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should this team-based shooter stay 2d?

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ok guys, i like counter-strike and such games, but i though if it had more teamplay it'd be better. anyway, for a 2d game we're making, i made a simple 2d collision detection and responce demo. from there, i started to add weapon and particles classes. and now i'm thinking to actually make it a simple multiplayer game. it will not only be a game, but it will help us (i'm not alone doing the 2d game) make the original 2d game, since it is abslutely the same engine-wise, except for one major difference - no changeable land (changeable lang means after you shoot a gun, there'll be a crater left, so you can modify the lang in real-time). that makes our job a whole lot easier, since we don't have to worry about it beign sync on all clients, optimizing it in real-time, etc. and focus on other things. anyway, here's what i have so far (or at least the latest uploaded version), to give you an idea what i'm talking about. sure, it's not pretty or anything yet, everything is just lines and circles, but when complete, it will be textured. the controls are: w/s/a/d - move around mouse horizontal movement - look around left mouse button - shoot r - reload b - buy clips hold shift - stealth mode (walk/crouch) download it below - there's a newer version in one my replies! ok, now onto my question. so far the map is small, and the player can always see as far as he possible could from 1st person perspective. but let's say we have a bigger map, and the player would not be able to see further than what he sees on screen. my question is how should i go about that? and how would i do such guns as sniper rifles? how would i do their zoomed scope view? my only idea is to make the game 3d. i'm not saying make the whole engine 3d, but instead make it render everything in 2d, but from, sort of like 3rd person perspecive. the game still stays 2d, but you could see much further. do you have any better ideas? and another question. since it's not 1st person, you can see behind walls. should i make it so that you could only see players that aren't hidden behind walls? and this would add a great teamplay feature. if any member of one team sees a member of the opposite team, the whole 1st team will see that other team member. that makes it easy for someone else to go behind, and backstab him, while your teammate distracts him. ok, back to this question. should i make it so that you see the whole map always, as long as it's on your screen (in strategy games this would be called "no fog-of-war"?. or should i hide any walls that are blocked by another wall in the level, making you only see what you would from 1st person perspective. since it's a 2d game, i don't have to worry about graphics as much, so i can focus on gameplay and so on, i would love to hear any suggestion you might have for a 2d team-based fps. thanks for your time, i hope you could find some to write a responce. thanks. --- shurcool my project [edited by - shurcool on June 26, 2002 10:33:30 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Cool game! the blue guy always gets me, he must have inhuman reflexes

Defintely stick with 2D, as it requires less art and truthfully for the concepts you want to explore, it is more than sufficent. Going 3D will just distract you, unless you have the resources to do it right, you''ll spend alot of your time on the graphics, which from what i understantd isn''t the main focus. Another slant on 2D is isometric 2D. I always wanted a multiplayer realtime X-com

Good Luck!

-ddn

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well, he always points at you and shoots, so you can get him while he''s reloading.

and you probably misunderstood me when i reffered to 3d (you didn''t read the whole thing, did you? ). i''ll explain better with pictures.

2d 2d:


3d 2d:


do you get it now? that way (the 3d 2d one) you can see really far, even if the map is huge. i still don''t know how to do sniper rifles... any ideas?


---
shurcool
my project

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I think I understand. I''d stick with the top down for one, as walls scrunched onto the floor look akward. The scope, well it''s function is to make the target bigger for you to aim at, whether your in 1st or third person. Is the cross hair a fixed direction or can he just shoot where the mouse is pointed? If it''s not fixed I don''t see why it can''t zoom in, even if it isn''t from the avatars perspective. I''d play that.

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well, the perspective view looks screwed up because i modified the original one in paint! if i were to modify the program to render it in perspective mode, it would look much better.

and about crosshair: so far i don''t have one. i was thinking to put one in the center of screen, but for more accurate guns i would move the crosshair further away... but then what if your target is really close to you? if the crosshair is too far away, you won''t be able to hit him. so maybe you should be able to move it up/down using mouse, and it would have a limit on how far up (away from player) you could move it. that limit would be different for each gun.

and about inaccuracy. all guys will be very accurate, but when you shoot, depending on gun''s recoil power, your rotation (where you''re facing) will randomly shake, sort of. so it''d be hard to control in full-auto fire, and a lot easier and with more accurate results, if you shot in bursts. and when you run, the magnitude of random "rotations" (which send your aim off) that recoil of a gun has would increase, as opposed to if you duck and stay still, in which case it would decrease, allowing you to shoot more accurately. any comments/suggestions about that?

---
shurcool
my project

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i tried to block player''s view to whatever you would see in his position from 1st person perspective, not allowing you to see through walls.

here is the result.

download here.

the problem is that because of a visual illusion happening there, it may seem that there are vertical black walls going up.

do you think it would be too confuzing? if yes, what''s a better solution?

and i came up with one possible solution: only not draw enemies if they''re blocked by a wall, but always draw the whole map. what do you think?

thank you very much, all your suggestions will be greately appreciated!

