D: Cap Ship

So better late than never right?

This isn't so much a game as an experiment in control scheme. The whole thing took me about 5 hours from conception to "completion".

You control a "ship" that uses some kind of unexplained capacitive energy to propel itself instead of thrusters. You control your ship by using the left and right arrow keys. If you wish to go right you have to charge your left capacitor(by pressing left a lot) and the press right at the moment you want to discharge and start moving. Same for going left, but the other way around.

Avoid the "Asteroids".

[url =https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2750034/CapShip/CapShip.html ]Web Player[/url]
[url = https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2750034/CapShip/CapShip.zip]Standalone Build[/url]

Give it a play and tell me what you think.


  • edited
    @Rigormortis - I liked the Idea. I just think you need some visual aid to show how much you have charged the capacitor. Although, it does lend itself to the skill needed at the moment, as you need to play long enough to get a feel for the ship. Often found myself either overshooting or undershooting the amount of movement needed, which ended me right in the trajectory of oncoming asteroids :) At first also wasn't sure if I had to tap or hold the button. You could create 2 seperate effects for either input? An end/win condition would also be cool. Maybe a huge planet behind all the asteroids, that grew as you were heading towards it.

    This late horse has some potential :)
  • Hmmmmmm interesting :)

    I think that given that there is an audio feedback you can tell how much you've charged it, augmenting it with a visual feedback should cool, but not entirely necessary from a prototype point of view :)

    The skill to drive the ship is like driving a car - you kind a don't know what you're getting into until a bit into the driving, which is interesting.

    Now I'm not sure if the mechanic works or not - it seems directly antithesis to a twitch-type game because you have to charge up - so that if you aren't looking WAY ahead and dodging what's coming from afar you're pretty screwed because it's virtually impossible to move quickly. Maybe if you upped the general move speed it may be more twitch-friendly?

    Though next is the question of why this control would be preferable (or more interesting) to traditional controls? It's interesting to me that the mechanic allowed for "precise" movements, as well as a bit of "programming" - that is, if you made it so that the rocket's timing is "fixed", you could "program" a zig-zag route ahead of time to get through a bunch of stuff instead of having to twitch, which, again, this control scheme doesn't seem to suit. Then the accomplishment comes in reading the "route" right and doing it ahead of time and seeing it carried out, while programming more manoeuvres :)

    Has potential though, interesting experiment :)
  • @FanieG, Hmmm, did you play with sound? I actually was focusing on using the sound to provide feedback on how much it's charged. One of the things I wanted to know was how well this worked. What you say about the tapping vs holding is true, I couldn't decide if I wanted to tap and hold or just tap. In the end it was easier to just leave it at tapping and not add holding. There is also a lot of space for improvement in terms of visuals. There usually are in the prototypes I make :P

    @Tuism, Could you see the game working with only audio feedback for the charge? I am trying to find ways to hide "numbers" from players but still make them feel that they can predict actions.(Does that make sense?). The whole game/mechanic is not thought through at all...I believe that this could fit somewhere in some game, but like it is at the moment needs a LOT of work before it becomes the core of a game. As far as why this over "normal" controls, is "because I can" a good enough reason?

    Thanks for playing :)
  • I do like the tapping for the "accuracy" it provides, but if that accuracy isn't useful then there's no point - I'll give the example from one of my favourite game ever, Tetris Attack:


    Where I know exactly that if I wanted to pull of my combo I need to move 3 times to the left, swap, and then two times to the right, and swap (not factually correct to screenshot, so bear with me). Figuring it out on the fly is one part of the skill and challenge, actually carrying it out in time is another skill and challenge - and for that I know exactly how many times to tap tap swap tap tap tap swap. Hitting it right is enormously satisfying :)

    So I think the tap to charge mechanic can give the same sort of feeling if you build the game to give you quick things to figure out and program towards executing.

    Oh and I did find it frustrating that once I lock into left tapping, I can't cancel it and go left if I have to. Not sure how to fix that, two-button-to-cancel seems like one way of doing it, but I don't really like that either...
  • @Rigormortis - My bad - plugged in the old headphones now - much better
  • Cool! the first time I played I didn't understand what was going on, because as mentioned above there's no visual feedback on the charge, there is audio but it's very slow to notice so definitely think that a visual cue is gonna be better here.
    Once I got a hang of the controls I tired quickly from the constant tapping to charge, maybe a hold to charge? nevertheless very cool for so little time! nice one.
  • edited
    Game name = win. My inner punster is well pleased. :P

    Sweet idea, but then I'm biased towards games with interesting control systems. ;) Many ways in which you could develop this!

    I'll add to the request for visual feedback to indicate charge - the pitch-shifted humming's good, but I'd argue some sort of incremental bloom/particle effect would be far clearer when used in conjunction with the pitched sound.

    I'm not sure if a predictive effect to show the endpoint of a jump would be a good idea, but something to give an indication of the charge->movement relationship would help. Not sure how you'd pull that off though - it has the potential to strip away any skill requirement. :/

    And yes, please let us hold down the charge keys. :P

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone :)

    I'm still thinking whether I can/will develop this further, so the feedback is most welcome. :)

    @Tuism, that's a problem I have in general. I like the idea of hiding numbers from players so that the can't predict exactly what's going to happen, but this creates a problem of players not being able to predict exactly what's going to happen. If I do try and implement something like you suggested I'd have to communicate to the player exactly what will happen when they take certain actions.

    @FanieG, thinking back on it I should probably have put up a message somewhere telling the player they're supposed to play with sound...so my bad as well. :P

    @Pomb, did the "not knowing what's going on" make you feel like you wanted to stop playing, or did it make you want to figure out what was going on? I'm asking to try and figure out what kind of frustration players find too frustrating vs enticing/intriguing.

    @Gazza_N, I'm also against predictive endpoint jump. Although, if this is developed further I think it should be included in some way. Even if the game just becomes confided to tracks so you know three taps jumps three tracks...or something like that.

    Thanks again for the feedback. :)
  • Well you could quantify the number of taps to an exact unit of measurement - for example place the ship in a gridded width, so that 3 taps will move the ship 3 spaces, one will move it one, etc. of course that's not the only solution so give it a think :)
  • I second @Tuism 's idea of a grid. Might also give it a TRON-like feeling.
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