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Games Scraps: Modular Vehicle Combat - Vehicle combat with buildable vehicles

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by Nition, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Christian-Tucker

    Christian-Tucker

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    I almost feel like there was a reference to Robot Arena 2 in your main post when you said "Like wire everything together", It brought back some good memories. I love the idea.
     
  2. Nition

    Nition

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    The builder demo version 0.2.3 is now available.

    Get it here.

    I wasn't going to do an update to the builder demo just yet, but I've fixed some major stuff so it's worth making it live.

    The Mac mouse offset bug should be fixed, where the mouse cursor showed in a different place to where it actually was on first run. Please let me know if it still happens to you.

    The other major thing is that I was flying through the air in my test vehicle and I fired the cannon, and the vehicle didn't rotate. It moved sideways, but didn't rotate like it should have. So I checked the code and found that when firing weapons the equal-and-opposite force from the gun being fired has always been applied to the centre of the vehicle instead of the place where the bullet was actually fired from. Additionally, when projectile weapons hit stuff, they were also applying their hit force to the centre of the object that was hit instead of the point where they hit.

    So now with the fix, vehicles get thrown around a lot more, particularly from the large cannon firing. Especially since I also recently boosted the cannon's power a bit. It's way better now, by which I mean worse, by which I mean way better.

    List of changes in this release:

    2013-09 - 0.2.3
    - Tweaked projectile weapon FX, mostly to make them more visible at a distance too
    - Some minor performance fixes
    - Weapon checks if they can fire now correctly take the barrel width into account
    - Tweaked weapons
    - Improved sound manager
    Bug Fixes:
    - Fixed bug where on first run on some Macs, the cursor would be offset from where the mouse actually was
    - Fixed being able to place a weapon barrel overlapping a Red Zone, but not place a Red Zone overlapping a weapon barrel
    - Fixed cannons that can't fire still being able to rotate on the Y axis (and clip through anything!)
    - Fixed several bugs that made setting key bindings a bit dodgy
    - Fixed equal-and-opposite force when firing weapons always pushing from the center of the vehicle instead of the gun's firing position
    - Fixed projectile hits also adding force to the center of objects instead of where they hit!
     
  3. Ethaninja

    Ethaninja

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    Yeah the problem with the repair pad was (other than the reason you suggested) that the size of it would also have to be pretty big. And having a giant pad in the middle of the ground would just look ugly.

    As for the dropship idea, it sounds great! It could just say, shine a protection beam/repair beam down on the player, with the radius of the beam being however big the vehicle is? The ship itself doesn't have to be that complicated either. If you want I could model one up for you using Blender? Since you have a particular art-style in mind, I wouldn't texture it, but I'll do the mesh and even UV map it if you want?
     
  4. Nition

    Nition

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    Doesn't really matter if a repair pad doesn't fit all the way around a vehicle though. If it's on it can get beamed up anyhow. Thanks for the dropship offer but I'm good for now, I kinda like doing this thing myself.
     
  5. Nition

    Nition

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    I took a bit of a break from the usual things and did a few experiments with deformable terrain over the last day or so. I'm using Unity's built-in terrain solution. I don't think I've mentioned deformable terrain for Scraps before but it's something I've always wanted to do with it; cannons creating craters and so on. I've discovered some pros and cons - unfortunately quite a lot of cons.



    Pros
    - Deformable terrain is good fun, opens up more opportunity for strategy, and even possible terraforming weapons
    - It seems like it should be easy/concise enough to send terrain deformation commands through the network
    - It's easy to modify the height of the terrain

    Cons
    - Terrain is still a heightmap, so you're always lowering from the top instead of digging a tunnel. Tunneling ability would require changing the whole terrain system
    - The terrain currently has a static lightmap: Since it doesn't ever change, all the lighting can be pre-calculated. Deformable terrain means lots more draw calls and other stuff since it'd all have to be done dynamically. I've also noticed that distant shadows sometimes look a bit crazy when not lightmapped, maybe like they're z-fighting or something
    - Unity's command to modify terrain vertices is horribly slow, and whether you update a big or small part of the terrain doesn't seem to make much difference. Some say this is because it updates the collider for the whole terrain. Adding a small crater from a gunshot is taking several ms on my fairly high-end machine. Even if I pooled all terrain changes and only called SetHeights once per frame or less, that's still a big hit at some point. At 60FPS there's only have 16.7ms to work with per frame.

