Jumping

Web log of development issues.

Jumping

Postby adamsderk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:38 pm

Greetings,

I haven't written in a while, but I've been having lots of fun in the engine.

The first change was to put a torso twist and tilt rate limit. I started with twisting 90 degrees in 2.5 seconds (combination of CBT and Solaris rules). This came to 1.125 degrees every tick (1/32 of a second). Upon testing, it was a bit slow for game play. So I changed it to 2.25 degrees per tick or 180 degrees in 2.5 seconds. This was a nice balance between instant movement and game play impeding movement. I then applied the same rate to the tilt speed as well.

The purpose: to provide a little more realism, but most importantly, to keep the AI from flipping back and forth when you are right behind them.

But you wanted to read about jumping right :)

The first stage of jumping is in. I am using the numberpad digits 1 through 9 to decide the direction of the jump. Unfortunately, Torque doesn't seem to know the difference between the numberpad numbers and the numbers across the top of the keyboard, so I have to use the control key and then the numbers.

Anyway, you press one of the jump direction keys (5 goes straight up) and you jump at full speed in that direction relative to your feet (no, I haven't changed the rate at which you jump, those numbers come straight from the rules). If you do nothing else, you will ascend for 5 seconds and then descend for another 5 seconds. On flat terrain that means you would land just as you finish the 10 seconds. If you happen to not hit the ground after 10 seconds, then you will begin to fall. If you are unlucky enough to be more than 12 meters above the ground, you will take damage when you hit.

But you are asking where is the control? Well, that was if you did nothing after the first key to jump. You can hit the jump key again to begin your descent at any time up to the 5 seconds. This will result in a smaller/lower/faster jump.

Well, that's it for what was planned with the jumps, but do you want to know about some interesting side effects of the implementation?

First, since it doesn't track total jump time, rather it looks for you hitting the ground again, you can make a series of short hops (as long as you touch the ground each time). Downside: lots of heat.

Second, say you hit the jump key to ascend, then you hit the jump key again to descend, then you hit the jump key again... you begin to fall (you killed the jump jets all together). So what you ask... well, for those of you who like to try and pull off the difficult and stupid Death from Above, you can control when to cut the jets and plummet to your target. It is not easy, but that hasn't kept may of you from trying.

Now, on to allowing turning while in the air.

Thanks.
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Postby Matti » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:46 pm

If you happen to not hit the ground after 10 seconds, then you will begin to fall. If you are unlucky enough to be more than 12 meters above the ground, you will take damage when you hit.

That's not in the rules. Rules say that 'Mech can jump down any number of levels regardless of jumping MP and # of levels. If I recall correctly, JJ equipped 'Mech can make orbital (or at least atmosphere) drop without external brake jets.

[edit]
TechManual has something about how MechWarrior controls jump (fluff). That could be useful info.
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights errant, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

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Postby adamsderk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:56 pm

Matti,

Good catch. Page 53 of Total Warfare, "A unit with at least one Jumping MP may jump down any number of levels." I'll turn off the fall after 5 seconds of descent, but still allow the player to choose to fall.

Thanks.
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Postby SandMan » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:34 pm

Derk,

Excellent! I'm going to test the living bananas out of this when I get home tonight!

//SandMan
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Postby adamsderk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:43 pm

Sandman,

You won't be able to test it until I put out the patch for Demo 13. When the engine changes, it requires a new executable.

Oh, I forgot to mention (it was so long ago), I have added the offset for the ballistic targeting and everything works great except for getting the SSRMs to lock on.

Thanks.
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Postby SandMan » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:39 pm

Derk,

So much for the bananas, then. When can we expect the patch? I suppose this might not be a bad time to repackage things and include those darned .png files that aren't cooperating with the auto-updater, either.

//SandMan
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:23 pm

Sounds good, but can you change direction in mid air too?

I've never played the original battletech, but I spent a few hours playing megamek the other day which seems pretty close to the original rules.

I had great fun with a Javelin. A favorite tactic is leaving the Javelin to move last, so I know that the enemy has moved all his pieces, then jumping in to the square right behind an enemy, turning to face it and then kicking it in the rear. In that game turning whilst jumping costs no movement points, so you can come down facing any direction.

It seemed very like the jumpjet implementation in Mechwarrior 2, except there's no way to get an Atlas to fly at 100KPH
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Postby adamsderk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:38 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

Yep, you can turn at a rate of 180 degrees in 10 seconds. This will be slower than standing for some mechs and faster for others.

Thanks.
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Postby Matti » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:35 pm

Smoking_Mirror wrote:I've never played the original battletech, but I spent a few hours playing megamek the other day which seems pretty close to the original rules.

Naah! MegaMek has been updated to match new rules of Total Warfare and TechManual. MaximumTech rules will be replaced by rules of Tactical Operations Manual when it comes out. MegaMek is up to date with Classic BattleTech (5th Edition). Older versions are still available for those who prefer rules of BattleTech 4th Edition. But there has never been original rules of BattleDroids ;)

I had great fun with a Javelin. A favorite tactic is leaving the Javelin to move last, so I know that the enemy has moved all his pieces, then jumping in to the square right behind an enemy, turning to face it and then kicking it in the rear.

Unless you lose initiative :P
Hint: try out jumping & shooting with GRF-1N Griffin. Take 2 or more of those, jump 5 hexes from woods to woods (or partial cover), and blast away alternating between PPC and LRM-10. I've been told that is effective way to piss off opponent.

When I encountered such Griffin hunt, I still had two perfectly workin BNC-3E Banshees against that one Griffin :twisted:

[edit]
Adams, do you have TechManual? What do you think about description of cockpit and related control systems (pages 39-42)? Could some of that be modelled in game, like placing a landing point by pointing at it?
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights errant, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

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Postby adamsderk » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:15 pm

Matti,

Yes, I have the TechManual. While it is technically possible to implement the description, it is a lot of work that I won't undertake now. The reason being that it requires adding a while new indicator to show where you could jump, then all the code to actually do the jump. Not to mention, how to deal with a moving target that might go out of jump range. The line of sight checks are also the slowest computations in the game, and this system would require one every frame.

So, yes it's possible, but not at this time.

Thanks.
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Postby adamsderk » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:07 am

Greetings,

Just a little update. I added that all Mechs can sidestep at 1/4 MP (unless they are quads and they get more). I fixed the damage during falls/ramming/dfa to check if damage should be done to just legs or just head/torso/arms.

Still working on getting SSRMs to work again.

Thanks.
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