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September 16, 2014, 03:28:57 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsLift - flight sandbox - v0.2.0
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Author Topic: Lift - flight sandbox - v0.2.0  (Read 21758 times)
forsy
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« on: October 28, 2013, 08:08:42 PM »

Warning - lots of gifs in here.

Recently featured in TIGSource Devlog Magazine #15: link

Recent article from Alpha Beta Gamer: link

a "lets play" youtube video of early gameplay: link



Some user creations:






Latest gifs:




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Original post
Just a heads up, this thread will likely be gif heavy.

This project started as a remake of Sky Odyssey, but quickly turned into a physics based sandbox with an emphasis on flight. There isn't much direction at this point but I find myself playing more than programming so that must mean something.

This is currently being developed with Unity, and as you can see from the content that I have, it is using standard assets for the time being. The flight physics have been written from scratch and are realistic yet generalized. What I mean by this is for a wing, there is only a single point for lift and drag calculation as opposed to a detailed definition for the entirety of the wing. This is out of design because a) it provides results that are good enough and b) it is much easier to work with from a user point of view.

Without getting too technical, here is a basic plane:


This plane is defined by a fuselage, a propeller, 6 wing components, and 3 landing gear components. Each component has a mass property. The fuselage is nothing more than a mass. The propeller has a thrust, which you can see by the blue line extending from it. Each wing has lift and drag; lift is the green line and drag is the red line. The magenta line is the overall velocity of the plane. Wings can also have ailerons which when activated can increase or decrease the overall lift provided. In this example the far left and far right wings have ailerons, as well as the two parts of the tail. The rudder is just a vertical wing with an aileron. By manipulating these ailerons you can control yaw, pitch and roll.

A feature I recently added was the ability to attach planes together, as seen here:


This is two planes attached together. Even though it looks like two planes, they are both affecting the physics of the unit as a whole. At any point I can release the top plane and they will both fly separately under their own rules. This could be used for example to attach a glider to plane and release at high altitude and glide down to the ground. Here is visual:

(click for gif))



Any number of planes can be combined and detached at any given point. Here is an early test of a failed contraption. When I released the plane on the left it immediately wanted to lift up into the other plane. I tried to fight it but it was hopeless for the most part:




Due to the modular nature of this system, it is not confined to planes. Here is an example of a fuselage-only contraption with a missile attachment being launched from it:

(click for gif)


The target being hit is a stack of boxes. The missile is using the exact same physics as a plane. It has a fuselage component for the body and two wings to maintain a steady flight path.


There are limits to this system when given improper parameters. As seen below, when you try to make a plane go too fast for its own good, it will blow apart due to the physics:

(click for gif)


Note that if this plane were built differently it would have no problem handling this kind of speed. For example, I have built missiles capable of reaching 3000m/s before exploding. It should also be noted that the threshold for explosion is a parameter in the code and can be increased or decreased.


Here are two fun example of the physics in play. In the first example, the 3 planes are released at the exact same time on an even flight path and they all do a loop and two of them end up colliding. The view is switched to the plane on top at the end. The second example is just a plane colliding with a pole and breaking apart:



(click for gif)



At the moment, all of these planes/missiles/contraptions are defined with text files. Eventually I would like to have some kind of fancy interface for building things.

I will have a link to a playable demo by the end of the week once I clean a few things up. I also intend for there to be a user generated content database that people can upload and download content to.

I have plenty more content to show, so please let me know if you would like to see more!


« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 12:21:33 PM by forsy » Logged

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Zagrom
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 08:19:55 PM »

So, its KSP but no space and the plane functions actually work? I love KSP and I love plane sims, this look cool.
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forsy
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 08:42:52 PM »

I've never actually played KSP and it is purely coincidence that this is similar. I have read about KSP but have no intention of involving orbital physics and what not. Even though it is possible to create rockets that fly into those outer space altitudes. Behavior is undefined in that area though  Wink

The real-but-not-so-real flight mechanics are the fun part of this. What you build is what you get. I've built a light weight plane with a heavy missile attached to it and the thing is a bitch to control, but when you get it off the ground and line it up right, fire off the missile and hit your target, it is very rewarding.

I see this being highly moddable, like any sandbox should be.
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 08:50:44 PM »

I was really just comparing it to the idea your building something that files from parts, not so much the space or orbiting aspect.

How in-dept do you think you will take this? Weapons? Research trees? Contracts? (As in build a craft that can do x or y) Or only really as far as making a list of parts and having a builder/editor screen and an area to fly around in.

Ether way I think its neat looking. I always liked physics sims and flight games, so ya.
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 09:06:25 PM »

I guess that was part of what I was hoping to figure out based on some feedback here. As of right now, there are no limits to what can be done. Every component is defined in a configuration file and there really are no restrictions. You could define an engine with 2000000 thrust with 1kg mass, and wings with a huge wingspan with 1kg mass. While this is not likely to work, it gives you an idea of the extremes and (non)limits you can go to at the moment.