    So for good terrain deformation, I'd probably need a whole new terrain system. I can convert the existing terrain to a mesh but then I miss out on dynamic LOD adjustments and some other nice stuff. Maybe one day when I've got more time.
     
  6. Nition

    Nition

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    Took the game to Digital Nationz over the weekend, which is like a tiny NZ version of PAX or whatever. A bit disorganised with this being the first year of the event but heaps of people coming through. Apparently about 7000 over the two days which is quite a lot for us.

    They put us locals right by the entrance which was nice, and I had a pretty much constant stream of people coming to play. I haven't seen an actual difference in website hits etc but had a lot of good feedback, not to mention mass free playtesting. Discovered a couple of minor bugs and a couple of things that need to change with the interface. For instance a lot of people click and hold to drag a part rather than just clicking to pick it up, so that really needs to work.

    Also had Kim Dotcom of all people playing 100 1v1 matches in Modern Warfare 3 right behind us which was good times. He was top in the world for three months apparently. First 99 games were 98 wins and one draw. For the very last game he had a rematch with a guy that impressed him earlier and was finally beaten.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  7. Nition

    Nition

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  8. xKroniK13x

    xKroniK13x

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    Downloaded and played the editor... it's awesome! Can't wait to get some real gameplay, I can see myself playing it a ton!
     
  9. Nition

    Nition

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    Thanks! Workin' on it.
     
  10. judah4

    judah4

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    This is cool. First I made a tank and then I made a light vehicle and zipped around everywhere
     
  11. Nition

    Nition

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    Playing with bullet casings. Have had them in for a while, but can never get them looking good and have good performance, which is why they're disabled.



    Unity's recently-added ability to do efficient collisions in the particle system may be the eventual saviour here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  12. LightSource

    LightSource

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    That. Looks. Awesome.

    Are they particles? Why would they have such an impact then, there doesn't seem to be too many of them.
     
  13. Nition

    Nition

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    Nah but what I meant was, that might be the solution.

    Ages ago I assumed real rigidbody-based bullet casings would be too bad for performance, so I wrote some code that faked the physics (gravity etc) without actual collisions, and despawned them when they fell down low enough. They also get reused in a pool. That worked fine but looked pretty bad with them just falling through everything.

    So I just did a test where I made them all real rigidbodies with capsule colliders. With lots of guns firing it totally kills performance (as expected), but it's super cool when e.g. casings build up in the gaps in your vehicle and all slide off when you round a corner. I can reduce their lifetime for better performance (in my test they got 4 seconds) butt you'd miss out on cool stuff like that.

    I'm thinking a possible solution might be to make a particle system for casing type and create them through there instead of as normal objects, and use the particle system's more efficient collisions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  14. AustinK

    AustinK

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    I'm not familiar with the particle system all that much, but can you test for particle collisions with certain objects, so if they land on the car you can protect those specific particles? Then they wont be destroyed until they've landed on the ground?
     
  15. Nition

    Nition

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    Yep certainly possible. I'm a bit wary of special cases like that though - they often seem to end up breaking things somehow. In this case probably when someone creates a vehicle where the casings always get stuck.

    Of course you could then work around that: Have a max lifetime as well as the ground check.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  16. Nition

    Nition

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    DarkKenji on the official Scraps forum just posted this:
     
  17. Nition

    Nition

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    I'm super impressed with this guy's rolling sphere design:

     
  18. Nition

    Nition

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    So this game is taking forever to develop, I was really hoping to have something released as an alpha-purchasable thing by now but it's still a few months away realistically. Multiplayer is moving forward - I've got connecting to servers and the connection/lobby screens mostly done - but I've still got to port the actual vehicle combat component over from my test app and into the main game.

