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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19113
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
(20:47:09) AH: Hey.
(20:47:13) Me: hello
(20:48:47) AH: By chance, are you familiar with any of the following?
Kevin & Kell
GPF
Metal Gear Solid 2's "Snake Tales" addon
(20:49:03) Me: GPF comics? Heard of the name.
(20:49:09) Me: Kevin and Kell? Do you mean Kenan?
(20:49:14) AH: Nope.
(20:49:23) Me: MGS2: Never played it. I didn't like MGS1 that much.
(20:49:53) AH: Kevin and Kell. Webcomic by the same guy who draws Safe Havens (and if you get it, On the Fasttrack).
(20:49:56) Me: The only snake game I ever got into was nibbles in QBasic.
(20:50:03) AH: Hehe, nibbles
(20:50:22) AH: Nibbles and Gorilla (2D ballistics for the win)
(20:50:55) Me: Gorillas has been ported to the NES, and it is called Solar Wars.
(20:51:19) AH: I'm more of a Scorched Earth man myself.
(20:51:32) AH: Or Gunbound when I can get to it.
(20:51:37) Me: Same thing. Sometime you should grab a friend and try Solar Wars.
(20:52:02) AH: Actually, this was this one fun low-gravity space-based one, whose name escapes me.
(20:52:26) Me: Solar Wars has about eight or nine skins, each with its own gravity.
(20:52:31) AH: Instead of one landscape at the bottom, the playfield was a bunch of planets of sorts.
(20:53:15) AH: And the gravity centered around any land masses, rather than leading down.
(20:53:28) Me: Interesting. But anyway:
http://www.zyx.com/chrisc/solarwars.html
(20:53:36) AH: It was the only SE/SW/Gorillas "clone" I ever got to work online.
(20:54:30) Me: Some NES emulators have netplay.
(21:03:11) AH: Okay, these controls make no sense.
(21:03:30) Me: How not?
(21:03:48) AH: I have the player on the left using 0 vertical power and maximum right horizontal power and he can't shoot right?
(21:04:09) Me: Try a bit more vertical power.
(21:04:46) Me: Shoot a cannon straight out in front of you and of course the shell will hit the ground quickly.
(21:05:11) AH: It's not a matter of how quickly it hits.
(21:05:34) AH: It's a matter of where. Why can't I aim right?
(21:05:54) Me: I don't know.
(21:06:05) Me: You may be missing something simple.
(21:06:26) AH: ...oh, I think I was confused by the fact that you can't see both players on the same screen.
(21:07:20) AH: Also, who aims with vertical and horizontal power?
(21:07:45) Me: What you're seeing is rectangular aiming. Some other games use polar aiming.
(21:08:21) AH: I think this is the only game that USES rectangular aiming.
(21:08:59) Me: And Super Mario 64 was the only 3D platformer at the time that used an analog joystick.
(21:09:19) AH: Apples and oranges.
(21:09:50) AH: That'd be like saying such and such was the only ballistics clone that used fractional units of measure.
(21:10:02) Me: What is your underlying implication about the game?
(21:10:21) Me: Just because something isn't an exact clone of something else doesn't mean that the difference is unacceptable.
(21:10:40) AH: A better comparison woulud be SM64 to SM64 DS, since (as far as I understand it) all the controls for the character are through the touch screen.
(21:11:23) Me: ok
(21:11:48) AH: Or, say, someone graduating to Pop'n Stage based solely on Beatmania/Pop'n experience.
(21:12:00) AH: Entirely different control scheme.
(21:13:15) AH: If I'm throwing something to you, I don't choose a point in space where you are (or where the arc passes through, I don't know what the rectangular coordinates in SW point to) and have at it.
(21:13:30) AH: I aim (angle) and hope I throw hard enough (power) to get it to you.
(21:14:21) Me: Actually, you use your pec (one component) and your tricep (another).
(21:14:48) Me: Elevation/power is just an abstraction that your brain uses.
(21:15:27) AH: That's like saying high-level languages are just abstractions for assembly.
(21:15:34) Me: Well they are
(21:15:38) AH: True.
(21:16:19) AH: But (please tell me this isn't a bad example) how are you programming Luminesweeper?
(21:16:54) AH: On how low a level are you coding?
(21:17:04) Me: It's in C, using libraries that I wrote myself (except for the boot code and the GSM audio decoder). It's not in Python like Pydance.
(21:17:13) Me: C is much closer to assembly than Python.
(21:17:31) AH: But it's still an abstraction.
(21:18:00) Me: Yes. Everything is an abstraction. But does that make the X/Y velocity control method worse for a ballistics game?
(21:18:32) AH: Your nervous system may throw in rectangular, but your rational mind must determine the coordinates for your legs (to turn you) and your arms/chest (to get it far enough).
(21:19:29) AH: Given the abstractions we use, yes, I have to say it does.
(21:20:20) Me: "Solar Wars sucks because rectangular aiming sucks because that's not what I'm used to." Is this your argument?
(21:21:09) AH: Solar Wars sucks because rectangular aiming sucks because that's not what I'm used to _in_real_life._ That's my argument.
(21:21:49) Me: Can I post this on the nesdev board?
(21:22:34) AH: I suppose.


