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Work in Progress / Marble Maze Construction Set (Alpha)

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tiresius
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Posted: 1st Jan 2011 20:53 Edited at: 2nd Jun 2012 05:14
Hello everyone!

This has been my long-term project over many years. How long, you may ask? Look at my join date on the forums, and know that I bought DBPro to make this game! It should be much further along than it is, you can read why that is the case on my blog if you are interested enough. Even though a lot of work has gone into it already (6000+ and 7000+ lines of code), there is a lot of work left to do. But at least I am confident enough in the proof-of-concept to release something.

It is called Marble Maze Construction Set. It is a 3D Marble Platformer inspired by the classic game Marble Madness. There are key differences between the two and their gameplay. The main difference being how the marble responds to player input. One of the main complaints about Marble Madness is how short it is -- you can beat the entire game in under 5 minutes. The "construction set" portion of the name is because one of the key design points of my game is the inclusion of an easy to use level editor to make new levels.

Screenie:


You can get the Alpha here:
http://www.funcygames.com/downloads/MarbleMazeAlpha.zip
http://www.funcygames.com/downloads/MarbleMazeAlpha2.zip
http://www.funcygames.com/downloads/MarbleMazeAlpha3.zip


What I have used so far that I can remember:
Newton Physics Wrapper 1.53 (of course!)
Matrix Utility DLLs (from IanM)
Deimos Archive DLL (from pinkbile)
BlueGUI (from RobK)
Milkshape3D for models

Here is the readme:


Here is a big-picture view of what still needs to be done to get to some sort of "beta stage":


Widgets are things that physically affect your marble. Here is a master list of widgets I've come up with. Currently there are only 5 widgets done in this Alpha release. Plenty of room for more ideas, too.



A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.

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tiresius
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Posted: 1st Jan 2011 20:56 Edited at: 1st Jan 2011 20:56
Screenie of the editor.




A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.

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TheComet
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Posted: 1st Jan 2011 20:57
Looks very interesting, I've been wondering when I'd see this pop up in the WIP (I saw your sig quite a few times)

TheComet

Ermes
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2011 18:01
so this game is about 8 years? well better late than never i guess!

downloading alpha!



[img][/img]
Dr Tank
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2011 03:32
This is cool. I managed classic and level 1. Physics work solidly. Game is challenging. Got a jerky framerate/movement occasionally. Make sure you have a solid, workable plan and you can finish this this year, and it will only be 9 years in development!
tiresius
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Posted: 4th Jan 2011 04:41
Thanks everyone for trying it out. Please post any fun levels you have made. The 4 levels I included are quick mock-ups and not really "the game".

Dr Tank-
What are your PC specs? I've seen a jerky movement on my low-end PC once every few minutes but didn't see one on my high-end PC although I didn't test there for very long.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
tiresius
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Posted: 23rd Jan 2011 06:25 Edited at: 23rd Jan 2011 06:27
Getting close to having gems working in the game. They are available in the editor but right now just sit there and do nothing in game.

They are ugly and I am looking into making them nice (semi-transparent and shiny, as a real gem should be!). If any of you have some code snippets or a general suggestion of how to accomplish that, I'd be grateful. One of the next things I'll be doing is making sure the faces are not sharing vertices so that it looks more "faceted".


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.

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Andrew_Neale
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Posted: 23rd Jan 2011 14:31
Its nothing amazing, but I found this old test project lying around which may be of interest. I was trying to make a gem shader for some long forgotten project. As I say, its old, and not that great, but hopefullly its a decent start point for you. I've attached the project to this post. With regards to facetting (yes, thats a real verb now, honest ), you could try using the 'set object smoothing objectID, 0'.

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Fallout
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Posted: 23rd Jan 2011 15:15 Edited at: 23rd Jan 2011 15:17
Cool game. Feels quite polished. The camera movement felt just right, and I enjoyed the catapult. More moving devices would be cool. Might have a go at building my own map later. It ran really well on my lappy too, with 102FPS.

The only negative comment at this stage is I think it's a tiny bit slow. Perhaps difficulty options with a higher game speed would be good. While I appreciate you need it to be slow otherwise it would be uncontrollable, at the moment it feels a little sluggish and I didn't get any feelings of panic that I think I'd get if the game speed was quicker.

