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December 17, 2014, 01:25:10 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingOn The Wing - a game inspired by Magic Carpet, with deformable spherical planet
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Author Topic: On The Wing - a game inspired by Magic Carpet, with deformable spherical planet  (Read 2931 times)
Alekz
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« on: January 01, 2013, 11:46:50 AM »

Hi all!

My name is Alexander, I'm a beginner game developer, and since a few weeks ago I'm working on a prototype of a game, inspired by Magic Carpet. What I have now: a procedurally generated "real" (spherical) planet, three terramorphing spells, and the very basics of combat ("monsters" flying around randomly, you can kill them with fireballs, but they don't fight back yet). All art is just placehoders, so don't mind the standard Blender monkey as a monster model. Smiley

There isn't that much to test yet, but I would be happy to get any kinds of feedback, especially, at the moment, about flying controls and terramorphing spells.





The most recent builds for Windows, Mac and Linux are here (Warning! I didn't test Mac and Linux builds, so download and use them at your own risk!): http://alexanderkonstantinov.wordpress.com/on-the-wing/

Web demo (requires Unity web plugin): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26878236/games/OnTheWing/WebPlayer/0.05/index.html

Not sure about exact system requirements, but I suppose it should run fine on any machine that's not too old and supports shader model 3.0.

And here is a video demonstrating terramorphing spells: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14NKOQ1DCiQ

Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 05:50:29 AM by Alekz » Logged
devMidgard
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 11:49:23 AM »

It's looking nice, but I don't understand what will be the objective of the game.

Or are you doing this only for learning?
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Alekz
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 11:59:16 AM »

It's looking nice, but I don't understand what will be the objective of the game.

Or are you doing this only for learning?

I'm learning at the moment, but at the same time I hope to make a real game from it. It's hard to tell exactly what it will be, I have a lot of ideas in mind, but initially it's going to be very close to the original Magic Carpet concept, with castles, collectable mana and combat/terramorphing spells (I'm not sure if everyone is familiar with that great classic, it's quite old already, here is a link to its wikipedia page). Hovewer I'm not aiming at the exact remake and hope to make something original.
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Mittens
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 05:29:50 AM »

Wow! this is some really cool tech! And I love the flight physics, reminds me of Descent, classic  Smiley.
Really need to add mouse locking tho, it's very easy;
http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/ScriptReference/Screen-lockCursor.html

The way the sun/sky appears different depending on what side the the planet you sit is also really cool.
Keep it up, I'm sure this could quickly become a really addictive and fun game with more interesting/interactive enemies who have some AI and a point/story to it.
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 10:11:39 AM »

What you have so far looks awesome!  I was a big fan of the original so I'm looking forward to seeing more progress.  Here's my feedback:

I found the control to be a bit difficult because turning is too sensitive and there is no angular dampening.  Conversely the linear acceleration feels too weak and the max speed is capped too low.  Also for me right mouse button opens the dialogue "Go fullscreen, about unity player, setup", and it makes it very difficult to play.  How about just hooking the spells to number keys?

I haven't played the original for a long time so I'm not sure if you are trying to emulate the feel of those controls or something, but my advice is to not do that.  I have found that classics like this often feel extremely dated when compared to contemporary games.  You may be better off tweaking some of the fundamentals for it to work as a modern game.
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Alekz
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 11:21:38 AM »

Thanks for the feedback, glad to see people who are interested in the concept!

Really need to add mouse locking tho, it's very easy;
http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/ScriptReference/Screen-lockCursor.html

Thanks for the tip, will implement it for the next build.

I found the control to be a bit difficult because turning is too sensitive and there is no angular dampening.  Conversely the linear acceleration feels too weak and the max speed is capped too low.  Also for me right mouse button opens the dialogue "Go fullscreen, about unity player, setup", and it makes it very difficult to play.  How about just hooking the spells to number keys?

I haven't played the original for a long time so I'm not sure if you are trying to emulate the feel of those controls or something, but my advice is to not do that.  I have found that classics like this often feel extremely dated when compared to contemporary games.  You may be better off tweaking some of the fundamentals for it to work as a modern game.

