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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallTELETROOPER - Pixelly shmup with unique controls!
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Author Topic: TELETROOPER - Pixelly shmup with unique controls!  (Read 8438 times)
Udderdude
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2012, 02:33:36 pm »

I wanted to like this but a few things really killed it for me

1. The controls are unique, but this isn't nessecarily a good thing.  They really feel unsuitable for the game.  I feel like I'm trying to keyboard turn in a first person shooter, when that kind of control scheme was outdated decades ago.  It just feels like 90% of the game's difficulty is in the controls, and that's something I can't stand.

2. Everything is so teeny, including your interface.  Even in full screen mode, I found myself squinting to see anything.  Trying to spot the enemy bullets was nearly impossible.  I don't want to go blind trying to play your game.

3. I'm not 100% sure, but the drones in the first level don't seem to be moving to any pattern and are just flying around randomly.  I don't like randomness in shooters.

4. The first level is just bruital.  And there's no difficulty selection.  You go right from the tutorial (which is also kind of rough on you) to assrape city with drones everywhere.
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Danmark
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 08:16:53 pm »

Quote
Didn't realize how achievable it was to get medals, Teletrooper's skill ceiling being even higher than I thought.
is exactly what I've always wanted to hear. Guess it's a game that's hard to learn, and harder to master!

Ha! Sounds about right. Thanks for the tips.


1. The controls are unique, but this isn't nessecarily a good thing.  They really feel unsuitable for the game.  I feel like I'm trying to keyboard turn in a first person shooter, when that kind of control scheme was outdated decades ago.  It just feels like 90% of the game's difficulty is in the controls, and that's something I can't stand.


Interesting criticism.

I like keyboard turn in FPSes, and I've played tons of Click games in the past. The unusual thing here (but common in Click games) is there's no linear nor angular acceleration. You rotate at a certain rate left or right, constantly going forward at a certain speed (depending on brake/boost), and that's it. Is this what you're talking about?

Anyway, at higher levels little of the difficulty is in the controls.
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Udderdude
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2012, 04:42:18 am »

Quote from: Danmark
I like keyboard turn in FPSes

You are in an extreme minority in 2012.  Even the guys still making speedruns playable in the original Doom use mouselook through some 3rd party programs.

Quote from: Danmark
The unusual thing here (but common in Click games)

I really don't care that it's common in click games, if they developed their own little subculture of awkward controls, that's their issue.

Quote from: Danmark
is there's no linear nor angular acceleration. You rotate at a certain rate left or right, constantly going forward at a certain speed (depending on brake/boost), and that's it. Is this what you're talking about?

Yeah, even a button like shift that you could hold down to rotate your ship faster (Doom had this as part of it's keyboard turning) would help a lot.

Quote from: Danmark
Anyway, at higher levels little of the difficulty is in the controls.

I'd like to see some videos of the later levels, then.
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Ben Claxton
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2012, 06:28:17 am »

@UdderDude

Hey there, sorry to hear you're not enjoying the game, thanks for giving it a go anyway Smiley

Your points about the controls are all valid and have obviously put you off playing the game, that's fair enough. However, we have had enough positive feedback from people who 'got' the controls to warrant keeping them as they are. The controls are deliberately old school in the sense that you are limited in some way and we think that's what gives the game its tension and excitement.

I hope you give it another go, but hey, it's a free download so we all win really :D

@Danmark

Just wanted to say thanks for all the support...Thanks! :D
And grats on all your shiny new medals.
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Archonn
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2012, 05:58:07 pm »

Can i just say that maybe the complaints about the controls might be symptomatic of some sort of input delay bug? Because that actually happens to me when i'm playing the game on Linux under Wine, and much to my chagrin, that was my first version, so i trudged along all the way up to the first factory stage, which was borderline impossible given the circumstances.

I switched to a Windows installation, and bam - problem solved! (Turns out that regardless of input bug the factory is quite the difficulty spike and was a hard slog still) I do note that my very scientific method of bug-testing consisted of going back to the Linux version and exclaiming "Oh hey, sometimes my ship gets stuck doing stuff for a short moment and doesn't actually react the way it's supposed to! (unless its the last boss, then it lags like hell and is just crap)".

What more i can say about the controls is, they might be objectively bad but the game was properly designed around it. It's a fun experience, and more importantly, at no point you feel as if there was something you wanted to do but the controls didn't let you do it.

