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suliman

Test my game plz (WW2 pirate game)

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Hi!

Plz test and comment on my game so far. It's a rpg/adventure/sim game set in post-ww2. You're sort of a pirate! 

Test especially the fights. Is it fun? Is the controls ok? Could something improve?

Other than fighting other ships you can visit some ports and trade and repair/refuel and some other stuff.

 

Click F1 ingame to toggle controls shown.

 

(latest download-link at last post)

Edited by suliman

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time scale seems off - rate of fire vs movement rate vs ET for one update.   lost my second engagement, and then noticed the game clock was running at one game day per real world second? WTF?  the game should be realtime with accelerated time.  or at a minimum, a "turn" should be something more appropriate for naval combat - say 5 minutes - not a year.

 

did notice you're doing turn rate for turrets - at least that's something.

 

right now it comes off as a clickfest fone app - might as well be bunnies and flowers, instead of battleships.

 

BTW, i love the map and graphics - satellite image for the map?  I'm having a devil of a time figuring out maps for AIRSHIPS!   but there, the map must correspond to a full 3d FPS type world (or the 3D wolrd must correspond to the map - to be more precise).

 

As combat is the heart of the game, you'll want to polish that up first.

 

Controls, targeting etc seem fine.

 

When the game is done, you'll want a tutorial.

 

may want to change "direction keys" to "arrow keys".

 

an overall impression of things running too fast, both on the strategic map and the combat map.

 

Start by fixing your time scale and then see where you're at.

 

not sure about the weapons representation. i only seemed to have two guns (turrets?).  battleships typically don't have torpedoes.   rockets are probably too new for the time period.

 

a quick glance at the data files indicates some crew positions that might be somewhat contrived, such as cook. a good cook won't use less rations, they will raise morale, but not enough to make a big difference by itself.  only by fully modeling all effects on morale, and all moral effects on combat performance, would the cook ever possibly matter. and even then it would only be one straw, but it might be enough to break the camel's back. but only if you model everything on the camel's back - IE full morale effects.

 

and you do realize that sooner or later, every nation would be sending fleets to kill the player once and for all.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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time scale seems off - rate of fire vs movement rate vs ET for one update.

What do you mean by this? Too fast movement? Too quick-firing guns? What is ET?

 

 

 

game clock was running at one game day per real world second? WTF?

It should be like 5 secs = 1 day on the map and nothing when in battle. When was it 1 sec= 1 day?

 

 

 

battleships typically don't have torpedoes. rockets are probably too new for the time period.

There is no battleships in the game yet. The torpedo on your frigate is for testing only, but many ww2 destroyers and cruisers had torpedoes (and will in my game as well). Rockets existed but was mostly for shore bombardment. I might add it for fun measure anyway though!

 

 

 

right now it comes off as a clickfest fone app - might as well be bunnies and flowers, instead of battleships.

What is the point of this comment? Its an arcadish game no doubt, this isnt a simulation. What is it you dont like? Too quick? Too unrealistic?

 

Thanks for your feedback so far Norman! Plz expand. Other people?

Edited by suliman

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What do you mean by this? Too fast movement? Too quick-firing guns? What is ET?

 

ET or  a "turn" is the amount of game time that is supposed to have elapsed during one update.  if you're using "fix your timestep",  it would be whatever DT is.  for a more conventional game loop, it would be the amount of time one update is supposed to represent.  this value is then multiplied by a time_scale, that translates between game time and real world time.

 

so lets say you run update at 30 hz. so every update, you move the ship and reload the guns for 1/30th of a second. so if the ship is moving at 20 knots, 20 knots = 37.04 Kph = 0.0034296296296... meters per update (check my math!).

 

i didn't look at the clock to compare movement rates to elapsed time - but you should.  the reload rates seemed much faster than real time compared to the movement rates.

 

but all this should be trivial, just look up the specs for the uss new jersey, one of the last batttleships built. you''l get cruise speed, flank speed, time to flank speed, turn radius, rate of fire, etc. then just crunch out what that is per update.

 

well, nothing here about reload times...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armament_of_the_Iowa-class_battleship

 

but find a blow by blow account of the sinking of the HMS Hood. it will tell you at exactly what time each salvo was fired, and hit. we're talking reload times and flight times in minutes, not seconds here.

 

ok, found something...

