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Wavinator

My 3D space combat delimma...

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I'm having second thoughts after seeing Orion Pirates do space combat just the way I wanted to do it. OP uses 3D models with gameplay locked to a 2D plane. This link and this one illustrate. It looks good and plays well. You get a taste of arcade and tactical, plus a few NPC ships to command. But planets are disappointing. They look beautiful far off, but up close the illusion breaks down for me. Planets should be HUGE, and I'd think it'd be neat to gracefully orbit them. So I have 2 options: A) Use the Orion Pirates method, and do a special orbital mode a bit like this or this or this.. The planet would always be below, and would roll beneath the player's ship. Lighting would change to reflect day and night. Going faster would move the planet lower, slower would start re-entry. Transitions from orbit to space would require a special mode. B) Optionally, I could try to do full 3D (whimper... ). Homeworld would be a good model, but the camera controls were too much for me. I'd go with preset camera views only. I'd use Orion Pirate's padlock view idea for preselected groups. The groups would appear as tags on the screen. Clicking a tag would switch view to that group. With B, when ships were below you, your ship would appear on the top of the screen and the camera would face them. If they were above, your ship would appear at the bottom of the screen. You could roll your ship to bring different weapons to bear, but you wouldn't have to fitz with the camera. Left & right mouse moves would rotate the camera along the X axis, and forward and back rotate around the Y (up & down, with your ship always in view). Even if you zoomed, your ship would always be in view. A simple click would turn the ship along the vector you clicked on, and you could fly one way and shoot another. The only other option I can think of would be going turn-based, but that doesn't appeal to me. -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... Edited by - Wavinator on July 19, 2001 10:01:26 PM

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Not sure about either to be honest. The first seems a little messy in the transition from planar to orbital mode. The second (going 3D) is probably better, but the added complexity may be too much, both from an engine design POV and from an interface POV.

How about a third option. All action takes place on the plane of the ecliptic, using polar coordinates centered on the most significant massive object (usually the nearest planet or the sun). Once you get to within a certain distance of a planet, you start to enter its atmosphere. Alternatively, you can fall into an orbital path.

This requires all of your action to take place near some sort of massive object (to center your coordinates on). I dont think this is a major restriction - in reality, battles in deep space are pretty unlikely - even if you have 100 ships 50 miles long each, the chances of your opponent finding them in a region of space four light years across is vanishingly small. Its like looking for an iron filing in a haystack the size of jupiter. Battles will always take place near a star or planet.

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Wavi, Sandman,
Let''s try and get a chat going this weekend, I would like to bring you guys, and probably Dauntless, and if I could wish, Kylo and MKV, into a new project. I have finally cracked and started a raw DD and want your help!

I want to do as much design and coding as possible for a spacewar, and I think you guys are invaluable, creative resources.

---------------
-WarMage
...pleeeease? I''ll give ya a dollar

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quote:
Original post by WarMage
Wavi, Sandman,
Let''s try and get a chat going this weekend, I would like to bring you guys, and probably Dauntless, and if I could wish, Kylo and MKV, into a new project. I have finally cracked and started a raw DD and want your help!



Hey, ya got no e-mail listed thru GameDev, bud!

quote:

...pleeeease? I''ll give ya a dollar



Hahaha! "Will design for food!"

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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okay, fine, let''s see how this works for y''all

NOW I have put crap in my profile. I better not get any (more) spam dammit

----------
-WarMage
...and yes, it IS @dork.com.

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you know, I personally would hate to do space combat on a 2D plane. It just doesn''t make sense! Space is the perfect environment to go 3D and the bar is raised significantly. I love Homeworld and its interface, mostly cause I practiced a lot, but once used often, you''ll realize it kicks ass and couldn''t really be better (tho Cataclysm did add some good options like waypoints). Anyways I think you should go 3D, otherwise you''re taking away from your audience an important element of space combat. I know it''s hard to code, and the laerning curve can be a bit high but it''s space combat man! That''s the coolest thing about it, that you have to think in 3 dimensions, enemies can come from behind, below, above.... anyways that''s just my two cents - go with the 3D combat. Pull that off and you''ve got yourself a sure winner.

==============================
"Need more eeenput..."
- #5, "Short Circuit"
==============================

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You bet Homeworld got it right. Wavi, I don''t know about you, but I use a marble trackball and HW is just super sweet for people with bursitis :D

So, we have OP (which I''m prolly gonna have to get after I finally get my K7 kit), which locks you into vieweing a specific limb of the planet? Is it always the same or similar orientation? Regardless, we want space warsim, don''t we? I have all kinds of tactical display ideas in mind, we just need to think through the requirements of realistic superatmospheric battles, including traversing various orbital phases.

You just wait till we compute fuel curves and watch ''em sh*t

--------------------
-WarMage
...his name is satan, and i pelt the bitch every time. >X-P

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If you guys are gonna use orbital battles, try and model the coolest thing about orbits, the gravity slingshot. You''ve seen it used so many times in movies (Apollo 13 and Armageddon, to name just two), when an object curves around a planet and when it breaks free of its orbit at a tangent is has very high angular momentum. I''d suggest looking it up if you never heard of it, it could make a neat gameplay element, sorta like a hyper burst to get units someplace quickly but cost a lot of fuel.

==============================
"Need more eeenput..."
- #5, "Short Circuit"
==============================

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Reminds me of a game I used to play in my 386: StarControl (or StarCommand, not sure).

It was basicly a 2d-fight between 2 space shipt. But a very neat thing to do (when you are faster), is to lure them towards a planet with high gravity. When done right, you can sling around and get away, but they would spiral down to their doom :p

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Everyone please be sure to visit my Homeworld Rant thread in the lounge

---------------
-WarMage
..ow!! I cannot believe you just plucked a hair out of that!

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