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[APP] Geo Wars - A location based game for the HD2

OP ei05035

3rd June 2010, 05:53 PM   |  #1  
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[PORTED TO 3D]

Major tasks done:
3D view, world, perspective
3D primitives
Textures
Lighting
Materials
accelerometer mapped to camera

Major tasks to be done:

- Ray tracing (for picking)
- BoundingBox collision
- Rework game logic (pratically done, just need to add Z axis to the game logic)
- Include soldiers
- Include boats
- Improve performance
- Enhance graphics.
- Use compass to rotate the camera/player's position



Hi

I'm a master degree student, whose final project is to develop a location based mobile game prototype. Although the development is nearly complete, there is some tweaking and adjustments still to be done. As such, and being a member of this community for some time now, I thought i should not only seek your help, but also share this creation of mine. I will describe what it is, how does it work, what bugs does it have (still some unfortunatly) and finally, what i need from you guys.


Description


The game is basically a Tower Wars kind of game. You are a general who was given the task to hold you sector from the invading enemy forces until backup arrives. You're only hope is the experimental technology the government gave you that allows you to instantly deploy machine guns and artillery nests, completly unmaned and automatic. Although these do cost a lot of money, so you have to prove your worth by holding your position and defeating enemy forces.


Game Mechanics

The battlefield is your very own map (yes, from google maps static api xD). Enemies will come from sea air and land, but all of them with some restrictions to their movement, firepower, range, etc. For an instance, while an airplane may move around firing at anything from anywhere, a soldier or a tank must move around the streets, attempting to close in on their target. Boats will only appear if there is water on the map (kinda makes sense). Each enemy unit will try to prioritize its targets, and they have somewhat different AIs. For an instance, a Tank will keep attacking towers while moving in closer to the player's position. Once he gets there it will start blasting the player away. A soldier, however, will always try to attack towers first and only after there are no towers left will he attack the player.

The player can do some actions as well. He earns money for each second he remains alive, for each money filled bag he gets (by moving over them), and for each unit destroyed (each unit provides different bonus money). With this money he can build towers which will do their best to fend of the enemy forces. Each tower works differently, and has different projectily speeds, fire rates, life, costs, damage per hit and projectile type (for an instance, the rocket tower fires homming missiles that never miss its target, unless something gets in the way) The player can (and should also) move around the map (by walking), attempting to draw enemies (such as tanks) into sittuations where those units might get caught in cross fire (be aware that friendly fire works both ways).

So, the player can build towers by clicking on those lettered buttons (each creates a different tower, who'd have guessed?) and by clicking again on an clear area (this area must not have roads or any type of game units in it).

Oh, and in "Settings" you can select the quick game's difficulty, and if you want weather or not to influence the game. Clear weather provides bonus speed and range for all units and projectiles, while rainny or cloudy weather provide penalties to the same.

Know Issues

Since this IS a WIP, there are some (if not ALOT) of issues, them being:

Common issues:

- Weather takes a long time to load, up to a minute (the weather webservice isn't the most accurate or fast around i guess). ALL LOCATION, MAP, AND WEATHER DATA ARE DOWNLOADED IN THE MAIN MENU. YOU CANNOT START THE GAME WHILE THIS DATA HASN'T BEEN DOWNLOADED YET. Just press "Quick Game" from time to time. The button will only work when this data is ready.

- You cannot restart a game. Actually, you have to quit the application (and sometimes even reset your device) in order to start a new "Quick Game".

- Load Game is working, but not for you guys yet. The idea behind of it is to play the game in locations where you physically cant. Basically you'd have to register an account in a site i've created for this purpose (the site was a requirement for this thesis), create the game's there, and then login in the "load game" section and select one of the game's you had created. Works for me in the lab here, but i haven't deployed the website, the DB nor the webservice for this yet.


- Aircrafts can be buggy. And by buggy i mean that sometimes their own rockets blow themselves up. Yes it is funny when you read it down here, but it's not intended.

- Sometimes a ground unit may get out of the road. Completly. Not sure why though.

- The game may be somewhat unplayable in one place, and to easy in another. That's location based games for ya.

- (Feel free to report some extra ones, i'll be sure to add them)

3D

- Soldiers not present yet due to them slowing down the game a lot (geometry too complex, gotta dumb it up a bit)

- Tanks WILL most certainly move away from the streets. This is due to the different coordinate systems used by dx3D and dx sprites.

