Author Topic: Kiting, kiteboarding or kitesurfing.. (the next tony hawks?)  (Read 3439 times)

Offline El Goorf

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Hi, first post, so I'll begin with a brief introduction, I'm a student in the UK just finishing my first year of computer science + economics, I've been programming with DarkBASIC Professional since my early teens. DBP is a game dev kit designed for making games using DirectX, but as the name suggests, is no where near as functional as REAL professional languages such as C++, hence I've recently taken an interest in learning that too (while my uni course force-feeds Java tutorials down my neck), hence this is where I'm concerned about programming to use the wii controls, I haven't looked closely yet, but I imagine I'd have a lot to learn)

I recently came across the youtube vid's of johnny doing his magical stuff with the Wii Sensor bar, the 3D window really getting my attention, so now i want to have a go. While thinking of what to do for a project, I looked out of the window, and the kiteboarder in me thought "crap day for kiteboarding..."

So, thats when the idea hit me, make a kiteboarding sim using the wiimote. Most powerkites have 2 pairs of lines, left power and brake, and right power and brake. Putting either side steers the kite in that direction, pulling on the powers (lines attached to the top of the handles, so by pulling the handles back towards you, the powers are being pulled) opens the kite up to catch more wind, while pulling the brakes (connected to the bottom of the handles) closes the kite up again. A pair of Wiimotes would be ideal for this.

So holding a wiimote in each hand, leaning them backwards and forwards would be identical to the movements for controlling a kite. the accelerometer could also be used to detect a "tugging" motion used for when the wind is dying, or for launching the kite. A physics engine would also be used for the kite to handle realistically. I'm thinking simple cloth physics for the kite, possibly the lines too, with invisible collision spheres for the wind.

However, kiting isn't all in the arms, there are also the feet controls, not just for the landboard or surfboard (steering leaning back and forth just like on a skateboard), but also for when you're being pulled along on you feet, there's still the motion of digging in heels to the ground as you lean back to stop yourself toppling over, or there's also the option for the steering foot pedals of a kiting buggy.

The obvious answer is to use the wii-fit to detect foot motion, but I'm not sure I want to splash out so much before knowing how far into the project I'll manage to get, so I'm thinking for now to either have some AI control the feet or do it with the analogue stick on the controller.


So there's my plan, any comments, ideas, etc, welcome :D



Offline ZaPPZion

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I've got a couple things that are important to think about:

- What programming language are you going to use?
- What 3d engine fits with that language?
- Cloth physics are quite hard to program, and you should probably put gameplay at a higher priority then graphics.
- I think you just need 1 controller, but with a nunchuk plugin, that'll basicly give you 2 wiimote accelero meters.
- I'd sugest to first make the feet being controlled by the joystick of a nunchuk, and maybe later with a wiifit, since i've not yet seen any libraries for the wiifit.

About the programming language and 3d engine i've got a couple suggestions. If you're learning java at school, there's not much of a change when using C#, that language is almost identical to java syntax. C++ will take a lot more time getting used to, and there are already libraries for the wiimote input for .NET languages as C#, so that saves some time. If you are using C#, there is a pretty good 3d engine that i'm already using, called truevision3d. It's a cheap engine, even free if you don't plan to sell your game. That makes it pretty cool, since you can just try the engine and experiment without having to spend about 500$. Anyway, if you need help on the programming part, you can just ask about it, I'm willing to help/give advice.

Greetings,
Bart



Offline El Goorf

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hi, thanks for taking an interest

Quote
- What programming language are you going to use?
- What 3d engine fits with that language?
- Cloth physics are quite hard to program, and you should probably put gameplay at a higher priority then graphics.
- I think you just need 1 controller, but with a nunchuk plugin, that'll basicly give you 2 wiimote accelero meters.
- I'd sugest to first make the feet being controlled by the joystick of a nunchuk, and maybe later with a wiifit, since i've not yet seen any libraries for the wiifit.

I think I'll begin by prototyping with DarkBASIC Pro, I have a plugin which enables use of Ageia PhysX, which I'll use for the cloth physics, it's rather simple, though it'd mean making a wrapper for DBP to support the wiimote libraries, since I don't think anyone's done it yet, and i've only ever attempted a wrapper one before. Once I've done the prototype I'll have a stab with another language
I guess I could just use the nunchuck, I was thinking of having 2 controllers since they'd feel the same just like kite handles, but thinking about it now, it's probably not that important. And yes, I think I'll make the feet controlled with the analogue stick in the mean time.

cheers.