    Then there's a whole bunch of other stuff to do. Making at least a couple of maps to play on. Putting in the system where to can actually scavenge scrap from people to upgrade your own vehicle. Lots of cleanup and bug fixes. Plus an account system for everyone to use.

    I have a kind of personal agreement that if the game isn't near alpha release by the end of January, I'll have a look for some part-time work, and at this point I don't think it's going to be ready. Of course having a part-time job will make things take even longer! I'm now wondering whether it'd actually be a good idea to run a Kickstarter to potentially raise some funds before the alpha release. Kickstarter is just about to allow projects from this country on November 13.

    I'm still excited about making this and definitely going to keep working on it as much as I can either way. If a Kickstarter fails it'll just be a few days of wasted effort getting everything ready for it, although I'm loath to spend time doing anything not-making-the-game at the moment. I'm interested in what you guys think, because I'm not sure if I should try it or not. At least with a year(!) of full-time work already in the game, I'd have a decent amount to show and a decent guarantee that I'm not just an ideas guy.
     
  19. Nition

    Nition

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    I've put up a small update to the builder demo mostly to make things look a little bit better. Download here as usual.

    Some people on the forum also asked for a longer straight and maybe a ramp. There was no good reason not to do this so a long straight and sweet ramp are now also included in the test map.



    One day, the whole test map needs an overhaul to not just be a random jumble of hills, but it’s functional enough for now.

    Changelog!

    2013-11 – 0.2.6
    - Texture improvement on terrain
    - Changed graphics to a more cel-shaded style
    - Added skid smoke and dirt particle effects
    - End caps for edge walls
    - Revamped main menu (still very basic)
    - Added a long straight to the test map
    - Added a sweet ramp
    - Wheel grip now changes based on terrain
    Bug Fixes:
    - Fixed engine sounds starting briefly at high RPM instead of idle
    - Some screen res stuff
     
  20. GeneBox

    GeneBox

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    Great stuff, I will definitely be getting a copy once it's out.
     
  21. Nition

    Nition

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    The all-important Cowcatcher Update.

    0.2.7
    - Downgraded Unity version back from 4.3 to 4.2. 4.3 seems to have some performance issues
    - Added cowcatcher
    - Added auto-snap to sides for cowcatcher and small machine gun
    Bug Fixes:
    - Fixed a bug in the screen res code – 800×600 should be the minimum resolution, not 1024×768
    - Fixed an invisible bug in the build system
    - Fixed a couple of weapon models having the wrong pivot point

    I feel like the updates have been pretty boring for a while since I’m always working on either invisible things you can’t see, or multiplayer stuff that you won’t see until it’s all finished. I don’t have time to add something really awesome but, added cowcatcher.



    I can't show you any cool multiplayer stuff as the actual vehicle combat isn't done, but just to prove that something is being done in the background:


    Dedicated server running with GUI (usually it'd be run in the background)


    Work-in-progress join game screen.


    Work-in-progress lobby screen (host's view).

    I'm also working very hard on getting a Kickstarter set up. I don't want it to end right on Christmas or no-one's going to be backing, and after Christmas would be even worse.
     
  22. Nition

    Nition

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    Oops, pretend the last two images are around the other way. For some reason I can't edit that post, it's just showing blank if I do.
     
  23. virror

    virror

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    Nice! We all know your hard at work even though you dont have a lot of new stuff to show, thats the way it is sometimes : )
     
  24. Nition

    Nition

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    Thanks. Your game concept looks interesting as well.
     
  25. Nition

    Nition

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    Hey look, it's the



    To repeat what I said on the main site:

    Right, it’s time to get this ball (car?) rolling.

    I’m now looking for a bit of help to support Scraps’ development and if you’d like to pledge $20NZD (only $16USD) or more, you can also get secure yourself a copy of the alpha release (and the final when it’s done) in advance.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nition/scraps-customisable-vehicle-combat-for-windows-mac

    I’ve been working on Scraps full-time for over a year now. The basic building mechanics are all done and a multiplayer prototype is working, but it’s still months away from a solid alpha release where you can start playing proper multiplayer deathmatch games and I can start getting a few dollars coming in.

