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October 24, 2014, 12:35:40 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 14206 times)
Ness Kain
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2011, 09:21:34 PM »

Thanks for all the comments and interest, everybody!
Some specific responses:

Title-
I'm not such a fan of adding "Aerial" to the front, somehow. Maybe there's a better way to put the idea of the title across without fixing the name itself around to make it more obvious (perhaps, as Tobias already mentioned, a subtitle or other such descriptor)? Or maybe it's better in subtlety?
I'm still not totally opposed to scrapping the name in favor of something entirely different, but it has grown on me a lot over this short time.

Turning around-
I'm not sold on the idea; I really want to make the action happen in as small a space as possible... and I like the intensity of the two planes moving around one another while flying onward in the same direction.

Zoom-
I'm hoping the game will be able to include dynamic zooming, so when the characters are closer together, it will be zoomed in more, and when they're farther apart, it will be zoomed out more. Still, I do want to restrict the game space as much as possible, because it should be all about fighting, not getting places.
There's some nice "bouncing" going on when you get to the top and bottom edges, but looping seems to break that at the moment.
Obviously, this is not my territory at all; ha...

Tethers-
I definitely don't want to include that. The idea is supposed to be that when you fall near the bottom of the screen, your parachute deploys. This is how you lose; the ultimate goal of the other pilot is to get you to this point. Basically, the grappling hooks are your only tether, and it's up to you to use them well and save yourself from falling. Players should have a little bit of power over each other in this area, though, so somehow a person should be able to make his opponent's life more difficult in attempting to cast him from his plane (stun time?).
Related to this, I've thought of an interesting question:
Should destroying the enemy plane automatically deploy his parachute? What if the pilot is able to take over YOUR plane? Should this be allowed? If it is, would that take too much emphasis away from the real dogfighting, to a point where the planes are hardly used at all? I'd like there to be a good balance of action in and out of the planes.

Bombs-
I'm not ready to seriously consider this yet, since there's so many other features to work on at the moment, but it's something we should think about adding later, so thank you for bringing it up.

Triplane graphics-
Well, I guess I'll be keeping them as they are, then, since that seems to be preferred. Thanks for the feedback!
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2011, 05:17:34 PM »

@J.G. Martins:

Machine Saint pretty much already answered the zooming question: There will be some, but the room will be restricted anyway.
The players getting out and trying to get on the other plane to cause mischief might be hard enough to pull off anyway. I'm not sure if it would make sense anymore if the other player could simply fly further away to prevent that.

"Aerial Skirmish in the Manner of Canines" is definitly more evocative, though it might have finally cracked the game title length limit Tongue

I'm wondering whether it should have another title, and "A skirmish in the manner of canines" as subtitle? I like it, though some people who'd play the game otherwise won't open the thread because they don't understand the pun.

Quote
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
Depends! Getting into it is pretty easy and I like it so far. I've started learning Unity for this project, and you see how far I've gotten in the few hours I could put into it. There were some tricky moments, though, regarding collision and physics. The plus side is that everything is already integrated!

If you want to try it out, this list is pretty rad: How can I start learning Unity fast? (List Of tutorials)

Thanks again, ever helpful!



@Fluff:

I feel like I'd want a little finer control over my movement. (Maybe a little higher turning acceleration?)
Noted! But wouldn't higher turning acceleration actually be less finer control, because you would move faster?

Quote
Also, if you are flying in one direction and hit alt: you seem to lose all your momentum.
Oh, yes. Noted too. Let's see what I can do there...

Thanks for the help! Smiley



@Will Vale:

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.
Thanks! And the ALT-mode... still acceptable?

Quote
I think flying and character control could be a fair bit faster/tighter than they are.
So you mean that a it moves more in a shorter amount of time? And... what's "tighter" in this context?

Quote
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.
Ah, for that (and for any other purposes) we have the grappling hooks, as Machine Saint mentioned! They're not inside the prototype yet, only described in the first post though Smiley

Thanks for trying it out and for your suggestions!