Edit: Also, some sort of shadow under the ball would improve it a lot. It's impossible to tell where you are when you're off the ground, and a simple shadow underneath would help a lot.

Link102
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Posted: 24th Jan 2011 12:35 Edited at: 25th Jan 2011 18:34
Great game you've got here, that's all I can say about it.

Here are a few comments:
game
- Marble responds a bit slow for my taste, but maybe that's just me It responds perfect in first person mode mode though, but I guest this game wasn't made with that view in mind.
- Camera smoothing needs to go, or needs to be less smooth.
- some Xrot freedom would be nice. I like to see where I'm going.
- have strips of animated cloth in front of the fan to indicate it's blowing.

editor
- Hold down the mouse and place 5 tiles, now press ctrl-z, only 1 tile disapears, but it should be all 5.
- the Esc key quits the editor. You should keep it free, so you're able to cancel the more complex operations you might have later on.
- maybe map scrolling to shift-click instead of the right mouse button, so you don't change the tile while scrolling (yes I know about the minimap).
- perhaps map the tilepicker to the middle mouse button.

found a bug in MarbleMaze.exe; clicking below the last level in the level list will give an array out of bounds error.

Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 25th Jan 2011 19:39 Edited at: 25th Jan 2011 21:10
Is it possible that there was a Youtube video of this game several years ago? I remember that I've seen a video on youtube, which was about a marble game with included editor or something, and there was a catapult as well. I looked for this video some months ago but couldn't find it anymore. Anyway, the screenshots look quite promising and I'll try it out as soon as the download finishes (it's loading with 9 bytes per second right now... something's wrong, I guess).

Edit: I tried it several times, the download doesn't even start anymore. I'm not sure if that's due to my internet connection or a problem with the server though.

tiresius
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Posted: 25th Jan 2011 23:10
Mr Kohlenstoff- Yes that video was posted by me. I took it down because I will probably put up a new video at some point under a different name.

I was able to download it from where I am now at 200+kb a second so perhaps it is something on your end? Please do try again.

I will reply to everyone's comments/suggestions soon, perhaps provide a new screenshot of the gems.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 25th Jan 2011 23:47
I just tried it again, didn't work. I'm not having problems on any other site right now - TGC, Youtube etc. all work without problems. So I will just have to wait and try it again tomorrow (beginning in about 9 hours for me.. Europe, you know).
It's a shame that you took that video down, I thought it was highly fascinating and I really wanted to get my hands on the game. And I still do.

Link102
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 01:02
Here's a level for ya, I named him Frank.
Carefull though, Frank isn't easy.

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tiresius
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 06:10 Edited at: 26th Jan 2011 06:13
@Andrew_Neale - Thanks for sharing that code, but unfortunately I have shader 1.3 card and that shader doesn't work. I'm also looking for a shaderless solution. I did use set object smoothing and it worked well, I also made the model faceted.

@Fallout - Glad you like the camera, I spent a long time on the camera system. There are definitely plans for more moving devices, it is a physics game afterall. Check out the list of planned widgets in the first post, there is room for more ideas as well.

@Link102 - I've heard from several people that the game plays slow, at least for a platformer. I have the speed set as 1:1 real time with the physics simulation and I thought perhaps with more to do (plus enemies) it would get more exciting. I can speed up the simulation very easily, but when I tinkered with it a couple nights ago it also affected the physics on a global scale and made the ball travel farther from the catapult, etc. If any changes are going to be made they need to be made early on, like now. So I'll keep looking into it.

What didn't you like about the camera? To sluggish when swiveling around? I have it capped at a certain swivel speed based on the way I calculate the target angle. I may change the system if it is found to be too slow that way.

The box fan will most likely change into a normal standing oscillating fan object, like you'd buy at the hardware store. So it won't look as "boxy". I'll probably make the boxy fan be a vertical fan, blowing the marble up in the air.

CTRL-Z has to be pressed multiple times (or held down) in order to erase each tile. Although you can lay tiles down like MS Paint, I found the "session undo" feature of paint programs to be difficult to implement, so I have to do it tile by tile. Minor inconvenience?

