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Socoder -> In-Development -> GfK's Heli-Shmup

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Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 07:36
GfK
Opened up my Unity-made heli-shmup today for another look. Scuse the shitty music but there's no other sound. www.desktopgaming.net/stuff/heli_prealpha_v2_out.mp4
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 07:36
GfK
bleh.... and now, a link you can click on. http://www.desktopgaming.net/stuff/heli_prealpha_v2_out.mp4
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 07:53
Jayenkai
Damn.. looking good!!
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 08:28
rockford
Looks awesome - very Soviet Strike. And that is a very good thing. Loved that game BITD.

I agree with your comment about the music...
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 09:27
GfK
Yeah its just some random free crap. You get what you pay for.
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 11:10
rockford
Indeed. We all (well most) either play in silence or use free music (except Jay of course!). I've gone back to some of my early games and the music is dreadful.

At least it's not a MIDI!
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 11:16
GfK
Needless to say it will NOT be used should I ever get this finished. I normally do go with stock music but mostly its from shockwave sound for about $70/track or whatever.
Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 12:12
Jayenkai
If AL attempted some kind of helicopter Choonage, I imagine it would probably end up sounding too jolly and far too 80s for the style of game.
What say you, AL?

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Posted : Thursday, 06 July 2017, 20:10
therevillsgames
So there is a chance you'll finish this? Hope so, as it does look great Dave!
Posted : Friday, 07 July 2017, 04:40
steve_ancell
GOD DAMN! Good stuff Dave
Posted : Friday, 07 July 2017, 07:56
GfK
After much digging through the old project, I've decided it's time to do something I've never ever done before - abandon it and start over. But I'll still be doing it in Unity.

It was one of the first things I did with Unity. The code and asset management is a big old mess. I know things now that I didn't know then, so it doesn't make sense to try putting all the mistakes right - it'll be quicker and cleaner to just do it again. For instance, every type of enemy vehicle has a script that controls all of it. It would make much more sense to have a separate chassis controller (for moving), and a turret controller (for killing). Aside from just keeping things tidy, that'd allow for, for example, a ship with multiple turrets. One of the vehicles I already made (2K22 Tunguska) actually has a primary and secondary weapons system but previously there was no way of implementing both - it had to be one or the other due to the self-imposed one-turret limit.

Obviously I'll hang on to the old code for reference, in case I need it.
Posted : Friday, 07 July 2017, 08:21
Jayenkai
Kewly!
And, yeah, restarts can be great ways to neaten your code, and get a better result.
Good luck!!

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Posted : Friday, 07 July 2017, 08:57
rockford
Sometimes it's better to start again, rather than make fixes. Look at the SoCoder site...

It's amazing how quickly you can rebuild something, bigger, better and faster once you've decided a total re-write is required. I often do that with my own projects.
Posted : Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 07:31
GfK
Two weeks later... but only managed about four days of coding.

Started over and just got finished with the flight controls. Feels a ton better than before, plus I've avoided Unity's Input Manager as it doesn't allow you to change key bindings at runtime which to me, makes the entire thing pointless. Pretty much every game ever lets you redefine keys.

Implementing inertia when turning was a bit of a pain... transforms, vectors, eulers, quaternions.... argh! So I just went old-skool and implemented a bit of sine/cosine maths.

I've also thrown a bit of 'reality' out of the window. The AH-64 apache which my heli is based on has a maximum pitch (without altitude loss) of about 40°. Given that the game is all about close-quarters combat, you'd be launching missiles into the floor at that, so I've had to limit it to 20°. Also limited the top speed to 30m/s (down from 80m/s), because the real max speed would just be silly for this implementation. Altitude is also (currently) limited to 20m - still undecided whether to have 'free' altitude up to that point, or a fixed altitude like Desert Strike had. Having some degree of vertical freedom means I can have hills/details in the terrain to hide behind.
Posted : Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 08:42
Jayenkai
Nothing wrong with "Arcade" physics. In fact, in a lot of games, I actually prefer them..
As long as the end result feels nice and playable, that's all that matters.

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Posted : Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 09:40
rockford
Sounds like it's coming together
Posted : Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 16:02
therevillsgames
You could add two modes, Arcade and Real... and have both

I use to love hill jumping on Gunship 2000, popup and let a few hell fires go - BOOM! then hide again.
Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 10:30
GfK
Heli controls now finished! What I've opted for is a "hard deck" - a preset altitude of 8m. When you take off, the helicopter automatically rises to this level. You then can't go below that altitude unless you're hovering over the landing pad, at which point the helicopter automatically lands.

In addition, when you're flying you can still go anywhere between 8m and 20m altitude. I think this gives the player the best of both worlds in that it operates like people would expect, a la Desert Strike, but you have a bit of vertical freedom too. Not really sure why you'd want to go to that height and it might change as development.... develops!

One thing I didn't like was that when the heli lands, it stops rather abruptly. Rather than implement overly-complicated physics just for that, I added a simple animation where the heli body sinks down on the undercarriage before springing back up again slightly. The sequence only runs for one second but it makes the landing look 100% more convincing. Unity's Mechanim is bloody awesome for things like this.

Oh, I've also added code for managing hardpoints. Defaults to standard 8 x Hellfire and 38 x Hydra for now, but I can easily pass parameters to the hardpoint manager to have any configuration.


Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 10:33
Jayenkai
Sounds like you're making good progress, this time.
Are you planning on Self Publishing, now?

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Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 10:39
GfK
Yeah. First time around I attempted to speak to a couple of potential publishers. Neither even replied. Good in one way as Mastertronic went tits-up soon after, so, dodged a bullet there. Could have had a right fanny on getting out of a contract with them.

Anyway, when they didn't reply, and I didn't fancy buggering about with Greenlight and casual game portals would definitely not like the cut of its jib, I just thought "sod this", and set up the t-shirt gig.
Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 10:46
Jayenkai
Well, hopefully it does well.
Just don't expect a million seller. As long as you don't over-extend your costs, then any profits are totally worth it.

.. once you've finished the game, that is

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Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 10:47
GfK
I fully expect a million seller! \o/

|edit| Though with a couple of thousand I'd call it a win.
Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 13:12
zzoom
Looking gobsmackingly good Gfk, I reckons not you're up for 1.4 million sales, I'll host a Web page to further your cause, not that I get many visitors at the mo, doesnae bother me to much.... At the mo.

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Happy coding!
Posted : Thursday, 27 July 2017, 15:18
rychan
Best of luck with the self-publishing, it can take a fair bit of effort getting covered by review sites nowadays but if you can get to know some of the reviewers beforehand on social media, etc, it can be a big help getting one-up on the other games on their list!

The sooner you start the better the chances IMHO.

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