Implementing good intuitive controls that just feel right turned out to be surprisingly difficult task, especially because I want to support both mouse+keyboard and Xbox controller. You're right, I tried to emulate controls of the original, more or less, but the thing is, I don't know which modern games could be used as a better example of good flight controls. If somebody knows such examples, that would be helpful. Also, I tweaked controls for my mouse settings, which probably has different sensitivity than yours, I suppose adding sensitivity config into game would be useful. Anyway, thanks for the advice, I'll spend some time experimenting with different flight mechanics, I think it's quite important for this kind of game.
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Justsometoast
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 12:31:19 PM »

I honestly can't form an opinion about this game until you change these controls. It's literally unplayable.
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 01:35:01 AM »

A new build (v0.04) is available here: http://alexanderkonstantinov.wordpress.com/on-the-wing/

Changes:

  • Implemented aggressive AI, monsters now attack the player with fireballs if he/she gets too close to them, and move in an unpredictable way while attacking. Now these monkeys are truly dangerous!
  • Added player’s health status on the screen. Nothing happens, though, when the health reaches zero.
  • Added help screen, toggled by F1.
  • Some people said that controls are difficult, and while I didn't have time yet to reimplement them, I added keyboard shortcuts to change mouse sensitivity (keys < and >). Also you can open the help screen and see its current value. Hope that helps, because I suspect the original, too high sensitivity might be one of the problems.
  • Lots of other, smaller changes.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 04:01:45 AM by Alekz » Logged
Alekz
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 05:58:47 AM »

A new build (v0.05) is here.

Changes:

  • Added GUI: menus, options screen, HUD displaying player’s health and mana, etc.
  • Experimental support for split-screen multiplayer
  • Changed flight controls to make them more familiar to most players
  • Monsters drop mana (can’t be used by the player yet)
  • A lot of other changes
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Oskuro
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 06:28:28 AM »

inspired by Magic Carpet.

You've got my attention. Magic Carpet I feel was pretty underrated, despite having interesting and sometimes innovative gameplay.

And your planetoid is looking great on the screenshots. Haven't tried the demo itself, though.

Regarding controls, I'm not sure how you've set them up. If you're trying to emulate Magic Carpet, think of a hoverboard. Controls would be your standard FPS WASD (front, back, sidestep) with mouse aiming, just making the player have little friction, and maybe making the JUMP/CROUCH buttons modify height.

Something that made Magic Carpet easy to control was that you never really needed to mind the ground, as you couldn't crash. A more flight-simmish game would be more complex.

Now, again, haven't played it, so not sure what your scheme feels like.


Personally, I'm rather envious right now, Magic Carpet was one of the games I've always wanted to remake someday. So cheers! Beer!
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 10:43:51 PM »

Linux build runs on my system, but there was a bug. I have a wide screen (1024x600), so for some reason, I could not see the upper part of the rendered picture, as if the game renders everything for a 1024x768 screen, but displays only 600 lower lines, so I don't see the uppermost 168 lines. If you see what I mean. (My window manager could be the reason, but this is first time I see such bug on this computer, so check your code)

In the menu, because of this bug, the mouse position and selected menu item were misaligned.

Unfortunately, I could not really play, because on my weak netbook, there was roughly 1 frame per second. Sad
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 11:54:51 PM »

Yes!
Volcano spell and flying worm-things please.

Runs cool for me on Kubuntu 64-bit, though at an ugly low resolution.
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 01:14:22 AM »

This looks really nice! But you need to give the players an objective. Perhaps make it so that you can only kill things by changing the terrain?
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 03:54:15 AM »

Cool little demo you've put together. with the recent build I found the controls to be pretty unwieldy; mostly because I couldn't revert the vertical mouse movements in the menu options, didn't seem to work.

I'm curious as to how you plan to use the terraforming on a mechanical level. My concern is that, depending on how it's utilized, the terraforming may end up just causing the level to look odd because the player simply created a bunch of giant holes and giant mountains. You would have to make sure that the terraforming power is balanced/moderated to a tee in accordance with it's use within the gameplay system, and because of it's drastic change on the playing environment.

