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Player Control

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I've just laid out a really simple 10X10 room map, and I'm going to put my character into the room. I'm curious as to how I should go about controlling my character. The map uses diamond tiles so its not as simple as up on the keypad equalling up on the screen. But I'm thinking I might still like to use the keyboard for the controls, would it work to make the controls like this UP - North East Right - South East Down - South West Left - North West This would really just be using the controls for a square tile game and showing the game on an angle, I'm just worried that the controls won't be easy to get used to. Also if I just use the controls like you normally would then the character would be moving one way while everything else was facing another. I know I could use the mouse for control like they do in normal RPGs and then use pathfinding, but I find that doesn't quite give you the same response times. So what do you guys think? Keyboard Controls that are a little off? or figure something else out?

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Quote:
Original post by Wyrframe
The 45-degree-off control scheme is pretty much standard, used since the ancient isometric games on the Spectrum. It'll be fine, trust me.


And generally does UP equal North-East or North-West?
When I'm drawing my map I'm treating The North-East corner of the screen as the top of the map area, thats why I would make the controls like that but I'm not sure which way is more standard.

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I've always used up as North-East. But recently I did find a game that was North-West, but it tool me a good 5 minutes for me to stop hitting the wrong buttons...

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Well here is what I have come up with so far, I know its not a full screen shot but there is not much more to show.



Currently it will only handle small maps (10X10) it allows the player to move while being blocked by walls, and there are crates that the player can push around. I'm going to work on making it a little like Sokoban and I'm not too far from that so that is just the beginning

I need to work on making it handle large maps and having the map scroll around with the player in the center.

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Looking good there. I'd say that north-east makes most sense to me. That's what I've always traditionally used. Additionally, there are games that don't have keyboard movement and everything is done entirely by the mouse. I doubt that's what you want, though.

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For intuitive directions of movement, always think in terms of a clock face. The starting and ending point is 12 o'clock, and directions increase in a clockwise manner. Isometric movement in only the diagonal directions would be in the order of northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest, and arrow keys would be in the order north, east, south, west, and so you simply map the isometric directions to the arrow key directions in the same order.

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Quote:
Original post by TANSTAAFL
For intuitive directions of movement, always think in terms of a clock face. The starting and ending point is 12 o'clock, and directions increase in a clockwise manner. Isometric movement in only the diagonal directions would be in the order of northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest, and arrow keys would be in the order north, east, south, west, and so you simply map the isometric directions to the arrow key directions in the same order.


Sorry TANSTAAFL I don't think I see what your point is. If the directions on the screen are northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest like you said and the arrows are north, east, south and west. How does that help me? are you saying that since northeast on the screen is first and north on the keyboard is first then they will likely go together? if so then great thats what I've done..

But if you mean that you should have to click north and east at the same time then I don't like that Idea


ghosted - Thanks for the suggestion, I was thing to maybe use a set of keys like s = northeast, x = southeast, z=southwest, and a = northwest, but I think its much easier to just use the normal arrowkeys.

I've actually got the game going pretty good now, and you can play a little Sokoban (you can't win) and the arrow keys are working great with up = northeast.

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Hey Turt,
I'd say stick with what you have. I think it's the more common way.

Another alternative is to treat the controls as forward, reverse, left, and right (GTA2 does this). So the map direction doesn't matter. With forward you always move in the direction you are facing. Left and right change the direction you face. Reverse can either backstep or make you spin around. I tend to dislike this scheme though when the turning is slow. It always feels like you have to stop moving to turn. So it may depend on the type of game and how smoothly you can move around the world.

I'm curious to know about your development time on this. How long have you been working on it? Did you start from scratch or could you use much from the Puzzle Blocks game?

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reana1 - Thanks for the suggestion, the GTA controlls could be an interesting option, but I have just allowed for tile to tile movement, press up once and you move 1 tile, there is no constant motion yet, however I may implement it with a delay between steps.

For Development time, hrmm I would say to get to the point I'm at now I've spent no more then 3 hours actually programming (I've spent more hours just playing with the graphics but thats because I'm not great them).

