Thursday, October 4, 2012

Playable Tutorial #1

Playable can be a misleading term; however, I have completed the general structure of the first tutorial.  It is in a generally playable form.  This first mission is the first basic flight tutorial for the game.  It is designed as a part of a series of basic flight tutorials.  This first tutorial explains some basic flight controls like turning with the mouse, applying thrust through the keyboard and mouse scroll button, stopping the ship, cutting thrust while maintain speed and "gliding".  Gliding is when a fighter has cut thrust but is still moving along its last trajectory.  While it is still in motion, the pilot can turn around while still traveling along that last trajectory. 

While the tutorial is playable, it is not complete.  The waypoints are not well placed at this point.  Some are too far apart; while, others are too close together.  In addition, more objects are needed in the tutorial to give the player a sense of movement.  I'll have to fix the waypoint distances before tackling adding more objects.  The addition of objects should not present an obstacle to the player; I need a finalized series of waypoints to ensure that the player's experience is not negative. 

I hope some of test the new prototype and provide feedback on the controls.  If you played any of my previous prototypes, the fighter in this prototype has a significantly worse turn radius and is generally less responsive.  The starter fighter, represented in the tutorial, is designed to be more "controllable".  I am especially interested on how this fighter feels to the player. 

Here's the link the builds file that contains the latest prototype:

and the installation guide for the prototype:

As I noted above, the game needs the database files loaded before the gameplay prototype will run properly.  The instructions will detail how to accomplish loading the database. 

Please use the comment section to leave any feedback.


  1. Could the installation guide just be another blog post rather than a word doc ...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Battlestar Prototype:

    I’ll attempt to keep this document updated with the latest instruction for the installation and execution for the latest prototype of the game. The current prototype is prototype version 2 series b56. Due to development constraints, it is divided into two different files. The first file, prototypev2b65DatabaseLoad.exe, loads the required databases onto disk. These databases will be located in the game file under a “Databases” folder. When you run this program, it should go to a blue screen and return to Windows (or other operating system). It should be a relatively quick process. The second program, prototypev2b56Gameplay.exe, is the actual game. Currently, it consists of a single tutorial mission. The mission is the first basic flight tutorial for the game. It is still incomplete; however, it contains the major command elements for the actual game.

    There is an issue with the Application.Quit() routine that ends the program. If it hangs, it might be necessary to kill the process manually using the task manager. It is not an ideal solution; however, it’s the best one I have at this point.

  4. I just played - made a video - posting to youtube now

    annoyingly the game audio isn't picked up in the recording - or at least it's extremely faint - that's a pain - it sounded fine when I played, but that's going to make comprehending my feedback video difficult to understand

    I think that may be an inherent problem on windows that you can only record on mic or computer audio - hmm, perhaps I can try again without headphones ...

    ah, but I don't have speakers for my PC ... hmmm ... you can just about hear the tutorial audio leaking from my headphones - might be a good idea to have closed captions - scroll text of what is being said up the top part of the screen - that would have helped me with my short term memory and working out the second way point
    here's the youtube video of me playing:

  5. Yes. A "chat" bar is being planned. I haven't gotten to it yet; however, it should help those of us (myself included at times) with short term memory.

    Adding additional objects into the game should help with the confusion of the waypoint not growing in size. The current waypoint is actually a target recticle.

    I can tweak the turn radius of the fighter if it feels too fast. However, part of the fun of the game is putting ordance on target. The quicker turn radius makes it easier to that while presenting a challenge. The current setting is set at one (which I know is number that doesn't make sense without proper context). In previous prototypes, it was set at three. Maybe a .75 would be better?

  6. I don't know that I have any way to assess - perhaps give me control of the turn radius through some other control so I can try different alternatives?

    I think the challenge is that it's really difficult to bring the mouse cursor back to dead center to stop turning, one often ends up overshooting in the other direction - but perhaps honing that skill is going to be fun?

  7. I did find a logic error from your gameplay video. The waypoints weren't updating properly. Basically, you could reenter an inactive waypoint, and it would increment the next waypoint.

    I fixed that issue; it really wasn't that hard. I haven't uploaded the fix yet. I do plan on doing it soon though.