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giving a feel of speed in the game.

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i am working on an online pvp game,where players control robots in space. the first thought i had when i started thinking about this game is that i wanted it to feel like it has fast action. like you move and attack fast. and well,so far i feel like i am failing when it comes to feeling the speed. yep,my fast game feels slow. i could increase the speed even more but the problem is that players can attack either in melee or ranged modes,and if players will move so fast i think it's going to be realy hard fighting in melee(not to mention the speed would probably make ranged combat easier). the camera is constantly behind the character. i dont get it,look at this game :
this one gives you a feel of speed,and i am trying to make my game be like zone of the enders(where there like in my game,you can move to all directions). does anyone have any idea what could i do to make the game feel faster? edit : this is a video of my game,
at first i move at normal speed,which feels very slow and most of the time players should be mooving at the normal speed. at some point i switch to "boost" speed which then feels a bit fast(i also increase the fov when boosting) and then it seems to feel a bit speedy. sure, i could increase the normal speed to be as fast as boost,but then it will relay be hard to melee fight other players. [Edited by - Bru on November 3, 2009 10:02:55 AM]

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Move the camera closer to the avatar, and increase the FOV. But posting a gameplay video of your game (you know, the one you're looking for feedback on?) would be a good idea if you want less catchall advice.

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Speed is relative. If there is nothing flying by close to the camera, it'll look slow. For examples, in racing games, it will look like you go faster if the camera is closer to the ground. Remember the movie "The Aviator", when he was looking for clouds? Same thing.

You could add a "space debris" or a "space gaz" effect to implement this. The trick is decades old, I think it was in x-wing/tie fighter.

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i added a video. thanks for the tips.
sneftel,it seems like moving the camera closer to the character makes the character just look too big on the screen and doesn't seem to feel much faster.
steadtler. i am not exacly sure i understand you :(

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Quote:
Original post by Bru
it seems like moving the camera closer to the character makes the character just look too big on the screen and doesn't seem to feel much faster.

That's why you move the camera closer to the avatar and increase the FOV.

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amm... it did seem to help a bit. i used pie/4 for the the fov,and now i use pie/2. but dont all games use a human fov(pie/4)? it does look like i am watching through a drunk man's eyes when i move the camera up and down now.

edit : heh,on second thought i think i like it this way. thanks a lot :)
got any other ideas which might help he game feel faster?

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Its simple: if there is nothing close, you dont get a sense of speed. See those flashing lines in the video you sent, near the beginning? They are there to give a sense of speed, like if air is rushing by really fast. You can get the same effect by putting stationnary, fake objects (space debris) around the robot in your game.

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Quote:
Original post by Bru
but dont all games use a human fov(pie/4)?
The human horizontal FOV is only a little less than pi. But no, no they do not all use pi/4.

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As well as what Steadtler said, you have no sense of scale. Until you get really close to those buildings you can't tell how big they actually are in relation to a person. Similarly for your rocks - they're just big textured lumps with no reference points.

You need to add visual cues to demonstrate the scale - adding more people would be a good example, since you'll instinctively 'know' how big a person is, seeing tiny people on the rocks or hanging out of the windows instantly lets you know how large the objects are themselves.

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It's the particle effects of the weapon fire in the first video that does it. You can see how far they shoot, and the smoke trails quickly rush by you.

Also, "speed lines" emanating radially from the center helps.

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Well it looks like the velocity of your player is actually slower than that of the planes in ACE Online. :P They pass nearby terrain (the rock arch for example) much faster than when your player passes the buildings.

However, you look like you're still in the phase where you're testing that basic functionality works. Don't worry about presentation issues like this until later.

Once you have bullets, smoke trails, missiles, enemies, and other dynamic objects interacting with the environment and the player, then you'll get a much better sense of speed. At that point you'll be able to much more accurately tweak player speed for gameplay and aesthetic purposes, as well as add in visuals which help signify relative velocity much more effectively than static geometry.

In other words, don't worry about it until much later. :)

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How about, take apart scenes in films and games that give a good sense of speed. Here's one of my favorites, The Yuyu, Part Two of the Bitey in Brackenwood series. Try and replicate the various tricks and effects Adam Phillips uses.

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Yeah, you need clutter in the space, or else it feels too serene. The video you posted first was action packed with other vessels, bullets, explosions and anime-style special effects, all of which filled the air with points of reference. EvE Online uses little dots that turn into lines as you go faster, so you've always got a clear visual indicator of speed.

Another thing I noticed in the first video that I didn't see in yours is that the player's airplane isn't always right in the middle of the screen. It moves around, like in Star Fox. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this contributes to the sensation, since it breaks the camera and the character apart, making you feel like you're struggling to keep up with your own alter ego.

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ZoE2:


Note how the movements are only fast for a short time, the robot is constantly dashing into some direction, which has a very hectic effect. The camera also needs to catch up to it. Look at some free roaming videos of this game and realize that the effect of speed is completely gone because the dashing doesn't take place at all.