Right click is doing double-duty in the editor, I tried to make it smart enough if you keep the mouse still and right click it will rotate, any mouse movement and it should glide the map. Are you finding it rotates the tiles a lot?

Middle mouse button is the wheel for changing height easily. My fat finger always turns it when pressing the button for it but I can look into a click for the rotate function..

I can't believe you found a bug like that in the level picker screen. I make it a habit to click all over to make sure I don't get weird behavior. Fixed for next release.

Hey, that level is great. Very creative! I've been playing with the same 5 widgets for a few years now and you surprised me with a couple of the tricks you did. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the exit floating out there in the middle. Well done!

@Mr Kohlenstoff - If it still doesn't work for you I can try posting it somewhere else, like FileFront?

@Everyone - Here are the gems, round 2 (and final round for now). I couldn't quite get transparency the way I wanted it to look, but I have a solid color gem with a ghosted gem scaled over it. It is twice the vertices and I could probably do it without a second object (texture layers?) but this is the best I can do for now. My 3D effects skills are lacking, despite my tenure in DBPro. Engine was able to handle ~400 gems easy enough.



Next stop... finish up gem placement, a little animation (shrink and rise?) when touched by the player, and perhaps add coins to collect as well.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.

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Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 09:29 Edited at: 26th Jan 2011 11:43
Quote: "@Mr Kohlenstoff - If it still doesn't work for you I can try posting it somewhere else, like FileFront?"


I just tried it again, it works now. I'll certainly post my feedback within the next hours.

Edit: After playing through the five levels I can pretty much agree with what has been said. The camera is quite good most of the time, but had its problems in Level2. The pace feels very slow, escpecially on the light blue ground-tiles. Level design is good, even though possibly a bit unfair, it would be cool to have checkpoints every now and then.
I haven't used the editor yet, but will do that later.

Link102
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 13:42 Edited at: 26th Jan 2011 13:46
Quote: "I've heard from several people that the game plays slow, at least for a platformer. I have the speed set as 1:1 real time with the physics simulation and I thought perhaps with more to do (plus enemies) it would get more exciting. I can speed up the simulation very easily, but when I tinkered with it a couple nights ago it also affected the physics on a global scale and made the ball travel farther from the catapult, etc. If any changes are going to be made they need to be made early on, like now. So I'll keep looking into it."

What if you just use bigger forces to push / pull the ball?

Quote: "What didn't you like about the camera? To sluggish when swiveling around? I have it capped at a certain swivel speed based on the way I calculate the target angle. I may change the system if it is found to be too slow that way."

Exactly, but maybe it's just me. It was a first impression. Perhaps if you could make a test build with 2x the rotation speed?

Quote: "CTRL-Z has to be pressed multiple times (or held down) in order to erase each tile. Although you can lay tiles down like MS Paint, I found the "session undo" feature of paint programs to be difficult to implement, so I have to do it tile by tile. Minor inconvenience?"

Minor inconvenience. It had to be said though.

Quote: "Right click is doing double-duty in the editor, I tried to make it smart enough if you keep the mouse still and right click it will rotate, any mouse movement and it should glide the map. Are you finding it rotates the tiles a lot?"

Ah I didn't even notice that o.o, great work. Keep it that way

Quote: "Middle mouse button is the wheel for changing height easily. My fat finger always turns it when pressing the button for it but I can look into a click for the rotate function.."

I missed that in the readme, can you believe I used the gui for changing the ground height on that level I made >.<

Quote: "Hey, that level is great. Very creative! I've been playing with the same 5 widgets for a few years now and you surprised me with a couple of the tricks you did. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the exit floating out there in the middle. Well done!"

Thank you

I agree with mr kohlenstoff on the checkpoints thing, maybe if you could build a normal one, like the start and finish, and a hidden one that the player doesn't see when it's triggered.

tiresius
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 16:14
Quote: "The camera is quite good most of the time, but had its problems in Level2. "

Could you post a screenshot or describe the problem area? I spent a lot of time on the camera and would like to see where you are seeing an issue.

Quote: "The pace feels very slow, especially on the light blue ground-tiles."

The blue tiles are ice, so the marble is slipping on them and can't move quickly unless it started out moving. The friction level is very low so it is quite slippery, but I do give a slight "push" to the marble in the direction you want to go, same as when the marble is in the air. I'd rather not increase the push too much (like in Marble Blast) but if it needs more tweaking I can look into it.

