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A member registered Jan 15, 2018 · View creator page →

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Background and Previous Projects

I am a technically inclined amateur developer, somewhat lacking in the art department.  I have a full time job and also go to school but I sometimes find a great deal of time to build games in Unity. This is my third major project (ignoring several early abandons) after a somewhat complete 2D space game Orbital Traversal and a project called ShipWright which I have currently shelved in favor of this new project which I am calling SailCruise.  A great deal of the early assets used in ShipWright will transfer well to this project.

The Inspiration

 As it may be obvious, I'm heavily interested in anything ship/boat related.  I love the idea of living aboard a vessel whether it's a spacecraft, sailboat or whatever.  The idea of being able to travel anywhere and live aboard a vessel has such an incredible sense of adventure to me.  Every day has a new set of challenges, sites, experiences and dangers.  You need nothing except your heavily outfitted sailboat and some open water.  You are separated from the rest of the world and free act on a whim.   To travel on a sailboat you have to maintain a laundry list of onboard systems, maintain an inventory of food, fuel, water and navigate the relentless and uncertainty of weather all with the accompaniment of your beloved boat .  The diverse skill-set possessed by a seasoned sailor and the ability to solve inevitable problems and carry a vessel through bad weather is one of the most bad ass things I've witnessed.  

Project Goal

This project, SailCruise (maybe a better name to follow?) is meant to capture all of the above described adventure, freedom, independence and and overall feeling.   My ultimate goal is to make a 3D game based on this idea and not completely unlike a sailing version of the lovely game 'My Summer Car'.  But for now, a 3D open world sailing sim would be overly ambitious.   If I can complete this 2D project and capture a fraction of the experience I will be happy.

Why make this game?
I have no direct intentions of becoming a full time professional developer or making any substantial profits from game dev. I want to do this so that I can make the experience of cruising on a sailboat accessible to anyone with PC or mobile phone.  This includes making the feeling and adventure of that endeavor more regularly accessible to myself.  

Basic Game Mechanics

In contrast to other 2D sailing sims, this game will focus on side on rather than top down.  This is meant to emphasize the cruising/boat management aspects of the game.  The default scene will be the side view of the boat making way with several view modes which cut away the ships hull to manage/view internal systems and resources.  The primary mechanic will be managing the boats sails/engine to maintain a top speed and avoid damaging the boat.  Additionally, the player will need to monitor all boat systems (radio, galley, fresh/waste water systems, electrical, engine etc.  ) There will be a GPS type mini map which can be expanded in order to change course and plan voyages. 

The player will earn money by completing voyages from different locals at which they will be able to fill up on supplies, make repairs and upgrades at marinas.

Sorry for the late reply, I took a bit of a break from gamedev.  I'm not sure there's much interest in an android version but I may sometime soon make an android build.  I will let you know - thanks for playing and for your interest.

Thanks! also that's a quality edit, it doesn't make much sense for a planet to assert gravity.... I will fix that in the next build - this list is getting long.  I can't imagine edits on a big game.

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The art style is awesome, this is a great looking game.  I did have a hard time controlling the ship because it was so fast and the turns were tight.  So as others have mentioned i was just resetting a ton.  Maybe you could start the level out in a more open area until the user gets used to the controls?  I just finished my first game and what I've noticed is that everyone is terrible at it - this is because I play tested it so much that I am a beast and the game balance was totally off the mark (maybe still is?) .  Maybe the same is true for you.  Either way nice game!

If you have time to take a second look I took your advice and updated the fonts, I think it helped alot! Thanks!

I added a few different difficulty levels if you are interested in another go you may feel the game is more balanced on easy ("ensign") or medium("astrostylist").  Thanks again!

I've updated the game to include 3 difficulty levels which scale the ships mass, gravity and rocket force to slow the game down and give more control on easy and medium difficulty.  The hard or "starbuck" mode is the same as the original.  Also I quickly forced the fuel text to change to red at 20%.  Thanks again for your input! If you get a change let me know if this is the balance you were advocating.  

Thanks for the feedback! I think while play-testing I got way to used to this game so I may have it dialed in to a super hard difficulty level.  Maybe I should add a difficulty option which lowers the all the forces on easy to slow everything down?  I don't know why but I wanted this game to be really hard haha -  I will definitely dial it back a bit.

I love the concept and the name.  Its got just the right amount of silliness.  I felt like I was fighting the controls a bit, maybe if the wasd input was fixed rather than relative to the trucks rotation it would be more intuitive.  This could be a great game with some polish.

Fun game I like the audio!  My only complaint is that it seems like the best tactic is to spam click as much as possible - though maybe I just don't understand the clicker genre! Overall a nice complete project.

Very cool, disorienting in a good way.  I may come back and try to get them all I think I got to 11.  I have a few ideas for you.

(1) As others have said, a player model would really complete the immersion.

(2)  It would be really fun and even more disorienting if you added color suddenly.  You get so used to the stark black/white that if the scene changed suddenly to some different color pallet (maybe when you pick up each orb, but only for an instant) it may be really satisfying and shocking.  That also could give some rewarding feedback when succeeding.   You could also use different colors to cast shadows from a different source. I don't mean that you should add color in a way that would totally change your art style, just shift the white/black and use it somehow as a mechanic.

(3) I would prefer if each test was setup in the portal style, i.e. each setup/test is self contained and you are ushered off to the next - that way you are never left wandering aimlessly.  

(4) The general mechanic is fun but I'm not sure how much farther you could take it without some additional creativity - though I was surprised by how you used it as is, so maybe their is a higher ceiling than I am assuming.  

cool game!

