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Windward, a game inspired by Sid Meier's Pirates

Discussion in 'Works In Progress - Archive' started by ArenMook, May 16, 2012.

  1. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    This year's GDC I walked right up to Sid Meier and asked him (half in jest) if he minds if I create a game heavily inspired by his Pirates game. He said "that's totally cool". True story!

    And so I'd really like some feedback on the game I'm working on -- Windward. It starts with the ship combat in the style of Sid Meier's Pirates (minus the zooming in), but focuses more on using skills and maneuvering rather than just hitting the "fire" button.

    What the is in the game right now:
    • Variety of skirmish maps with different objectives
    • Different ships to choose from
    • Experience from combat results in levels
    • Random items drop in combat
    • Full multiplayer support
    • As a fun side-feature, your ship will appear in other player's games (even single-player), so they will either praise you or curse your very name, depending on which side your ship ends up on and how uber you've made it
    • It looks like this:



    Where the game is headed:
    - Large procedural worlds that you can explore, build your empire one town at a time, and play with or against your friends who are doing the same.
    - More different ships, each with their own advantages / disadvantages.

    The game is currently in a playable and polished Beta stage.

    http://www.tasharen.com/windward/

     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  2. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    lookin nice.

    Cant play it as im at work. Curious if theres a wind element involved? That would make it interesting... even if its just to give/remove speed boosts
     
  3. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Wind currently affects the smoke and clouds, but it does not affect ship movement (but only because I haven't gotten around to making it do so). It will in the coming weeks.
     
  4. judah4

    judah4

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    Can I say I like? :) I find it fun to play.
     
  5. LeakySink

    LeakySink

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    Excellent game. What system did you use for the UI?
     
  6. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    @judah4 and @LeakySink: Thanks! I used NGUI, of course. What else? :)
     
  7. _Petroz

    _Petroz

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    Awesome game. I really loved pirates and this game looks like it does it justice!

    Feedback:

    UI
    It seemed a little too 'bouncy' for my taste. Almost like a UI demo ;), something a little more subtle might improve it.

    Controls
    The auto-fire was great, I didn't have to worry about positioning and shooting. The look and feel of the ship movement was really good and true to the original.

    Having 'M' and 'K' for short cut keys is too far to stretch. That is such a reach that by the time I pressed it I was struggling to line up the shot within the 1.5 seconds. Something closer to the WASD side of the key board would be better.

    Gameplay
    I also didn't notice any audio or visual cues when these special modes were active. It think it would be great to make these modes more obvious. Perhaps sparkly trails for the cannon balls with a louder sound or something to that effect.

    Audio
    The ambient sounds were good. Nothing bad to say about that.

    Music
    Overall it was groovy beat that sounded good, but I don't think it really fit the game. Perhaps some woodwind would make it sound more like a sea shanty.

    Something like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82KF4DBC8P4

    Interactive music was great, it was quite subtle which is what you want. I only realized it was there at all when i ducked in and out of combat quickly and it cross faded back to the peaceful track very quickly. Might be better to make the transition out less abrupt.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  8. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Ooh feedback... Thanks!

    Music is just placeholder. I added it to test the system :) It doesn't fit, and will be changed.

    M and K being far away is intentional (use the right hand instead of the left). Alternatively, if you use the mouse to control the ship, the keys will be 1, 2, and 4 (right hand mouse, left hand actions). I tried WASD with Q, E and R for actions and it felt a little clustered. You can also use the 360 controller, and the tooltips will switch accordingly. In the end though, I'll just let you remap them to whatever you like.

    Visual cues about special modes... good suggestion. I'll add something, thanks!
     
  9. _Petroz

    _Petroz

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    Ah, that makes sense. I'm used to playing SC2 where the right hand is on the mouse.
     
  10. RobinS

    RobinS

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    The best game i've played on the unity boards, well done! :)
     
  11. ALTUVE3D

    ALTUVE3D

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    Wtf is wrong with EL DIABLO!! lol dude this guy got stuck at my respawn.. Owned my whole team!!!

    Great game man, super fun, and super easy to play.
     
  12. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    El Diablo is a prick. :) He's level 20, and is only interested in destroying everything. He's the element of chaos in an otherwise predictable match. :)
     
  13. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    hahah fun game.
    Hey! Cant ppl read?! Id logged in as "Dnt Shoot ME"... meh I wonder why it didnt work lol
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  14. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    I have not-viewable-in-game leaderboards as well, and currently the ship called "flor del mar" is on top. Whoever you are, you're quite persistent. :) If you were registered, you'd be like level 5 by now.
     