 

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php

 

one gun, two rounds per minute.  so about 30 seconds to load one gun. or about 1.5 minutes to load one turret. probably more.  they have to switch from one gun to the next, and fire control must wait for all turrets to be ready before it can loose a salvo.   So probably about 2 minutes between salvos.   since you don't want the player sitting around while their battleship steams about and reloads in real time, you need accelerated time.   that's where your time_scale multiplier comes in.  set it to 10, and the game runs 10 times as fast, and you can now fire a salvo every 9 seconds, not every 90 seconds.   accelerated time allows the player to run the game at whatever speed they are comfortable with, so its not too slow, and not too fast, its just right.  accelerated time is typically implemented by performing multiple updates per render. but it may also be possible to monkey with ET and DT in a "fix your timestep" algo to do it.

 

by using real word stats as a guideline, you won't have to worry about movement and firing rates being incorrect.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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When was it 1 sec= 1 day?

 

after the battle, before i exited the combat map.  i figured that was just an anomaly. odds are the game was still running and i was just dead, that's all. 

 

if battles are supposed to be real time, your reload times are way off.   perhaps weapon ranges and movement rates as well.  these ships could hit each other when they were no more than a spec on the horizon. they had the range, if you could see it, you could shoot it. right now you're more like near collision conditions, engaging enemy capital ships at ranges at hundreds of feet, not miles, or thousands of yards.  the size of the ship graphics vs the distance between them is way off. one or both is out of scale.  the size of the ships, the distance between them, the movement and turn rates, the turret turn and reload rates must all be closer to real to get a real naval combat feel to it. then just add accelerated time, or run at one or more specific accelerated time settings. that way you get real naval combat, but its not too slow, and thus boring.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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your frigate

 

ah, ok.  that explains the guns and torps.

 

What is the point of this comment? Its an arcadish game no doubt, this isnt a simulation. What is it you dont like? Too quick? Too unrealistic?

 

 

that the gameplay right now has no naval combat feel to it. you might as well be shooting bunnies with flowers or something.

 

it doesn't really strike me as arcade-ish per-se, unless you want to go that route. like many (most? all?) games, it could be fall at either end of the "arcade vs simulation" scale, depending on implementation.

 

yes, i feel its a bit too quick, at least at first. and definitely too unrealistic - might as well be bunnies and flowers.  i also personally feel that's a bit of a shame, as the game could potentially be a rather cool ww2 naval combat  pirate game.

 

you might want to consider two game play modes: arcade and simulation, with different rates and scales for the two. one time i did a game where a single #def in the source generated one of two different games, one a full tilt real time war game, and the second an arcade game with stages and levels. the last level of the arcade game was the first level of the war game.  you may have one engine that could be used for both an arcade, and a simulation game.  something like that might benefit from a heavy emphasis on data driven design. make the title screen and everything else necessary data driven, and one .exe could produce two games using different data sets. perhaps more than two, with different games featuring different regions, factions, units, and time periods. sort of like the total war series.

 

for arcade combat, what you have right now is just fine, speed, aiming, rate of fire, etc, all just fine. you could change it to bunnies and flowers and it would still work, so the basic arcade combat mechanics are sound.. 

 

if i were you. ii'd make an arcade version for casual gamers who don't know any better, and a realistic version for hard core gamers, so you cover the entire potential user base and don't leave any dollars on the table.

 

WW2 naval combat tends to appeal more to hard core than casual players. but arcade tends to appeal more to casual than hard core players, so a game with a hard core theme but casual game play may end up pleasing very few players. casual players won't consider it given the hard core theme: "its a war game! i have to think! i don't want to think! i just want to shoot stuff !", and hard core players will detest the arcade combat as overly simplistic, unrealistic, and child-like:   "Gimme a f'ing break!   this dude definitely don't know sh*t about naval combat!".   This is why its so hard to write one title that appeals to both ends of the spectrum and all points in between.  A given setting and type of game can be done casual or hard core.or something in-between. multiple play modes or multiple titles seems to be the way to reach everyone - casual and hardcore alike - for a given game idea.

