Superhero game update

After uploading the super hero game I made a page for, I wanted to revisit the idea and implement a different way to ‘destroy’ the buildings.

In the original code, once a wall was hit by either a projectile or beam (or a fast moving player), it would remove the original wall, and ‘fill in’ that wall with equal sized cubes, and if a damage threshold has been reached, it would apply physics to those cubes in the effected area, and then an explosion force to the cubes.

As you can imagine, for large walls it was extremely inefficient to remove the entire wall and replace the whole thing with smaller cubes. The cube size I was using was 0.5m x 0.5m x 0.5m. So a single wall that was 100 meters high and 100 meters wide (with only a depth of 0.5m) is 10,000 cubes. And each cube has 6 faces for 12 triangles (2 triangles per face); it starts to very quickly become very expensive in terms of processing power. Especially if the player was only hitting a very small part of the wall.

In the latest update I’ve been working on, I changed the way the code works so that I’m actually manipulating the vertices of the cubes, and generating new cubes on the fly. Essentially, when a wall is hit I have the code split the wall in half lengthwise, then heightwise, and continue down splitting the wall in the area that is affected. So instead of replacing the entire wall, I end up only replacing the effected part, and the rest of the wall is more efficiently split apart.

I’m debating on posting all the code for the game once I clean it up a little more, or possibly going through it and adding multiplayer support.

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Superhero build posted

I posted a small Superhero game test in the Superhero page, or you can just play it here.
Instructions: Create your character and you will start at the top of the white building.  W, A, S, D move your character around. Space jumps. Holding space will make you jump higher (according to the power). Jumping while mid air will activate the Flight power. To equip a beam or ball power, click on it and assign it to your left hand (right hand is not implemented). Any power above 5 will usually cause the framerate to momentarily drop. Beam powers do not have a special effect, but they still work.


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Super Hero Prototype

The other week I decided to try and prototype out an idea I had been tossing around in my head for several years.

In June 1995 I bought my first issue of PC Gamer magazine. The cover story was on a now defunct company called BullFrog, which ended up releasing some amazing games. The story was a preview of a bunch of games that were, at that time, currently in development. Maybe it was the writing, or the idea, or the simple fact that it was my first PC Gamer mag, but I still remember a section about a game that was about super heroes. The game was called M.I.S.T. (My Incredible Super Team) which was later shortened to The Incredibles. It was only a few paragraphs about the concept, but I still remember the broad strokes. Fully destructible environment, custom super heroes, fighting in a city that feels the effects of your power.

Every couple of years since then I would try to find out whatever happened to it. I couldn’t remember much about it, and I didn’t have the magazine anymore. Last month I finally reached out to someone who had the magazine and scanned in the pages for me, which you can see here. I decided to revisit the idea of a game like that, and prototype out some ideas.

One of the most important things is the destructible environment. Not just because it looks cool; I want the player to feel like they have power, and they have a choice to use that power responsibly or carelessly and then are able to see the effects they make based on their choices and actions. Of course that’s an incredibly hard thing to pull off in a game, so I spent a few weeks tossing around ideas of how I could hack something together.

I think I have the basics of one of those ideas down, and prototyped it out. The prototype works on a small scale, so I want to start introducing some more variables and increase the scale and see how it responds. Either way I’ll post up some screenshots on how it goes.

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