I really want to release a demo to get a feedback on the actual game, but there are a few things that I think should be fixed before I release a early preview build:
- Redesign the hardcoded input system, I’m working on this now
- Add lights and shadows to the renderer, this will really help the player determine the depth when flying around and help immersion
- Add 2d rendering/menu, this will provide the GUI for the “press start to play” so the game know what control to accept input from
- Physics motor, this is perhaps the most important feature. This will allow the player to control the heading of the ship while the motor control the amount of torque to apply to keep that heading
- First person/cockpit view, as I pretty much already have oculus rift support, this is a given, however given the way the craft moves it might make you really dizzy.
I have started implementing the basic controls for both the keyboard and joysticks and to test everything out I added basic thrust and torque controls, and while this is really hard to control as each torque requires a counter torque from stopping to spinning I started thinking. The WebGL version of lander and I recall the original (I still can’t get it to play on my win7 system) let’s you enter the desired orientation and let a AI controls the torque thrusts. This is a much easier control scheme as you don’t have to compensate for the rotational adjustments.
Going a step further one could add another AI layer to control the main thruster and let the player use a fps-like control to control the lander. With this control system a couple of issues arise on how the camera, the input display and, most important, the aiming should work, and I’m thinking time and testing will only tell if this is a feasible input system, I believe it’s a good way to testing the AI that will be controlling the enemy landers.
I’m working hard, soon I will have input partly completed but in the meantime have a look at the physics in action on these stand-in graphics:
Development on the game engine has been slow this past week so this week I’ve been thinking about the background music for the game. I don’t know the actual graphical style of the game just yet but I think I narrowed down the musical style to either some slow form of swing/jazz like this:
Or some some ambient 80’s style electro music like this.
Given the I’ve already found some electro music that seems to be fitting and that lander used some similar music pieces, it’s safe to assume that I will be using that electro music during the early alpha builds.
This week instead of talking just design I thought I would be nice to share some development ideas that I’ve been brewing for a while, and it has to do with distribution of the game. The obvious choice is steam, and probably the equivalent to the appstore on ubuntu(if that still exists and is flourishing), but a part of me wants to sell the game to all linux distributions and I can’t test that at all.
The obvious solution for me is to let the others port the game for free, and by game I mean the engine running all the game specific scripts and reading the game specific data as I plan to actually only sell the content, the game/engine running the content is open source. While I haven’t decided on a license, though I’m thinking LGPL, GPL or something close, it’s pretty early on in development, and nothing game like can be seen it is available over at github.
I though this is good time to talk and clarify a little about the game and blog title, and how misleading that title might be.
First and foremost the game is not set in space. The game might take place on different planets and you might travel from these places, but this is not part of the game.
Neither is hustling of any kind. You are a soldier/mercenary/technician for hire, you do your job and you get paid, so no hustling whatsoever.
I wanted to name the blog UARC as that is the working title of the crafts (Urban Assault Recon Craft) but that blog is already taken by the actual UARC (University Affiliated Research Center) and space hustler was a name early on that didn’t fit but stuck nonetheless.
But anyway, space hustler is a working title. What will the final game be named? I don’t know.
I never really liked the cockpit view of flying and driving games. It provies a sense of realism for sure, but I never believed it provided me with a view that I liked. Enter E3 2012 and the demonstration of the Oculus Rift. Together with a helicopter like transparent sphere like cockpit the cockpit view field of view that the rift provides and the slow speed of the craft it provide a sense of realism few games can match.
This solves the where you’re heading problem, but part of the game is also to avoid hitting walls. While things needs to be tested in game I have a few ideas, a system warning that emits audio when you are on a collision course with the environment, among others.