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Topics - TheRoboticRobot

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Ask a Question / Trouble with actor physics
« on: June 05, 2011, 09:35:14 pm »
I'm having trouble getting my actors (primarily boxes that are being pushed around) to behave as intended.

My scene gravity is 100 down.
All actors in question can rotate, obey gravity, and weigh less than 1kg.
The only behavior set to the actors in question is the default "always simulate" with continuous collision turned on.


Here you can see a simple little puzzle. The player pushes the long rectangle, then hops aboard as it rolls on the barrels beneath. Eventually the barrels will roll out, the rectangle will tip over and the player will fall off if they are still on board.

When the long rectangle is well-balanced, it rarely shows any problems, but when it gets further into its journey and tips over, it causes multiple problems.

The rectangle will often ignore its collision and spazz-out, sometimes getting caught in the tiles, when it hits an angle of about 40 degrees or more. The faster it rotates, the more likely it is to do this. Sometimes the player will jump or fall onto the rectangular platform and it will jitter in such a way that it drops through its supports or causes the player to pass right through it.

I haven't been messing around with custom behaviors for these actors.

I've been unable to determine whether this is a physics problem, or a collision problem, or both, or neither. I'd appreciate some direction.

Thank you!  :D

Game Ideas / Identifying Good Game Design
« on: June 05, 2011, 08:37:04 pm »
(warning: Language)

This video has been around for a while, but I've used it a few times, and it always spurs some good discussion.

I think it's a good case study of what works and what doesn't in games with simple mechanics like Castlevania. He makes the very good (and often overlooked) point that just because the mechanics are simple does not mean the game itself has to be. The difference between good and bad is the thought you put into your game.

I see this sort of quantity-over-quality mentality a lot, and it's really too bad.

As for the discussion, lets talk about games you've played with exceptionally good -or bad- design, and what exactly made them that way for you. Like any other art form, dissecting the games you love (or hate) can make you better at making a better product yourself.

Game Ideas / Block-pushing puzzle platformer... with a twist! (?)
« on: June 04, 2011, 09:20:26 pm »
I chose this genre mostly because I want something simple to work on, and these kinds of puzzle games are generally fun to me. Here's some cropped and artistically positioned alpha screenshottage:

I'll spare you the details of the story and get right down to the mechanics:

-Your character can run and jump and push certain blocks, or other specific objects (for the sake of organization lets call these objects "physics objects").

-Unlike most other block-pushing puzzle platformers, these physics objects can rotate, gain momentum, bounce and crash into walls and other physics objects. The idea is that, though you should be able to get through all the levels by planning-out your course of actions strategically, sometimes a bit of recklessness can pay off in unforeseen ways. Also, it's fun to watch things crash into each other.  8)

-Physics objects have different weights and properties. There may be blocks that are too heavy to be pushed, exploding blocks, blocks that bounce extra high, etc.

-There are platforms that hold physics objects, but not the player.

-There are platforms that, conversely, hold the player but not physics objects.

-There will be a restart button in case you mess up, which, given how physics objects can be unpredictable at times, it's assumed you will, quite a bit. Levels will be kept fairly small for this reason.

Most of the levels will be "get from point A to point B" type objectives, but it might be fun to throw in additional challenges like "destroy the bridge" or something like that. I haven't decided yet if having enemies in the game would add or detract from the game, but for now, there are none.
Some initial concerns:

-Since the puzzles are more free-form than traditional games of this genre, it'll take a lot of playtesting to make sure that the levels are possible and/or not too easy.

-I am, so far, completely inept at building custom behaviors, and have even been having trouble with some preexisting ones (specifically "one way platform"). I'm hoping that will change...

So. Feedback. Brainstorms. Help. I'll take it all. Thank you.

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