More interesting to me is a criticism on randomness. Because, you know, there is a lot of different kinds of random, from your run-of-the-mill memorizer shmup (zero random is still random!), to outright procedurally generated content, with some interesting examples along the way, such as IWBTG's "quantum randomness" (you don't know which object will kill you where, until you actually observe it).

As far as i can tell, what this game aspires to is the sane, fun kind of randomness - the kind that lets you always finish a stage as long as you "get" what the stage's intended solution is (but don't count on it if you're going for medals). This is adequate given the game's "multiple stages with one or few screens" format. I'd say it mostly succeeds at this aspired goal.



(I will say this one more thing on randomness, though: Dear Energy Hive boss. Go fuck yourself with a rake. Thank you. Sentinel Omega is also a bit more random than i'd like, but it's okay because the boss has some interesting "where do i position myself" shenanigans going on. I still don't think it's fair that you have to go through so much only to get a chance at its final form, though. Losing because of forced lack of practice isn't my cup of tea.)
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Danmark
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2012, 06:47:05 pm »

Quote from: Danmark
I like keyboard turn in FPSes

You are in an extreme minority in 2012.  Even the guys still making speedruns playable in the original Doom use mouselook through some 3rd party programs.

Quote from: Danmark
The unusual thing here (but common in Click games)

I really don't care that it's common in click games, if they developed their own little subculture of awkward controls, that's their issue.

Quote from: Danmark
is there's no linear nor angular acceleration. You rotate at a certain rate left or right, constantly going forward at a certain speed (depending on brake/boost), and that's it. Is this what you're talking about?

Yeah, even a button like shift that you could hold down to rotate your ship faster (Doom had this as part of it's keyboard turning) would help a lot.
...


Dude, my post was hardly multiquote-worthy!

My point about Click games is that such control may be an acquired taste. Teletrooper's took me little getting used to.

As Archonn says, even if the controls are bad, the whole game is designed around them. You can (and must) do tight maneuvers- but you're forced to slow down. The whole system makes sense when you have to dodge numerous projectiles while still maneuvering to fire at enemies. If there were lots of inertia, it'd be impossible. If you could turn on a dime all the time without penalty, it'd be too easy (albeit clearly more awkward to control, with more than the simple 3 states of brake/normal/boost).

Teletrooper reminds me of Doom in that you have meager firepower (relatively speaking), little staying power, but tremendous mobility. I'm not convinced yet more mobility is needed. It's like saying the Doom guy should have another key to run at 100 mph instead of 60.
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AdamButcher
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2012, 01:11:49 am »

Thanks for the notes Archonn. Was curious to hear if anyone got it to work with Wine - seems the answer is "kinda". Did you try flipping the Direct X setting? - that can have an impact on fps/responsiveness issues.

Also, sounds like you got far! Have you completed the game? Hand Joystick Who, Me? Hand Joystick

Thanks for the discussion about controls - UdderDude made some thought-provoking points really. Ultimately this game was designed before people had XBox controllers to hand. I think if we'd designed it with a proper gamepad in mind, the controls would be easier, something like -

Left Hand Analog Control - Direction (so up is up, down is down), but still limited by a turning circle
Left Trigger 1 - Boost
Left Trigget 2 - Brake
Right hand buttons - Fire, change weapon etc.

But a lot of people (myself included) only have the humble keyboard. And without analog control, this seems the best way to do "steering". I think it has been a trope in Click games for that reason (anyone remember Mark Pay's Pie Eater?).

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Pocketninja
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« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2012, 08:27:29 pm »

Downloaded and will play soon and post feed back. I'm a fan of keyboard controls, we shall see how these are.  Gentleman

Update: Great game man! This is the type of game I have been itching to play; the movement is very fluid and you can get into a nice "flow". Although hard to grasp at first, your tutorial is great in teaching how to maneuver. The boost ability combined with the break allow for some very interesting movements and make it easy to dodge on a dime. Love it!

The one thing I would say so far that I do not like is the feeling of a grind. Some of the levels are long and mundane and almost feel like a grind quest in World of Warcraft. For example, kill 6 worms and one just spawns after another.

Good work though, will keep playing through and report back. Cheers  Beer!

