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2.5d control issues

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I''m working on a 3d side scrolling game. The main charachter is able to move left and right along a rail system. I would like the enemies though to come at the main charachter from all sides. The problem that I have is how I can handle the controls. Now if the enemies remain stuck to the ground the control issues are gone because the cross hairs for your gun (mouse controlled) are able to move along the 2d plane that your charachter walks on. But the problem comes when I would also like to have flying enemies. The mouse is no longer able to move along the 2d plane and move up into the air. Does anyone have any ideas how this could work? Here''s a solution I am leaning towards. You would be given weapons that can shoot people only on the ground and other weapons that can shoot only flying enemies. But the restriction that this creates is that no enemies can jump then. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated. ~Wave

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That doesn''t make much sense...a side scrolling game...but the mouse only follows the ground plane?

Why not just have the mouse target anything onscreen, then do a couple of checks (cast a ray, etc..) to see what the player clicked on and point the characters gun in that direction?

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I was thinking of that, but then the problem is that the upper torso has to rotate to turn towards what it is shooting. Like would it look too weird to have the torso quickly turn to target what it is shooting at? I was thinking that but wasn't sure if it was a viable solution.

~Wave

[edited by - Wavewash on November 9, 2003 3:12:13 AM]

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It might be possible to just not animate the character aiming at the crosshairs, and just leave that for when the player is actually firing. I know it doesn''t exactly help, but you can make the distinction between running and strafe-firing, which may get you out of having to figure out how to run in one direction by firing in another.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It probably won''t look wierd enough to matter. The player''s going to be concentrating on the enemies, and will barely notice the torso whipping around. But the only way to be sure is to try it.

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The gameplay sounds confusing. Contraining the character to an horizontal rail, and having enemies come from *all* direction can surely create problems when it comes to aiming at them. You need to contrain the enemies'' movements somehow so the game becomes playable, or simplify the aiming system.

Instead of forcing the playing towards the uber-anal task of rotating the character in a full spherical radius to shoot at enemies, you can lend the player a hand: detect the first enemy right below the mouse, and have the character target it. That way you can have enemies coming from everywhere, even from the screen itself, and still have the player being able to hit them all. The con is that shooting will become a point''n''click-fest.

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Abuse was a point & click fest, and it was terrific. I''m having a hard time conceiving of your game. So your guy is running along in classic side-scrolling fashion, on a 2d rail in the middle of a 3d universe. No problem. The problem is that enemies are fully 3d-mobile, and so they can come from the foreground or the background. Your objective is to run & gun through levels, killing enemies, avoiding danger, and maybe picking up weapons/items. Is that accurate?

Abuse is an excellent archetype, but it''s pure 2d. The only problem with the 3d element is the animation. This is no trouble. Just have the guy''s body (adjust his hips as well as his torso, head and neck) turn gradually toward the point of aim, and have his gun arm snap to whenever he fires. He could run backward or sideways if necessary to make the shot.

This will be neat. You target an enemy behind and to the left of him, and he starts looking back. Even as he starts to turn, though, his gun is blasting away. Have you seen Equilibrium, with Christian Bale? Look into it. Bale portrays John Preston, a "gun cleric" for the government. He has all kinds of badass combat training, and in fights, he uses "gun kata", which are basically rapid-fire sequences of no-look double pistol shots. It is weird at first, but by the second or third action sequence, it''s extremely bitchin''. He shoots behind his back or under his arm or in any direction. It reminded me of the Death Blossom from The Last Starfighter.

In conclusion, here''s my advice: Play Abuse, watch Equilibrium, and animate the character''s entire body. Good luck with your project.

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