 

the real trick is to make it realistic / believable enough for the hard core player, but accessible enough for the casual player.  That's what i've striven for with Caveman.   My problem there is that it appeals to non-gamers, not just casual gamers, due to the unique setting (i guess). folks who don't even know what "click to continue" means, where the ESC key is (or that there even is one!), and have never even seen a character creation screen.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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an arcade version for casual gamers who don't know any better

This is a rather patronizing statement. People like different kind of games.This game is even too realistic and slow for some people (planning and collecting money for upgrades and judgeing trade routes and faction standings). My game is not a realistic ship simulation so that those guns took 2 min to reload isnt very important. I use historical ships for flavor, but I modify when I want for gameplay reasons.

But do you think the fights would be more strategic or fun if they were slower? You died from fewer hits? etc

 

Also:

"Realtime" doesnt mean "realistic time" when it comes to games. It means "not turnbased". 

 

It seems you are commenting on a completely different game-to-be, which isnt very useful for me (i know of your love of realism from other thread). I will not have real ranges or reload times with this perspective (and almost no games have).That sounds like a interesting game, and by all means, make that game, but it should be clear that this game isn't that game at all.

 

GIVEN that this is the game I'm doing, what can be said about it?

What is unclear, what is unfun, what is fun? I also hope other people will comment to get different views. Does the looting system work? (other than being unrealistic). Do the radar scans work? Is it confusing? Everything will be polished of course but as it stands now?

Edited by suliman

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This is a rather patronizing statement.

 

i'm simply speaking to the point that those familiar with the type of naval combat depicted will realize that the arcade style combat is unrealistic, while those unfamiliar with naval combat in that period may not.

 

But do you think the fights would be more strategic or fun if they were slower? You died from fewer hits? etc

 

i think that with the ability to run at multiple speeds, from slow strategic to fast arcade you can please all comers.    those that want to make every move count can play slower. those that want a click fest can speed it up. the game works and runs the exact same way at all speeds.  any game sped up enough eventually becomes arcade. and any game slowed down enough eventually becomes turn based.  think about that one.  might it be true?

 

the fact is that the tension from a slower naval engagement is a different type of gaming experience than the excitement of a clickfest.   in the case of the engine you have here, the speed of the simulation is the only difference between what gameplay you get from it.  run it slow, and you have an excellent naval wargame.  run it fast and you have an excellent clickfest arcade game,  so you can use it to make two games that appeal to two different user bases, or one game that plays in two modes that appeal to two different user bases.

 

"Realtime" doesnt mean "realistic time" when it comes to games. It means "not turnbased". 

 

realtime was just an example of the slowest speed you might run.  for a naval game you'd probably run it at say 60x for a relaxed pace of shooting every 2 seconds or so. or kick it up to 240x or higher for a bit of a clickfest.

 

GIVEN that this is the game I'm doing, what can be said about it?

 

since you're not having the ships behave as expected, you must define what gameplay you're looking for.    if you're looking for arcade clickfest, you're spot on.    i haven't looked at the aspects other than combat, but they're all pretty standard features, not that hard to balance.  so its unlikely anything is out of whack.   

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I have time compression. I just doubt you can just change from x1 to x20 and get two working games (one simulation and one arcadish) in the way you describe. They do it like that in silent hunter for example (which has a good simulation feel to it, but I will never go for that for this game). But its not at all a "arcade game pleasing those kind of players" just because you increase the time compression. Its just used to get past the boring parts as those games are fairly realistic when it comes to movement, reloading speed etc.

But of course I get your point.

 

Noone else care to share some oppinions?

E

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Okay, so it feels fast.  Overworld movement feels really fast, it feels like I'm at the wrong scale for that map size / ship size.  Getting into engagements at first was a little unintuitive (the sonar system?), but was easy enough to get used to.  (coloring or tinting the ranges would help too, it's hard to tell how close one should be.  

 

The combat does feel a bit fast and claustrophobic.  Maybe it's because we're frigates and PTs.  I kept wanting to zoom out more, but that said the sprites seem to already be suffering, they have lost most of their detail at the current scale.  If I go into one of the upgrade screens, I can distinctly see all the guns, but when I go into battle, it's squint-fest, and I can't see where guns or torpedo tubes or anything of importance is on a ship.  So I can't tell where enemy or friendly guns are aiming, how fast my guns turn, etc.  I think I got my engines disabled once?  Or was that a bug?  One of my sidekicks ran into me about the same time as I was taking damage when it happened.

