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Lunar Rift v1.0.2   -----

Date Added:
Oct 12 2005 02:58 PM
Nov 01 2005 03:38 PM

Lunar Rift takes the best features of two different genres - the action of an FPS and the strategy of an RTS - and combines them into one package. Two modes of gameplay are provided for variety: Real-Time and Turn-Based - which will you like better???

Attached Image: image356.jpg Attached Image: image357.jpg Attached Image: image358.jpg

New for v1.0.2:
- Added new input configuration to allow users to set their controls.
- Added quick unit selection with 1-5 keys.
- Allowed unit swapping and pausing during turn based turns.
- Modified the over head map so that each unit appears as two triangles, showing primary/secondary colors, position, and orientation.
- Corrected AI so that the units will not flip over while trying to track to its target.
- Increased AI rotation speed to allow them to track their target faster.
- Increased bullet speed from 80 to 120 (it just didn't seem right that you could nearly catch your own bullets).


Lunar Rift is a team based first-person shooter that attempts to add a couple of interesting twists. Currently player 1 is always you and player 2 is always the computer. Each team consists of five units. There are two modes of game play: Turn-Based and Real-Time.

In Turn-Based mode, you may select a single unit to play your turn as. For the duration of your turn, you can move your selected unit and fire your primary or secondary weapons at the opposing teams units. You can not switch units during a turn - only before you begin your turn. Once your turn is over, the opposing team is given an equal duration of time to move or fire at your units.

The turn based mode is intended to add some strategy to the basic FPS design. If you leave your units alone out in the open, they will probably get picked picked off. However, if you try moving all of your units together, you will be much too slow and your opponent will have the advantage. In addition, at the beginning of each turn, all units that are still active will regain 2 health points. This provides a small incentive to keep your units alive.

In Real-Time mode, you can control a single unit at a time, but there are no turns. You can switch to another unit at any time, but you and the opposing teams currently selected unit are active at the same time. This mode is intended to keep a similar level of strategy as the Turn Based, but increases the speed and intensity of the game.

In both modes, the winner is determined when the losing team is completely killed off.


During gameplay, there are two different GUI elements to provide information. At the upper right hand corner, an overhead view of the terrain is shown. This view shows all of your units as well as all of your opponents units as well. Don't worry, it not cheating because the computer knows where all of your units are too!!

The other GUI element is at the lower right hand corner of the screen. This menu will show the current unit's type, primary weapon, secondary weapon, and health. This is useful when switching between units to see what their status is.
The controls are fairly simple, and are now configurable through the input setup menu. Here is a listing of each function and the current control mapping:

W: Move Unit Forward
A: Strafe Unit Left
S: Move Unit Backward
D: Strafe Unit Right

Q: Select the Previous Unit
E: Select the Next Unit

1: Select Unit 1
2: Select Unit 2
3: Select Unit 3
4: Select Unit 4
5: Select Unit 5

G: Toggle a realtime glow rendering mode

Mouse: Change the angle of view
L-Mouse: Fire your primary weapon
R-Mouse: Fire your secondary weapon

Esc: Pause the game and bring up the exit menu

P: Save a screen shot of the current scene

F1: Toggle Scene Statistics
DirectX 8 level video card (vertex & pixel shader 1.1 or better) with DirectX 9 installed.

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Oct 13 2005 05:49 PM
The explosion effect is ugly :-P but interesting. You might improve the map's readability, I found the map is totally useless :(. Is this a beta version ?, I didn't see any plot of this and confused comrades with enemies :-P. And WSAD movement keys should be replaced by Arrow keys, it's more popular.
Oct 13 2005 10:31 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Yes this is a beta, so any constructive criticism is welcome. What type of change should be made to the map? Perhaps highlighting the teams in different colors?

I have found that the explosions look better far away than up close. That's something to work on as well.

Thanks again!
/ Guest
Oct 15 2005 05:48 AM
Would have loved to test your game, but the sys reqs are pretty high. It doesnt work on my GeForce4 (no pixel shaders I guess) - screen is flashing in bright colours, everything screwed up.
Maybe you could test availability of this feature and use plain textures if no shaders available? Or is everything designed to be shaded by code?
Oct 15 2005 02:31 PM
At the moment, the whole system is based around the effect framework in directx. So it is possible to set up a fixed function pipeline version. I will try to get one set up and will re-release when it is ready!
Oct 15 2005 03:14 PM
Yep! Team's alias images might be enlarged with more contrast color and current in-control member could have been highlighted (My eye is blowing when trying to see where is my controlling member).
Ummm, at the moment I don't see the main plot of this game, so I can't give an improvement for the game's type. There's some other stuff you can improve: allow user to change between fullscreen and windowed mode, move the player faster and have a 'target' point in the center of the screen (just like Half-Life, ya don't have, is that intensional ?), make an interesting geometry (game land)...
Looking forward to your next versions!.
Oct 18 2005 03:03 PM
Random suggestions:
Add a bar to the HUD with some sort of icon for each unit on your team. The icon might indicate the type of unit it is, whether it has been destroyed, and whether it is the one being used at the moment. It would help, too, if the icons were numbered and the controls altered so that you could switch to a unit by hitting its number. The map would be much more useful if it were altered to indicate which unit the player is currently in control of, and which way that unit is facing. Unless you are planning to have many more units in the future than there are now, you might consider making the unit indicators bigger; it would make it easier for you to have them display additional information. It would be easier on the eye, too as long as the map doesn't end up looking cluttered.

