Luke's Software and Design
https://www.lsdwa.com/

0.8.0 feedback

0.8.0 feedback

Postby Janne Sirén » 2018-Apr-07 15:29

Hi Luke!

While making the comparison video of Fractalus 0.8 and Rescue on Fractalus! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5T7ZDOn754) I got a better feel for the gaming dynamics of these two games and came up with a couple of improvement suggestions or ponderings:

- The original game placed stranded pilots usually down in ravines or lower level areas, not on steep hillsides as is so often the case on Fractalus. While these can be somewhat positively challenging landings, I wonder if the original take was a bit more realistic in this.

- The far end of the laser beams looks a bit too much like it originates from that end in Fractalus, instead of terminating there. It sort of looks like it has a dark end point, even when it seems to terminate mid-air, which is confusing when someone fires at you from behind...? I wonder if it would simply fade into air? Or widen towards the distance like the original, so it would be clearer where the shots are coming from (and especially where they are not coming from).

- I got the feeling that the original game had massively more gun emplacements and they shot at you much sooner and much more - while your own guns were vastly inferior in firing speed compared to Fractalus. I wonder what Fractalus might feel like if these dynamics were adjusted towards the original. That said, I do like blasting away in Fractalus - the original firing speed was probably more technical than game design...

- I really loved the cockpitless option in pre-Unity Fractalus 0.7 and prior, especially at dusk. I understand it had historical reasons, but it ended up being a really nice option even in later versions! Please consider this in the future for the Unity version as well. And while you're at it, consider a new option where there are minimal displays and controls... Maximum scenery.

- Finally, I love how game over is being shot down on the planet and ending up there waiting to be rescued, I guess. You know what you have to do once you get the alien figured out... ;) But do let the player still control the shields...

- The forum registration Captcha seems to have expired at the end of March?

Keep up the good work!

-Janne
Janne Sirén
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-Apr-07 04:27

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Luke » 2018-Apr-07 21:11

Hi Janne!

- The original game placed stranded pilots usually down in ravines or lower level areas, not on steep hillsides as is so often the case on Fractalus. While these can be somewhat positively challenging landings, I wonder if the original take was a bit more realistic in this.


Currently in Fractalus the pilots are all placed below a specific height on the terrain, but without any consideration of the terrain around them, so some will end up in odd spots on severe slopes or in small deep pits. I'm planning to make the pilot spawner look for more suitable terrain around the pilot. Same thing goes for the turrets as they can end up in strange places too, where in the original they were entirely situated on mountian peaks.

- The far end of the laser beams looks a bit too much like it originates from that end in Fractalus, instead of terminating there. It sort of looks like it has a dark end point, even when it seems to terminate mid-air, which is confusing when someone fires at you from behind...? I wonder if it would simply fade into air? Or widen towards the distance like the original, so it would be clearer where the shots are coming from (and especially where they are not coming from).


The laser beams could certainly be improved. Your suggestion of fading and widening it at the far end sounds like a good plan so I will likely go with that :)

- I got the feeling that the original game had massively more gun emplacements and they shot at you much sooner and much more - while your own guns were vastly inferior in firing speed compared to Fractalus. I wonder what Fractalus might feel like if these dynamics were adjusted towards the original. That said, I do like blasting away in Fractalus - the original firing speed was probably more technical than game design...


I agree that there aren't as many turrets and they are less aggressive in my remake. The saucers are particularly weak in behaviour compared to the original game (including randomly crashing into the terrain themselves!). AI improvements are planned, and when I do them I will try to match them up to the original game as much as possible.

The weapon from the original game was a white bubble (described as an "Anti-Matter Bubble (AMB) Torpedo" in the original manual) that you could only fire one of at a time, waiting until the last one hit the terrain or a target. I'm fairly sure that was more a technical limitation common to games of that era.

My choice to implement the weapons as dual green laser bolts in my remake was mostly aesthetic as I wasn't quite sure how to replicate the AMB weapon and make it look good, so instead I used the dual laser bolts inspired by games like Descent and Forsaken. I have since come up with an idea on how to make the AMB weapon work and look good, so expect it in 0.9 :)

- I really loved the cockpitless option in pre-Unity Fractalus 0.7 and prior, especially at dusk. I understand it had historical reasons, but it ended up being a really nice option even in later versions! Please consider this in the future for the Unity version as well. And while you're at it, consider a new option where there are minimal displays and controls... Maximum scenery.


