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Thread: Am I being too ambitious?

  1. #11
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    Nifflas's Avatar
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    Agreed too. Make many small games first. Problem with starting big is that you'll improve so much so fast that you'll want and need to rewrite your game over and over again to keep it on par with your skills. There is no way you can start out with something you'll be able to build your whole game upon (maybe unless you're a skilled programmer already). This is why small games is the best way to start; each game will be better and better until you're ready for the big one.

    Also, know that starting too big is the single most common mistakes new game developers do. I did exactly that and almost game up game dev because I could never finish anything. It took off the moment I decided to try something small and now game development is my only income. One week per game max (and put them up on the web), that's a great way to start.

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    Thanks for all the replies...

    @BrashMonkey - I guess the single line of sight shot directly at the player will need some trigonometry to determine a field of view, eg, enemy can see 140 degrees in front of him. Is this right?

    I had the same idea for the phasing - the maps won't be huge so invisible sprites will be the way forward I think.

    @happygreenfrog - thanks for the encouragement! I reckon I'll be asking a lot of questions over the next few months... lol

    @foyzul2002 - thanks for the link. I've seen that site before but felt overwhelmed by the amount of examples. I guess I just pick and choose the ones I want.

    @Konidias - that is definitely the plan. Although I think I tried to tackle the line of sight mechanic first and found it difficult, which kind of put me off/made me write the original post. It may well make sense to start with the easiest and get more complex as I move forward. I just realised how obvious this is...

    @gkinfinity - thanks for the advice. Your comments about the patrolling were helpful - I can see myself adopting the low-level AI of keeping them on a strict path or static in the initial version but maybe as I learn I can add the search/follow mechanics.

    @Eliyahu - the game won't be tile-based but this may be helpful in future projects. Thanks anyway!

    @MuddyMole - that really does make sense. I've done a fair few tutorials but when you mentioned custom movements, fastloops, and object scope, I realised I had no idea what these were... I shall look into this. cheers

    @King_Cool - this would be really helpful, but maybe I should try and do each mechanic myself and then post it up here for you to take a look at / critique, etc? I'll probably PM you if I get to that point.

    @jbrown2177 - will do!

  3. #13
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    @Nifflas - this is a problem I always have. Big ideas and I hardly ever finish anything. To be honest I would be happy if I finish just one level of this game. A really small level. It really is just about testing the mechanics.

    When you talk about small, are you talking smaller than this-

    One level, a top-down view of an office. Probably around 6 enemies, each with their path movement, etc. Aim is for player to retrieve keycard and make their way to the lift at the other end of the office. The whole view will probably be one frame of 600x480 or something so I can upload it to the web.

    Also, could you let me know a bit more about what you do re: game dev, how you get your income, etc?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemonyWeasel View Post
    1. Line of sight - existing tutorials seem either too unrealistic or just don't explain well enough (specifically naming the Move Safely 2 particle effect thing)
    2. Patrolling/Path movement - this is pretty straight forward, but when it's coupled with line of sight, follow/search and shooting mechanics then it gets a little more complicated
    3. Follow/search - once the enemy sees the player via line of sight they should follow the player, unless they move out of view again - pause and return to patrol
    4. Shooting - as explained, while Patrolling/Aiming/Following I would like the enemy to shoot at the player
    5. Special Ability - the player will have the ability to 'phase' through walls, thus evading patrols and evading the enemy actively following him/her
    LOS
    - Your Agents need to have a 'forward' Angle_ ( AltValue ), wich is the Angle the Agent is facing, and optionally, moving.

    - Yor Agents who are going to have LOS need to have 2 Alterable Values wich define their LOS:
    ViewRadius_ ( their max view distance )
    ViewAngle_ ( how 'wide' their LOS will be )
    This will create an invissible 'Pizza Slice' type LOS

    - Your Agents need to allways know 2 pieces of information ( stored in ALtValues ) to be able to detect the Player in their LOS:
    DistToPlayer_ ( the distance between the Agent and the Player )
    AngleDifferenceToPlayer_ ( the absolute difference between 'Agents Angle_' and 'Angle from Agent to Player' )

    - If your Agents LOS need to account for Obstacles ( wich they can not see through ), each Agent needs to draw a Line stretching from the Agent to the Player.
    This way if the Agents Line is overlapping an Obstacle you will be able to conclude that the Agent cant see the Player regardless.