@Machine Saint:

Quote
Should destroying the enemy plane automatically deploy his parachute?
Don't think so - I guess it should be deployed after the pilot cannot save itself anymore by falling beyond an arbitary magic line. Then: Zoom out, parachute. That's how I'm imagining it at the moment.

Quote
What if the pilot is able to take over YOUR plane? Should this be allowed? If it is, would that take too much emphasis away from the real dogfighting, to a point where the planes are hardly used at all? I'd like there to be a good balance of action in and out of the planes.
Sure! But he'll have to pummel me out of it first, and hope that I don't choose this moment for a looping. Oh, and actually get on my airplane.

I'm more wondering if the getting-out-of-the-plane is feasible enough. What can the player do when he's outside, apart from trying to take over the other plane or shooting at it?

And another point regarding flying: Why should I fly anywhere else but at the back of the screen? If I fly at the middle or front, my opponent (who's obviously more clever than me) at the back can fire at me freely. Do you have any idea regarding this yet?

I'm not sure how you'll feel about this, but since it has kind of an arcade-ish feel right now, how about adding some sort of power-ups? If you're at the front you're more likely to them, because there they'll be first when they fly into the screen.



On other note, Machine Saint already gave me the assets, but I haven't had time to get them into the game yet. Mea culpa! (Look forward to see the prototype with proper graphics!)
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Fluff
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2011, 06:28:04 PM »

Noted! But wouldn't higher turning acceleration actually be less finer control, because you would move faster?

Oh, yes! You're correct. Finer was a poor word choice, I guess I meant courser. However, I think this feeling was mostly a reaction to normally seeing sidescrolling planes in shmups where you can very precicely choose the location on screen that you want to be. The more I think about it, that might not actually be the best thing to go for in this game. Since you already have very fine (uhg, did it again) precise control over your person movement, you might not need such exact control over the airplane movement.

I guess it depends if most of the action will happen outside the plane or inside the plane? Is it a dogfighting game or a grappling hook game? Or a fisticuff game with grapling hooks set on airplanes?

It's almost like the airplanes could be more like movable/controllable platforms than actual vehicles and they should be somewhat hard to adjust. The altitude of the plane is like a timer you have to reset every so often... and they are there mostly as anchors for grappling hooks. Maybe you don't even need aerial maneuvers? Maybe at this point, both combatants have accepted that neither can out fly the other so such maneuvers are frivolous?

I don't know, I'm just throwing ideas out there... you could go in a lot of directions with this!
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Chubysnow
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2011, 06:47:13 PM »

As a general question: Is the prototype single player? I read that you want to include online multiplayer but will you also include same keyboard multiplayer with the added friendly challenge of key-blocking?
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J.G. Martins
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2011, 07:29:53 PM »

I guess I'm just afraid both players will be kind of stuck in the back of the screen because they don't want to get machine-gunned. Unless there are back MG's too!
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Ness Kain
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2011, 08:54:14 PM »

...some people who'd play the game otherwise won't open the thread because they don't understand the pun.
I believe I have now solved this problem. Tongue


I'm more wondering if the getting-out-of-the-plane is feasible enough. What can the player do when he's outside, apart from trying to take over the other plane or shooting at it?

And another point regarding flying: Why should I fly anywhere else but at the back of the screen? If I fly at the middle or front, my opponent (who's obviously more clever than me) at the back can fire at me freely. Do you have any idea regarding this yet?

I'm not sure how you'll feel about this, but since it has kind of an arcade-ish feel right now, how about adding some sort of power-ups? If you're at the front you're more likely to them, because there they'll be first when they fly into the screen.

These are certainly significant problems, but they're not insurmountable, and I'm actually looking forward to figuring out how to solve them.