I liked those options as well, so I'd also like to see them in again. They were in 0.7 because the code for rendering the 0.5 and 0.6 HUDs was already there and it was a simple switch in the code to decide which one to render, whereas to do the same in Unity I would need to reimplement those HUDs from scratch again. I'll look into implementing the old HUDs or alternative HUD modes, to provide the options for maximum scenery at least :)

- Finally, I love how game over is being shot down on the planet and ending up there waiting to be rescued, I guess. You know what you have to do once you get the alien figured out... ;) But do let the player still control the shields...


To be honest I actually forgot that the game just leaves you crashed and doesn't tell you what to do. I'd gotten so used to hitting ESC and returning to the menu or restarting during testing that it became a reflex! I also hadn't considered the implication of this for when the aliens are implemented - I like that idea!

- The forum registration Captcha seems to have expired at the end of March?


Oops! The forum doesn't get a lot of attention unfortunately and I forgot that it was using the old captcha system that has now been deprecated.

Keep up the good work!

-Janne


Thanks for your feedback!

Cheers,
- Luke
Luke's Software and Design
http://www.lsdwa.com
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 23
Joined: 2010-Jul-26 00:30
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Janne Sirén » 2018-Apr-08 14:10

Thanks Luke for the comments and insights - and I look forward to those future updates, however you decide to implement them!

The saucers are particularly weak in behaviour compared to the original game (including randomly crashing into the terrain themselves!).

I believe a saucer crash happens on the comparison video as well (timestamp: https://youtu.be/x5T7ZDOn754?t=108). At around 1:50 the Saucer warning starts blinking and then at 1:52 the blink goes away and one can hear a crash, without any of the usual visuals suggesting a hit on the player's ship. :)

-Janne
Janne Sirén
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-Apr-07 04:27

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Loafmeister » 2018-Aug-01 12:33

Oh my goodness, I stopped in to see if there was new development and just noticed that yes, you have released a new build with Unity support. It's a little late here to try it out but I will this weekend for sure and supply my comments afterwards.

Out of curiosity, you had indicated previously you may consider VR support if you were going to port it to Unity (as I understand it is more or less built into Unity). Is this something you've looked into?

Congrats on the release. After a tough day, this was definitely welcomed news!

Loaf
Loafmeister
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 2016-Jan-11 15:54

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Luke » 2018-Aug-02 22:48

Hi Loaf!

I look forward to your feedback on the 0.8 build :)

Now that Fractalus is using the Unity engine VR may be a possibility, however I've not had a chance to look into it. I still only have an Oculus DK1 and I'm not sure if it will work with current VR software, but when I get a chance I'll hook it up and see if I can get it running again.

Cheers,
- Luke
Luke's Software and Design
http://www.lsdwa.com
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 23
Joined: 2010-Jul-26 00:30
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Janne Sirén » 2018-Aug-03 22:36

Cheers Loafmeister!

Another friendly vote for a VR version from here. :) Would be great! Keep up the good work, Luke.
Janne Sirén
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-Apr-07 04:27

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Loafmeister » 2018-Aug-22 05:48

Sorry for the delay in responding, life is a bit heavy at times.

Very impressed with the newest build, everything seemed to work very well at my end. I must admit, I would love if at some point you put in an animated fighter pilot (and would be more nerve racking if the aliens are about). It would just polish off the product ahead of it's current state. Aside from that, it's a lot of fun to move around the landscape, the control seems fine (though I need to play it some more) and the shooting is fun too.

