines), all of the default shaders support these workflows.  They do a pretty good job of optimizing themselves if you aren't using all the extra textures/features and whatnot that PBR requires, but they still add some overhead here or there. 

I've since swapped out all the default shaders for more appropriate single use/mobile optimized ones that seem to be doing a nice job.  The next build(was hoping to get one out tonight, but probably not) will look a LOT different.

This has been a big new-material territory for me too, I haven't researched much of the rendering side of things to any depth, accept what was required to make Unity work, until now.  Shader swapping hasn't helped a lot performance wise yet, at least not on my machine.. haha(I wasn't using them in a PBR manner either though.)  But I've got a more solid grasp on what all the parts are and how to manipulate them for the better.. mostly.. ;)

It's also hard to say what has helped exactly, it seems every time I tweak an optimization out of something I use it up somewhere else before I can even measure the difference.. lol

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Another cool thing to dabble in is by making your own shaders. :D 

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11 hours ago, Rutin said:

Another cool thing to dabble in is by making your own shaders. :D 

For real!!  I've been dipping my toes into that, but I'm just not ready to spend the time to learn another language at the moment.. haha. 

Thankfully, I'm not looking for anything fancy and simple non-pbr shaders are on the free-pile everywhere. :D

 

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