Quote: "What if you just use bigger forces to push / pull the ball?"

I actually started out with a high energy system where massive forces were pushing objects around (the ball is 20 meters in diameter, according to Newton!). This ended up having less desirable effects on the joint system in Newton, causing the catapult to have trouble and bend backwards a bit when a ball landed on it, etc. I could foresee issues down the road if it continued. I changed it to a lower energy system but of course that slowed the ball down. I think speeding up the simulation will be a win as everything will move faster but I won't be using ridiculous forces to get stuff done.

Quote: "I agree with mr kohlenstoff on the checkpoints thing,"

Checkpoints have always been planned for. Maybe that will be the next item I implement after I'm done with gems, it has been a long time coming and can be quite annoying when playing the game.

Keep the comments and/or levels coming, this is helping me out a lot. I've been making this game inside a box for the past 7+ years.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 16:34 Edited at: 27th Jan 2011 11:44
The problem with the camera in Level 2 was, that there were several "towers" on the map that got in the way. The camera just needed some time to move higher, so there were always some seconds of not seeing the ball at all. I might post a screenshot later.

Oh and I understood that the blue tiles are meant to be some sort of ice and it felt quite intuitive that the controls changed this way, I just meant that it was - even though the player most certainly understands why that happens - a quite painful experience. Waiting so long is not what I, as a player, want to do in a game. So, all in all, speeding everything up a bit would probably solve this issue.

- - - - - - -

I've attached a map... short and not too special. I like the editor, even though I had (and still have) to get used to it.

- Oh and I just played Frank. Ingenious, really. Great stuff gameplaywise. (By the way, I'm quite proud of myself that I finished the level on my first try)

- - - - - - -

And here's the screenshot you asked for.



The camera stays in this position, making it hard to proceed because I can't see what's in front of me. Of course I could just rotate the camera, but that would mean a short pause, reorientation and all that, slowing the pace even more.

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Yodaman Jer
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Posted: 26th Jan 2011 23:50
Quote: "Here's a level for ya, I named him Frank.
Carefull though, Frank isn't easy."


No, he's certainly not! I haven't even gotten halfway through him yet.

tiresius, this is great! I'm really curious about how you've programmed a few things...can I email you at some point this week and ask a few questions? I'm especially curious about your level editor.

-----------------

I quite like the camera system, though I agree that in some levels it's not always the best. Everything else is fantastic, and I can't wait to see further development on this!

Please put checkpoints in soon though, as I know I can't get through Frank without them.

tiresius
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Posted: 27th Jan 2011 04:17
Quote: "The camera just needed some time to move higher, so there were always some seconds of not seeing the ball at all."

Ah, was it several seconds before the camera moved up to show the marble? It should happen very quickly and not sit there for several seconds, that is for sure. I believe this is an old reported bug that I thought I had squashed... seemed to do with fast computers (400-500FPS) and the check for raising the camera over walls. Now that I have access to a fast computer (not my dev box, yet) I'll have to try it out and see if I can get it to happen.

Quote: "I've attached a map... short and not too special. "

Pretty good, nice use of speedy tiles + ramps! That group of fans is a death trap, correct? I couldn't get through it.

@CoffeeCoder - feel free to email me any questions about the game or editor!


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 27th Jan 2011 11:49 Edited at: 27th Jan 2011 16:55
I edited that screenshot, the new one might be more interesting. And, as you see, it sais 442 FPS so that might be the reason.
When rolling behind one of this walls, the camera needs around 2-3 seconds until it has finished moving into the new position. And, as mentioned above, in some situations I can't see what's in front of me because the camera seemingly wants me to be able to see the ball, but not more. Hence you might think about increasing the tile-height a bit for the camera orientation algorithm to ensure that there's always a certain area around the marble that's visible.

Quote: "That group of fans is a death trap, correct? I couldn't get through it."


Yep. Two ways to go, and this one is meant to be a dead end (literally). Maybe there is a way to get through, but it's obviously harder than the long way around.

- - - - - - - -

I attached Luigi.