Like I said in my first post, I've been playing more than actually developing. For me the fun part is trying to fly stuff that really is not ideal for flying, such as the small plane with a big ass missile... one miscalculated pitch or roll and you are eating dirt.

An idea for this would be pretend you were given a fuselage containing several tanks that needed to be transported to a certain location and you had to figure out how to design the plane around the fuselage to get to the destination.

Another idea is having finite resources to build your planes and having to make runs to your mining outposts to drop and/or pickup supplies in order to further your development. This could also play into the different fuselage types example above.

But on a totally unrelated note, it was a lot of fun trying to figure out the right alignment and power for that missile in the gif that hit the boxes. I probably spent an hour trying to get the right angle and pitch/power for that to work.
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 09:28:41 PM »

Here is an example of a plane with a much-too-heavy missile attached. I only roll to display the missile. This shot took a few tries to actually get lined up to fire and hit properly. The switch from missile view to plane view is abrupt but such transitions are overrated for the moment.

(click for gif)


« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 06:46:44 AM by forsy » Logged

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kurtss
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 05:39:11 PM »

This looks really interesting so far, would love to see where it goes. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 05:46:36 PM »

Been working on integrating some wind. Here is a biplane at rest when a big gust comes:

(click for gif)


Tough to fly in these conditions  Grin
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 06:47:19 AM by forsy » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 05:51:15 PM »

This looks really interesting so far, would love to see where it goes. Smiley

Thanks! I think for now until that million dollar idea shows up I will just keep adding random stuff that isn't too specific to a certain type of game.

A playable version for the public should help find a direction also.
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 12:03:29 AM »

Reminds me a bit of Cargo! The Quest for Gravity.

It looks neat. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 06:01:03 AM »

Reminds me a bit of Cargo! The Quest for Gravity.

It looks neat. Smiley

Wow, what a strange game Smiley

I have toyed with the idea of having a character that you can run around with. I have another game prototype that is similar to a game like Alien Swarm that I might combine this with at some point just to see how it feels, but as of now I don't see that as a long-term direction.
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2013, 08:29:50 PM »

Just testing some more potential interactions...



Only took 50 takes, but totally worth it  Beer!

I suppose since that is a missile it should explode or something, but the end result is still pretty great.
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2013, 06:27:13 AM »

This game looks so cool. It reminds me of that other game on TIGForums, Scraps. This is like Scraps, but with planes. Definitely following this
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 09:52:13 AM »

Hey thanks for the comment!

Another test...

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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2013, 10:27:56 PM »

Finally I can play this and say yes when people ask if I lift. #stoked
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2013, 11:06:40 PM »

Looks pretty cool so far. I'd play around with it. The idea of building planes to perform certain specific tasks sounds cool actually, and then flying them to complete the task.
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2013, 06:42:34 AM »

Finally I can play this and say yes when people ask if I lift. #stoked

Definitely going to steal that line and use it as part of my marketing campaign Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2013, 06:50:09 AM »

Looks pretty cool so far. I'd play around with it. The idea of building planes to perform certain specific tasks sounds cool actually, and then flying them to complete the task.

Yeah, that type of gameplay is lending itself well to this. I don't have much in terms of gameplay logic coded, but I can pretend for now. Here is an example of something I was thinking. I made this giant, super heavy fuselage and basically just gave myself the task of making it fly and land. It took about a dozen iterations before I finally got it stable enough to get off the ground and fly.



You can see the biplane there as a size comparison.

I also needed a much longer runway than I had needed for the smaller planes before it, so I had to try dodging a few trees to get off the ground. I finally just made a nice long runway platform for testing. Runway length could also play a nice role in these scenarios.
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2013, 09:13:00 PM »

Man, so much potential here. I could envision the game being a community-driven project, where goals and challenges are set or maybe randomly generated and the community can compete in designing their own solutions.

How cool would it be to, for example, try to build a plane big enough that it can support another plane landing on top of it in midair? Or having to build a plane that is able to catch debris that's falling? Stuff like that.
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2013, 04:06:15 PM »

Yes, I like where your head is at. A while ago I was playing around with some terrain and I put a landing strip on top of a mountain. A little while later I flattened the terrain but forgot to remove the landing. The next time I flew a plane back in that area I saw the landing strip way up in the air and thought man, how cool would that be if that were a huge ship that I could go land on.

Another fun idea that would require some kind of rope physics or something would be a mid air refueling. I can see spending a lot of time trying to fly two planes attached by a rope. Might need a 2nd player to help Wink

And as far as competitions, there is plenty of room for that. There could be any number of restrictions in place, such as plane weight, number of wings, material, payload, whatever, and then different goals to reach. Something as simple as a top speed competition with single prop plane under 1000kg. Or from my previous post, take this big ass fuselage and get it off the ground before you run into the trees on Runway 123. There is the way I did it, but maybe if the system works properly you could attach a few missiles to it with ropes and lift it off the ground that way Smiley

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