Procedural generation at the university where I do research is quite a popular topic these days. In fact, I'm curious, would you be able to explain your procedural generation method?
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Paul Jeffries
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 04:41:26 AM »

Very impressive.  I have many fond memories of Magic Carpet (it was how I broke my first mouse) so I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with this.  I can't remember how it was in the original, but in this I found the controls a little annoying - mainly because it's very difficult to come to a complete stop.  Some small amount of friction in the movement would not go amiss, I think.
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Alekz
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 09:07:14 AM »

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Regarding controls, I'm not sure how you've set them up. If you're trying to emulate Magic Carpet, think of a hoverboard. Controls would be your standard FPS WASD (front, back, sidestep) with mouse aiming, just making the player have little friction, and maybe making the JUMP/CROUCH buttons modify height.

Yeah, this sounds very similar to how I did it (except no friction yet).

Linux build runs on my system, but there was a bug. I have a wide screen (1024x600), ...

Runs cool for me on Kubuntu 64-bit, though at an ugly low resolution.

Linux build runs by default in 1024x768, the only way to change it, at the moment, is via command line, like "OnTheWing -screen-width 1024 -screen-height 600" (in Windows there is a launcher for that).

Cool little demo you've put together. with the recent build I found the controls to be pretty unwieldy; mostly because I couldn't revert the vertical mouse movements in the menu options, didn't seem to work.

Strange that menu options don't work, are you sure you didn't try to change "Controller / Reverse Vertical Look" (this option is for gamepads only) instead of "Reverse Mouse"? In any case, I indeed should make "Reverse Mouse" off by default. Smiley

I can't remember how it was in the original, but in this I found the controls a little annoying - mainly because it's very difficult to come to a complete stop.  Some small amount of friction in the movement would not go amiss, I think.

You can stop completely by pressing the Left Alt button, but adding some friction should be helpful anyway I think, I'll give it a try.
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Alekz
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 09:36:39 AM »

I'm curious as to how you plan to use the terraforming on a mechanical level. My concern is that, depending on how it's utilized, the terraforming may end up just causing the level to look odd because the player simply created a bunch of giant holes and giant mountains. You would have to make sure that the terraforming power is balanced/moderated to a tee in accordance with it's use within the gameplay system, and because of it's drastic change on the playing environment.

It's one of my main concerns now - currently terraforming is just sort of a tech demo, but I want to make it more useful (and definitely less powerful), something more than just making holes in the terrain. In the original Magic Carpet series it was a cool feature, but not extremely useful from the practical point of view, if you think about it. In terms of damage, they weren't that much different from more traditional spells, like Meteor, and the terraforming effect itself was useful in caves but much less so on surface. At least I noticed I wasn't using them in combat as often as I would like. I have some vague ideas how to change this, like shape of terrain might control which areas you can access (e.g. impassable mountains protecting some area) + making "Lower Terrain" spells (which allows to remove these mountains) really expensive or hard to get access to. Or you could create mountains/pits around you castle for better protection from the enemies, something like that. Anyway, a lot to think about there.
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Alekz
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2013, 09:49:23 AM »

Procedural generation at the university where I do research is quite a popular topic these days. In fact, I'm curious, would you be able to explain your procedural generation method?

That is quite simple, actually. First, I created a spherical grid from a cube:



(Image borrowed from this great article which explains this process in more details.)

Each vertex of this grid contains various terrain data, such as height and "material" (sand, dirt, stone). This height/material data is generated using 3D noise functions from the Unity port of libnoise library, in a way that's very similar to what's described in libnoise tutorials and especially more complex example.
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Alekz
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 09:43:39 AM »

After a long break a new build (v0.06) is here.



Changes:

  • Mana possession. Mana dropped by monsters can be “possessed” with a special spell, it then increases player’s maximum health and mana.
  • Castles. Player can build a castle which serves as a home base where the player is much better protected than in the wild. (The castle model shows off my incredible 3D modelling skills.)
  • Mana collectors. Castle is also a home for mana collectors, that search for mana possessed by the player and bring it to the castle, this increases player’s health and mana even further. (Another demonstration of my great 3D modelling skills. I probably need an artist or something.)
  • Sprint ability (by double-tapping forward key): player’s speed is significantly increased, but player’s mana is consumed while sprinting.
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