Thursday, February 10, 2011

Couple of uploads

Work on various things is ongoing. In the meantime here are a couple of downloads:

A version of the Lunar Lander game that uses 16-bit vertex indices instead of 32-bit indices. May be more generally compatible. Also includes a very basic (read: annoying) rocket noise.

RelativeNeighborhood Starmap experiment. Left-click and drag with the mouse to rotate. Press space bar to generate a new map. The A key toggles between distributing stars on the surface of a sphere and in the volume of a cube.

Also, I finally bought Slay, and recommend it highly. It has a free demo of one map.


owen said...

That guiding line on lunar lander is a really nice feature (once I actually got close enough to the ground to figure out what it was doing ). mouse and keyboard controls are not forgiving though.

James McNeill said...

I'd be interested in more specifics about your initial experiences with the mouse and keyboard interface. What did you try, and what happened?

The direction indicator gets too small as the camera zooms out. I've been thinking about having non-zooming HUD elements centered on the rocket to show the desired heading.

I need to rig up play recording so I can captures people's first experiences with the game. I've found that to be helpful on other projects for ensuring that the initial experience works.

owen said...

I think maybe starting the player on the ground close to a target would give them more perspective as to what to do. Because when I started I didn't even read the controls. I just found my self is a big empty space, rotating around and trying to control multiple lines which went some where off screen.

James McNeill said...

Thanks for the info. You're right: the start needs improvement. (Well, the whole thing needs improvement.) I tried it out on my dad last night and got similar results.

I've considered a couple of possible starting levels:

1. Just get in the rocket and launch it clear of the planet. (Some sort of escape scenario.) This would allow you to see the rocket up close at the beginning and get a feel for the control without requiring any precision.

2. Rescue some astronauts that are floating around a spacewreck in zero gravity. Taking gravity out of the picture might also make things a bit easier.

I'll see what I can do...

owen said...

You could have one of those arrow things like they have in crazy taxi, lol, that show you were the next nearest astronauts is located. If anything it would help with the escape scenario. OR you could probably just blow the planet up and kill the player if he/she doesn't take off. that will teach them to not follow the arrow.