top-down cameras. What to do with the up vector

Member
Posts: 320
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #1
Hey
I'm making a top-down driving game. Up until now I have had the up vector of the car always pointing up the z axis. This is fine, except that it is unnatural to steer left to go right and vice versa when the car is driving down the screen.

So I've tried having the up vector follow the car. Now it is much easier to control, but the constant turning of the camera makes people feel ill.

So my question is this. Which - in principle would you prefer? Are there any examples of either that you can think of that have been executed well?

Chopper, iSight Screensavers, DuckDuckDuck: http://majicjungle.com
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
I'm personally quite happy with the constant up arrow, but I know some people aren't, and I think the chase view is more exciting.

Personally, I'd try a chase camera, but smooth its motion considerably. I think this is what most driving games do.
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Member
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Post: #3
The original GTA used constant up, (same controls even when you were on foot... ugh) and I found it confusing. Never really got into playing it because of that.

It sounds like something you could offer as an option.

Or perhaps there's some way to blend the two- perhaps having the camera wait to spin for a bit or something- that way it would end up as a follow option but doing donuts or spinning out wouldn't cause the screen to spin like crazy.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Post: #4
OSC Wrote:I'm personally quite happy with the constant up arrow
Me too!

Most driving games you have to hold like the 'a' button or something... (except in StarFox)...

I belive MicroMachines-Turbo-Racer, was the first game I ever had that you turned in a
clockwise/counter-clockwise motion. I've seen many games that that use the first one you tryed
but, there in Final Fantasy III when you ride the cookoo (or whatever they call the bird) it used
the second one you tryed.

JustinFic Wrote:It sounds like something you could offer as an option.
Yep, I agree!

Quote: Or perhaps there's some way to blend the two- perhaps having the camera wait to spin for a bit or something- that way it would end up as a follow option but doing donuts or spinning out wouldn't cause the screen to spin like crazy.

Yep, this was my first thought too. Sneaky

Oh, yes, I voted 0,0,1 Because I liked MicroMachines type of play Rasp.

Anyway, if you can't do what Justin said just call
the controls Clockwise and CounterClockwise. (if you do it the first way)
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Post: #5
BinarySpike Wrote:in Final Fantasy III when you ride the cookoo (or whatever they call the bird)

Chocobo. Good lord, what's happened to kids these days!?
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Post: #6
I prefer the chase cam that follows the car direction. One of the things you can do to reduce the "sick" feeling people experince would be to greatly slow down the turns as you make them, so they wont snap into place. I experinced a problem of this nature making a top down game a while back. I never finished it though...... so many uncompleted projects..... =\

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Post: #7
ThemsAllTook Wrote:Chocobo. Good lord, what's happened to kids these days!?
Uh, I'm a Nintendo fan.
And I don't play Final Fantasy (I just know gameplay styles REALLY well Wacko)

kodex Wrote:One of the things you can do to reduce the "sick" feeling people experince would be to greatly slow down the turns as you make them, so they wont snap into place.

Basicly you speed up the more you turn so you only face up to 90º.
Do it slowly though. like kodex said "so they won't snap into place".

I was going to do a top down shooting game for udg 2004 but I didn't have time.
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Sage
Posts: 1,199
Joined: 2004.10
Post: #8
In my game, when in chase-camera mode I have a constant up-vector and I find it quite pleasing. However, when you launch a spy drone, the camera mode changes since you're basically going into a flight-sim type mode, and the up-vector now follows the axis of the vehicle.

I guess it's a matter of context. Personally, I found a dynamic up-vector a bit disturbing when driving, since the rotation of the horizon was a little unsettling. But it "feels" great when flying a spy drone...
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Post: #9
Thats weird... this showed up in the new posts list but there's been no new posts for a month....

Anyway thanks for your votes and comments. In light of the results and how sick my game currently makes me I will make the default a constant up vector with probably the chase mode as an option. It'll be up for debate again when beta testing begins in 6 months or so.

Cheers,
David

Chopper, iSight Screensavers, DuckDuckDuck: http://majicjungle.com
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Post: #10
Someone must have just now voted.
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Post: #11
ThemsAllTook Wrote:Chocobo. Good lord, what's happened to kids these days!?

Isn't that a kid's cereal?

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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