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November 26, 2014, 09:15:57 AM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityCompetitionsVersus (Moderator: Melly)A Skirmish in the Manner of Canines -- THE GAME IS ABOUT AIRPLANE FIGHTING, YO.
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Author Topic: A Skirmish in the Manner of Canines -- THE GAME IS ABOUT AIRPLANE FIGHTING, YO.  (Read 14465 times)
Ness Kain
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« on: January 17, 2011, 06:30:45 PM »

...Just a title I threw up there. It could work as the final name for the game, though, if people actually like it... and if I decide I like it. Right now I'm liking it, I think.

When considering the competition theme, I thought about airplane dogfights and how an interesting game might be made of them.
I thought of stunt pilots who do crazy and foolish things like flying upside-down and standing out on the wings of planes.
I thought of a scene from Porco Rosso where the pilots ran out of ammunition and began to fire at one another with their sidearms.
Then I imagined all this in a game... but also with grappling hooks.


The core idea of the game is a 2D, side view aerial combat game for two players where the goal is to shoot down the enemy plane and force the opposing pilot to deploy his parachute... but not to kill him. It's a gentlemanly sport! Killing the other pilot will cause a person to lose the match.
Both planes are "moving forward" (scrolling background and such). Players can adjust speed (move forward or backward horizontally) or altitude (all vertical movement will be in arcs and circles; loops will be natural). Players can also exit their planes and move about the field with the use of grappling hooks. If the plane is left unattended for too long, it will slowly drop, and it is obviously much more vulnerable with nobody to move it out of the line of fire. However, an expert will be able to perform such daring actions as grappling to the enemy plane and throwing the pilot out of it. Players can even, if they so choose, take control of the opposing plane and put it in harm's way.

=FEATURE GOALS=

Minimum (competition build):
-Basic flight mechanics
-Plane machine guns (limited ammunition)
-Independent pilot movement
-Backup revolvers for when machine guns are empty
-Grappling hook mechanics
-Basic fisticuffs -- knocking foes off planes, etc.

Expanded (ideally also the competition build):
-Polish (nice menus, etc.)
-Character voices (silly taunting and such)
-Interesting flight environments (balloons and the like to grapple from)
-Multiple levels
-Character generation/determination based on player information (name, home, etc.)

Great (possible future work beyond the competition):
-Multiple aircraft and tools to unlock
-Loadable player profiles (win tracking, equipment saving, etc.)

Fabulous (hopeful level of completion):
-Online multiplayer!



...I can draw nice, cartoonish visuals... and hopefully write happy electronic music as well... but it's going to be too much work for me to try tackling the programming as well. I need help!
I need somebody who is willing to see this through the competition and also continue to work on it beyond the deadline. It won't be anything too dedicated, of course; I imagine we all have jobs or other things eating up our time. But I would like somebody who can keep working with this on some level until it's a really nice game, polished and packed with features... even if that means putting in continued effort beyond the competition deadline (and it probably will, since it's a fairly ambitious idea).
I'm not looking for a slave, of course; I need a partner! We'd both be working together to figure out the gameplay details and further features.

I'm kind of hoping someone will already have a platforming engine that supports slopes, moving surfaces, and grappling hooks; I figure that would be a great to build off, and it doesn't seem too unreasonable to think someone might have something like that lying around from a previous project.
Regardless, the concept doesn't seem out of reach if one of us is just doing images and the other is just doing programming... so
who wants to be in on this?


[Expect images soon, hopefully tomorrow... I started doing pencil drawings before I saw the contest announcement, but now that I've seen the rules, I'd feel uncomfortable doing any further work; it seems like it would be cheating, since the contest doesn't start until tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a picture I recently did for PleasingFungus; I'm hoping to use a similar style for the characters in "ASitMoC": http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/peopleexample.png]
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 08:34:42 PM by Machine Saint » Logged

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TobiasW
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 04:32:24 PM »

Awesome airplane dogfight grapple hook game acquired one (1) programmer!

Let's rock, Machine Saint! Beer!
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godatplay
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 06:04:46 PM »

Sounds pretty sweet, I love dogfighting. Smiley

One option for a challenge is to make it easy to blow up the plane, killing the pilot, compared to disabling the plane safely.
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TobiasW
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 05:11:49 PM »

Been reading and watching videos about Unity the whole day.