  15. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    I should also mention that I am quite floored by the amount of time some people are putting into the game already, with only a single level available. I guess I should add more, huh?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  16. DaneC020

    DaneC020

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    Interface
    I thought the UI was well done and I didn't mind the "bouncy" feeling, but I think it could use more of a ship or navel theme. Even a slight font change would probably do it, something maybe etched into the wood or some quill pin like lettering. (I do like the highlighted text, I would keep that though for important key facts)

    Controls
    I think the ships move really well and I like the controls. I almost like the old arrows you had before, the slight shadow works too but is a little harder to see. There are upsides and down sides to both. The bright arrows you had before made it really easy to know you were steering in the right direction allowing you to keep your focus elsewhere, but blocked some of the nice water effect. The shadow arrow allows you to see the water but it isn't as easy to notice with a quick glance, making it a little more difficult to see which direction I am heading.

    Gameplay
    I only played for a few minutes but during that time I was able to destroy a few ships and capture some towers. I couldn't find out if any specials were actually implemented so I basically just cruised around letting my ship do the work for me until I died.

    After playing awhile I felt frustrated because I thought my ship was "chopping" or "lagging" but it turned out I had little holes in my sails. I don't know if this is easy to notice if you aren't aware because I didn't notice it at first.

    I think it would be nice if the first time my sails got damaged, a notification message would pop up. It could also explain repairing in there since I couldn't get it to work by docking :D. That way a user who is completely new to the game doesn't get frustrated with his slow/jerky movements and from that point on will keep an eye on his sails for damage.

    Graphics
    I think you got a nice art style going and the game definitely looks professional. Can't wait to see the progress made on this one.

    Good luck,
    -Dane
     
  17. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    There are abilities on your bottom bar that you should use. Hover over them with the mouse to find out what they do. The combat isn't just about auto-attacking anymore. :)

    As you gain experience and levels, you unlock points to spend in the talent tree, making your skills more powerful or unlocking new ones.

    Repairing the sails can be done anywhere, just use the hammer button on the bottom bar once you are out of combat. All of this is covered in the tutorial, but going forward I'll get rid of the tutorial, replacing it with contextual help popups instead, seeing as people often skip the tutorial altogether.
     
  18. DaneC020

    DaneC020

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    Hmm. I am on my phone right now but I will check again later tonight but I didnt have a skill bar. I read about the skills in the tutorial but I had no points to pump into anything. If I log in again and don't see an aaction bar, I'll do a screen grab incase it is a bug..

    I hope I didn't miss something that obvious, I went through all your tutorials and figured the skills just weren't in yet. :)

    -Dane
     
  19. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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  20. DaneC020

    DaneC020

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    Interesting, I just checked out the screen shot and I definitely didn't have that bar on my screen. It is most likely a resolution or browser issue. I just checked on my laptop and I got the bar, I am going to go to the desktop (which I was on earlier) and check it out. (In the end it may be that I was just blind :D)

    Checking now...

    *EDIT*
    Well just chalk this one up to me being blind. The web player was being slightly cut off by my task bar and the buttons were hiding underneath it. I could have sworn I looked but maybe I was tired :(. Sorry for posting retarded feedback. :D



    -Dane
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  21. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    No worries. You can hit F5 to go full screen.
     
  22. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Adding a procedurally placed tree system improved the look a fair bit more. Now I just need to make it batch...

     
  23. TBYG

    TBYG

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    Very fun game! I imagine this doing really well once it is completed. I absolutely love the GUI elements. Everything is VERY aesthetically pleasing. Good work!
     
  24. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Thanks, Ruin!

    I've just added a couple of new features, and one of them is the ability to save your ships on the server (for those who created an account). Since ships get saved server-side, they will now be used in other people's games as well. This means that if someone creates a ship called "Iownyou" and gets him to level 5, other people will see "Iownyou", a level 5 ship sailing around in their own games -- complete with whatever skills the original player chose.

    I'm sure the naming will be abused in short order, but... meh! :)
     
  25. DaneC020

    DaneC020

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    Lol, that is awesome that you can have other players ships in your games. I really enjoy the quality of art work and polish on the game play side. Everything felt very solid and was quite fun, once I went fullscreen and seen those buttons. *smacks head*

    As for abusing names, I think you have the right idea. Who cares lol, maybe make a generic profanity filter option that filters the common used words, but I wouldnt get overly concerned.

    Keep up the awesome work, I think it will be a nice fun game when completed.
    -Dane
     
  26. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Thanks! :)
     
  27. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    I've added a new map for your enjoyment.

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  28. _Petroz

    _Petroz

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    You need a link in your signature, I had to go back to page one to try the new map :p

    Edit: Feedback

    I think you've tweaked the difficulty since the first release, the enemies seem more difficult than before. I unloaded 4 volleys straight into a pirate and he killed me with one and a half. The guard towers seem harder too. I found it less enjoyable this time dying more frequently I guess you're still balancing the difficulty.

    I like the health bars for the sails, it makes it a lot easier to work out whats going on. Now that I know why the 'repair' doesn't actually heal my main health. I only just realized that I can heal the main health at the docks.

    The new level was pretty cool. It felt a little restrictive though, I couldn't really maneuver how I wanted.