    Originally when I started I’d hoped to have an Alpha release out by now, but once the project got going it became apparent that this was a bigger job (doesn’t that always happen?). I now have a much better idea of how long the game is going to take, but it’s a while, so I’m getting near the point where I’m thinking about getting some extra part-time work. Of course that’d slow down development even more.

    However, Kickstarter has just become available in this country and it’s a good time to go for it. I’m looking for a bit of funding now, not to cover the whole of development, but to give me free reign to keep working on it full-time until it’s really ready to go.

    Thanks to everyone who’s made a cool vehicle, reported a bug, or just been a fan on the journey so far. There’s more to come.

    P.S. TIGSource was the first place I posted about the game at all, before it even had a website or anything. Look at those blocky first screenshots. Thanks people.
     
  26. Nition

    Nition

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    In the latest screenshots and stuff, I have a subtle outline effect that I think makes everything look a little bit better.

    e.g.
    http://i.imgur.com/1x7LYpz.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/snmmjqe.jpg

    Unfortunately it looks horrific, especially on the terrain, on anything but 4x or 8x MSAA. Even fancy tricks like FXAA look horrible. So I wanted to make Unity auto-switch shaders depending on the user's selected AA settings. Unity laughed at this idea.

    Option 1: Change a shader property
    I can easily change the outline width to zero or use a flag to disable them via a shader property. Unfortunately shader properties are only set via Materials, and can't be tweaked directly.

    So change it through the materials then
    There's no way (that I know of) to get a list of all materials so I can find the ones using the appropriate shader and change the property, unless they're in the Resources folder. I assume this is because Unity actually avoids loading them at all unless they're used. You can only get materials currently in a scene, but new materials can come into being in a scene at any time. I'd have to be constantly checking.

    Have the shader read Unity's AA setting?
    The shader pipeline is totally separate from the main app stuff. Also not possible.

    In the end I compromised. I prepared two separate shader sets, one with outline and one without. Then I moved all the materials that use those shaders to the Resources folder, so I can Load() them all. A bit clumsy because I have to remember to always put materials that use outlines into Resources instead of the main shader folder, instead of everything being automatic. I then assign the correct shader to each of the materials on startup or any time AA settings are changed enough to mean outlines should be turned on or off.

    Unfortunately the outlines still aren't in the current builder release because when I change the shaders in Linux, they break and everything using them goes to the your-shader-is-broken pink. Do I get any error messages in the logs? Of course not. UNITYYYYYYY

    In other news, I now have one of those things where you can start kicking me or whatever:
     
  27. gtzpower

    gtzpower

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    I just played the builder demo, this is pretty cool! I like how you have to manage resources (power) for your weapons, and how the weapons firing will recoil with force applied to the vehicle. Good stuff :)
     
  28. Nition

    Nition

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    On Kotaku and the Kickstarter Staff Picks today at the same time. The official site is getting hammered - I just moved the downloads to Amazon S3 and I'm caching everything I can. It's a good problem to have.
     
  29. gtzpower

    gtzpower

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    Congrats! I wish I had that problem :)
     
  30. virror

    virror

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    Looking great, i hope your campaign is a great success! : )
     
  31. Zeblote

    Zeblote

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    How will multiplayer work? Everyone's free to host servers and others join it? One large dedicated master server that everyone connects to?
     
  32. Nition

    Nition

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    LAN: Someone runs a server and everyone joins. They can run a dedicated server or play on the same machine.

    Internet: Anyone can start a server and register it with the master server. When you look for games, your game checks the master server for available games so you can find people's stuff and join it.

    And to be clear, a "game" is a match with e.g. 16v16 (not sure of the max player support yet), rather than like a big MMO style thing.
     
  33. Nition

    Nition

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  34. Nition

    Nition

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  35. ForgottenCheese

    ForgottenCheese

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    Good look with your kickstarter man, the game is looking awesome so far and the creativity people have already shown is amazing. Hope you make it.
     
