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gimp

Mouse Control System for Turreted Vehicles

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gimp    142
I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a good control system for a turreted vehicle when the player is using a mouse. I''ve tried some games like mechwarrior and battlezone II (the mauler,assault tank) but in many cases the control system for controlling the turret and movement seems a little weird and sometimes you have to really look around at the controls to work out where the ''front'' is. I came up with the following: -Weighted turret that tried to naturally return to the moddle (ick) -Visible vehicle base where the player can see parts of his vehicle scrolling by as the turret is rotated, so he can ''see'' where ahead is(maybe hard to get the animation looking nice) -Horizontal scroll bar with clear indicators showing where the middle is. Maybe with a greyscale and white in the middle black to either side. Does anyone have any experince with this, or perhaps examples of what other mouse based games do to control this? thanks gimp

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deakin    122
If you had an outside view of the tank then the player could see where the turret was at any time. Or maybe a rotating arrow at the bottom the screen that points in the direction of the front of the tank.

- Daniel
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Paladin    122
Duh...

That was idea that I got two years ago, gathered developement team to create this nice shoot/rpg -car game, and now the project is DEAD... But yes, I got the same idea two years ago, and after many demos that we made to test this feature, I have to say that it is cool

We got pretty nice amount of code ready, and basically the whole project died because A) lack of graphics B) Lazyness C) Scripting language was BIG job to do...
Also we had problem with choosing the programming language/platform... Well, it was C, but our programmer was using linux, and others were using W98, and so on...

We have map-editor still ready, and it IS pretty nice! I''m asking to release it for open-source usage, and if someone is interested, just look for the near future...
Map Editor supports all resolutions/colors, and lots of tilebased-features.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
The US Army''s old tank/Bradley simulation system, SIMNET, has a display that shows the hull of the tank facing up, and then shows the direction the gun is pointing relative to the hull.

Imagine a 2D top-down picture of a hull in the lower right corner, oriented "up". If the gun is 45 degrees to the right of the gun, imagine a 2D top-down picture of the turret atop the hull, with the gun pointing up and right.

Wayne Miller
Former Tank Platoon Leader
2-70 Armor

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Landfish    288
I always handled Mechwarrior with 2 joysticks a throttle and a pedal. The one joystick would control the locomotion of the mech, the other would handle torso twists. Made for some interesting combinations, a whole lot faster than anybody else who was playing.

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gimp    142
Thanks for the info on the top down view Wayne, I think I''ll go with that idea.

Now all I have to do is work out a nice way to do steering with the mouse already in use by the turret (no joystick).

The problem with these kinds of interfaces I''ve had in the past(where the mouse looks around and vehicle turning is via keys only) is that you have to have a slow turning rate for keys so they don''t spin the player around too much.

The other peoblem is that sometimes the player targets something and they want to follow it but getting the tank moving in the right direction takes their concentration away from their target as they try to work out where to point to start chaising.

Working this out is critical to the design, else the turret will have to be dropped. I''ve played too many games where interfaces like this make the vehicle too difficult to control in combat. Mechwarrior and Battlezone II''s:Assault tank are good examples.

I was thinking about using a key that a player could press to ''just start turning towards the mouse''.

What do you guys think? This way the player could do supressive retreating fire behind them but still control the forwards movement, OR they could decide to start turning towards their target without much though. If I do that maybe anotherkey that moves the turret to the forward angle would be good too?

Chris

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WMiller    122
To solve the user interface, I recommend something like this:

The ''A'' key turns the hull hard left.
The ''S'' key turns the hull soft left.
The ''D'' key turns the hull soft right.
The ''F'' key turns the hull hard right.

To solve the second problem, you could always try to find a copy of Armored Fist or M1 Tank Platoon II. They both have hot keys to deal with this problem. You could see if their implementation will be work for you.


-Wayne Miller

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DarkOne    122
I would assume you have played quake or quake II. Well why not take the control scheme they use in that for aiming and movement. I know that when you turn in quake or quake II the whole character is rotating instead of the torso and I know that if you want realism this approach would not represent it very well. What good is realism if it makes the game less enjoyable to play. My friend plays Mech Warrior III and I asked him if there was a speed difference in the rotating of the torso and the rotating of the legs, he said no. So tell me then what is the point to have separated controls for rotating the torso and the legs if there is no advantage. I say in your game, approach it with the same setup they uses in the quake games. A more relevant example would be the control scheme they use in armored core on the playstation.

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