Hi Chris,

The best way to track targets in a 3d world is to come up with a
targeting system like GMA Tank Commander uses. You'd have one type of
beep to handle the horizontal axis and a different one for the
vertical axis. The beeps would increase in pitch as you center the
enemy target in the crosshairs and decrease in pitch the further you
are off target.

Plus rather than trying to target multiple targets at once you might
want to have some kind of target selecter---again like Tank
Commander--so you can focus on one specific target at a time. Its not
only easier to track using your targeting beeps, but all real time
information like distance, direction, altitude, etc will be related to
the target that the player is attempting to attack.

For instance, if I'm in a starfighter and in combat with an enemy
starfighter I will likely want all the combat data pertaining to that
target at hand. I wouldn't want the speech output to read combat data
for every enemy ship in the area before getting around to telling me
what I need to know. That kind of thing will get the player killed or
cause some unnecessary delay in the game play. So allowing the player
to select and scan a specific target at a time is the best way to
relay information.

As far as commanding a single ship or a fleet of ships that would be
your call. Either one is good. Perhaps a compromise like Tank
Commander level 6 where you command one ship, but have x number of
A.I. ships you can order to strike an enemy target or follow you into
a combat situation. The player wouldn't have to necessarily monitor
all the allied ships all of the time, as the A.I. would handle most of
the combat themselves--but the player could give the other ships
orders such as follow, hold position, explore sector x, whatever.


On 11/20/11, Christopher Bartlett <themusicalbre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> That's actually one of the things I'm considering, either an update of
> Anacreon, or possibly a  real-time ship combat system with 3d movements and
> actual physics.
> And this brings up an interesting point.  What do people think would be some
> good ways to represent 3d tracking of vessels/ missiles and other objects
> with a 2d soundscape?  The first idea that came to me comes from the NVDA
> mouse-tracking world, where the cursor is represented by tones that pan for
> left-right placement and whose pitch increases as you go up the screen.
> I've come up with a couple of relatively easy ways of representing that
> system mathematically, but what I don't know is would it have the desired
> effect of allowing one to track multiple bogies by sound alone.  (I realize
> that those of you with hearing difficulties that make localization hard
> would have problems with this system and am considering how to provide
> alternate means of accessing the information in real time.)
> So, given the choice between a high-level, explore and conquer game where
> you control an empire, move fleets about and interact with AI-driven enemies
> with the possibility of on-line play once I figure out how to do it?  Or
> would you prefer a more tactical space-battle game where you command a ship
> or a fleet of ships in engagements either with AI-based enemies or later on
> line against human opponents, using several weapon types, all while dealing
> with zero gravity environments, vector physics and having to switch between
> several different control systems?  I think these are the two projects that
> appeal to me most of the things I'm considering.
>       Chris Bartlett

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