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Engines can get damages, which reduces movement alot. You need to repair in port:)

 

Yeah speed should probably be reduced across the board for the game (both combat and map-travel). About the sprites: they are actually much bigger (as you can see in info-screen or the inventory) and scaled down for the combat. To have more range (less claustrophobic) I agree I need to indeed zoom out more, buth then the sprites get even smaller!

 

Maybe the view ("camera") could move with the mouse cursor (the flagship doesnt need to be in the center of the screen all the time)? This could give me more visible range while not making sprites even smaller...

 

And I can have a full-size view of the flagship in a separate window, to more easily see the guns. But the lines already show the current rotation and range of all guns though...

Edited by suliman

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 I think I got my engines disabled once?  Or was that a bug?

 

don't think its a bug,  i think  that's how i died in my second engagement. they knocked out my engines and swarmed be.  wasn't paying close enough attention at the start of the battle.

 

 

, how fast my guns turn,

 

if you watch the projected line of fire, you can tell the turret turn rate. but you have to almost turn 180 to notice it, as the guns traverse rather quickly. so quickly that rate of traversal usually has no effect on combat. you lose maybe one or twp shots traversing to a new target on the opposite horizon.  other than that it traverses so fast it never affects game play.

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I agree I need to indeed zoom out more, but then the sprites get even smaller!

 

this is a fundamental problem of naval war games. ship are small, the ocean is big, and ranges are long.  you can either accept that, or change it by:

 

1. making the ships bigger.  the USS new jersey is 888 feet long.  it can fire 24 miles. the shells take one and a half minutes in flight at long range.    so it can fire a shell 142 times the length of the ship. now say your sprite is 1 cm in length on the screen. that 1 cm long ship can shoot 1.42 meters!  my monitor is big, but its not 1.42 meters tall.   these are the kinds of scales your dealing with. now, shrink that 1.42 meters down to fit on my 27" diagonal, and you divide by 5 lets say.   now your ship sprite is only 2mm long, and can shoot the full height of the monitor. well 2mm is kinda small. so kick it up to 2cm. sure, it now looks like its 8880 feet long, but it doesn't really affect anything except collisions. and the AI should be avoiding collisions anyway.  so bigger ships might work.

 

2. make the ocean smaller.   just keep the ships really close, everything is always in range, and graphics can match up with collisions. its an option, probably not that great though....

 

3. cut the range.   cut the range of weapons by an order of magnitude   your 1 cm long battleship can now shoot 14.7 cm, which should fit rather nicely on a larger monitor.  only things over half a monitor away will be out of range of the big guns.

 

in the end, the difficulty is that you're trying to model what is the "to scale" equivalent of 2 1cm long ships up to 1.5 meters apart shooting at each other.    a map you can scroll and zoom is one possibility. 

 

in your particular case, cutting range by a factor of 10 or so, combined with ships at maybe 2x size could work. and just pretend ships are 2x size for collision purposes, its should be good enough.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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Yeah, I can see where my guns aim via the HUD, but I can't see where my opponents guns are, or where they are aiming. I can't make intelligent decisions about where to aim, since I can't pick out any details of the ships at all, I can't make decisions about where to position myself in regards to the other ship, as I don't know where it's guns are placed.  

 

For the camera, I'd try to have it be mildly intelligent, and frame it around both the mouse cursor and and the direction and speed at which my ship is traveling.  If I'm moving fast, move the camera so that I can see ahead of the ship, but also move the camera towards where my aim point is.  If I'm moving slow, you don't need to move the camera as far ahead, etc.  (Sort of similar to how the good platformers do it, except you also need to take into play the mouse position)  You might also want to zoom in/out depending on mouse cursor distance from the ship, but that may or may not work as well.

 

Overworld, I think part of what it is, is the interface for moving, having momentum, etc, feels weird at that large of a scale.  I'm curious what the turn radius of the ship is in miles, same with it's momentum / deceleration.  

Edited by ferrous

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The ranges are not realistic for gameplay purposes, but larger caliber guns have sligthly longer range.

Slower turn rates are coming up! (both ships and turrets).

 

Yeah some kind of intelligent cam would be good. I tried zooming before but didnt feel right.

 

The idea of having momentum and turn radius on the overhead map is to make it more fun to travel. The real map is HUGE and cities and ships will not be as dense as in this tech demo.

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Maybe on a large map it won't be as weird.  I think making the scale of the player's ship match the other ships might help as well, as it looked gigantic compared to everything else.  Might event shrink it to an icon like the other ships.