---
shurcool
my project

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I''ve had ideas for a game much like the one you''re working on. My thoughts on sniper rifles and other long range weapons would be actually moving the camera away from the player. Normally, the camera is situated directly above the player''s head, right? When the player pulls out his sniper rifle (or binoculars) he could gain the ability to move the camera a good distance away from himself, while retaining the ability to shoot at things that he is now able to better see.

-Mike

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Guest Anonymous Poster
well, im making a great game like that too (overhead 2d, amazing graphics) although not that cool 2d 3d stuff anyways, the way i was going about zooming (or plan to, rather) is like this:

because mine is straight down overhead, once the player pulls out a rifle, and hits zoom, this is what happens

the game puts black where you cant see, which leaves a good sized line from the player to where he is pointing (like shading where you wouldnt see because of the scope).

then i let the player use the mouse to zoom-in/zoom-out by moving the screen along this line of sight, always keeping whats out of view of the scope drawn black.

as the screen reaches the farthest distance, i slowly fade the line of sight to black, and then dont let the screen go any further...

just an idea

--sic nemesis, the sicgamemaker

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hey, i think that's a great idea! and it is sort of like zooming in/out! i really like it, thanks.

i'm wondering, do you allow the player to see others through walls, or?

well, here's an update to my previous (eX0_3) attempt at limiting your field of view zone to what you would see from your character's 1st perspective.

first of all, here's a screenshot, showing off the evolution of eX0. the last two shots (3, and 4) are attemts at this. shot #3 shows how i used to do it, and shot #4 shows how i did it in version. i really hope you guys like it, so try it out.



and due to many requests, i made the bot skill level easier. now, as long as you're enough far away from him, and you're moving, his bullets should hit where you were a second ago, missing you, and giving you a chance to kill him.

download it here.

make sure you extract with folders: don't just put all files in one folder, the folder structure has to be intact, or it wouldn't work (properly).

also, if it crashes, which is mostly due to heavy use of the stencil buffer, please post about that, and your video card name please.

any comments/suggestions/ideas are greately appreciated too.

---
shurcool
my project

[edited by - shurcool on June 26, 2002 10:34:18 AM]

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I really like the gameplay idea.. simple fun..

I like how screenshot#4 shows both the map and field of vision.

Here''s an idea for showing other players. When enemy is out of the fov but close to the player, indicate their location with rippling white circle that is bigger than the usual red circle. when enemy gets closer the rippling effects increases while the size of the circle decreases.. It''s sound idea where you can hear enough emeny''s footstep to guess their location but not enough to pinpoint them. So, when the enemy is not moving or just walking(with shift key down), you can''t hear them. Adds more strategic elements, no? (Possible alternate weapon such as sonic bomb that blinds(deafs) everybody, (like flash bang heh..) or sonic mine that fools the enemy..)

I couldn''t run the game at first. First I tried to run the game in windows mode but crashed. Second I tried the full-screen and it worked. The problem was that it was really really dark and FOV section was black while other areas can be seen (so it was reversed..) The game was really slow too.. couldn''t possibly play..

I have Athlon700, 256mb, MatroxG400MAX..

Just a comment

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i have absolutely no idea why the fov area would be darker than the rest... :-\ you're the 1st with that problem. i'm still working on making the stencil buffer work faster and on more systems. meanwhile, more test scores are appreciated.

if you get less than 5 fps, try visiting www.glsetup.com and getting the latest OpenGL drivers for your video card. and PLEASE post here if it helped you.

---
shurcool
my project

[edited by - shurcool on June 26, 2002 3:00:05 PM]

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Somehow, the problem with the fov got fixed.. Maybe it was just a glitch in my video card (but i have no idea how or why)..

With the fov corrected the game seemed fine except the less than 5fps rate.. The enemy seems to popout out of nowhere.. I''m beginning to hate the blue circle.. it keeps killing me.. how do you restart the round anyway?

I can''t try the glsetup becouse it only supports win98&me.. I''m using WinXP. I''m using latest driver for my video card..

hope it helps

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I see what your saying, but increasing the fov to be more first person does somewhat tend to make the game more of a shooter than a thinking game. As it will defintely change the dynamics of the battles, ie. much longer range attacks and large areas of possible engagement, makeing the player more concerned with just moving and surving, than coorindatiing with teammates.

The benifit of the top down view, is a smaller area of engagement and the ability to quicly assess teammates disposition and coordinate with them. You''ve already got the action game dynamics down, the game is fast paced. I would add macros to help teammate cooridnaiton as well.

Good Luck!

