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Submitted by Josiah Manson, posted on April 08, 2005




Image Description, by Josiah Manson



One of my recent interests has been the usage of game controllers on the computer. A problem with PC gaming vs. console gaming is that there is a lack of human interaction. In console games, it is commonplace for games to be designed so that multiple players can sit next to eachother and play together on the same screen. PC games on the other hand tend to be much more isolating, with the focus being more on playing against other people through the internet. I would like to explore using the PC to make multiplayer games that bring people together.

The setup that I use is with Playstation controllers attached to the computer through USB adapters. I don't have any other sort of controller, so I haven't some games may possibly not work well with other controllers.

I wrote LineDancerUltra in the summer of 2004 in about 2 weeks. It is a game with a simple concept and is probably a ripoff of the classic snake games, but with a twist. The movement of the lines is controlled by the joystick on a playstation controller. As well, there are menus for creating player profiles that keep track of win records, player color, and other statistics. Theoretically, the game can handle as many players as there are controllers, and I have successfully played with as many as 3 players at the same time. If anyone manages to play with more people, I would love to hear about it.

One of the cool effects of the game is the ether that the lines travel through. If you observe the particles they have a slight jiggling to them, and the head of the line leaves a wake. As well, there are powerups that make a splash as they appear. The trails are stored as a series of line segments that change in resolution according to the curviness of the trail. I was originally storing one segment per frame, but every segment has to be drawn and hit checked against per frame, so it became obvious that some simplification was needed. This is done by setting a maximum segment length and otherwise, only adding segments when the direction has changed.

The source and windows binaries can be found at the following URL. http://josiahmanson.kicks-ass.net/jpc2/linedancerultra.php


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
JKelly

April 08, 2005, 11:10 AM

Keep working on it, I think it will only be a matter of time before big LCD monitors are cheap enough that you can use them as entertainment for more then one person. Hopefully game controllers will be as commonplace as mice are to PCs!

 
Dan Royer

April 08, 2005, 01:47 PM

Is this with a lik-sang adapter?
I couldn't figure out how to quit the game once I started playing and eventually the game speed started to drop as the tail got longer and longer. There was no readme and that dos box at the start could be removed. Does it make a difference if you get pluses or minuses? I couldn't tell. I'd like to suggest you use NSIS to handle (un)installation.
Still, for snake game it was fun! The particles were a nice subtle effect and as I filled the screen it became more challenging.

 
slomojo83

April 08, 2005, 06:33 PM

It isn't super obvious how to quit the game. Sorry about that. The way to quit is to hit the start button while playing. This will pause the game and give an option to either quit or resume the game.

The plusses speed you up, and the minuses slow you down. This is most noticible if a few have been gotten of the same type in a row, and makes a big difference when playing against others.

I'm not sure what NSIS is, but the registry isn't changed, and no files are put in odd places, so simply deleting the folder will uninstall the program.

Thank you for your comments.

 
dratti

April 09, 2005, 05:31 PM

Cool! I agree that PC games can be isolating. I wrote a 4 player PC game a few months ago. Set my computer up with TV-Out and got my friends to play it on a big TV; it turned out to be a lot of fun. We used the lik-sang adapters and xbox controllers, they worked flawlessly.

The game I made was Heart Attack: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dratti/HeartAttack/index.html
(though you really need a gamepad to play it properly, it can be played 1 player with the keyboard)

 
slomojo83

April 10, 2005, 07:33 PM

I'm glad that others agree with me about computer games being isolating. I tried playing your Heart Attack game, and it looks very polished, but I was unable to control the game.

I have TV out with my ATI video card as well, but the TV is about the same size as my monitor so that doesn't help me so much. Some are wondering what adaptor I am using, and I actually have 2. One is labeled BNS USA. The other is X-series. Both convert from a PS2 controller to USB which is then recognized by windows without any other software required.

 
Tobias Franke

April 11, 2005, 04:41 AM

I think this is also a reason why retro gaming became popular. I remember playing games like Worms and Heroes of Might & Magic with the "Hot Seat" option with some friends for hours. It was great to hit the oponent directly rather than in the game =)

Another really funny game for up to four players on one keyboard is Jump 'n Bump (http://www.icculus.org/jumpnbump/), try it!

 
potyr7

April 13, 2005, 08:09 AM

What this image means?

 
hike12

April 16, 2005, 09:11 AM

Josiah,

Don't have any PS2 controllers, but could you post the
hmap.tga for the terravive engine? And is there a way
to exit it w/o hitting Alt-Tab and closing the DOS box?
http://terrymorgan.net/download.htm

 
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