Author Topic: New version .816 out! (Combat Clarity! Better Flagship Physics! 6 Abilities!)  (Read 5044 times)

Offline Pepisolo

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One small thing. Are missiles meant to be able to be shot out of space? I had a few missiles on my tail, so thought I'd try to shoot them down, but I couldn't do it. I tried direct fire.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Argh, that's even more confusing.
It's even more confusing to try to code a system which uses various arcade-physics assumptions in some places and real-world-physics assumptions in others :)

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I dont understand the deceleration bit though.  Generally, if the line isnt stretching right, it means I'm trying to use max move range anyway.... why would the ship need to decelerate at all in this case?
If the point is less than, say, 50% (just guessing) beyond your max movement range, the "turnover point" (the point where you need to start decelerating to avoid overshoot) is still inside your movement for that turn.

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If the same set of movements were done in real-time instead of turn based, you wouldnt see the ship just randomly slowing/stopping/speeding up as it moved along it's line, right?
Not randomly, no.  It would smoothly accelerate at the start (assuming it wasn't already at max velocity), maintain speed (assuming a straight-line course, no turning-slowdown) until the turnover point, and then begin smoothly decelerating until the end of its movement for the turn.
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Offline Tridus

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Argh, that's even more confusing.  Which seems like the biggest problem to me, just that it's going to confuse the heck outta many players.  That, and it just LOOKS glitchy way before you even click something.

I dont understand the deceleration bit though.  Generally, if the line isnt stretching right, it means I'm trying to use max move range anyway.... why would the ship need to decelerate at all in this case?  If the same set of movements were done in real-time instead of turn based, you wouldnt see the ship just randomly slowing/stopping/speeding up as it moved along it's line, right?

The behavior of those arrows was confusing to me. The idea that it's showing where I'm going to go is clear enough, but I had no idea what the red is supposed to mean and sometimes it seemed like it'd grow or shrink for some reason while trying to go into the same area. Trying to get my maximum distance required zooming way out.

Conceptually I like it, but I think it needs a bit of tweaking.

Offline Misery

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Argh, that's even more confusing.  Which seems like the biggest problem to me, just that it's going to confuse the heck outta many players.  That, and it just LOOKS glitchy way before you even click something.

I dont understand the deceleration bit though.  Generally, if the line isnt stretching right, it means I'm trying to use max move range anyway.... why would the ship need to decelerate at all in this case?  If the same set of movements were done in real-time instead of turn based, you wouldnt see the ship just randomly slowing/stopping/speeding up as it moved along it's line, right?

The behavior of those arrows was confusing to me. The idea that it's showing where I'm going to go is clear enough, but I had no idea what the red is supposed to mean and sometimes it seemed like it'd grow or shrink for some reason while trying to go into the same area. Trying to get my maximum distance required zooming way out.

Conceptually I like it, but I think it needs a bit of tweaking.


Yeah, that's part of the annoying.

Heck, using Afterburner, I'm not even sure you CAN go max distance with that one.  It's very hard to tell.


At the very least, there really aint much problems with the combat beyond this right now.  The movement isnt annoying after this patch, and I'll be glad to see those blasted Predators nerfed.  Finally, vengeance will be mine.

Though, I havent tried all mission types with this since I havent been going far into the solar map stuffs. 


Having 6 abilities is fun too.  Those seem more significant now, though some still need tweaking, like the garbage one, that should come out with a bit more speed/momentum.

Which reminds me... is the ship supposed to continue drifting when using an ability?  Keeps doing that, and I get the impression it's not supposed to (particularly when using that garbage one).  It also sometimes keeps firing a bit too.

Offline x4000

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Okay, now I see why Keith was talking about the movement lines in a recent email to me; the forums "helpfully" stopped emailing me about this thread, sigh.  A few points:

1. The thing with the range not reaching quite all the way to your cursor is an oddity.  Not sure what is up there.  I think Keith was working on a fix for that, but it wasn't working with the waypoints as it stood.

2. The red section is denoting deceleration.  Basically, if you want to END on the point you are at, the ship has to stop firing its thrusters at some point.  The point where it turns red is where the engines cut off.  Why is that relevant?  Because if you move all the way to the end of your range, you will note that your red portion goes down, meaning that you will still be at a very high speed.  So next turn you know you will have deceleration to deal with -- you can't stop on a dime -- since it wasn't accounted for this turn.  If you are moving very far and see only a short red deceleration bit at the end, then you know you will be slowing but not fully slowed.  Etc.

Despite being very confusing, the red is actually super informative.  My thought was that a tutorial note would address that.  How to explain that concisely is tricky, of course.  Maybe not using the color red would also be good, since that makes it seem like an error area.  I picked it just because it's high contrast.  Doing something less high-contrast for #2 might make it so that it's still as useful for advanced play as it is now, without being surface-confusing to new folks or folks who have not read the above.  Regarding #1, I think that's just a matter of it being a bit of a bug.  I'm not sure how important that is to chase down instantly versus the other things on the plate, though.