Update: On the decrypting level, been playing when I get a chance to breathe between school work. Love the boost trail weapon ha it was hella fun weaving in and out of those machine bastards. Gentleman
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 04:56:25 pm by Pocketninja » Logged

mes
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« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2012, 09:41:17 pm »

here are my thoughts on the controls. i'm making a game with a similar setup (top down, controlling a character that shoots forward and has continuous forward motion), so i've thought about it a fair amount.

there are three main options that i'm aware of:

- keyboard only using the arrow keys (like this game): not commonly used lately so you can expect people to have trouble getting used to it. this wasn't always the case though, with games like the original GTAs using this scheme. it is hard to aim and it takes a bit of time to get used to rotating your frame of reference when your character/ship is not facing upwards on the screen. in teletrooper this last problem is exacerbated by the 180 you make when you hit something. i think a more realistic bounce when you hit a wall at an oblique angle (like this: >| ) would be a lot better.

- gamepad (as adam describes above): controlling a flying thing with an analog stick feels very intuitive, even when it has a turning radius. variants on this scheme are quite commonly used, just look at any twin stick shooter. the only downside is that it is not that precise for aiming. it also doesn't necessarily solve all your problems if you have speed control, but the trigger setup adam described is straightforward enough.

- mouse + keyboard: in this scheme you have your character fly (and shoot) toward the mouse cursor. it is a little less intuitive than the gamepad scheme, but allows for much better aiming. and of course it doesn't require the player to own a gamepad. i only know of a few games that use this style; most people will need some time to get used to it. you would need the keyboard still to do speed control, but you could use the mouse buttons to shoot.

there's also a variety of options for speed control. so far in my game i've gone for a similar setup to teletrooper, boost and brake buttons. the difference is that i don't have braking cost any energy, and boosting uses the same energy that you use to shoot. teletrooper does need the brake to cost energy in order to maintain the challenge of the corridor maneuvering bits, but i think generally that makes the control system frightening as it doesn't let you stop for long. other options here are having a continuous throttle control (see altitude) or a gear shifting system. with these systems you would have the boost and brake buttons instead adjust the throttle or shift gears. boosting when at full throttle could then apply a further thrust which would consume energy. these systems require more training for players, but make the movement controls more expressive, which adds a lot of depth to the game. eventually for my game, i'm going to have several character types that have increasingly complex controls. the beginner character will have easy wasd movement with no turning radius. then i'll have the boost/brake character, possibly a gear shift one, and maybe more if i can think of other interesting styles.

assuming you can take a little time to get used to the keyboard steering, the biggest problem i see with the teletrooper controls is that the boost and brake buttons just seem unresponsive. i don't know if there is some cooldown to be able to boost again or some minimum fuel required, but i would often be holding the boost button down after having boosted recently, and nothing would happen. this is my main point of frustration with the game in fact (even playing without autoaim), and it could be easily fixed by having the boost/brake activate as soon as you have enough fuel if the button is held.
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Ben Claxton
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« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2012, 07:27:55 am »

For those who are interested, I found all the old images of the world map being created and made them in to a cool time lapse video :D Check it out.




@ Pocketninja

Thanks for the awesome feedback :D It's nice to see so many people getting to grips with the controls and really enjoying it. Let us know how you get on further in the game.

@ mes

Wow, some interesting points on control methods :D Looking forward to seeing your game.

As Adam said, at the time we started making the game, this type of control method was more common so we stuck with it. Perhaps if development had started more recently we would have included pad controls. Still, I think the controls are really pretty effective, if a little hard to get used to for some people.

Regarding the boost/break mechanic. You can boost or break as many times as you like before your boost gauge reaches 0. Once it's totally emptied you have to wait for it to recharge to max before you can boost/break again, kinda like an overheating mechanic. You can see when your gauge is about to reach 0 when your ship starts spouting blue smoke. Hope that helps Smiley
I think a bit of a penalty is good to keep the player on their toes, it actually used to be a lot less forgiving before beta hehe.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 10:39:21 am by Ben Claxton » Logged
Pocketninja
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« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2012, 12:41:24 pm »

Still loving this; just yesterday beat the boss in the factory that hooks himself into the wall. I have been just playing a bit every once and a while, but now that school is slowing down and I finally released my game ( Beer!) I will hopefully be able to play through this soon.

So far, the one thing I would like changed is how you react when colliding with things. The 180 spin can be disorienting. When colliding with the edges of the screen this seems to work well, but not when scolding with walls, enemies, trees, etc.

Will report back.
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