I was able to reuse the Resource Manager and everything from Turt's Puzzle Blocks because this new ISO game is really just going to be an add-on to the current game (you will move around in a town and you can enter the arcade if you want and play Turt's Puzzle Blocks along with any other games I create)

Also the development has been short because I had started a tile based game before so I knew most of the things I had to do, and please keep in mind that although I can play a simple game already with what I have created the code isn't very clean and the map is just hardcoded currently, there are many improvements needed that will not really effect anything from the players side

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while this might be a litte off topic,

has anyone ever used the FPShooter style for isometric control?

that is, angle between your character and your mouse sets direction, and arrows or AWSD provides forward backwards and strafe.

not sure how it would work but i think it could be fun =)

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EDI - Thats not really off-topic, its actually a pretty interesting concept, I really think it would be hard to explain to non-gamers how your supposed to control your character but for players of FPS games you'd probably be okay

-------

Anyways for my game I have now created a Arcade Machine (Seen Below) and when you step in front of it and press "Space" you start up the original game Turt's Puzzle Blocks



This version is not ready for download yet but I'm thinking I might release something to play with in the near future.

So the game is moving along quite nicely, I think my next steps will be to create an actual player class to store additional data on the player, rather then just knowing the location, and then I'm going to see about making an enemy that tracks you down.

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Quote:
Original post by EDI
while this might be a litte off topic,

has anyone ever used the FPShooter style for isometric control?

that is, angle between your character and your mouse sets direction, and arrows or AWSD provides forward backwards and strafe.

not sure how it would work but i think it could be fun =)


Nox did something similar. The character faced whichever way the mouse was pointing, and the distance to the point set the forward speed. No backwards or sideways motion, however.

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TANSTAAFL
Ultima online also does the control like that, but they just use the mouse only, you just click and hold the mouse and your character runs in that direction

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With my Arcade Machine I'm trying to think of a way to show the player what they have to do.. When they go to the Arcade machine they are going to need coins to play (coins can be collected through the adventure type game) so when they step up to an arcade machine they need to know how many coins it will cost and what exactly this arcade machine will do..

I have a couple ideas here:

1) I put a tile in front of the arcade machine that glows and/or has something referring to the amount of coins needed on it, when the player is walking around and spots a special tile like they they will know its an action tile and go check it out

The only problem I see with this is when I actually create the full arcade room with a bunch of machines its going to be very hard to see everything

2) I just leave the tile alone, but program into the system that when the player is facing a special tile a message window appears to explain what they can do, ie. if its a arcade machine it will tell how many coins, but if its a locked door it will explain about a key..

What do you guys think? Visual Information, or Popup Explainations?

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I think it depends on how much of your world is interactive. If most of the objects are just props the player can't use then it's important to mark the important objects out. Otherwise the player will need to walk up to everything to see if it's "real" or not, which is frustrating. On the other hand if most objects are interactive then it's not needed and the gui marking the objects may be distracting. It's all about how you set up your players' expectations.

Another option might be to have a hot key which highlights interactive objects on screen while it is pressed. This could be frustrating too however if the player needs to constantly check for interactive objects and rarely finds them. It's probably best used in combination with an interaction rich environment to help players locate important objects if they get stuck.

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I think that it was FFVII that had a little thought bubble type thing show up when there was an object that could be activated. But like you said, having to go up to everything to see if it is real can be such a pain.
But you have to admit, FFVII is one of the best games of all time.... (yes I am a Final Fanstasy Addict)

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Hrmmm, I like the thought bubble idea, I don't expect alot of things to be interactive in the game, maybe only 3 or 4 different objects.

Arcade Machines let you play games
Door (Locked or Unlocked) let you into different rooms
The Crate can be pushed around
and then maybe there could be buttons of some kind

also I don't think there will be many things that stand out in the game, the tile set will more then likely be very plain (I'm the only person working on it and although I can do simple graphics it takes a long time)

I would assume as long as I only have those things as interactive then it will be quite obvious to the player what they can do in a room..

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