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Feedback on HeliHavoc

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Hello all ")


Above is a link to an old game I made, called HeliHavoc. I programmed the game in C# with MonoDevelop. There is a Unity Web Player version somewhere, but I lost the link :/


Anyways, I'm specifically looking for feedback related to how you feel it could be more polished & professional. I would like to incorporate lessons learned from old projects like this into my new project, so your honest feedback is really appreciated :D


What are your thoughts?

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downloading now.


first thing that jumps out at me is model and ground quality. your sky is looking AAA. the rest - far from it.


if you think about it, all 3d games are the same, the only difference is the quality of the meshes, textures, and special effects.


and out of those, i think i'd have to say that textures probably make the most difference. after that, maybe lighting?


ok, checking it out....


sidescrolller - like a slow version of defender (1981) with no bad guys and no guns, and a very fragile ship.




no ESC for ingame menu to quit!


no textures at all!


seems the only game mechanic is flying - not enough for the player to do - not enough for them to master. i figured out how to fly the thing on the third try, then is just a matter of having patience. if you'd told me what keys did what, i would have only crashed once. and if i had an altimeter with rate of climb (like a real chopper) i wouldn't have crashed at all.


it might help if you said W/S/up/down  was ascend / descend. i assumed it was forward / back and i had 6 degrees of translational freedom - not just 4.  otherwise i would have probably only crashed once, to learn how softly you had to land.  


altimeter with rate of climb / descent is called for.   a chopper pilot should not have to guess how quickly they are descending and if its outside the safe operational envelope of the vehicle.  of course, that's about the only challenge in the game to begin with. so you add that and then you have a 2d chopper flight sim with a difficult camera angle, no gauges, and basic graphics. and all you can do is fly around. doesn't sound like much fun to me.


the plane should not move left or right if they are on the ground. at first it seemed i had 4 degrees of translational freedom (fwd, back, left, right), and the chopper would climb automatically.


much probably has to do with the fact that you're using a true 3d engine to do a 2d side scroller. if i see something that looks like a flight sim, i expect it to act like a flight sim, not mario.


in general, non-chase-cam 3rd person views of flying vehicles are difficult to use.   with Zaxxon (1982) being one of the first examples of such games.


"those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it"





so what you have is a slow version of the movement mechanics of a 35 year old game (but no badguys, combat, weapons, or shields) , and the difficult camera angles of a 34 year old game, and the graphics of a <how ever many> years old game.  Zaxxon is 34 years old and is gourard and phong shaded 3d polys, so <whatever> is at least 34 years maybe more. OTOH, i think the original arcade version was monochrome, and only later ports had color.


FYI, in defender you had to fight the badguys WHILE picking up people!


right now, what you've got now isn't even SIMCopter (Maxis 1996), which wasn't all that.  but you might want to take a look at it for ideas for additional types of non-combat game play. its a police chopper sim, and expands on the basic pickup / drop stuff without adding weapons (near as i can tell).





to improve the havok chopper title, i would switch to payer's choice of chasecam or "from the driver's seat" view, adjust the flight model and input controlls accordingly,  kick it up to 6 degrees of translational freedom, and at least one degree of rotational freedom (rotate left/right). add textures, add basic gauges (speed, alt, rate of climb), and add greater challenge - combat or time limited missions are about the only options there. and flying a chopper to "beat the clock" doesn't sound that exciting compared to weapons and combat - especially when you could have combat AND beat the clock AND pickup stuff at the same time. now THAT's a challenge! of course, if you follow that to is logical conclusion you end up making the spiritual successor to the game series Comanche by NovaLogic (1992) - best known for its groundbreaking use of a voxel terrain engine, and its realistic chopper flight model - still considered one of the best ever in the industry.





nowadays, you want to impress people, you gotta think big dude.





Edited by Norman Barrows

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Wow thanks for this great feedback! Really in-depth with helpful examples. I will definitely be taking these lessons into my next project.

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