Tomorrow mad prototyping will start.
You have been warned.
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 05:35:45 PM »

Oh my, this is going to be very interesting. Crazy too, hopefully. I can't wait for some insane physics.
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Zanza
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 09:31:34 PM »

I can think of very few things more awesome then grappling hooks.
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Ness Kain
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 04:57:05 PM »

Thanks for the interest, everybody!
Here's a picture for you all to see:

After I pieced all this together, I realized that the tails of the planes should probably be longer... Meanwhile, there's inconsistency in the angles. I expected this problem when I drew everything, but I waited until I saw it all at once to decide what I want to do about it. I'm still not sure. The characters look nice the way they are, so I don't want to change them... Basically, I have three options:
1. Leave everything as it is now.
2. Draw a second picture of all of the pilots so they are facing straight in the direction of the planes (some extra effort, especially since I want to include quite a number of different character possibilities). These would be used while they're in the cockpits; the existing pictures would be for while they are jumping around outside the planes.
3. Redraw the airplanes at an angle matching the angle the pilots are facing.
This one might work, but I imagine it could end up looking pretty strange with all the movement being based on a different plane than what the objects seem to be aligned on (for example, bullets are going to fly straight, but it won't look like they're coming straight out of the airplanes' guns).
What does everybody else think?

Also, people should give opinions on using "A Skirmish in the Manner of Canines" as the final title of the game.
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Ever Toward a Better Yesterday: music; more is on the way, but it must first complete an arduous journey fraught with peril.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 05:09:36 PM »

It's a wonderful title, and I find the art absolutely breath-taking! You have such a nice style. I think it looks fine as is; people fudge with angles to display stuff enough for it to be fine (cough zelda cough)
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TobiasW
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 06:10:18 PM »

Here's a picture for you all to see:
[...awesome picture...]
Whoooou! This looks terrific! I cannot wait to get them as assets so I can include them in the prototype!

Regarding the three options: Looks fine to me, so, option one.

"A Skirmish in the Manner of Canines" is a mighty fine title, I think we should keep it.



...apropos prototype, here's one *cough*
It features:
- Programmer Art!
- A horrible way to steer the airplane!
- A player who can get out of it via Space, and then move like he never did this before!
- Getting on the airplane by pressing Space again, whereever you are!
- Bugs!
- Lots of potential for improvement!

And here's the prototype link *drum roll*


And now I'll go to sleep. Tomorrow is improvement day!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 06:49:29 PM by TobiasW » Logged

TobiasW
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 02:51:24 PM »

And a little more tweaking. It feels so much more like flying now - though the independent pilot movement is still pretty messed up:
Prototype link
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Will Vale
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 02:54:38 PM »

The artwork looks gorgeous. I think the short tails are fine, and they make it nice and easy to see the pilot. Will try out the prototype when I'm on a suitable machine.

Will
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TobiasW
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 02:56:56 PM »

Will try out the prototype when I'm on a suitable machine.
Don't be disappointed, there isn't much to see there yet. But it would be great to hear if you have ideas how the feeling could be made better Smiley
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TobiasW
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 05:11:54 PM »

Next prototype. Now you can actually get out of the airplane by pressing Ctrl, and Jump by pressing Space. Featuring a second airplane you can get on, and a mysterious flying plattform!

prototype link

Does the flying "feel right"? How about the running/jumping?
If you have a controller, does it work inside the prototype?
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Ness Kain
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 07:36:51 PM »

I have to apologize to all you fine people for not really doing anything the last day or two... I worked quite a bit, and I've had to take the bus lately, which puts about two extra hours as bookends to my shifts... This is because my car was wrecked, but it was the other person's fault, so I should be able to replace it without a problem... it's all just a time problem.
Anyway, you don't care about any of this! You want to see pictures. Hopefully more will be coming soon! And... music?! (I'm not sure if I want to start on that yet or not...)
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Ever Toward a Better Yesterday: music; more is on the way, but it must first complete an arduous journey fraught with peril.
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TobiasW
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2011, 12:31:21 PM »

Aaaaand next one!

  • Flying: Arrows
  • Special maneuver key: Alt (keep pressed)
  • Get in/out: Ctrl
  • Walking: Left/Right/Space

Prototype

Try if you can make a loop with Alt! (Spoiler: Press Alt with Left+Up, Up or Right+Up)


Still my questions:

Does the flying "feel right"? How about the running/jumping?
If you have a controller, does it work?

And finally, are the special maneuvers okay that way? Loops would be REALLY big at that speed, so we had to equip the airplane with some special shutters and dampers to achieve small loopings. Do they work out for you?
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J.G. Martins
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2011, 01:34:22 PM »

I really, really like the feel of the flying! I am slightly disappointed that it doesn't feature a map, and being able to turn around (kind of like the awesome oldie, Triplane Turmoil - play it if you haven't! Smiley) and have more freedom of movement. That said, I'll just repeat that I really like the feeling of the current movement.

