I’ve been a little too quiet lately! Here’s a collection of Volo-related tidbits that have been going on.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve put the game in the hands of a bunch of friends. They played a slightly more updated version of this:
In short, they loved it! This is the first version that really engaged them in a just-one-more-go kind of way. This means that the game is intuitive enough to pick up, deep enough to provide a lot of choices and room for skill development, and contains enough feedback for people to identify things they are doing right or wrong.
Amongst all the feedback I’ve gathered several things were key:
- While control feels smooth and fairly intuitive, precision is often either too coarse of too fine. This depends on what they wanted to do of course. When you are performance flying you want to use the full range of your input device for generating very small but very precise moves. Coarse input here means that your movements get exaggerated, which can throw you off course and make you lose altitude fast. I had added some tricks to dynamically alter your precision, but apparently I’ll need a more rigorous solution.
- Gametypes, ranging from real-world (think proximity flight, formations) to very game-like mechanics (think James Bond action scenes). Many people would also like to see the game’s scope include normal skydiving and basejumping. I’m aiming for the game to be flexible enough to allow all kinds of game types, created either by me or by modders. By keeping my code well-organised and by paying special attention to possibilities for code reuse, hopefully you will even be able to do some hanggliding or skysurfing.
- Multiplayer! This is by far the most requested feature. As well it should be; skydiving is hardly a solo activity, right? Since this feature is so important it has become a top priority to get some netcode fixed.
- A replay/ghost racing system. This will get in right after the netcode is done, as it will use a great deal of its functionality.
Some of these features are also based on discussions on the community forum. Check out the Ask The Developers and Wishlist threads to see all the features that the forumites have come up with so far, they’re all very good food for thought. And while you’re there, why not drop in some of your own ideas; we can always use more!
In other news, a couple of graphic-design buddies have started brainstorming about Volo’s graphical style. The logo is their first point of interest and I’m very curious to see what they’ll come up with. Many thanks, and good luck to them!
That’s it for now. I’ve got some course-work related deadlines this week, so I’m not sure how much work I can get done, but we’ll see. 🙂