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Re: [Help-liquidwar6] About rules.xml

From: Kasper Hviid
Subject: Re: [Help-liquidwar6] About rules.xml
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 21:28:01 +0100

2009/1/27 Christian Mauduit <address@hidden>:
> It happens the
> major problem with Free Software - AKA "Open Source", but I prefer "Free
> Software" ;) - games is that they don't match player's expectation. There
> are tons of cool lines of code arround, but they aren't running very often
> just because they lack cool graphics, ease-of-use, humour, entertaining
> music...

I agree totally. I had too much coffee, so I cannot clarify, but I agree.

> Yeah, it's true any "new idea that comes in the path" delays the final
> release. (...) Please really don't worry about submitting ideas

Alright, here's one more:

The game Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo had only 2 fighters on the
screen. Both fighters took up a lot of screen space, which made it
possible to make them very detailed. Robotron, on the other hand,
allowed somewhere about 30 fighters on-screen. The fighters had to be
very small, only a few pixels. Almost no detail left.

This is a natural law in computer games. Fewer on-screen fighters
permits larger = more detailed (and thus cooler) fighters.

This is not the case with LW. A pixel don't get more detailed by being
larger. Whats more, the way all Liquid War versions are build, a high
fighter-scale (larger fighters) will result in a less fluid animation.

My idea is to let the animation be smooth regardless of fighter scale,
by smoothing out the fighters movement.

It should work like this:

The fighters should function exactly as they do now. But they are
invisible. The player will instead see the display-fighters, which
moves around on an independent high-res layer.

The positions of the display-fighters are based on the positions of
the fighters, but their movement has been smoothed out a bit. The
actual code might look somewhat like this:

Every (0.05 second) {
  displayFighter.x = (fighter.x + displayFighter.x) / 2;
  displayFighter.y = (fighter.y + displayFighter.y) / 2;

This technique, combined with a high fighter-scale and some simple
fighter sprites, could, (in theory) make the game look cool even on
ancient PC's.

On the negative side, what the player sees will not be a 100 % correct
representation of the fighters positions, but will have a slight

> I'm trying to do something better with LW6, but I'm
> aware I'll very probably fall again in those common pitfalls. However,
> I'll try. And I'll do my best. I'm sort of a "never give-up" man, it's a
> bit out of topic for this list, but well, if LW6 has missed the "network
> works in 2008" deadline, a good explanation is to be found in the fact
> that I trained for this ->

Impressive! That looks like a very good way to waste potential
programming time! :-)

I have a pretty good little route going around our local
pharmaceutical corporation Lundbeck, but I have not been running much

> I did have to improve mouse support, there
> were - and there are still - always complaints about the way mouse is
> handled in LW5. So I decided to allow the mouse pointer to go anywhere.

You are right, the mouse control was rather awkward in LW5.

Two possible alternatives:

1) A Liquid War player once suggested that the mouse curser should be
seperated from the curser inside the map. The mouse curser should
still move like a normal mouse curser. The in-game curser should be
some kind of bot, which moved by the shortest path towards the mouse

2) I remember an old DOS game called Xquest. You moved a space ship
with the mouse, but the movement were very fluid. You could both move
your ship a few pixels, or several screen lengths, depending on how
fast you dragged your mouse. It felt like dragging the mouse simply
pushed the ship a bit in that direction.

Found a video of it:

> would have been unfair for keyboard users to just be blocked by walls when
> the mouse isn't. Hey? So everyone can cross walls now.

I don't think fairness necessarily has to mean that the players should
be completely similar. Games such as Star Control II and Aliens vs.
Predator worked fine, since the lack of similarity was a feature, a
part of the game. Different players moving around by different means
could have a certain chaotic charm. The game should of course be
somewhat fair, but the keyboard-players could also just get some kind
of bonuses, if necessary. A larger army or something.


Wooops indeed! :-) Here you go:

 - Kasper

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