    LINE ( THE OBSTACLE DETECTION LINE )
    - Create a new Object called Line and make it 1x2 in dimencions ( fill it with any color you like ).
    - Make sure ( through coding ) there are allways the same number of Lines as there are Agents.

    - Pair up the Lines and the Agents like this:

    Allways
    -> Line set position to Agent position
    -> Line set Xscale to 'Distance between Line and Player'
    - Line set Angle to 'Angle between Line and Player'
    ( This makes sure eah Agent gets a Line wich is drawn form the Agents position to the Players position )

    Allways
    -> Set line AltValue IsOverlapping_ to 0

    If line is Overlapping Obstacle
    -> Set line AltValue IsOverlapping_ to 1

    Allways
    -> Agent set position to Line position
    -> Agent set AltValue LineIsOverlapping_ to Line IsOverlaping_
    ( This makes it so that each Agent knows if their Line is Overlapping an Obastacle )

    In short this makes sure all Agents have a line wich is drawn from the Agent to the Player, and makes Agents know if their Line is overlapping an Obsatcle.

    PATROLLING
    This is not going to be easy, but there are extencions like the path movement/ advanced path movement extencion wich can help you.

    FOLLOW/ SEARCH
    - Once you get the LOS working, you need to ( for example ) set Agents Flag0 ON when its seeing the Player, and Flag0 OFF when its not seeing the Player.
    - If your Agents LOS needs to accont for Obstacles ( wich they can not see throught ), turn Flag0 OFF if their Line is overlaping an Obstacle ( LineIsOverlaping_ = 1 ) regardless.
    - Once this is done, you can freely programm different behaviours to your Agents depending if Flag0 is ON or OFF ( seeing the Player or not seeing the Player ).

    SHOOTING
    - When the Agents Flag0 is ON ( Agent is seeing the Player ), your can programm the Agent to shoot in forward Angle_ or directly towards the Player.

    SPACIAL ABILITY
    - When Players ability is active turn Players Flag0 ON, if its not turn Flag0 OFF.
    - When this is done you can make Obstacle/ Wall collisions only work when Flag0 is OFF ( ability is n ot active ).

    ...
    As others have said before me, you really should create 5 seperate application for each of the features and tackle 1 feature at a time.
    My advice is to do LOS before Follow/ Search and Shooting.
    And maybe Patrolling before LOS ( but Patrolling can be hard to do ).

    ...
    The top 3 most difficoult features to do will be:
    #1 Patrolling
    #2 LOS
    #3 Follow/ Search

    The 'Advanced Direction Object' will be of immence help to you when doing most of your features.

    Hope this helps

  5. #15
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    lineofsightdemo.mfa

    @King_Cool - i'm really struggling to follow your directions. I checked out your other post describing this in more details but I just get lost.

    When running the app above the flag appears to be on constantly.

    There's a couple of things - how can I tell MMF in the AltValues that I am talking about pixels and angles/degrees... how can it tell?

    Can I get a visual of the pizza slice/field of view to show the direction of the Enemy object?

  6. #16
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    My previouse post was just meant as some sort of general guideline as to what you need to do to achieve the features you describled ( i should have mentioned that in the post ), not a detailed technical walkthrough of how to do it.

    ...
    Your questions:
    There's a couple of things - how can I tell MMF in the AltValues that I am talking about pixels and angles/degrees... how can it tell?
    You cant and there is no reason MMF2 needs to know what the AltValues are meant to indicate. Its all about how you treat the AlterableValues and what you use it for.
    Example:
    Angle_ = random( 360 ) ...degrees...

    Allways
    - Set Object X position to Object X position + cos( Angle_ ) * Speed_
    - Set Object Y position to Object Y position - Sin( Angle_ ) * Speed_

    This moves the Object forward at direction Angle_ at speed Speed_

    Can I get a visual of the pizza slice/field of view to show the direction of the Enemy object?
    It can be possible although im not sure how.
    I dont really see the need for it unless its part of the game itsself.

  7. #17
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    First of all i think it would be wize of you to determine what kind of movement you want for your Enemies.

    Built in movements or a custom movement?
    Do you have a clear idea of how your game is going to work?

    Using a built in movement is easier and saves you alot of time and troubble.
    Using a custom movement is smoother and looks alot nicer, but can cause you troubble down the road especially if your new to MMF2.

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