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1390719 Posts in 66778 Topics- by 59513 Members - Latest Member: besteffortgames

April 11, 2021, 11:36:29 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsPomodori - farming adventure
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)3ee
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« on: March 07, 2021, 02:46:22 AM »

Hi everyone!

So I'm trying to make this game, but it's not exactly going according to plan.

That is, if there was a plan. I guess that's part of why I'm here. You know, to get my thoughts straight. And secondly, maybe to get some sensible input. Okay, shall we begin?

So the basic idea is you as the player farm tomatoes to fuel your spaceship. That's right, your spaceship runs on tomatoes. The title of the game, "Pomodori," is Italian for "tomatoes." You fly your spaceship to another planet, where you farm more tomatoes. And so on.

I know, it's a bit thin. That's why I'm looking to add some stuff. First of all, though, I should say the planets are tiny, like the one on the cover of "Le Petit Prince."



Except everything is 3D instead of 2D.



Also, I'm doing my modeling in MagicaVoxel. For the game I use Unity.

Anyway, about the stuff I'm looking to add. The planets have suns. And the suns have sunflowers. The more sunflowers a sun has, the hotter it is. You can transplant sunflowers from one sun to another, making the donor sun colder and the recipient sun hotter. But first you should probably upgrade your ship with a sunscreen.

Obviously, changing a sun's heat output will affect the planet(s) around it. Maybe they grow or lose a snow blanket, I don't know. One thing's for sure, though, you won't be able to grow tomatoes in the snow.

But, before all that, you have to get there. Which means traveling through space. Now, I can assure you traveling against a background of fixed stars is no fun. Which, unfortunately, is what loading a night sky shader into Unity's skybox gives you out of the box.



You wouldn't know you were traveling if it weren't for the planet. As soon as you turn away from it, you appear not to move at all. One solution I came up with is to make the shader two-sided and apply it to a sphere around the spaceship. As the sphere remains in place and you fly across it (or, as is the case here, when you remain in place and the sphere moves past you), the illusion of movement is preserved. The problems begin when you near the circumference, as the stars first grow bigger and then pass through you.



Two obvious fixes are (1) to decrease the star sizes in the shader as you near the circumference of the sphere and (2) reset the position of the sphere before its surface reaches you. I applied the second fix in the gif below.



Did you notice the stars glitching near the end of the clip when the position of the sphere was reset? It grows worse as the ship's speed increases. Now I could continue to tweak this, but I kind of feel I'm on the wrong track here. I wonder if anyone has a better idea?

I hope to be able to share more soon (by the way, I have a post on my blog looking back at how Pomodori got started). Besides suns and stars, I'd like to add characters for the player to chat with and some music too. And I'd just love to have a good story. But I guess that'll take its own sweet time in coming, if it comes at all.

You have a good day now.
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Rogod
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 03:33:22 PM »

So firstly, I love the concept. I am a big fan of bizarre space-oriented adventures and fantasy in space beyond the traditional sci-fi that gets redone over and over.

As for your technical problem with the stars: I would suggest just using the skysphere of stars only as a background and having other stars (as particles) fade in around you and whiz past as you move. So the faster you go, the more particles appear and stay in place as you move past them (make their image identical to the stars on the skysphere if you like), and the slower you go, the fewer star particles there are until you stop and then you're left with only the skysphere again as a backdrop. (This is how other games achieve the effect as far as I'm aware and avoids your background-snapping issue of moving skyspheres around.)

If you're looking for input into the game, I'd want to see something like different kinds of tomatoes, or enhanced versions (maybe different alien colours) as you progress to different planets. (Maybe they can give you some kind of weird effect that acts as a barrier of entry to the next frontier beyond just the adjacent suns & planets.)

I liked how the sunflower concept sounded too, it would be great to see some pictures of that to grasp what's really going on. (Maybe make a few gifs showing the core game concept so it can be more easily digested in your post.) (Also maybe explain what the UI is telling us as well.)

Looks like a good start though, have fun Grin
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)3ee
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2021, 05:17:52 AM »

That's a great idea! You know, the alien tomatoes. I hadn't thought of that. Will ponder the ramifications.

I haven't modeled the suns or the sunflowers yet, but they just so happen to be next on "the list" (the quotes mean the list is entirely imaginary.) I'll try to do them this week and post some gifs.

As for the UI you see in the previous gifs, top left is for exiting the helm, top right is your remaining fuel and bottom right is your speed. Bottom center are your controls, turn left, right, up, down, burn (plus sign in the middle), roll left and right. The controls are also accessible via the keyboard (except roll because as much fun as it is it tends to get out of hand pretty quickly.)

As for the problem with the stars, I actually tried (what haven't I tried?) to use a particle system for that, and it worked fine as long as I flew in a straight line. But, as I mentioned in passing in my previous post, in my setup the ship remains in place and everything else, including the particles, moves in opposite directions to it, thereby creating the illusion that it's actually the ship that's moving. So when I turned the ship, the "old" particles stayed on the previous course while the new particles adopted the new course, resulting in a very confusing picture as you can imagine. Maybe I should look into Unity's VFX graph to see if I can change the course of the old particles.

Anyway, thanks for a very motivating and inspiring reply!
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Rogod
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2021, 05:34:13 AM »

If you're using Unity, you should be able to translate the whole particle system in XYZ in the opposite direction to the fake-movement of the ship and this'll move all particles within it as long as they aren't set to world-oriented mode.

Alternatively, don't use the built in particle system at all - that way you've got more control over the individual sprites and can put them when and where you want, then have access to move them after the fact too (like when the ship changes direction/velocity).
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