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1059442 Posts in 43079 Topics- by 35033 Members - Latest Member: James McDino

October 31, 2014, 05:53:56 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsTriverse
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gears
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« on: July 17, 2012, 03:48:56 PM »

Triverse puts you in control of a fully constructible spacecraft, exploring a vast destructible 2D environment and obliterating your enemies to obtain parts for your growing fleet.

Videos: http://www.indiedb.com/games/triverse/videos

Gameplay: Top-down shooter with the possibility of RTS elements.

Scenarios
  • Build a ship by choosing and placing parts to balance durability, agility, weapon power, energy usage, and turret coverage.
  • Battle other ships, targeting weak or critical parts to split them in half or cripple them by destroying thrusters or weapons.
  • Explore in and around large asteroids, fortifying positions by constructing installations the same way as a ship.
  • Play as a small fighter, a hulking battle cruiser, or something in between.

I envision navigating a fleet of ships through open space, massive asteroids, and enemy bases, blasting away at everything in sight and seeing it explode in spectacular fashion. Powerful beams will slice ships in half as torpedoes smash through reinforced hulls to expose vulnerable systems underneath. Destroying energy cores could set off deadly chain reactions that vaporize large chunks of a ship.




       
Controls
  • WASD/QE + left mouse button
  • Shortcut keys available but not strictly needed
  • Space to toggle autofire
  • Planned: Support for mouse only or keyboard only or gamepad only

Weapons
  • Bullet (name TBD): Rapid fire, low damage, low energy cost.
  • Bomb/torpedo (name TBD): Slow, powerful, explosive, high energy cost.
  • Graviton beam: Continuous damage, short range, with some interesting behavior that will hopefully support a number of different uses.
  • By design, any of the other parts can be weapons when used properly.

Movement
  • Linear inertia for ships, considering dampening options to make controls tighter.
  • Collisions are elastic and damage ships.
  • Strafing left/right is allowed.

Ideas
  • Turret system allowing player, AI, or multiplayer teammates as gunners.
  • Restricting players to build ships in/around a base.
  • Resource gathering as a means to produce parts.
  • Many more, but most can wait.

Technical
  • Unity3D
  • Lots of procedural content
  • Ships/maps can be exported/imported as text, possibly as copy/paste in a sandbox mode.
  • Considering image formats as well for large maps.

I'm currently prototyping the gameplay, which is subject to significant change at this early stage. However, it's likely that ship construction and combat mechanics will form the core of the game, with possibilities of resource gathering and base building at a later stage.

Feedback and ideas are welcome!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 09:08:36 PM by gears » Logged

orihaus
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 08:32:35 PM »

Looks awesome!
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gears
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 08:02:53 AM »

orihaus, thanks!

Map destruction is working better (video), which makes for some fun tests. I've also updated the top post with more design info.

Much of the recent work involves writing code to support collision detection of many large and small objects as well as efficient connected components labeling to support changes in object structure. I'd like to see this destruction behavior more dynamic and spectacular, with fragments flying out, but it's good enough for now. At this point I want to push the system hard enough to expose bugs or major performance problems, but I don't want to spend much time on micro-optimizations.

Next, I plan to revisit steering and possibly pathfinding to make them work better with maps. I hope to get the AI to a level where I can prototype gameplay ideas better. I also may do a bit of work on ship building and map generation. I'm not satisfied with graphics, but they're good enough for now.

Here are a few general design questions I'll be trying to answer as I proceed:
  • Is this better as a single-ship game or is a fleet feasible in terms of playability without adding much extra complexity?
  • What can make bullets/bombs more special than they are now?
  • Are mouse-only or keyboard-only controls playable or awkward?
  • Is the obligatory asteroid mining and resource system fun enough?
  • How much inertia? Should there be ways to dampen it in the game?

Oh, and here's a shot of beam shields I'm working on:


« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 08:09:09 AM by gears » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 12:06:41 AM »

Looks like the best game in the build ships 'n fight genre so far.


  • Is this better as a single-ship game or is a fleet feasible in terms of playability without adding much extra complexity?

I'd prefer a fleet game, even if it was more flaky.
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cubertron
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 02:35:30 AM »

nice art work! any playable demo?
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gears
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 04:36:56 PM »

Thanks for the comments guys!

I'd prefer a fleet game, even if it was more flaky.
Danmark, I have no doubt it'll include flakiness, possibly implemented as a slider in settings Smiley. I'm hoping the core gameplay can support some notion of groups/fleets in a useful way, which probably means simple ship commands and AI. I do have vague ideas about zooming in/out to access a strategic/fleet view, but nothing close to concrete.

nice art work! any playable demo?
cubertron, not yet, but I do want to get something up sooner rather than later. My top priority for a demo would be getting feedback on the movement controls and firing/targeting, so I'm guessing it would cover a combat scenario with sandbox ship building available.

Progress

AI is working better, and I'm looking at ways to implement utility functions in my codebase. I'm also adding details to the ship building UI, which has been working functionally for quite some time now but needs more visual cues.