The player movement seems slightly strange, but that might just be the programmer art - hehe. Of course, you shouldn't be able to jump as many times as you want through the air by just pressing space again. And also, perhaps the plane could start going down slowly once that happens, so you can't stay off your plane for that long?

Keep it coming:D

--edit

I really didn't get the reference to canines until I thought of "dogfight"...Tongue
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TobiasW
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2011, 01:54:02 PM »

I really, really like the feel of the flying!
Great! Smiley
How about the Alt-key-flying? It feels pretty different from the normal flying I think, but so far most of my testers have been content with it...

Quote
I am slightly disappointed that it doesn't feature a map, and being able to turn around (kind of like the awesome oldie, Triplane Turmoil - play it if you haven't! Smiley) and have more freedom of movement.
I haven't played it yet, thanks for the tip! The problem with turning around is that the planes would have too much freedom then to split - which would make the getting-out-of-the-plane-to-use-your-grappling-hook pretty pointless, wouldn't it?

Quote
The player movement seems slightly strange, but that might just be the programmer art - hehe. Of course, you shouldn't be able to jump as many times as you want through the air by just pressing space again.
Might be, yeah - I'm looking forward to insert real art in it, my programmer art is horrifying. But you cannot put a finger on what feels strange, or can you? The jumping will be fixed later, yep.

Quote
And also, perhaps the plane could start going down slowly once that happens, so you can't stay off your plane for that long?
Yes, this is planned Smiley

Quote
I really didn't get the reference to canines until I thought of "dogfight"...Tongue
Haha, yes, me too. Maybe we either should make a subtitle, or - do you have another idea for the name?

And: Thank you for trying the prototype! Smiley
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J.G. Martins
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2011, 02:13:30 PM »

The alt-key felt "OK". Slightly strange, but understandable. You could definitely do with a longer loop if you allowed zooming out while this was done. Might decrease some of the strangeness of such a tight loop!

Triplane Turmoil (again, try it!) dealt with planes flying apart in a very simple way. Machine gun bullets simply disappeared not too far ahead of the plane. This makes it so planes constantly have to be together. It could be implemented by making weapon damage decay severely with distance. They the planes WILL try to stay close together. Another thing was having bombs. By dropping one at just the right moment - as the enemy passes below you - you could destroy him. But again, that requires you to be very close!

Perhaps just prepend "aerial" to the name, so there's a reference to the air? Aerial Skirmish in the Manner of Canines should be slightly more evocative!


I'm really looking forward to whatever comes out of this :D

And out of curiosity, how hard is Unity to get into? I'm currently trying to work on something similar to this/triplane turmoil in C++/SFML/Box2D and integrating everything is a bit of a pain Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2011, 02:47:25 PM »

I like the gradual feel of the controls. But, just from a kind of intuition standpoint, I feel like I should be able to switch directions faster. I feel like I'd want a little finer control over my movement. (Maybe a little higher turning acceleration?) I'm not sure what you're going for, though!

Also, if you are flying in one direction and hit alt: you seem to lose all your momentum.

Hope that helps! It looks great so far. I second the motion to keep the artwork the same. The shorter tails give the planes a more cute, almost Snoopy-esque, feel. I love it!


And out of curiosity, how hard is Unity to get into? I'm currently trying to work on something similar to this/triplane turmoil in C++/SFML/Box2D and integrating everything is a bit of a pain Smiley

I've been messing around with Unity for a while now and I found it pretty accessible. Plus there's extensive help online. Tying everything together is what I was having problems with too (while developing in other things) but Unity makes it pretty easy once you understand how it works.
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Will Vale
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2011, 06:15:40 PM »

I like the flying quite a bit with normal mode, the motion looks really good on dives and climbs, and I like the speed of the level out. It feels a bit odd in ALT-mode - less real. Being able to jump out of the planes is fun too, especially because you can walk up and down on your own plane - it makes the world nicely solid and consistent.

Suggestions:

* I think flying and character control could be a fair bit faster/tighter than they are.

* You'd need to add either a playfield zoom or some kind of soft collision at the top and bottom for this to work though.

* I don't know if you have a plan for what happens when you jump out and fall off the screen, but I wondered about having pilots tethered (like spacewalking astronauts) so if they miss their target, they can at least climb back up the rope into the plane.

Hope some of this is vaguely useful!

Cheers,

Will
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