Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Questions and our Answers

We were having some problems with comments on our posts not showing up.  We disabled and re-enabled our comments and hoped that that fixed the problem.  If your comments are still not showing up, let us know and we'll find another solution.

Karl Ahrendsen asked a few good questions on our posts and I'll copy all of his comments down below.

Day 1 - Repository set up & Beginning Character Controls

Karl:  "Yes indeed. Cause physics. Make Dr. Stone proud, Zach, write those kinematic equations."

Response:  "All the physics!"

Day 1 - Camera Collision Detection

Karl:  "I really like the raycast idea, but after thinking about it for a while, I think all it comes down to is remapping the downward navigation of the camera to forward navigation (toward the player). I would be interested to hear if you tried both ways and if they feel any different."

Response: "Your method is exactly how we originally tried to solve the problem.  The problem we ran into was that we had one script detecting if we hit something to pull forward.  Another script would detect that we are not at our set distance, and it would pull back a little bit.  So we ended up with a camera that was jerking back and forth every single frame when it would collide with something.

We ended up using raycasts for a few reasons.  Firstly, it was easy.  There wasn't a lot of trig or math to crunch figuring out where to draw the camera.  The raycast gave us the position.  Secondly, raycasts are cheap.  Thirdly we could always be 100% sure that the camera would be drawn where it was supposed to be drawn.  Look at the picture below for an idea of a strange situation that we would have to move the camera appropriately.  The character is standing on the left box and the camera is sitting on the right box.  Along with the picture, another scenario is if the player is on a slope.  We need the camera to slide along the slope.  The raycast gives us an exact point, while the other method we would have to take multiple scenarios into consideration."

Day 2 - Camera Polish, Gravity, and Controls

Karl: "From a player perspective, do you think that the difficulty judging distance is something that would be solved after a few minutes of playing the game? Do you think it arises from a familiarity with jumping in other video games and your game just has different jumping mechanics?

Whatever the case, I think that the distance checker is a good thing. Experienced players probably won't have to use it because they already know whether they will be able to make the jump and beginners will be able to figure out the jumping mechanics by methods other than trial and error. Of course, it's only a good thing if the mouse button would have otherwise gone unused."

Response: "Actually it came about not because of a mouse button being used or not, but because of the controller. We didn't have anything mapped to the bumpers on our controller mapping, and so Zach was going to map the zooming controls to the bumpers. Jon felt this was wrong on moral level, and so came up with another control to map to the bumpers.

On a more serious note, our game is different in that we do not have many points of reference to judge distances. Take Halo for example. If you wish to jump to another platform above or below you, you can judge the distance based on the rest of the world. You have an entire world around and below you to determine exactly where that platform is in relation to your position, and if you can make the jump. In our game all there is to determine if you can make the jump are the platforms in open space. Nothing else is around them. Not to mention that they are moving platforms, complicating the matter even further. So we wanted to add a tool for assisting the player in judging distances."

Karl: "In Super Smash Bros. I believe you could affect the speed of your fall by pressing down on the control stick. This might be something to consider, especially with the pivoting platforms. A player could slam into one side of the platform harder and cause more platform movement if they accelerated into the platform by holding "down""

Response: "That is a good point, and something that we are actively considering.  We don't have all of the abilities figured out yet, and are still debating on which abilities are going to be included and how they are implemented into Dias."

Day 2 - Settings, Input, and Telescopes

Karl: "I think the distance checker is something that would come in later in the design. It seems like a feature that would be nice, but is far from necessary for playing the game."

Response: "That is something that we discussed earlier today, and came to a similar conclusion.  It will probably pushed back until between Alpha 1 and Alpha 2."

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