melee mode camera discussion

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zenzmurfy
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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by zenzmurfy » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:50 am

The camera centering and zoom are the main tools at hand for fighting against an invisible enemy like the Ilwrath.

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by Angelfish » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:51 am

friken wrote:
Angelfish wrote:if the battlefield doesn't wrap around, you can't really call it melee to be perfectly honest ;).
Can you elaborate on your opinion here? I'm looking to make a fun game in the same vein as star control starflight and others but not looking to exactly clone any one of them. I'm open to all ideas of how it could work. Did any of the shortcomings I mentioned bother you in sc melee? Running over the planet sight unseen, or the pull along effect of slow ships, edge swapping being jarring?
Well, if you were to take away the boxing ring in a boxing match, meaning the opponent can escape, it would be an entirely different sport altogether :).

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by runonthespot » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:54 am

I personally found the switching quite intuitive until I tried to replicate it! The "surprise, you're flying into a planet!!" was part of the fun. For me though, the key things that I've tried to carry over to DQ have been:
1) Closeups - add nice drama for attacks, esp things like Kohr-Ah special and the Zoq-fot-pik tongue. They also show off the artwork nicely.
2) 4 way wrapping- just makes the AI seem a little less robotic and adds some minor strategy. (The enemy has to change direction to face you again)
3) 2d
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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by friken » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:50 pm

Angelfish wrote:
friken wrote:
Angelfish wrote:if the battlefield doesn't wrap around, you can't really call it melee to be perfectly honest ;).
Can you elaborate on your opinion here? I'm looking to make a fun game in the same vein as star control starflight and others but not looking to exactly clone any one of them. I'm open to all ideas of how it could work. Did any of the shortcomings I mentioned bother you in sc melee? Running over the planet sight unseen, or the pull along effect of slow ships, edge swapping being jarring?
Well, if you were to take away the boxing ring in a boxing match, meaning the opponent can escape, it would be an entirely different sport altogether :).
Ok, I get what you were saying. I agree changing it wouldn't be star-control melee. I'm looking to make a new game and not a mod or exact clone so was looking to discuss options for tweaks that would be fun even if different. I do agree that star-con melee is fun, just thinking through options :)

After having tried a number of the options mentioned here, I've come 90% full circle back to star-con-like combat:

http://www.gravityride.com/testbuilds/melee

One thing I played with that I liked and changed it quite a bit was to center camera on three things, player, enemy, and sun/planet. This made the planet run-ins not an issue, but more importantly it makes the planet or sun a core game mechanic. For example you can use it as a shield, skim it to make an eruption to damage opponent, draw power from a sun if close enough, have to manage hull temp too close, etc... lots of potentially cool game mechanics can be wrapped into it. The drawback to centering all three is for the battlefield to be large, max zoomout is very far and you have tiny ship syndrome... so may have to shrink total battlefield before wrapping to about 2/3 or so.

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by runonthespot » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:16 am

That all works great.

I'm in two minds about the plane-switch transition. I had something similar but found it a bit jarring. In my case, I use a giant image as the background, so whereas the rest of the movement is a smooth scroll in all directions, my preference was for the camera to reach a maximum height when the ships are around 10% from the edge of the screen. At that point, you get a sense that for the first time, your ship might fly out of the screen. I then flip my camera position (disable any lerping etc). In my case, because of the non-static (but also, non-procedural) background, when the entire view changes to a different part of the image, you get an immediate and obvious sense that the view has moved, and I guess from too many years of SC2 melee, felt the most natural. My suns/planets etc tend to have a large single particle behind them as an "aura" or planetary glow. This means that you can always see the edge, so unless you're on a path straight towards the planet, you're generally okay.

I got quite obsessive about various things, including calculating the camera height based on the mid point of the two enemies, literally iterating through their meshes vertices to find their extents. Eventually I realised that the simplest solution worked best.

I can see I'm going to have to post up a webplayer one of these days!
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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by Angelfish » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:00 pm

About the planet: There's an other solution. TW-light (and probably the predecessor timewarp itself aswell) used lines to indicate where offscreen objects (such as planets) are.

If you want to see how that worked, check http://tw-light.berlios.de/

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by Draxas » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:38 pm

Yeah, Timewarp did it too in certain modes. It was functional, but not especially elegant.

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by friken » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:50 pm

Draxas wrote:Yeah, Timewarp did it too in certain modes. It was functional, but not especially elegant.
I've played with having offscreen baddie have a screen-edge icon or line pointing a direction. It is functional, just didn't like the feel. It does make perfect sense though if you need/have to have more than one enemy onscreen. Also, I've tried centering all three sun/player/baddie and it works but then max-battlefield has to equal max camera zoomout and you lose the clever edge swapping making and would need to replace with something not as cool. As much as I've tried to find something I like better, I keep coming back to something close to sc melee.

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by Angelfish » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:17 pm

Draxas wrote:Yeah, Timewarp did it too in certain modes. It was functional, but not especially elegant.
To be honest I found it perfectly elegant for this situation. I imagined it was the way real space battles will be conducted in the future, with dogfights happening in semi-visually close range and other enemies and/or objects being represented by icons or other indicators.

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Re: melee mode camera discussion

Post by Death 999 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:20 am

Minus the close range dogfighting, that's how one would expect space battles to occur in the future… but it's not exceptionally entertaining.

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