I like the distortion effect for the explosions, but it is not enough by itself; I recommend experimenting with the more traditional elements of color and smoke, as well. Having something more to the explosions than just the distortion effect will probably also make it easier to have explosions look similar on a variety of hardware. Also, it would look cool if units burst into pieces when they explode, especially if you can tweak it so that it looks like the pieces are being pushed by the distortion wave. You might consider making the smoke puffs dark grey or black; I believe that is the color that smoke from buring car/planes/etc. tends to be.

The toon rendering for the units, rockets, and mortar shells is interesting, but it doesn't really mesh with the more traditional style for the terrain. I recommend changing one or the other so that they go together a bit better. I would lean towards changing the terrain to match the units, but either way could work.

I disagree with Skeleton_V@T about the movement keys; I prefer WASD and I think most other people do as well for games that use the mouse, however the solution to this problem is fairly simple; just bind WASD and the arrow keys to movement at the same time; the arrow keys are so far away from all the other controls that no one would hit them by accident. An option to reverse the Y-axis on the mouse somewhere would be great, as well.

I could come up with lots more non-graphics suggestions, but I think this post is too long as it is :-P. The game is not terribly entertaining in its current form, of course, but I think it has the potential to become fun, and the idea is somewhat original, which is a rare thing. Keep at it and keep posting updates.
Oct 18 2005 03:32 PM
Thanks alot for the feedback! I have changed the overhead map (OHM) in the latest version (1.0.1). It now is a dot with a highlight and the colors of the dot and highlight correspond to the colors of the units. Also the current unit for the active team is filled with black for easy identification, and disabled units are all gray. Hopefully this will make it a little easier to understand what is going on.

I didn't change the controls in this version, but the next one will have an update. I will also look into changing the terrain rendering around to be more in line with the other objects in the world.

Thanks again for the feedback, if anyone else has suggestions please let me know!
Oct 20 2005 10:50 AM
The map is a lot more useful now; the markers are easy to spot and the color coding works. However, it is still not as useful as it should be because I often have trouble figuring out which way I am pointed relative to the map. In turn based mode, especially; I often spend entire turns just trying to figure out which way is which on the map. Add some kind of compass.

There seems to be a limited amount of ammo for the rocket launcher and the mortar; it would be helpful to display how much is left somewhere. The mortar, and occasionally the rocket launcher, also suffer from a minor graphics problem - when either is fired, the projectile sometimes appears outside of the tube instead of being hidden inside it. The projectiles also sometimes appear to pop out of the side of the tube if I adjust my aim while firing.

Some of the controls don't work in turn-based mode. 'q' and 'e' switch the active unit in real time mode, but seem to do nothing in turn-based. Escape brings pauses the game and brings up a menu in real time mode, but does nothing in turn-based. WASD and the mouse still work in turn-based, though.

It is possible to flip over a unit by looking up or down. The AI often does this when it is reorienting to attack a nearby target. I don't know if allowing that was intentional or not, but currently it doesn't seem to serve any purpose, and it does look kind of silly.

Keep up the good work.

[Edited by - mumpo on October 31, 2005 2:50:57 PM]
Oct 21 2005 05:34 PM
Shaders! WOOO!

I wish it were more obvious where damage is coming from, and also how much ammo is left in your limited-ammo guns.

A cross hair wouldn't hurt either. Also, the map doesn't tell you what direction you are facing. It might help to change that for the currently selected unit.
Oct 22 2005 03:06 AM
Good feedback! I will be changing the overhead map to indicate direction as well as position. I am also working on a couple of other enhancements and bugfixes - hopefully I'll be able to post a new version soon!

Thanks again and suggestions are always welcome!
Nov 01 2005 03:45 PM
Version 1.0.2 is now uploaded. I tried to squeeze in as many of the suggestions updates and bug fixes as I could.

Please let me know what you think of the input configuration system as well as the changes to the over head map. Those were the two biggest areas of improvement. Thanks for all the feedback so far - keep it coming!
/ Guest
Nov 08 2005 06:01 PM
The new map is much better now. You should change the color of the center triangle for the active unit, though, because it can be hard to determine which direction I'm facing when there is a dead unit nearby. White might work well.
Nov 08 2005 06:02 PM
Oops - AP was me.