And I've found a bug in the editor - if you select the catapult and rightclick until it points upwards, and then move the mouse to the upper end of the map, the editor crashes with an array out of bounds error. Line 4346.

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Link102
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Posted: 28th Jan 2011 13:59 Edited at: 28th Jan 2011 16:16
Big chance this is useless, but I whipped up a quick code to show how I'd prefer the camera to behave.



Satchmo
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Posted: 28th Jan 2011 21:14
Tried the demo, and it seemed very polished. I did however have an issue with the controls, it seemed like the ball was very slow to accelerate, with rather unresponsive controls, which made the first level very hard.

tiresius
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 05:04
@Mr Kohlenstoff-
I like Luigi! Nice use of the bounce tiles. I have found bounce to be a little unpredictable when the marble speed is higher (like from a catapult), but your level uses it well.

@Link102-
Do you like the camera to be completely freeform (player can move camera behind walls and block marble view, if they want) or do you like it to just be faster getting to where it should go?


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Link102
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 13:05 Edited at: 29th Jan 2011 13:08
there's 3 ways to do this
1 - The camera moves where ever the player wants it to, even trough level geometry
2 - The camera rotates upwards when it's obstructed (like it does now)
3 - The camera moves towards the player when it's obstructed, moving in front of the obstruction.

1 is the easiest, so that should be your escape goat. 2 overrides player input, which might confuse or irritate the player.
So I believe 3 is the best option. I've seen it in games and it works, though you can never be 100% sure it will work here.

edit: yes, I'd like it to be completely freeform.

Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 13:11
Another thing you could do is to fade out all objects, that get between player and camera, to a certain extend. I'm not sure if that would work well, but it might be worth a try.

Link102
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 13:41
Yes, but I left that one out since it's difficult to do and it will strain the processor.

tiresius
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 17:19 Edited at: 29th Jan 2011 17:23
Link102-
I'll provide a fifth camera option like your #1 option, it is easy enough to do with the camera system I have in place which does everything your code snippet does except allow the X axis (on purpose). My original intent was to simplify the camera system so people didn't need to worry about it. A lot of 3D games you're fighting with the interface/camera system instead of it working for you. Eventually the player will be given an option for preference, but some levels will still be able to override it (FPS level, for instance).

#3 is difficult to do right and I'm not a huge fan of it. Hitting the '4' key will show that type of camera behavior, but close up (like close up 3rd person). I want to avoid the camera going through geometry to get to where it needs to go. I may include this at some point.

Quote: "fade out all objects,"

The level geometry is comprised of 3x3 object chunks with limbs for the various materials (ice, walls, normal, etc.) so it would be difficult to do that the way I have it now. And I can't even get a transparent gem to look right, let alone doing what you said.

Everyone-
I'm shooting for an update after this weekend with zoned restart locations, gem collecting, bug fixes and making improvements such as the speed of camera smoothing and the simulation itself.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Link102
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 17:36 Edited at: 29th Jan 2011 17:40
In that case the current camera sped up will be fine :3

Looking forward for the update.

Yodaman Jer
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Posted: 29th Jan 2011 23:24 Edited at: 30th Jan 2011 05:15
tiresius, I'll be sending you an email in a few minutes (it'll be from my email address in my profile).

Also, I'm currently working on a level, and once I get it to look the way I want it to I'll post it here. It doesn't have a lot of obstacles, but it's one heck of a confusing map. I took the "Maze" part of the title quite seriously.

EDIT:

Okay, so the level is REALLY messy and I know it's not the best layout, but I like it. It's called "The Whole Nine Yards" because there's not just one way to win this level...there's nine. Nine! How crazy is that?

See if you can find all nine ways. I dare you.

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tiresius
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Posted: 30th Jan 2011 06:41 Edited at: 30th Jan 2011 06:48
@CoffeeCoder-
When I saw an 800kb level file I was thinking "wow he must have a lot of stuff on there". I was not prepared for what I saw. That is definitely one of the styles of map play I was shooting for in the game. Well done!

And thanks for stress-testing the railing objects. You had 24 pipes left to use on there if you wanted. LOL!


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Yodaman Jer
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Posted: 31st Jan 2011 00:58
Glad you liked it tiresius.

There's a few things in it I want to touch up and change a bit. And when you have gems available in the editor and game, I'm going to add those too.