Reasons for being outside the plane:
There should be a good number of ways to hinder your opponent and help yourself that can't be accomplished while inside the plane.
Again, I want to allow the pilots to throw each other out of their planes, and there's probably other things that could be done along those lines... These are basically backups for when the main machine gun runs out of ammunition. I think an ideal game would start out with both of the players primarily staying inside their cockpits, and as time goes on and bullets run out, things will get crazier.
Meanwhile, there should be things for players to do outside the planes that will help themselves... For instance, say the planes are passing a zeppelin with a repair crew in it... The first pilot to reach it gets some kind of "repair item" (a wrench or a toolbox or something of that sort), and bringing it back to the plane will recover some of the damage that has been done to it.

Reasons for not staying at the back of the screen:
This is perhaps the trickiest problem... it may not be solvable without implementing some sort of grabbable item.
Maybe the planes slowly lose mobility, and controls become less responsive over time, but continuing to pick up some sort of item (fuel, coins, stars... something) will hold off this problem?
Meanwhile, pilots should be able to aim backward with their revolvers... Revolvers should also have limited bullets, but these, unlike the bullets for the primary machine guns, should be able to be refilled by picking up items.

I'd like to keep the gameplay as simple and streamlined as possible (if for no other reason than because it will save time and work), but I think we'll have to add some pickups and the like, or the game just won't work.
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2011, 07:06:11 AM »

Ok, more brainstorming. What if all these elements (planes, grappling, fighting) work in a kind of rock-paper-scissors relationship (I guess reading Sirlin has just put me in a RPS kind of mood). So, for example, if someone is in their plane shooting you: your best bet is to grapple over to their plane. But if someone is grappling to your plane your best bet is to get out and start throwing punches. But the best way to counter someone throwing punches is to get in your plane and start taking shots at them... Anyway, it probably wouldn't work like that but it's an example.
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Will Vale
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2011, 04:02:46 AM »

Thanks! And the ALT-mode... still acceptable?

Yes, it works fine, maybe it's that it's less fluid/smooth than the normal flying? A bit of noise on both movement types would probably make it all look a lot more real.

Quote
So you mean that a it moves more in a shorter amount of time? And... what's "tighter" in this context?

I think possibly I was saying the same thing twice Smiley Perhaps what I meant to say was that the accelerations should be a bit higher - so rather than changing the speed too much, you just reach the target speed faster. That usually makes the controls feel more responsive, which is I guess what I mean by "tightness" - that the feedback loop between player action and game response should be tight.

Not that you want this in all games, but because your planes are small fighters rather than weighty great bombers it seems like a good idea. On the other hand, you want to differentiate the player and plane controls. I dunno. Probably the kind of thing where tweaking some numbers makes a big difference in feel.

Thanks to both of you for the explanation about grappling etc. - that'll teach me not to digest the whole thread properly!

Cheers,

Will
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TobiasW
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2011, 07:00:37 PM »

So, back from the Global Game Jam - and that means there's time for a new prototype, of course.

This time:
+ Actual Artist Assets
+ Courser Controls

Current Prototype





@Fluff:

Does the new controlling speed of the airplane feel a bit better to you?

Quote
I guess it depends if most of the action will happen outside the plane or inside the plane? Is it a dogfighting game or a grappling hook game? Or a fisticuff game with grapling hooks set on airplanes?
All of the above, I guess! Or rather the one that proves the be most fun. Smiley

Quote
It's almost like the airplanes could be more like movable/controllable platforms than actual vehicles and they should be somewhat hard to adjust. The altitude of the plane is like a timer you have to reset every so often... and they are there mostly as anchors for grappling hooks. Maybe you don't even need aerial maneuvers? Maybe at this point, both combatants have accepted that neither can out fly the other so such maneuvers are frivolous?
Moveable and somewhat dangerous plattforms, yes - because then have machine guns Smiley
I don't think there will be more than the maneuvers possible with ALT. The looping is a nice countermeasure to people on your plane.