- Game will run poorly, not due to the complex AI, but due to the poor graphic driver support. Will try to improve.

- You can only position towers when viewing from the top view. Otherwise it is really difficult as ray tracing wasn't implemented yet.

- Player's position may also be erratic due to the different coordinate system.
Requests

Well, this is the part where you guys can help. By now you should notice that while the game works it does so barely. The graphics are cheesy (i'm the one to blame) and the gameplay is IMBA sometimes. So, here's what i need from you fellas.

TRY IT.

No seriously, please do try it.And submit your oppinions about how the game should be tweaked to be more challenging, and what do you think are the issues of Location Based Games themselves. To sum it up i need:

Opinions - on the game, and on location games

Tweak suggestions - the game should be balanced and should make the player move around, but not to tire him or actually force him to be playable. However, players that move around should be rewarded somehow.

Graphic Enhancements - Yeah, game sucks. I need decent sprites. If you got some nice ones that may replace what i've got, go ahead show them ^^. You will be credited. I was thinking of turning the game more GTX like (the main menus are ugly cause i just made them in a rush)


Requirements

You need to have either Chainfire graphics patch or ATI 3D drivers. Why? Because HTC didn't include Direct3D mobile drivers d-_-b'...

If you are reaaaaaally lazy and don't want to get outta the couch, please download FakeGPS, so you can play the game ^^. You can test it easily that way.

Gameplay Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crnOVldfBgM -- A bit (like, a lot) outdated, but shows off a bit of the mechanics.

Here's a screenshot for you fellas:

2D game:




3D game version:









Download Zip

2D version
http://feupload.fe.up.pt/get/bBLS4QIrwzz0gRW

3D version

http://feupload.fe.up.pt/get/yukIzyB9JM76cdc


--You can extract and place this anywhere on the phone. Just be sure the *.exe and the Textures and Sound folders are in the same folder.

Suggestions

- Multiplayer mode (possibly a 1 on 1 kind of game) (this, if it is meant to be implemented, will take a while. Prolly will only look at it during summer)
- Put the price on the buttons for the bunkers. (done)
- When building a bunker, move around the bunker that is to be build while the finger is on the screen. Deploy tower on mouse up. (done, i guess)
- Optionally choose where to play a quick game (giving it google map like addresses, such as 1242 Imaginary Av, Portugal) (done)
- Change the zoom for the map (in order to solve the tower placement issue and the rythm of how fast the player moves on the map) (done, but perhaps it could be done more elegantly)
- Nice looking menus (comming up ^^)

Suggestions and possible improvements will be placed here.

Oh, and can a mod put the links in this post correctly, just to make it easier for those that wish to see/download it?

Everybody, feel free to post screenshots as well.
Last edited by ei05035; 11th July 2010 at 04:06 PM.
4th June 2010, 03:10 PM   |  #2  
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Arrow About my contribution
Here I am as I promised ... what it goes on the fact is that I do not like a great deal of plays and even I forget that the HD2 has a folder with two or three but ... I was seeing the movie in the Youtube and also because I read here seem to me a very interesting project but for whom it interest him for plays ... what is not my case. Anyway I ask that they help you in this project and that you could present in your theory a final and deserving product of being in the podium of the best plays and ... with a stamp 'tuga' =Português

Regards and good luck
4th June 2010, 03:35 PM   |  #3  
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Wink Thanks for comming
Thanks for comming ^^.

I understand that not everybody is crazy about videogames. And i also understand that many people aren't into Location Based Gaming. Nevertheless i thank you for taking the time to read and see my project. I hope others will find it as interesting as you !

I am now finishing the writing of my thesis! In a month or so it should be done, although i wish to carry on with the development of this project.

Kudos, and once again, thanks for showing up
4th June 2010, 05:22 PM   |  #4  
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First of all: I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!

Second: I will definitely test this game as soon as I get around to it and provide you with some feedback.

Third: Do you have any plans to implement a multiplayer version? It would be too cool if you could work together with others building defenses, supporting each other...
4th June 2010, 05:36 PM   |  #5  
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Looks interesting, will test it when i finish work
4th June 2010, 05:51 PM   |  #6  
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I love the idea behind this game and I am currently transferring it to my phone to try it out I will edit this post when/if I got something constructive to say

EDIT: apparently I preffered to make a whole new post?

my excuse must be that this post was not visible when I created the other...
Last edited by Hojlind; 4th June 2010 at 06:44 PM.
4th June 2010, 06:40 PM   |  #7  
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Here are my observations after a couple of games:

First of all as you kind of mentioned, if you press the exit button in the main menu, you will not be able to start the game itself until a softreset have been made.