  36. Nition

    Nition

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    Pledges have really dropped off since the initial news posts, and I'm getting a whole lot of silence from the remaining news sites. Getting a bit worrying. I'm still putting a lot of work into contacting people and promoting, but if you want to help this game get made, now is the time.

    Some people recommend just basically constantly spamming on Twitter, on forums etc, but I'm not going to subject people to that stuff because I hate it when people do that myself. My spamming is very moderate.

    But if anyone wants to help by posting on forums they frequent, on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, whatever, that can help as much as actually pledging real cash. It's nice when it's not the guy making the game who's posting all the time.

    Short link: http://kck.st/1bdXwV1
     
  37. Nition

    Nition

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  38. Nition

    Nition

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  39. virror

    virror

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    Congratulations! : D
     
  40. Nition

    Nition

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  41. OrbitusII

    OrbitusII

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    Just downloaded the demo and I'm loving it! Can't wait to see some more content!
     
  42. Nition

    Nition

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    So yeah, Scraps got accepted onto Steam yesterday after being on Steam Greenlight for a whole week and a half, which means that everyone who's backed the Kickstarter for $20 or more will be able to get a Steam key for the game.

    Now I just have to actually finish it. Luckily today, for the first time since this Kickstarter started, it looks like I might actually have some time to work on the game instead of doing Kickstartery things all day.

    I did get that outline thing to work. I think the outline makes things look slightly better, but it can look terrible if you don't have decent anti-aliasing turned on. So I set it to automatically come on if you have decent AA, and otherwise be off.

    The reason it's not in the builder demo yet is that there seems to be a shader bug in Linux, which I need to look at before I put that update out. If I switch shaders while the game is running (so, if your change your AA settings in the options), the shaders seem to just stop working and everything is a delightful pink.

    Comparison of the no-outline vs. outline look (click for big to see better):


    This might have something to do with being Greenlit:
     

    Attached Files:

  43. Nition

    Nition

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    Nine days remaining.

    I haven't had a lot of time to work on the game itself (and won't until this Kickstarter is over. Where's the marketing department?), but I've been fixing a few bugs internally. The icon corruption on Mac is fixed (if it looks a bit crazy, it's probably not meant to). Fixed a couple of weapon rotation range calculation issues. Fixed parts staying highlighted when going from the build screen to in-game.

    Once a couple of other things are fixed - mainly the Linux shader issue I mentioned in the previous update - I'll release an update to the builder demo.
     
  44. NomadKing

    NomadKing

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    Looks like a really fun concept, loved messing about in the demo too :)

    Congrats on the KS and Steam success so far
     
  45. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden

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    Hey this thing is fun!

    I was building a broadside type of car, but it would waste a lot of energy with both sides firing when I'm only aiming at something on one side. SO I thought it might be useful to have a toggle key where guns can only fire if they can reach near your crosshair.

    Though this was before I read about the control group system, but I still think it might be a good idea for even more complex cars. Unless you think it might make things too "automated"
     
  46. Nition

    Nition

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    That is actually a brilliant idea. I'm ashamed that I didn't think of that myself. Will definitely consider it as an option. The only thing I'm concerned about is that there could end up being too many options for how your guns fire, and all the groups and things might get confusing.
     
  47. prophet

    prophet

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    Great concept!!! I will have to look for this on Steam when I get home.
     
  48. Zeblote

    Zeblote

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    Then you'll have problems implementing those backer-only things like the gold effect and the specially designed items. I bet there will be multiple "free gold fancy backer weapon cheat" servers on the first day already.
     
  49. Nition

    Nition

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    I'll do my best. Can you create a Minecraft server that gives everyone a cape? People will probably be able to hack their client so that they can choose special effects, but on an unmodded server it'll be only them that sees the effects, which dampens value a lot. As for servers that give everyone access to all the effects, I'm not sure. At least you'd have to be on an effect cheat server for it to work. I'll prevent cheats and hacks as much as I can without making legitimate customers jump through hoops, but no-one can promise it won't happen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  50. Nition

    Nition

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