Also realize that graphics aren't the only thing that give you an impression of speed, sound effects and music are very important to give that feeling (e.g. fast rhytmic beats change the way the player feels while playing, therefore the way he plays)

You said you're concerned about ease of melee combat. ZoE in this case uses a lock-on mechanism, as many other Mecha kind of games, to solve that. This way movement is always relative to the enemy. If you want to lock ranged fighters into melee combat at some point, make their maximum speed limited: limited boost gauge, which has to recover.

Also look at Sonic Unleashed
for the close up camera which has to catch up and has an odd FOV. The level design should interest you the most though, because you can see things move past you you think you're really fast.

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i see. thanks for the comments everyone,you all gave me some usefull information and i'll start working as soon as i return from school today.
also, i did think about a lock system,but then if i implent it,it will take away the aspect of aiming at your target. imagine in an online game where all you need to do in order to shoot someone is target them,and simply shoot. it will either either always hit or miss from far ranges. so i am not exacly sure about how good it would be to use a lock system.

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Quote:
Original post by Bru
imagine in an online game where all you need to do in order to shoot someone is target them,and simply shoot. it will either either always hit or miss from far ranges.
At the very least, it can be used to reduce your server load by a huge amount, as you don't need to simulate projectiles on the server anymore - you can determine whether or not they hit as soon as they launch...

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Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
Quote:
Original post by Bru
imagine in an online game where all you need to do in order to shoot someone is target them,and simply shoot. it will either either always hit or miss from far ranges.
At the very least, it can be used to reduce your server load by a huge amount, as you don't need to simulate projectiles on the server anymore - you can determine whether or not they hit as soon as they launch...

i dont realy have to simulate projectiles in an expansive way. projectiles move in a stright line,so this mean i can save the starting position and time of the bullet,and when the client detects a collision send it to the server for confirmation,and then i can simply position = starting position +time*velocity to find out where the bullet is and check if there's collision.
it's not realy that expansive doing it this way.

but i just thought of something with the speed. how about i increase the speed of normal movement,and allow target lock only in melee mode? that way players will still be required to aim when shooting,and will not have hard time fighting in melee while moving fast.

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If you created a sort of fish-eye lens effect (or actually distorted the graphics based on speed) you would probably have a much better sense of speed without sacrificing the network speed or the field of view, because things would appear to move faster as they get closer.

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Quote:
Original post by Bru
but i just thought of something with the speed. how about i increase the speed of normal movement,and allow target lock only in melee mode? that way players will still be required to aim when shooting,and will not have hard time fighting in melee while moving fast.


Usually you have a button for melee locking. In the case of Zone of the Enders (the previous example given), you have a soft-lock and a hard-lock. The soft-lock happens automatically, and will auto-aim many of your normal weapons on your enemies as long as they're in your targeting area. The hard-lock is engaged by pressing a button, and will cause your mecha to focus only on one enemy, and cause your mecha to circle-strafe.

The soft-lock is actually pretty useful. It takes a lot of skill out of aiming, since you only have to keep them in a wide area, but it works great when you're dashing around, dodging, and still trying to damage the enemies. The hard lock is better if you're trying to melee

Speed also depends pretty heavily on gameplay. Continuing with ZoE as an example, they made it pretty easy to boost around levels while still hammering on enemies. They also generally kept the screen pretty busy in the active parts. If you don't mind some spoilers,
">here is a video of the final boss battle. At this point in the game, you have an ability which allows you to quasi-teleport to your targeted enemy. Note the use of speed lines, the busyness of the screen, and the general ease at which the player teleports around the arena, while still managing to get melee hits off on the boss.

Edit: The problem with making your players aim while moving is that it encourages them to slow down in order to get hits off, which, of course, makes the game feel slower. The "targeting area" is a pretty good compromise. I'd also check out Armored Core: For Answer on ways that you can make your game feel fast. I think that iteration of the series did a good job improving the feeling of speed.

[Edited by - Rycross on November 4, 2009 2:20:28 PM]

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Actually, I think your game looked faster for the brief moment when you zoomed off the avatar and pulled the camera back. The things to fix it I think have already been mentioned above, but honestly, I did not feel like the commercial game you linked looked all that fast.

I am not sure if someone has already mentioned it, but racing games oftentimes use motion blur to give a faster sense of speed. However, that is probably going to be a polish you would add later once more of your game comes together.

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The problem with pulling back the camera is that it's a very temporary effect, kind of frustratingly so. Infact, so much so that I think you'd be best off minimizing that effect, or else players will feel like their optimum speed is achieved while accelerating.

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The only problem with motion blur is that it is easy to see through if you have any chance to study it. That was a problem I had with Tekken 6, which used it extensively to give the player the feeling that they were attacking faster. It was used so often that the player begins to expect it, and can see and study it, showing it for what it is and defeating the purpose. When it is mixed with other effects to help mask it (like in Burn-Out), or it is only used for a brief moment when the camera turns, it is much better. I did, however, mention motion blur above, so I do feel like it could have a place in a project like this. I just don't know about using it for sustained speed effect.

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