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suliman

Too easy to avoid anti-air fire (aircraft game)

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Hi

This is a design/ai/technical question:)

 

I have a aircraft game where you steer it with the mouse (its like freelancer with a chase cam behind the aircraft)

 

Anti-air guns/units on the ground try to shoot you. They take your speed, turn and pitch and calculate where you will be when their shoot arrives and aim for that point. So they can hit you even when you turn or tilt.

 

Problem is if you CHANGE your turn/tilt, even a little bit, they can never hit you:( Any common workaround for this problem? Only idea soo far is to have (1) bullet travel much faster so that change in turning will effect your position less before the bullets arrive... (or cheat and have (2) hooming bullets for enemy bullets)

 

(3) Or to reduce accuracy (add more randomness to each released shots direction) so sometimes they hit you anyway, but then flying in constant changed turn/tilt is still better, and makes for unfun gameplay.

 

Thanks for your input

Erik

Edited by suliman

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1) Faster bullets: wont realy affect the problem unless they they affect it too much

2) Homing missiles : I like

3)Reduced accuracy: this is okay, maybe reduce the accuracy of certain AA-guns(or reduce the accuracy of far-off AA-guns)

 

Additionally:

- Explosive shells, have shells create a (big) explosion that's harder to dodge.

- add enemy fighters, i don't know whether they're planned, but they would push AA-fire to the background of the gameplay,

(AA-fire will almost always have the problem of being either too easy to avoid or too hard to avoid)

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Its good that it depends on how you are steering the aircraft if you get hit. If its just random when you die in a game it would be aggravating.

Though AA would not 100% accurate hit where it aims, they need to constantly adjust it to the fast plane and would never find the ideal angles.

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You can make the cannons look at the speed/direction, plus the current rate of change in speed/direction, so that they can make a better estimate. From there you can get them to include the rate of change of the rate of change smile.png

 

However, AFAIK most long anti-aircraft munitions aren't designed to be direct hits, but are designed to explode close enough to spray a cloud of shrapnel into the target. WW2 shells used timers or barometers to try and get them to explode at a specific altitude. Towards the end of the war, the proximity shell was introduced, which exploded automatically as it approached a solid target.

Modern anti-aircraft missiles often use the same principle - instead of trying to collide with a fast moving and agile target, they explode while approaching it, creating a massive cloud of shrapnel that's impossible to dodge.

 

The WW2 proximity shell also found it's way into anti-ground munitions, so they'd explode above the enemy and rain shrapnel onto them. Pretty horrible stuff... unsure.png  Modern bombs do the same thing with better sensors -- in Gulf War 1, we showed off all sorts of "smart bombs", including ones that exploded high above the target area, ejecting a hundred tiny copper "pucks", each one spinning with a wobble such that it's bottom will "scan" a large section of the ground. In the bottom of each puck is a IR sensor, which when it detects a target, detonates a shaped-charge on the top of the puck, which transforms the copper center into an unimaginably fast-moving molten spear being hurtled at whatever warm body the IR sensor picked up. One of these bombs would take out an entire tank column... And that's 1991 technology!

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You could also add multiple barrel guns with a slight spread in the munitions angle and targetting vs the center barrel.  You could also vary the rate of fire for your guns, some faster and lighter damage and some slower with a bigger AoE and damage.

 

Just don't go too far to the other end of the hit/miss accuracy or the player will never get through.

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Real world AAA relied partly on imprecision, general volume, and probability. The batteries also worked together to saturate a volume of sky that the target was flying through with literarily tons of flak in some of the largest air battles in history.

 

So if you have more than one gun emplacement within a zone, and they can all engage the target, then don't have them all target perfectly. Rather than every gun calculating the point in space where their munitions would hit the target, instead have the first in the group target the 'point of expected impact', then start spiralling out from that with the other guns. The more guns active in an area, then the larger the volume they can target, and the harder it becomes to dodge. 

 

Depending on the specifics of your game you may want to play with the odds and probability. Some game styles can benefit from being able to 'fly through the flak cloud', and take the random chance of whether or not it works. Other games would need more deterministic outcomes from such actions.

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but then flying in constant changed turn/tilt is still better,

 

jink and dodge is the standard counter maneuver to AAA fire

 

 

 


makes for unfun gameplay.

 

you're modeling flying through a flak field, of course you have to jink and dodge all the time. if that's not your idea of fun, maybe you're making the wrong type of game.

 

everything else mentioned in replies applies too: stuff like accuracy, near misses, using velocity, acceleration, and jerk (dA/dt), field effect flak clouds, scattergun type attacks from multiple batteries, proximity rounds, various types of guidance systems (radar etc), and so on.  do your research, you'll find lots of cool stuff. but even after adding all the cool stuff, odds are you'll still find yourself jinking and dodging all the time - or at least when under fire.

 

to maximize gameplay, you'll want to balance the AAA accuracy so flying straight and level is "instant death no saving throw", and jink and dodge cut the chance to be hit down to 50% or so (IE they can still get a lucky hit on you). in the end, flying through flak is largely a crap-shoot. its more or less you happening to fly into a shell just as it explodes, more than a shell hitting you. heck you could almost just draw a lot of flak around the player, then just roll dice form time to time to see if they get hit, and probably get results almost identical to a full tilt DoD quality simulation - there's that much luck and randomness involved.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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There are not really any flak fields, think more like single guns, even tanks firing at you. Maybe it will feel better if i just increase firerates and inaccuracy... (so you are hit sometimes but less often when you dodge).

 

You are often close to the ground, more like an arcade flying game than realistic simulation.

Think star wars rouge squadron! It's a similar game to that.

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There are not really any flak fields, think more like single guns, even tanks firing at you.

 

Flak fields are usually only used around strategic targets of interest - such as  a ball bearing factory, a key airfield, or a nuclear research facility.

 

What you describe is more akin to a low level A-10 pass against something like a tank column or small base.

 

.


Maybe it will feel better if i just increase firerates and inaccuracy...

 

That would probably be a more realistic response to a low level high speed attack - especially a surprise attack.  Think of Baghdad or Berlin when the bombers/missiles came. They lit up the sky for all its worth, even if they couldn't see anything to shoot at.  A similar situation is common in the busier combat scenes in Star Wars movies. And those were largely inspired by the frantic air to air combat seen in the Battle of Britain, and other large scale engagements in both the european and pacific theaters.

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