One small thing. Are missiles meant to be able to be shot out of space? I had a few missiles on my tail, so thought I'd try to shoot them down, but I couldn't do it. I tried direct fire.

Depends on your weapon, but in general no.  I believe the piercing shot does it, or concussive.
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Offline Misery

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Aye, I dont think the arrow thing is as important as certain other glitches, but still, personally I do think that it's definitely up there.

It relates to one of the most basic/core mechanics of the combat, and it IS very confusing... it's definitely going to have some effect on many new players, and that effect is likely to be negative.


And I'd been wondering about that red bit myself as well, thanks, that makes sense now.

Offline x4000

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Gotcha.  Well, I'll change the color and hopefully that will solve the worst of the confusion.  Beyond that, the other thing might be something that Keith already solved; he was saying that his code didn't play nice with my waypoint code, but at the same time he noted a bug in my waypoint code, so I fixed that.  Now maybe his code would play nice with it, I don't know.
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Offline alocritani

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Well, how far you can get is something that is based on the current path you have already assigned.  So... I guess I do see your point.  It will be sizing up and down like crazy as you move your mouse around, though (based on turns, etc).  I worry that will be distracting.

I thought about it again: maybe adding a small floating text close to cursor showing a percentage of maximum reachable range ? it could appear when holding a button, for example.
So you know at a glance if you can pull the cursor further away or not.

Another suggestion is about adding a speed indicator somewhere (under shields indicator?), even with only a % of max speed


edit after quick test of .817: not sure if you were talking about that, but when it seems you're "pulling" arrows with cursor, the problem is that arrows should really reach cursor. it happens when you place a waypoint where the cursor is: suddenly it seems you can move further, so it's very confusing.

Yesterday I thought "nice I understood the speed thing" but now...I don't know why but it seems more confused to me - if red denotes deceleration, why turning section of planned movement still appears white? I'm sure I'm slowing down - I have visual feedback of ship moving slower.  hint: speed indicator?

As other said, it's quite good - now it's just a matter of small tweaks.

And I should start focusing more on solar map, now... I mostly forgot about it in these days, looking for combat.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 12:35:50 AM by alocritani »

Offline Histidine

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I'm trying to think of a good graphical way to convey the purpose of the red movement line, but I'm having trouble.

1) Icon of a brake, or a brake pedal, drawn next to the line. But how do you draw a brake, and how do you tell the brake pedal from the gas pedal?

2) Like #1, but the icon is a stop sign instead. Kind of silly looking, and may confuse people by not appearing when the player ship is going slow enough to stop instantly.

3) Braking thrusters on the ships. This is the most aesthetically pleasing option, but it'll take precious time and effort, and as I recall you just had to lay off your artist(s).

I'm sure someone can think of others.

Offline alocritani

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I think red line is quite good, after someone explains you the meaning :) or a different color also.
Using an icon I fear may clutter the interface, while changing color lines brings the same message without adding other icons.

edit: IIRC currently when your ship is moving high speed arrows seems to be more streamlined, but it's not very evident (or it's just my idea... :) )

Another suggestion (covering both speed indicator and braking) is to display speed making distance between arrows linked to speed.
The higher the speed, the more distance between arrows while in planning-movement phase

something like
slow            speeding up             max speed                braking
>>>>>> >  >   >    >     >      >      >      >      >      <     <    <   <  < < <


or making the braking part dotted

« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 04:20:38 AM by alocritani »

Offline Histidine

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Another suggestion (covering both speed indicator and braking) is to display speed making distance between arrows linked to speed.
The higher the speed, the more distance between arrows while in planning-movement phase

something like
slow            speeding up             max speed                braking
>>>>>> >  >   >    >     >      >      >      >      >      <     <    <   <  < < <


or making the braking part dotted
I like this a lot. It wouldn't be too hard to do, would it?

Offline alocritani

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or maybe even better

slow        speeding up             max speed       slowing down       braking
>>>>>> >  >   >    >     >      >      >      >      >     >   >   >  >  <  < < <


where "slowing down" is what happens during turns, and braking is what now happens when you see red icons

Offline x4000

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Niiiice!

* When the ship movement line is in the process of braking (where it used to show red but now just shows half-alpha), it now also reverses the arrows to make it more intuitively clear that there is braking going on.


By the way, we still have Blue, our artist who handles the GUI and so forth.  We lost Cath, who was the main one on the scene backgrounds.  Blue is mostly working on our next game at this point (the SHMUP), but has been doing lots of icon work and other things for TLF every day or couple of days, as new little needs keep constantly arising.  All those new mode icons and whatnot are her. :)
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