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KellyJohnson

Underwater Motion

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Anyone that can spare some of there thoughts swimming would be very much appreciated.

At the moment, I'm thinking that I need some kind of acceleration when I'm going from idle to moving. Should I also put some deceleration as I am coming to a stop? Or would you feel better being able to stop on the spot?

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Frankly, most games I've encountered so far didn't have that kind of mechanic. Swimming was an extension of walking, but with water involved. It was the rare GTA-themed game or Fable that had the sort of acceleration/deceleration you mention.

Unless it is a key point of your game (eg. the whole world is underwater and you will be swimming a lot, have currents etc), don't pay much attention to it. Supply more background to your question for a more accurate answer/speculation :)

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[quote name='Zethariel' timestamp='1317709004' post='4868865']
Frankly, most games I've encountered so far didn't have that kind of mechanic. Swimming was an extension of walking, but with water involved. It was the rare GTA-themed game or Fable that had the sort of acceleration/deceleration you mention.

Unless it is a key point of your game (eg. the whole world is underwater and you will be swimming a lot, have currents etc), don't pay much attention to it. Supply more background to your question for a more accurate answer/speculation :)
[/quote]

That's fair. The game does take place primarily underwater, you come up to take breaths every take a breath every couple minutes or so, but then you are right back in the midst of the sea.

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[quote name='Bigdeadbug' timestamp='1317747778' post='4869038']
If the game play is primarily underwater then yes I would put acceleration/deceleration in. Generally I would make it as realistic as possible while still keeping it fun.
[/quote]

In that setting, +1

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I would say yes, have acceleration and deceleration as you're moving through water. You can make a fairly reasonable fluid resistance formula without a huge amount of trouble.

You should consider giving the player the ability to do something to slow themselves down. For instance, think about when you're swimming in a pool. What do you do when you want to slow down?

1) Increase the surface area of your body perpendicular to the direction of motion to increase your drag.
2) Paddle your arms and legs in the opposite direction of motion.

If you give the player the ability to apply some sort of braking force, then they can choose to stop reasonably fast or enjoy the floaty feel of being in water.

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I'm reminded of the Ecco the dolphin games. They had a pretty simplistic model of swimming, but it felt solid overall. There was a definite sluggishness to starting and stopping, but it was subtle and didn't overpower attempts to get out of the way of things. Most of the time. There was more focus on turning around underwater, which was either slow (to turn tightly) or dangerous (a wild wide high speed turn).

Of course, that was all from the perspective of a dolphin, so if you're going for humans I would probably just introduce a small drift when starting and stopping. Turning around probably shouldn't be instantaneous either, but it should be fast enough that players won't feel frustrated.

In the end, whatever you do, players are going to want to feel like they're in control. Ecco was a very difficult game, mostly because of the level design, but the control restrictions definitely made me froth at the mouth a few times when I failed to avoid something and died. Level design is going to interact a lot with the controls in this case, don't make the same mistakes Ecco did (such as requiring you to be very agile at high speeds while not knowing what's coming half the time).

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