I have a suggestion. To help the player identify the tile type, could you maybe make it so that the ice blocks look like ice and the rough blocks look like cement (or sandpaper)? I'm not sure how you could make bounce tiles look "bouncy" though...but these are just suggestions and of course they don't have to be implemented. I just thought it would maybe help future players identify different blocks.

tiresius
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Posted: 31st Jan 2011 01:58 Edited at: 31st Jan 2011 01:59
I'm close to getting gems finished in the game itself. Hopefully it feels like more of a game when there are gems to collect. At this point I don't have the option of requiring all gems to be collected before leaving the level, but that will eventually make its way into the game as an option in the editor.

My textures could always look better, of course!

The first few levels in game will be tutorial-style so I expect the player won't have much trouble figuring it out. What you see now is pretty close to what the "classic" theme will be. Orange and purple are somewhat meaningless (orange may look like dirt, maybe?). Since I have level texture "themes" planned, such as "icy tundra", "neon", "electronic", "jungle" and things like that, the tiles may be quite different for each one.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 31st Jan 2011 15:32 Edited at: 31st Jan 2011 16:52
Well I reached 4 of the 9 ways in coffeeCoders level. I lost my focus then, because I stumbled over this funny bug (not sure if it's a bug - I personally would certainly call it a feature), that catapults even shoot you when you're not... sitting.. inside. This way you can manipulate shooting range and direction and let it shoot you more or less anywhere. Exploiting this technique enabled me to do a "speed roll" to the exit next to the starting point. Very cool level, by the way.

tiresius
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Posted: 31st Jan 2011 16:02
It is a feature with the openness of the physics system I employ but if it becomes a problem with level designs, I can modify it to use a zone for activation. To test my widget timing system I roll the marble over the row of 40 catapults in the Stress level, and watch them all fire off one after another. Fun.

Sitting on the stem of the catapult can yield... unpredictable results.

Finished gem collecting last night, still need to put a simple count at the top of the screen, double check that the speed of the simulation is good, and post an update.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Yodaman Jer
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Posted: 31st Jan 2011 16:41
Quote: "I sumbled over this funny bug (not sure if it's a bug - I personally would certainly call it a feature), that catapults even shoot you when you're not... sitting.. inside. "


Yup, I noticed that too. Honestly I thought it made my level more challenging.

Quote: "The first few levels in game will be tutorial-style so I expect the player won't have much trouble figuring it out. What you see now is pretty close to what the "classic" theme will be. Orange and purple are somewhat meaningless (orange may look like dirt, maybe?). Since I have level texture "themes" planned, such as "icy tundra", "neon", "electronic", "jungle" and things like that, the tiles may be quite different for each one."


Ah, okay, a tutorial mode would definitely help the player figure the different tiles out. I quite like the idea of themes! That opens up many new options for the player visually and gives the whole game a unique feel. Not that it doesn't already have that, but I think it would increase it.

I'm very excited for gems! Can't wait for the update tiresius.

tiresius
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Posted: 1st Feb 2011 06:17
Hello everyone!

Alpha #2 is here, I've updated the original post.

The camera movement is configurable via the config.dat (storage for a future Options screen) where you have Mouse sensitivity and Camera speed to play with. I doubled both so it should be twice as responsive/fast as before.

I finished up the gems and they are collectable in the game. They are unlike other items in the Editor as they can be placed on slope/valley tiles. They currently block all slope information, I'm still looking into ways to hide them in the editor when warranted.

Please extract this new version and copy your level files into it, don't copy new files on top of the original Alpha directory.

Enjoy and let me know what you think of the simulation speed and camera changes!


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Yodaman Jer
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Posted: 1st Feb 2011 06:41
Woot! Downloading now.

Link102
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2011 19:43 Edited at: 2nd Feb 2011 19:44
Great updates, every single one of em

I saw that the "restart zones" are a circular shape 5 blocks in diameter. Perhaps you could build a feature that lets you "paint" the blocks that belong in the zone. (no blocks painted would default to the 5 block diameter zone). Because it could be used to cheat past certain obstacles this way.

I've updated frank with checkpoints for anyone who would like another shot at him. Here's a hint for the fan puzzle: you have start at the fan with some initial velocity.