Here's a ship in build mode and the UI, which contains weapon groups in the top row and inventory parts on the bottom:


I'm thinking green will be the thematic color for building-related UI, but I'll still need icons to identify what each of those rows is, since they're rather ambiguous without explanation. I've actually had a prototype of the build UI for at least a year, but between a six-month hiatus and iterations/refactoring, it's taken awhile to get it together in it's present form. The role of each part hasn't changed much though.
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gears
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 08:38:43 PM »

New video: http://youtu.be/aFIFPqnLDh4

Here's the procedural map from the video:



And a first attempt at procedurally generated rock tiles:



Other than that, I've been busy with:
- Built a component architecture that works alongside Unity, so very little of my code is directly dependent on Unity. This is a big win for testability, recording/replaying, and server code.
- Started mapping out networking, but don't want to get too far ahead until I'm confident that there's fun here.
- High-level performance improvements to support large maps and many ships (oops, probably a bit too far ahead here).
 
Open issues:
- Controls - Still struggling to figure to deal with rotation, thrust, and firing direction, and haven't found any magic bullets yet.
- Inertia - I'm wondering if I can make reduced inertia an option at the cost of heavy use of thrusters in ship layout.
- Art creation - Need a better process for creating tiles, whether procedural or hand-edited.
- Gameplay: Is this better as a top-down shooter or RTS? Personally, I'd like a bit of both. Custom units -> unit factories -> ?

Next:
- Differentiating player ships/bullets from those of enemies.
- Tweaking steering and connecting it to behaviors.
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 08:54:33 AM »

Featured in this week's Devlog MagSmiley

Love the look of your game!
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gears
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 08:26:01 PM »

Beam shields are starting to work: when activated, the shield deflects projectiles, providing a means to avoid damage when dodging isn't an option. I call them beam shields because they're formed with beams and serve as shields. No special parts required, just ordinary beams properly aligned.



I'm currently prototyping high-energy focus: when beams converge, they form a more powerful beam that rips through everything (except equally strong beam shields Wink). This feature has a lot of interesting possibilities and impossibilities, especially if I consider it together with beam shields and reflecting beams.

I also posted some notes about Eval2D, a utility I built recently to prototype procedural content. It gives me instant visual feedback as I write C# code to call my library functions:



It's a similar concept to Weirwood Grove.
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 04:11:05 AM »

I really like where this project is going. Everything looks nice just one question: multiplayer already implemented?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 10:32:33 AM by Atrus » Logged
gears
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 02:34:29 PM »

Not yet Atrus, but it's often on my mind. The big challenges are finding out what's fun and implementing networked physics + grid updates. Fortunately, the gameplay code isn't dependent on Unity at all, so a stand-alone server packaged with the game is the plan.

Not sure about multiplayer game modes yet, but I keep thinking about a feature where players could attach to friendly ships and serve as a gunner. It's hard to maneuver and target simultaneously, and single-player auto-fire turrets work pretty well as a similar concept.
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gears
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2013, 07:23:49 AM »

Crashing into other ships and terrain using hull spikes:

   
Thruster trails:

   
Generating icons for weapon groups (the bottom row) to indicate the spatial distribution of weapons on the ship:


And finally added an entry on indiedb:



Controls are getting under control, AI behaviors work decently, and next I plan to do a bit of graphics work and a thermal system to throttle bullet output. I've put a hold on beams for now, and I'm considering merging bullets and torpedoes into one weapon and replacing torpedoes with homing missiles. I don't think the game even needs missiles or beams to be fun, but they'd give it more depth.
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 07:44:22 AM »

I love you
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gears
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 09:03:22 PM »

Graphics update! I'd been putting it off, but I needed some changes/features to continue working on gameplay. Also redesigned the way weapon groups work in regard to autofire, and the controls in general are easier to use. No work on limiting the quantity of bullets yet.

Next up, I plan to continue iterating on the selection/groups UI and work toward a more playable arena/sandbox with enemy waves.



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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 10:11:58 PM »

Oooo, sexy new graphics.
I like.
But I'll miss the simpler ones.
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 12:43:12 AM »

Looks awesome!
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gears
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2013, 03:51:26 PM »

Thanks for the comments guys!

Oooo, sexy new graphics.
I like.
But I'll miss the simpler ones.

I'm sort of glad to see that someone else misses the old graphics, because I do too! It's definitely some loss of simplicity, and part power levels are not nearly as clear. I've thought about incorporating the old style, if not the exact graphics, in a blueprint view.

Thumbnails

Ship thumbnails are currently in progress as part of some weapon group UI work. Thumbnails are part of a blueprints system that allows you to save your lineup of ships and weapon group presets for quick fabrication or repair.

Below is a structure and its rendered icon (shown larger and with bounding circle). Icons will be pretty small, and I'm not sure how well this will work yet. I could also see these used as (procedural?) faction symbols.





Thumbnails might also show up as part of a radar or proximity indicators on the sides of the screen, but those features are low priority. Personally, I'd like it if I could get away without a typical radar cluttering the display, but they can be incredibly useful. I've also considered zooming in/out as an alternative to a radar.
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2013, 03:56:10 PM »

What?! No! The other graphics were far superior.
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gears
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2013, 06:44:27 PM »

What?! No! The other graphics were far superior.

You mean the new graphics with lighting or the neon originals are superior? Nothing's final, so there's plenty of room for tweaking Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2013, 10:06:57 PM »

This is bad Cry


This is good Tears of Joy


And if it's fleet-based then it'll complement warning forever and captain jameson, rather than compete. Wink
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