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Game Navigation: Opinions and Facts Wanted


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Hey all. I am working out a game with a large map, player moves strategically. It is not an action activity requiring it allowing "twitch" precision.

 

Player can move on 8 directions in the map. I am torn between using the disc for navigation vs the keypad. In Cloudy Mountain, for example, the keypad is used for navigating the map, but realistically at most the keypad is used for less than 10 moves before the player is inside a dungeon, also on the map screen there is no penalty for imprecise move choices in terms of time etc.

 

In the game I am working on, there could be hundreds of strategic move presses, which might be a lot to expect from a player using the keypad for navigation.

 

I was thinking of maybe using the keypad with the option of entry for the number of moves. Maybe for example tap "3" to go Northwest one at a time, but tap "Enter" and then "3" and then "9" to move Northwest 9 squares on the map.

 

I am concerned that using the disc for this kind of navigation might be imprecise; for example if there is an obstacle nearby and time is running out and player wanted to go East but tapped the disc Northeast by accident, player would be frustrated that they wasted time due to control problem.

 

 

All ideas appreciated on how to do smooth but non-frustrating navigation.

 

Thanks.

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Hi, I personally suggest you use the disc for navigation. The concerns you have about precision are applicable to any situation, not just for this particular map navigation, and mitigating them is completely under your program's control.

 

The particular scheme you suggest, with the number of moves, seems overly technical and confusing, and would probably drive me crazy.

 

In my opinion, you are over-thinking the problem. I recommend you implement movements with the disc, try to come up with a scheme that fits your game (e.g., 4-way vs. 8-way, vs. 16-way; damping; heuristics, etc.) and see how it goes.

 

-dZ.

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All ideas appreciated on how to do smooth but non-frustrating navigation.

Sounds like a good case for having an on screen sprite cursor controlled by the disc in a mouse like fashion, e.g. with some acceleration and inertia. The player would move the cursor where they wanted their avatar to go, and then press a fire button. The avatar would use A* path finding to get to the new destination cell (or some simplified route finding algorithm - it depends whats on the map). If it encountered NPCs or other events happened to it e.g. an ambush, found some treasure/weapon etc. on the way from A to B it would be handled by flipping away from the map to the "action" screen. When the game flips back to the map screen, the player's avatar would be stood where the action just happened to it, and the player could choose a different place for it to move to (if needed).

 

If the game's map is too unwieldy then perhaps using a "fog of war" approach to only display what is close to the player would help. Something like a 5 or 6 BACKTAB card radius might work out OK. It all depends on what style of game we are talking about.

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