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tiresius
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2011 02:26
Painting blocks for restart zones (and possibly traversable areas for an enemy) may complicate things a bit, but may be doable. I'm considering making a 5, 3, and 1 sized diameter restart zone and let the player pick which they want to use based on the map location. I'll have to think about it some more.

They are only 1 FunPoint, so in theory I could also just have them be 1 tile size and let the player place a bunch of them wherever they want.

Those ice ramps on Frank are classic -- I'll have to incorporate ones like that in the standard levels. Feel free to make some more levels!


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Derekioh
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Posted: 2nd Mar 2011 20:52
(I apologoze for posting here and under Newton Physics, I just really need help)

Hey tiresius, I wasnt sure where else to ask but I have a few questions about a marble game (very similar to yours, just not as good ) ) abd I was wondering:

NOTE: I am using Newton Physics (love it!)

- should I use velocity to move the object (if so, how)
- how do you jump properly (im doing it all wrong)
- any tips you suggest for movement and/or flow and speed of game?

Sorry for the blunt questions, but I have until saturday to put this game together and I can get the game to work properly!!!

tiresius
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Posted: 3rd Mar 2011 06:21 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2011 06:27
And here I was all excited someone found my game on Page 2 of the WIP board and had some comments for it. I answered your other thread.

As an update: work continues at a steady pace, I am almost done with the coins in the game. I'd like to finish coins and then get enemies available in the editor and game! I took a break from coding and made the model for the Whirlygig enemy.

Here it is:


This is pretty much a steal from the enemy Peahat in the 8-bit Nintendo game “Legend of Zelda”. I hope nobody minds…

There are at least a couple types of Whirlygigs planned for. One will move randomly, stopping and starting in random directions, ignoring the player. Another kind will always move toward the player if the player is in its vicinity, which is a little trickier to avoid. It will probably move faster or more often. If the marble touches the Whirlygig it will be knocked back from the point of contact. When a marble's hitpoints come into play it will also lose some hitpoints, of course.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.

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Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 3rd Mar 2011 09:07
Sounds fun, but I'm not sure if using hitpoints is a good idea. Might get frustrating and cause the player to go back to the last checkpoint when he's lost too many HP, even if he's still alive.

Derekioh
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Posted: 3rd Mar 2011 17:17
And hey, don't feel like I'm just asking for help, I already downloaded your marble game and have tried it out a week ago! It's very well done, and I think its making great progress. Keep up the good work!

P.S.- I agree with Mr Kohlenstoff, hitpoints for something like this might just frustrate the player more then they will actually like it.

tiresius
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Posted: 5th Mar 2011 15:03
Thanks for the input, guys. I'll have to think about this some more and ask around. I originally thought hitpoints would be nice, give you a second chance, different enemies hit harder, healing stations, etc. But it sounds like you'd prefer to stick to the original Marble Madness type damage: either knocked about, or insta-kill.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
tiresius
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Posted: 17th Mar 2011 05:59 Edited at: 17th Mar 2011 06:07
Whirlygigs are now running about. Here is a youtube video of 100 Whirlygigs. I eventually want to make them slow down and stop on their target, and there is a bug where some of them don't move all the time when they have a target. But it works and doesn't stress the engine out too much.



Still have some things to do in the engine, and they are not available in the Maze Editor yet. But things are progressing along quite nicely now.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Mr Kohlenstoff
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Posted: 19th Mar 2011 13:21
That looks really well done. Are they gonna be intelligent enough to avoid falling down when they reach the edge of a path/platform?

tiresius
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Posted: 20th Mar 2011 04:02
Yeah I'm still working out how to do that. Once I get them to stop right on the target it will be much easier to control them. I was thinking of the enemies having "zones" they can play in, this would be a simple flood-fill algorithm from their starting point. Then only let them pick a target spot that is within the zone.

More likely what I may do is try to make them a bit more intelligent and look ahead of where they are heading and make sure they don't fall down. Ray casts are supposedly cheap in Newton so we'll see how it comes into play.


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
Drew Cameron
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Posted: 21st Mar 2011 02:44
You could only raycast periodically or cycle through the raycasts for each whirlygig; unless they are moving at light speed this will give them enough time to 'act' pre: ledge!

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