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SeanEBaby

[WIP] [Phaser] Slingshot - Survival Space Simulation

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Slingshot-Main-Menu-300x225.png

 

I (@DrSeanWalton) have been working on a space simulation game with my brother in law Barry (@Half_Hit_Points).  The game has realistic gravitational effects i.e. the gravity in the solar systems you explore are fully modelled, asteroids orbit planets which orbit the sun.  This (we hope) makes things interesting but tricky, so I'd love some feedback on the controls.  I have implemented gamepad support using phaser but a recent chrome update stopped it working, I will be adding it back in the future, for now it's keyboard.  It works best in chrome.

 

You can play the game here

 

http://waltonia.co.uk/slingshot/

 

More information can be found on my blog here

 

http://sean.crossproduct.co.uk

 

and Barry's blog here

 

http://barry.crossproduct.co.uk

 

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The graphics look good and the game has potential.

 

Unfortunately I wasn't able to play it for more than a minute or so each time I tried as the controls weren't so good. It seemed like the ship had massive mass or really weak engines or something as it took a lot of thrust to get it moving. The real problem though was actually changing direction after the ship was moving -- it was virtually impossible to slow it down or go in the opposite direction as no amount of thrust would get it to change direction. A full 180 turn with full thrust seemed to have almost no effect in slowing the ship down and it just continued drifting in the same direction it was already going.

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I may say I have a similar experience with the controls and holding the right or left "a"/"d" for a longer period start cousing me dizziness :P

But it's funny effect.

 

So I'll be glad to check it with a little more refined controls.

 

Also when shooting it's quite unrealistic and funny how i can shoot a lot of rockets and then they travel slow in the direction a was heading so after that i can just go faster than my bullets 

and "catch" them.

 

And when i look right with the ship the rockets till point left like they are shoot in reverse. :P

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Thanks for all the feedback.

 

I'm going to try reducing the strength of the gravity while increasing the power of the engines.

 

The whole game is a realistic simulation of space flight, it's pretty much kerbal space program with guns in 2D.  This means the guns work like they would, since you are accelerating you can catch your bullets up and depending on the way you are travelling they might not fire straight out the front...  ....I wrote a blog post about this if you are interested http://sean.crossproduct.co.uk/2014/05/14/in-space-games-everyone-can-hear-you-scream/

 

It all makes the game quite tricky when you start playing, you can eventually figure out how to control the ship, but at the moment the barrier to entry is too high as you guys are pointing out.   Thanks again.

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I've just posted an update which I hope improves the controls  :blink:

 

Definitely an improvement in controls now. The controls also make a little more sense now that you mentioned you're going for a more Kerbal-feel.

 

I think the problem is that's not communicated well. The graphics and such make it look like a arcade type shooter where you expect to move quickly and the ship to respond quickly to input. A tiny image of a ship in a world that's extremely zoomed out makes it feel like the ship should be nimble. Kerbal on the other hand almost fills your entire screen with controls and the image of the ship to convey that bulk and size and more real-life type physics (plus the fact that you spend more time building than flying helps convey the realism).

 

Perhaps a more detailed ship (like actual thruster/jet image on the side of the ship when you're rotating for example instead of huge bubbles as big as your ship coming only from the rear of the ship) and zooming in more while the ship speed is low and zooming out when the ship picks up speed may convey the realistic-movement you're going for.

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Perhaps a more detailed ship (like actual thruster/jet image on the side of the ship when you're rotating for example instead of huge bubbles as big as your ship coming only from the rear of the ship) and zooming in more while the ship speed is low and zooming out when the ship picks up speed may convey the realistic-movement you're going for.

 

Thanks for the feedback.  I think you have hit the nail on the head here....  The next thing I'm going to work on is a tutorial of sorts which will hopefully make this clearer....    Zooming the camera is a good idea, although I'm not sure how to do that in phaser, I know I tried and failed to do it once before....

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I pushed out a big update this weekend.  The enemy AI has been improved, and what's more is that the longer you stay in a single the system the smarter they become....  However the longer you stay in a system the higher your score multiplier becomes, so it adds a push your luck element to the game.  

 

I would love some feedback on this aspect.

 

....also since my last post missile turrets :D

 

Play the game here http://waltonia.co.uk/slingshot

 

Read how I implemented the camera here http://sean.crossproduct.co.uk/2014/06/14/thinking-about-cameras/

 

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Thanks ruzi.  What is the name of that game you posted a screen shot of?  I haven't released the source yet, but I'm going to go through all of the systems and how they are implemented on my blog as we lock things down http://sean.crossproduct.co.uk (you wouldn't want to see the source, I'm an academic engineer - it's messy and hard to follow) 

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Thanks ruzi.  What is the name of that game you posted a screen shot of?  I haven't released the source yet, but I'm going to go through all of the systems and how they are implemented on my blog as we lock things down http://sean.crossproduct.co.uk (you wouldn't want to see the source, I'm an academic engineer - it's messy and hard to follow) 

google img: space rangers hd

i'm start learn phaser and want make own space game like you

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Thanks for the feedback Matthew.  Oddly I had the same feeling when I posted that screenshot...  The text is only there as a place holder at the moment, we are going to have a better UI.  The plan is to make it feel like you're standing over a screen commanding your ship, so there will be some kind of targeting overlay which might help pick out the important stuff.  Otherwise I think we need to tweak relative sizes of things.

 

Thanks again for the reply.

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I managed to find some time this weekend to push out an update.  I updated to the latest phaser version which means you can now use a 360 controller instead of the keyboard...

 

I've also made a big change to the weapon upgrade track, it's more like how we want each of the systems to be, I'll leave it to you to discover the effect each gem has on the projectiles.

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Big update this weekend, try it out

 

Firstly I've added a lot of tutorial type stuff to introduce some of the more complex mechanics.  I've also added a lot more feedback text for damage received and points scored.  The projectiles and units are now larger which makes it easier to see them against the star field.  Less units spawn at the start of the game which hopefully stops it turning into a button mashing fest and puts more emphasis on good piloting skills.  

 

....I've been really working hard to polish the game loop (not the programming one the player one :P ) the next big thing I want to add is leaderboards.  I'm just trying to figure out what API to use.

 

As always I'd love any feedback, we are still very new to this so anything is helpful. 

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I've recently implemented two new features into the game...

 

1) Test Leaderboards - when you die you submit you average score per system you visited.  At the moment I've used a random name generator to attach a name to the score, I'm going to add a user log in but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do that.  At the very least this will give you something to compare your score to.

 

2) Persistent cross universe corpses - Now each time you die the system coordinates and position in that system of your death are uploaded to a server.  Every time any player jumps into a system they download all the locations of player deaths and a wreckage is put into orbit at each position.  Now space is big and wreckages are small, so it's going to be hard to find these... hence I'm eventually going to put some kind of pick up nearby - like fuel or something even rarer like health... for now I think it's an interesting layer of emersion and I'm quite chuffed with the results.

 

Have fun, and as always I'd love any feedback.

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