Ok, more brainstorming. What if all these elements (planes, grappling, fighting) work in a kind of rock-paper-scissors relationship (I guess reading Sirlin has just put me in a RPS kind of mood).
Sounds like a good suggestion, albeit no easy one, as it has to be balanced and can't just be done by throwing in a few resistances/vulnerabilites like in RTS games, I guess. I'll keep it at the back of my mind. By the way, any specific article you're refering to?





As a general question: Is the prototype single player? I read that you want to include online multiplayer but will you also include same keyboard multiplayer with the added friendly challenge of key-blocking?
The prototype is single player so far, yes. This will change as soon there's actual interaction between the players. There won't be any online multiplayer (interpolating and synchronizing twitch-bsaed grappling hook physics? Epileptic ), and I'm not sure if we can fit both players on one keyboard... we've got to see what we can work out for the controls. But we'll try!





I believe I have now solved this problem. Tongue
I've never seen such a brilliant solution before! Beer!

Repair items sound nice, yep.

By the way, how about planting small timebombs on the enemies plane (which would hit you too, so you have to get away fast), which the enemy can defuse if he goes to them?

Quote
Maybe the planes slowly lose mobility, and controls become less responsive over time, but continuing to pick up some sort of item (fuel, coins, stars... something) will hold off this problem?
I like the idea of collecting fuel. And the planes won't have much munition anyway if I remember correctly - but how do we solve it at the beginning of the game?

Quote
Meanwhile, pilots should be able to aim backward with their revolvers... Revolvers should also have limited bullets, but these, unlike the bullets for the primary machine guns, should be able to be refilled by picking up items.
Hmm - I'm wondering if unlimited revelover ammo (maybe with a reload needed after 6 or 8 shoots) might be a good idea. After all, it's probably the weakest weapon of the player. But anyway - balancing will tell.





I guess I'm just afraid both players will be kind of stuck in the back of the screen because they don't want to get machine-gunned.
Yeah, me too! I hope power-ups will solve this - and if not, we may try the back-MGs. Any other ideas maybe?





I think possibly I was saying the same thing twice Smiley Perhaps what I meant to say was that the accelerations should be a bit higher - so rather than changing the speed too much, you just reach the target speed faster. That usually makes the controls feel more responsive, which is I guess what I mean by "tightness" - that the feedback loop between player action and game response should be tight.
Done! Is it better? Doesn't look so smooth now though...

Quote
Thanks to both of you for the explanation about grappling etc. - that'll teach me not to digest the whole thread properly!
As long as this doesn't detain you from answering Tongue
Your comments are much appreciated!
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Ness Kain
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« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2011, 06:13:14 PM »

UPDATE REGARDING THE ANIMATION OF THE CHARACTER WITH THE FUR-LINED HAT:
The character with the fur-lined hat has been animated.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 07:30:02 PM by Machine Saint » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2011, 06:31:16 PM »

Is it better? Doesn't look so smooth now though...

I think it is better, yeah, but that's just my opinion Smiley Some kind of second-order fade out as it approaches the horizontal would make it look smoother without making it less snappy if that's a concern.

Looks good with the art in too.

Will
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« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2011, 05:34:48 PM »

@Fluff:

Does the new controlling speed of the airplane feel a bit better to you?

Yes, that seems better! I guess it all depends on context, though.

By the way, any specific article you're refering to?

Yes, let's see. It's addressed directly here:
http://www.sirlin.net/articles/rock-paper-scissors-in-strategy-games.html

And also talked about in some design examples:
http://www.sirlin.net/articles/designing-yomi.html
http://www.sirlin.net/articles/designing-kongai.html

It pops up all over, though!
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TobiasW
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« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2011, 10:30:10 AM »

Great, you two!

Thanks for the articles, Fluff - when I have time I'll read through them.