    I'm not sure what the point of the light houses is, but I was thinking it would be cool to have fog of war, then they could be really valuable. Like the Xel'naga towers in SC2, if you've played that.

    I'm not sure if it is currently multilayer but if it is it would be great to know who are the humans and who are the AI. If it isn't it would be great to try it out multiplayer because the AI are pretty stupid. The don't really stick together, they just shoot at anything that moves and sometimes agro on a tower while another ship (me) is just laying into them with volleys of cannon balls.

    Still very much enjoying this game, it's very satisfying to see it advancing so quickly. Keep up the great work. :D
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  29. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    The lighthouses make nearby units show up on the minimap, letting you see enemies from afar.

    The second level has a higher difficulty, and is meant as a challenge for those who level up. It's in response to some people spending hours in the game (I think the record is currently over 5 hours in one sitting, craziness).

    There is no multiplayer yet. The ships are real people's ships though -- if you see "Aren Mook", that's actually my saved game ship (which is currently level 14). Everyone's saved ships show up in other people's games, complete with all the talents they chose to make it more interesting. :)
     
  30. _Petroz

    _Petroz

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    Yeah I saw your ship and even took it down once. Keep an eye out for Poop Feast :)
     
  31. virror

    virror

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    Wow, great game!
    Feels polished already : )
    Preordered of course, cant wait for multiplayer!
     
  32. cassel

    cassel

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    Hi all,

    New arrival from Rockpapershotgun. Logged in with a free account (username cassel), got to level 5 with the good ship Remorah, then decided to buy the alpha. The registration email tells me my account has been upgraded, but the game is saying that the Remorah is on a free account and my progress won't be saved if I log out.

    Will my XP be saved, or is it lost?

    Thanks,

    cassel
     
  33. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    You will need to relog in order for your access level to be updated. Are you trying to keep your current ship?
     
  34. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    I have an easy way of keeping your ship here since it's saved on the server-side. Start a new match, join it with your ship, then close Windward and let me know. I'll copy your ship from the "recent" list to your save file.
     
  35. cassel

    cassel

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    wow, quick response!

    Yeah, I'm trying to keep the Remorah. I just did as you suggested.

    Thanks much.
     
  36. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Ok, log back in, your ship should be there.
     
  37. blackbird

    blackbird

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    wow looks amazing love to see the final result
     
  38. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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  39. cassel

    cassel

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    Hooray! Thanks again.
     
  40. Seven

    Seven

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    Just spent about half an hour playing against who i though were real players based on the names.

    AI is quite intuitive I guess, there was even a point that i thought 3 of us were sailing in convoy for most of a round haha.





    p.s el diablo is impossible lol!
     
  41. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    The ships are often real player's ships. The game chooses player-created ships over AI ships whenever possible, if there are enough recently played ships within your level range. That said, the ships are indeed AI-controlled. Sometimes the AI is pretty smart, and even gets a grudge, rushing you with abandon. Sometimes it's rather dumb and runs away from you when you need help.

    El Diablo ain't so bad! Try a sloop, it's better against ships. :)
     
  42. save

    save

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    Impressive, work well done!
     
  43. Seven

    Seven

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    Spotted a glitch whilst buggering around there, my entire team got wiped, so rather than end the game it swapped me to the other team and I lost all my xp :(
     
  44. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Fixing it right now. :)
     
  45. brilliantgames

    brilliantgames

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    Looking really great. The water shader looks amazing. Thats not the regular Unity water is it? If not did you make this shader? Or buy it?
     
  46. stringsuntied

    stringsuntied

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    Good stuff! I love the pirate theme. I admittedly skipped the tutorial and was still able to enjoy the game and do well in the process, even if I did get blasted a few times in the process :)

    The music, as I believe you said, sounds like a placeholder. I use luckylionstudios.com for music for my stuff, but I haven't checked to see if they have anything pirate worthy. I'd recommend something a little more adventurous, though. Actually the song Muriene would work well but the beat might be a little much, but the guy who runs the site would remove it for you if you ask: http://luckylionstudios.com/royalty...c-library/#ecwid:mode=product&product=6220175

    Overall I really like the look (really like the water as well) and feel of the game, and I'm going to be following your progress!
     
  47. keithsoulasa

    keithsoulasa

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    I like it- its hard, but you have a hit on your hands if you can port it to IPad and Android tablets, don't see this being fun on anything smaller then a 7" screen , but hey you can still publish to Kindle Fire !
     
  48. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    Somehow I missed your comment. o_O

    It's custom-made water. I put up a video about why I made it a while back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfbehv1WEb0&lc=pUC4chMQ3UnL7zI6txW0Vi-2nskM-6-FKkdxyO8SpR4

    The game has been updated recently to add new maps and fully-featured multiplayer. :)
     
  49. hellraizerhhh

    hellraizerhhh

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    Your water is PHENOMENAL. Should sell that water package, would definitely sell like hotcakes
     
  50. ArenMook

    ArenMook

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    It will be available as a package sometime this summer. :)
     
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