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It is called finally finish "something".  Maybe you should let the developer(s) know what they should do to make it a complete work, it that's something they're interested in. 

Thanks for playing! The touch version should play nearly identical to the mouse one haha... But I appreciate your optimism.

Thanks for playing! There are certainly "points of no return" on the maps where you get sucked in.  The easiest way to balance this is to make the ship's rocket more powerful.  The only issue with that is that at a certain point the ship can go wherever it wants and the primary gravity mechanic becomes a slight novelty.  Where there particular levels you felt this way?  I'm sure each level could use some tweaking.  Though in orbital mechanics you really are at the mercy of the the planetary body you are near and have to work with those forces.  Perhaps I should include more tutorial.  Thanks again!

Thanks! I love the music I wish I made it, but all credit goes to The Cynic Project / /  I will certainly toy with the fonts on the next iteration.

A quick look at some of the new art!  Please let me know if you have any opinions as I'm not much of an artist and I rely heavily on feedback.

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I've made several small updates,  the big ones required a significant amount of 'dark work'. 

(1) A custom water shader which feels like a big upgrade coming from a standard blue shader with alpha.  The shader distorts textures behind it according to a noise map and also creates a nice blue/green color gradient. 

(2) I've added a simple propulsion method with a mediocre model/animation, I plan to upgrade all the models as I'll be shifting to art soon.

(3) A realistic drag model (air and water) which takes into account the rendered water surface height,  angle of the objects surface to the water and the relative velocity.  Drag is calculated in all directions.  

The result of these 3 elements can be seen in the gif below.  I've noticed that the addition of the drag physics really forces you to create actual boat shaped hulls.  Before when I was testing, some pretty silly designs were super effective.

Water shader available here

I got my interactive water code to work in 2D, now my boats will have a wake!! 

In working on a simple 2D boat building game called Shipwright if you are interested.  The scope is small and the final platform will be html5/Android. I work alone and used almost all free/cco  art in my previous project because that isn't  my strong  suit at all. I'm hoping to finish it within a  month or so. I'll link the devlog when I get to my desktop. 

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Here is a wireframe demo of how the wave/object buoyancy interaction works.

The water reports the surface vertices and a buoyancy script attached to each block finds the nearest water vertex and uses it's height to calculate a buoyancy force. The water itself is just a 42 vertex plane (no collider) whose vertices are edited each frame to give the wave effect. The force added is simply proportional to the difference between the water vertex closest to the object and the object transform.

Now if we include multiple blocks, all receiving their own unique buoyancy calculation based on wave height, we get boat movement that looks pretty good:

I initially wanted to move away from physics and just add some additional part components but I'm now working on some code which builds information about the boat after its constructed that could inform even more realistic buoyancy calculations and further down the road allow the boat to take on water.  The first step is to construct a mesh that represents the boats hull and will inform for example how much empty space in the boat is displacing water (which should be contributing more buoyancy). Additionally, I want to know much space is there for water to fill the boat.  

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This is the beginning.  Finally finished the first iteration of my space/gravity game Orbital Traversal and I'm super excited to move on to something else for a while.

The basic idea is a 2D game, eventually mobile, where you attempt to construct sea worthy vessels out of basic elements using a drag and drop UI and then test them on various levels.  Each level will have a specific set of challenges and goals.  Goals can be as simple as requiring your ship to carry a heavy cargo element  while different water physics/setups can create unique challenges. The ambitious part of this project is to have realistic water/wave physics that interact realistically with the builds.  However, interactive water physics can be computationally intensive - so the challenge is to optimize so that this can be achieved on mobile devices and browsers.  I previously worked with water physics and have some code base to work from.  Here is a tech demo of the 3D interactive water physics I wrote in Unity:

Details can be found here.

To start I had some simple goals:

  • Get a simple working UI that allows users to drag and drop build
  • Introduce some basic water physics including waves and buoyancy
  • Be able to test simple designs 

These simple goals have largely been accomplished this weekend.  I wrote some simple scripts which allow the user to instantiate block objects and attach them on any face to other block object.  These blocks are then all tied together using Unity fixed hinges.  Next I wrote an algorithm that reads the surface vertices of some water object and offsets them according to a simple sin wave along with some noise to create some basic wave physics.  The only challenging aspect was real time reporting of the water height so that the block objects could read this height and calculate the buoyancy force.   These basic elements are shown in the gif below (anyone know how to embed large gifs?).

Next on the to-do list:

  • Add propulsion elements - some sort of motor to start with.
  • Edit UI so that objects can be rotated.
  • Add more elements besides the 1x1 block such as:

    • triangles
    • curved surfaces
    • motor
    • fuel blocks



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This is a simple, challenging and I think addictive 2D Unity game intended for Android and is my "just finish something" first game.  The basic mechanic is multi-body gravity and navigating through planets and asteroids to reach the goal.  Each planet asserts a gravitational force, even moons orbiting planets use realistic physics. To move the ship you tap in the direction from the ship you'd like to go and the longer you hold the greater the force. The game will have two modes, the first is the main mode in which the goal is to complete each level with the minimum amount of fuel and trophies are awarded for 3 tiers.  Once you get gold on all levels you unlock the timed mode where fuel doesn't matter and you just need to complete each level as quickly as possible. I've finished all the basic elements and am just working on the UI, scoring before I release a 1.0 build.  I currently have 17 levels and have plans for at least 20-25. It's amazing how challenging a complete game can be even if it's not extremely ambitious.   I'm more technically inclined than artistically inclined so the majority of art is free CCS licensed art from the Asset store and opengameart. Here is a GIF of one of the mid-game levels and an image of the Start Menu.