Secondly the game crashes for me, and gives me an error after about half a minute of playtime.

Third, in the place where i live it is hard to place bunkers as they are too big (even though the form of the bunker would fit fine ).

I would recommend you to make the bunkers a bit smaller.

Recommendations:
Put a price on the buttons for the bunkers so that i know how much they cost.

When i have to place the towers let is be so that when i press a button and then press somewhere on the map, and i keep it pressed, i will be able to more precisely plant the tower, by moving my finger around the screen, and let go when i want to place the tower.

It would be much appreciated if you made it so that you could choose where to play directly from the game And maybe also how zoomed out it should be, as i myself would love to play in for example famous places :P
4th June 2010, 09:32 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAMeingast

First of all: I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!

Second: I will definitely test this game as soon as I get around to it and provide you with some feedback.

Third: Do you have any plans to implement a multiplayer version? It would be too cool if you could work together with others building defenses, supporting each other...

Greetings ^^

Re First: Glad you love it ^^. Really. This concept is somewhat new and not many people like location based games. I would like to know what is your oppinion about location based games in general and why aren't they that much played/developed.

Re Sec : Take your time, i am open to all your doubts and suggestions ^^.

Re Third: You know, you aren't the first to make that suggestion? I'm really considering looking into it, although i thought it would be easier to create a multiplayer where you could opt to spend money buying defensive structures or buying offensive units to attack your foe. That way you could play against anybody anywhere. What do you think?
4th June 2010, 09:33 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shum97

Looks interesting, will test it when i finish work

Hoping to hear from you mate ! Glad it caught your interest. Will probably post another video (showing the website and the load game feature). I need to film the game working as well, when the player is moving and the likes.
4th June 2010, 09:46 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hojlind

Here are my observations after a couple of games:

First of all as you kind of mentioned, if you press the exit button in the main menu, you will not be able to start the game itself until a softreset have been made.

Secondly the game crashes for me, and gives me an error after about half a minute of playtime.

Third, in the place where i live it is hard to place bunkers as they are too big (even though the form of the bunker would fit fine ).

I would recommend you to make the bunkers a bit smaller.

Recommendations:
Put a price on the buttons for the bunkers so that i know how much they cost.

When i have to place the towers let is be so that when i press a button and then press somewhere on the map, and i keep it pressed, i will be able to more precisely plant the tower, by moving my finger around the screen, and let go when i want to place the tower.

It would be much appreciated if you made it so that you could choose where to play directly from the game And maybe also how zoomed out it should be, as i myself would love to play in for example famous places :P

Cheers!

Really enjoyed your analysis. Exactly the kind of feedback i expected!

First : Yes, i kinda am in the process of finding why the heck that is happening. Since i use a different thread to load location data while the game is loading that probably is the culprit. I will check that out as it is a real deal breaker.


Second: When the game crashes do you see any pattern of why it crashes? It used to have a mem leak but it should be corrected some iterations ago. I will try to further test and debug the app as well!


Third: Unfortunatly this is a known issue. Most location based games have a serious issue with some locations. The solution to this is, either we scale down the size of the towers, or we add the option to zoom the map (in the settings for an instance). The default zoom is 18 (used to be 17) because in some situation more than that proved to be excessive.

On with the suggestions

First: True, i didn't include the price on the button. Honestly i haven't done it yet cause the graphics aren't final. But it's true that i should consider something like that in the following versions.

Second: Tower placement is still an issue, yes it is. Your solution seems to be great! The tower will follow your finger while it moves and is only placed when you lift it. That does solve the tower placement issue.

Third: Well, this is supposedly where the load game feature comes in. It allows you to play any game you previously created. It also allows you to keep track of your scores of each of those created games. It is a finished feature and i'm only looking for a place to host the DB the webservice server and the website. Of course i only created the load game feature because it was kinda required. I agree that specifying the place where you'd like to play your game (via text box or so) is probably the way to go! I will definetly try to add that


Well, that about covers it! Glad you took time to play it and to come up with some neat ideas! Will definetly add them to the main post! I will try to add if not all, some ideas and correct some bugs you pointed out

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hd2 games, location based service
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