...on other note, there's a small update: The first animations are inside Smiley

I have to apologize to everyone waiting for updates, especially Machine Saint. The semester is ending, and right now I have examns and project presentations, so there isn't much time to code. Should be over next tuesday though, so then I'll give my all then to get this to a satisfactory state before the end of the competition!
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Ness Kain
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« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2011, 07:43:31 PM »

No worries; I have been getting very little done the last several days either, and it has been for largely inane reasons. (I had a good chunk of available time today, and I was hoping to get a lot done, but I ended up getting pulled into two or three quirky adventures that ate up most of my day... ) Hopefully I'll be back on track soon; I need to get that other character animated fully so I can move on to adding new assets!
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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 #34 on: February 10, 2011, 07:27:37 PM »

I like the animations - those little feet are adorable.

Will
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Ness Kain
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« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2011, 08:29:26 PM »

I am sorry to report that A Skirmish in the Manner of Canines will not be completed before the competition deadline... as may have already been slightly obvious.
Tobias has been busy with his real job, so he has not been able to work on this much. Meanwhile, I have been at work on a musical project that will ideally (though mayhaps not so much realistically) be a half-decent source of income (the real job I have now doesn't pay fantastically). Alas, the need for money has overcome the want to make really cool stuff! (Well, in my case, I'm still making [hopefully] cool stuff, but it's not games, so it's less interesting on a certain level.)
All this said, however:
Last we talked, the plan was still to continue on with the project. You can hope to see more progress in the future! Once things get started up again and we're back into things, we'll probably start something in the devlogs section of the forums, so expect that at some time in the relatively near future.
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« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2011, 10:01:36 AM »

You didn't think we cancelled this project, did you?
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« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2011, 12:12:13 PM »

Great job on a great idea. I love the art and I can really see an unpolished gem in the gameplay.

Personally I don't really like how the plane ends its loop and immediately returns to the start position once I release the A-button. I think that you should allow the player keep going upside down (maybe this is an upcoming feature, though?).

Secondly, is there any way to climb up on the plane that you are grappled to? As it is now, I felt screwed once I grappled to the plane on the very bottom.

On that note, I must add that I haven't actually tried playing against anybody. Hoping for a future full-version, with networking.

Great work!  Beer!
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TobiasW
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« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2011, 01:07:21 PM »

Personally I don't really like how the plane ends its loop and immediately returns to the start position once I release the A-button. I think that you should allow the player keep going upside down (maybe this is an upcoming feature, though?).
Do you mean the feeling/missing smoothness of the immediate return, or is this linked to your upside-down idea?

Regarding this: Won't it look strange when the background continues scrolling like you're flying really fast, but you seem to fly backwards? Or did you have something else in mind?

(By the way, that sounds like a gamepad! Which one, and did it work well? Does plugging in while already playing work?)

Quote
Secondly, is there any way to climb up on the plane that you are grappled to? As it is now, I felt screwed once I grappled to the plane on the very bottom.
Yes, there is, but so far it needs time and mad swingin' skills. I'll try to work something better out.


Quote
On that note, I must add that I haven't actually tried playing against anybody. Hoping for a future full-version, with networking.
Yeah, that's the problem I see with playtesting it - most people won't play against someone else. Sadly there won't be a networking version - it would be just too much prediction/synchronisation stuff going on, and that's far beyond doing it in my free time...


By the way, if you want to stay up to date, you should probably subscribe/post in the devlog. I won't post updates in this thread here anymore.
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« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2011, 01:39:09 PM »

Do you mean the feeling/missing smoothness of the immediate return, or is this linked to your upside-down idea?

I mean that the return to its original position feels kind of unreal, since it's just a rotation around its own origin. Don't know how you could do it better, but I was just stating it for arguments sake.

Regarding this: Won't it look strange when the background continues scrolling like you're flying really fast, but you seem to fly backwards? Or did you have something else in mind?

I actually did not think about it when I wrote the above, but you are of course right... it might seem a tad bit weird.  Tongue

(By the way, that sounds like a gamepad! Which one, and did it work well? Does plugging in while already playing work?)

I used my Xbox 360 Wireless gamepad, connected through a wireless receiver for my computer. It seems the controller has to be plugged in when starting the game for it to work, at least it did when I tried it now.
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