-ddn

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sylee81,
i've looked at your video card specification (matrox g400 max) and it seems to support stencil buffer:
-32-bit Z-buffer including 8-bit stencil buffer
i'll try the following: i'll enable the depth buffer (z-buffer) and set stencil buffer to 8 bits (right now it's at 1 bit), and upload it. you, please, download it, and see if you start getting better framerate.

ok, download the executabe here (replace the older one with the one in this zip) and please tell me the results!!

[edit] hmm, it seems that same goes for tnt2 vid cards, so if you have that, try it as well, and tell me if it helped the fps. [/edit]

ddn,
i think it all depends on how you look at it. somewhere at the top, i said that if you see an enemy, all your teammates will see a red dot (or whatever) there (even if that dot is behind a wall for any teammate), allowing them to backstab him while you distract him. if you were able to see through walls, this great team-play addition would not be possible. and i think that if you could see through walls, you would be thinking more about how to eliminate an enemy, without exposing yourself to bullets from many enemies, etc. which is more combat than tactic... well, i can always have an option to toggle it.

thanks, later.

ps. you can't restart the round yet, and it pops out of nowhere bacause of the poor fps.

---
shurcool
my project

[edited by - shurcool on June 27, 2002 9:12:40 AM]

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That screem looks really good, though I''d change the fov so it''s wider, true in most fps it''s like 90, but it seems this view needs a more realistic 180.

What kind of graphics are you going to put in here?

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I don''t know about everyone else but I can only see about 160-170 degrees at one time without moving my eyes, maybe less.

Bleu Shift - www.bleushift.tk

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First off man, great start. Now I have a few things to say. First off, about performance. I''m running P3 500 w/ 640 mb ram, and a GeForce 2 64mb. Lots of people have been saying its slow in full screen and it wasn''t any different for me. I got less than 1 fps. But I know you are working on that. In windowed mode however, I got over 60 fps!!

Gameplay:
Definitely keep it 2D. Here are my thoughts about what to do with scope, and possibly aiming in general. Maybe you should do something similar to the way aiming was handled in Worms Armageddon. If you aren''t familiar, when you had a gun in Worms, you would have a little cross hair about an inch away from your character. You used that for aiming. It made it relatively easy to hit close people, but the farther they were, the harder it got...very much like real life. You could take it a step further though. Let''s take three possible guns: pistol, assault rifle, and sniper rifle.

Pistol: I would try leaving the pistol how the targeting is now, because it is like a secondary weapon, and isn''t as powerful or accurate as the others.

Assault Rifle: Have a pretty short line coming out of the front of your character. Not to obtrusive, but visible. This would make it easier to hit people a little farther away, but not too far away. I do like your idea of having it shake if they just run around in full auto. That could help balance the weapon by encouraging burst fire.

Sniper Rifle: Lets say that when they pull out the sniper rifle, it has no line(when unzoomed), like the pistol. Then when the player presses the key for zoom mode. The camera is no longer tracking the character. A line appears. It connects the player to a little X in the center of the camera''s view. The player moves the mouse to move the camera all around inside their FOV. I describe 2 methods of possibly implementing this at the URL below:

http://webpages.charter.net/meh/2DShooterHelp.htm

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wakebrdkid12,
thank you very much for your suggestions, the lines idea and how far they are is sort of what i had in mind, but you made it all clear and nice. and about sniper rifle, i think 2nd method is very good, since it would allow you to see really far, much further than anyone else who isn''t zoomed it can (ur teammates), and it would require you to have cover from others, and you wouldn''t be able to use your sniper rifle as a pistol (unlike cs >:| ).

---
shurcool
my project

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I tried the new version.. The framerate is still around 3~5fps.. I read what wakebrdkid12 wrote and tried the game in windowed mode. The framerate was going over 80fps.. (I didn''t know you could see the bullets until now.. heh.)

I tried the older version with windowed mode again. It didn''t crash and actually ran faster going over 90fps..

Problem seems to be with going to full-screen mode.

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Hmmmm... If you''re using the stencil buffer and the problems happen only in fullscreen mode it''s probably an issue with your color depth. Make sure it''s 32 bits, not 16.

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that''s exactly what i did, but people are probably downloading the old versions... :-\

anyway, in the next release, you will be able to choose whether to use stencil buffer, or depth buffer. that should make it playable for all.

---
shurcool
my project

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just bumping this up, because i continued working on eX0 now. i will rewrite the whole thing, but most importantly, i will get rid of the stencil buffer. using the depth buffer to achieve the same effect will be faster on older video cards, and will resolve multiple compatability issues.

still not sure whether to keep it plain 2d, or give it a bit of a perspective (ie. view the 2d plane at an angle), thus letting the player see further. i''ll probably implement the two, and then let you choose in-game (by pressing ''C'' or something). and then you can pick what''s better.

---
shurcool
wwdev

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