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New version! :)

 

-Slower turrets and ships

-Double the range of guns and camera is moveable with mouse (kind make it smoother since you control firing range with mouse as well)

-AI tries to keep distance better (still bad AI so I disabled collision for now)

-More abstract movement on the map and icon shown instead of ship

-Controls are customizable (F1)

-More help and better colors and ui-fixes overall

 

Also added more ships:

ctrl+1 early-game battle-test

ctrl+2 mid-game battle-test

ctrl+3 late-game battle-test

 

The units scale alot from smallest to biggest, so try the different scenarios. Cruisers are much more sluggish than frigates etc. 

 

How does the new camera work? (in combat you can control it with the mouse-cursor)

 

New link (same size, 77MB, still needs directx):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4yq4lidaekw6gct/pirates2.rar?dl=0

 

 
Edited by suliman

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I like the changes.  The big ship (ctrl+3), this might be exacerbated by the sounds, but it felt like I was shooting a machine gun.  Might also be mitigated by having a larger array of cannon and bullet sizes displayed.  The camera changes are a good, though felt a little high sensitivity for my tastes -- though that's one place where a menu option is inevitable.  Though I might experiment with having it lag a bit more behind the player's mouse/aim point, to see if it makes things feel a bit smoother, as it feels a little twitchy.  The ranges are still short, but eh, as Norman stated, that's hard to change.  Combat seems a bit brutal, crits in particular.  I think in the end, you'll want a stylized look for your ships, they still look mostly indistinguishable, I can't tell if I'm getting critical hit by location or by a dice roll.  Might also need to do something to make it a bit easier to distinguish between allied ships and enemy ships.

 

Is there torpedo ammo?  Historically they were mostly one shot weapons, but it looks like you can spam them a bit.  Not that I think I'd mind that much, since WoW does the same.

 

 

 

Random bug that may not matter:  Hitting Ctr + some num, the new ship I controlled would have damage and health carried over from the last battle, even though it wasn't the same ship.

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Oh, and having damaged displayed on the left, I found myself not noticing.  The red lines are good, but I'd prefer if I could see the gun tinted red right on the ship.  

 

Also, are there any limitations to the gun rotations?  On real ships, I can't shoot through my own bridge & stacks, but I couldn't tell if I could or couldn't here.

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Yeah the heavy cruiser fires alot of shells:) And it's very scaled down already compared to the other ships. But it will mostly be a silly OP ship when the player has unlocked the entire world so priority for fixing that is low:)

 

Torpedoes have ammo (similar to shells). Making them one-salvo only will not work well with the game i think. Im reducing complexity with shells, removing different types, there's too much dealing with ammo for the player.

 

Red lines are only for enemy turrets. Your escort ships have blue lines. You think it's unclear which ships are which? The guns should be red but not the ships? Wouldnt that look wierd? Or do you mean only when the turret is damaged? Im redoing the turret sprites to make them more distinct (they were all the same no matter of size).

It's hard to distinguish ship types I agree. This is why hull symbol is drawn (BB, AKL, CL etc). Im not sure how to remedy this however.

 

No turret rotation limit right now. I tried some, but I think it's to much to handle for the player since the ships circle each other a lot (and i want to keep that).

Edited by suliman

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Yeah, red tinted guns for damage, it's not easily discernible which gun is damaged.  (or smoke rising from the gun maybe?)  Not that it matters too much, if every gun has 360 degree arcs.  Though knowing it was the big guns in the front and not some small side gun would still be more easily discernible, without having to glance at a separate spot on the HUD to the left.

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Oh one last thing, if criticals are location based, it would be good to tell the player what was critically hit in the critical message.  It's an easy way to tell the player that where they are hit matters, and gives them a way to learn where things are on their ship.

 

As for sprites and turrets, you may end up wanting to take a page from tabletop games, which often scale weapons up different than the rest of the model for easier identification at a distance.  Warhammer 40k, for example, is known for upscaling weapons so it's easier to tell that the tiny guy across the table has a rocket launcher.  I think this would be great for some of your small frigates and torpedos, by drawing the oversized torpedo launcher, with the torpedo on it when it's armed.  Though it looks like currently, your torpedoes are all launched from the hull, and the launchers don't have any turn radius?

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