The game over "downed pilot" as mentioned in one of the responses: It's just an idea, probably not practical but if you are looking at expansion beyond the old Rescue on Fractalus, would be cool if you are given an opportunity to exit your downed craft and find parts to repair the ship to get back up again. Sort of a natural progression to where Rescue on Fractalus 2 could have gone if Lucasfilm would have (SHOULD HAVE) continued the series. I gather it would be a FPS style section. Well, def beyond what you want to do I'm sure :)

Keep up the good work and let me know if you need testing with VR. There are several VR developers who initially were putting out support without really having the headset themselves. Of course that makes things complicated, but not impossible as I'm sure others could offer some assistance. Alternatively, you could also contact Oculus, I believe in some cases they still send some bundled HMD/Touch controllers to some devs. Wouldn't hurt to ask
Loafmeister
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 2016-Jan-11 15:54

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Luke » 2018-Aug-31 22:54

Hi Loaf!

Sorry for the delay in responding, life is a bit heavy at times.


No worries, I understand that all too well :)

Very impressed with the newest build, everything seemed to work very well at my end. I must admit, I would love if at some point you put in an animated fighter pilot (and would be more nerve racking if the aliens are about). It would just polish off the product ahead of it's current state. Aside from that, it's a lot of fun to move around the landscape, the control seems fine (though I need to play it some more) and the shooting is fun too.


Thanks for testing it out and glad to hear everything worked well!

I've got some good news - I am working on an animated pilot model for 0.9 which you can see (a very tiny version of) in the picture at https://www.lsdwa.com/blog/wp-content/u ... 1680px.png to the left of the crosshair.

I've got the model mostly done and the animation done, and I'm currently working on texturing it, which in part includes learning how to texture a model properly :)

The game over "downed pilot" as mentioned in one of the responses: It's just an idea, probably not practical but if you are looking at expansion beyond the old Rescue on Fractalus, would be cool if you are given an opportunity to exit your downed craft and find parts to repair the ship to get back up again. Sort of a natural progression to where Rescue on Fractalus 2 could have gone if Lucasfilm would have (SHOULD HAVE) continued the series. I gather it would be a FPS style section. Well, def beyond what you want to do I'm sure :)


I've had quite a few ideas of how I could expand beyond the original game while working on the remake and while I would love to implement them, I'm not yet sure if I will implement anything beyond 1.0 which I expect to be a fairly close reimplementation of the original game. We'll see what happens when I get to 1.0 :)

Keep up the good work and let me know if you need testing with VR. There are several VR developers who initially were putting out support without really having the headset themselves. Of course that makes things complicated, but not impossible as I'm sure others could offer some assistance. Alternatively, you could also contact Oculus, I believe in some cases they still send some bundled HMD/Touch controllers to some devs. Wouldn't hurt to ask


I set aside some time tonight to try out my Oculus DK1 with the current VR SDKs and unfortunately it seems that it's not supported at all. The original early DK1 demos I had still work as they didn't use an SDK (I think they just communicated directly with the Oculus over USB), but the new SDKs, and Unity in particular as it also now uses these SDKs, just simply don't work with it.

I looked into what Oculus offers for devs and it appears they have a "VR Developer Support Program" that can be applied for which offers free support but not hardware, and they have the "Oculus Start" program that offers hardware and support, but one of their conditions is: "Developers will have to meet a few guidelines to get into the program. They'll need to have published something that shows a commitment and intent to build for the platform, be it a full app or something like a quick demo on Steam.", which I wouldn't meet as I haven't published anything for VR, and as for showing commitment, I'm not sure a new build every couple of years counts :P

I think those programs are also aimed toward teams building paid applications/games for their platform to encourage more people to buy hardware and also buy software which I imagine they get a cut from, and I don't intend for Fractalus to be paid for, so it wouldn't be worth it to them to send me free hardware. I'll look into getting a newer VR headset if I can, even if only because I want one to play games with anyway :P - which headset are you using?

Thanks again for your feedback!

Cheers,
- Luke
Luke's Software and Design
http://www.lsdwa.com
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 23
Joined: 2010-Jul-26 00:30
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: 0.8.0 feedback

Postby Janne Sirén » 2018-Sep-02 02:28

FWIW, I've got an HTC Vive and a Vive Pro, so I'd be happy to test Fractalus on them if it ever gets to that and is compatible with them. :) I think this game might be very well suited for VR!

Great work on the Diamond-Square Algorithm, too.

-Janne
Janne Sirén
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-Apr-07 04:27


Return to Fractalus

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
© 2018 Luke's Software and Design