So is there a specific reason why Solar Wars uses rectangular coordinates for velocity rather than the more familiar polar coordinates?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:44 pm 
(and in case it isn't painfully obvious, I am that AH.)

Addendum: during this discussion, I misunderstood the specific concept of "rectangular" w.r.t. Solar Wars -- that the values are components of the vector.

There are a few things that, in practical use, we use rectangular coordinates for. Identity of location, for one. (Hell, we abstract the spherical coordinates to rectangular ones every time we look at a cylindrical map projection.) But (now that I really think about it) we actually use polar abstractions a lot more than HS/college math lets on. I may say that I'm going 3 feet north and 4 yards west of where I am, but I don't travel that way; I turn straight toward there and walk 5 feet. (Again, spherical -> rectangular abstraction, but you get my point.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:33 am
Posts: 3715
Location: Central Texas, USA
In Solar Wars do you shoot a canon? If so, then it would be most logical for it to be polar, since that's what the actual canon uses. If you argue for rectangular, then you're arguing that each player has a computer to convert the horizongal and vertical components to polar. If that's the case, each player would probably just be using a computer that allowed them to enter the coordinates of the target in the first place.

One reason polar aiming is probably used for these Artillery Duel-type games (original I played on the Colecovision) is that it can be grasped more easily and shown graphically as the angle of the barrel. There must be a compelling reason since it's otherwise more complex to program a polar user-interface.

In the end all that matters is whether it's fun and challenging to aim at your target.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:40 pm 
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Posts: 3470
Location: Indianapolis
Yeah, usually the first shots are wild misses anyways. So part of the fun is adjusting the aim. If it was much more intuitive also, the second player would have even more of an advantage, heheh.

The bigger complaint for me is usually not having anyone to play against. I'm hoping tha sometime I can get some kind of SLIP TCP/IP host program working on PC, so it'd playable over the network on Squeedo. That would be cool.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19113
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Memblers wrote:
The bigger complaint for me is usually not having anyone to play against.

Don't any of the NES emulators have Kaillera style netplay?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Canada
The only thing I can think of is that translating from polar coordinates to something like a (vx,vy) velocity to move the bullet is tough on the NES.

But I doubt that; I mean I've seen ELITE.NES. Maybe lazy coding?

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- ravuya


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:17 am 
Hi, Chris C here.

If I could do it over again, I'd use polar coordinates, but at the time, I didn't know how to program them in assembly.

So I don't favour rectangular co-ordinates; it was just much easier to fit into the 2-dimensional physics system that I had.

But it's nice that people are simply _mentioning_ Solar Wars. :)


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