Iridium Rising - 3D space combat for the Pi


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by rockhawk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:26 pm
I'd like to introduce our free game for the Pi: Iridium Rising.

Like many people here, I enjoyed playing Elite and Frontier when I was growing up. Since then creating a similar game has always been on my to do list. With a small group of friends we created a simple space combat game while I was at uni (quite a few years ago now!)

We've resurrected this project and massively updated it to work with OpenGL ES 2 on the Raspberry Pi.

The game is played entirely online - you play against other people and AIs running against our server. For now the set up is simply a couple of AI fighters protecting a big AI cruiser. The cruiser has plenty of guns on it - it'll take quite a few people working together to destroy it.

This release is very much a first alpha, work in progress - we have plenty of plans to take it further, to give you an idea:
* User accounts and a score board
* Races through rings
* Specific different scenarios that are launched at particular times

But we'd love to hear what you think!

Download it here: http://iridiumrising.co.uk/IridiumRising.tar.gz

You'll need to be running the 128MB split and a recent firmware for it to work. I suspect you'll also need to be running Debian - I haven't tried it on Arch. I'll do a build for raspbian if there's demand.

If you haven't already installed rpi-update, now would be a good time: Follow hexxeh's instructions at https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update, and run rpi-update 128 to set the memory split correctly.

DarkDragon and I plan to be online at 14:00 BST tomorrow for a bit of a melee.
Find Iridium Rising, our 3D space combat game, on the Pi Store!
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by DarkDragon » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:01 am
If you haven't had a chance to check out Iridium Rising yet, here are a couple of screenshots to give you a better idea about the game.

ImageImage

RockHawk and I will be online playing the game this afternoon at 14:00 BST, and we hope some people will join us.

Ben
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by gruso » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:20 am
This looks really interesting, it's a shame you guys haven't received more feedback. I won't have my Pi fired up until the weekend, but I'm keen to give this a run.
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by jecxjo » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:14 am
Great you've gone and done it. Now I'm going to have to connect my Pi to my TV and start playing video games again. 8-)
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by ghans » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:59 am
This is so cool !
Is it free software ? I would love to see this in the debian repos !

ghans
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by rockhawk » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:47 am
ghans wrote:This is so cool !
Is it free software ? I would love to see this in the debian repos !

Glad you like the game - it would be cool to see a few more people try it out!

For the moment, Iridium Rising is proprietary - it is based on a shared code base that we also build iPhone games for sale against, and we don't currently want to give that away for free.

We also have an issue with the models, which are licenced from Turbo Squid and can only be distributed if they are in a proprietary format - if we freely released the model loading code then I think we might be breaking our licence.

I don't want to completely rule out any possibility of making all or part of the game open source at some point in the future if there is sufficient interest, but for now we'd just like the community's feedback on the game as is, not help with the code.
Find Iridium Rising, our 3D space combat game, on the Pi Store!
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by cheery » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:06 pm
I'm going to look at it once I RS or Farnell delivers. Looks like rather interesting.

Closed source in games is least of harms to users, but can impact usability when the platform changes. Also prevents learning from the sources (which would be helpful for those who want to make games).

If people become enthusiastic about it, you could release the pieces that you can release and help community remake the game that way.
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by anotherbloke » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:40 pm
I will be happy to try it, just need to understand how to install it.

I might try it tonight if i have enough free time.
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by DarkDragon » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:43 pm
Thanks everyone who has already tried the game or plans to. Instructions for installing the game can be found at http://www.iridiumrising.co.uk. Hopefully it is fairly straightforward but please let us know if anything is not clear or you have any problems.
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by Arusha » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:47 am
Tried this out last night, managed to shoot down the enemy fighter, then got blown to bits by the mothership. :lol:

You've got something pretty decent started here, and I'm amazed the Pi can do something like this.

One quirk I found was that while using the throttle and shooting continuously, I couldn't turn right - left was fine, but not right. Whether that's the game, the Pi or my keyboard I can't say though.
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by Alan M » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:24 pm
I've had a few plays now, but never encountered anyone else online. The enemy fighter is easy, but that cruiser is nails.

Couple of suggestions.

1. The option to invert the Y axis on the controls would be great.
2. The game really needs something to give you an impression of speed. Not sure what, some sort of star field perhaps?

Keep up the good work!
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by Arusha » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:15 am
Good call on the Y-axis, I kept going the wrong way.

As for the impression of speed - there isn't really much of one in space, or so I gather. ;) Of course it all depends on how realistic the devs want the game to be.
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by JonB » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:31 pm
They could do it like Elite - with "space dust" streaming towards the user's POV. This moves independantly of the starfield, which doesn't move.

Looks like we may see a port of Oolite...
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by rockhawk » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:03 pm
Great to see some people playing the game and leaving comments on here. DarkDragon and I plan to be online and playing at 8:30pm BST tomorrow, if you would like to meet another ship in the game.

I've added a couple of rings on the server, you can use these to practice precision flying :-) We plan to make races where you have to fly through a load of these rings. I've also made the AI fighter shoot a bit faster as it was really quite weedy!

Arusha wrote:One quirk I found was that while using the throttle and shooting continuously, I couldn't turn right - left was fine, but not right. Whether that's the game, the Pi or my keyboard I can't say though.

Hmm, with my keyboard I don't see that problem. I think some keyboards are limited in being able to report particular combinations of pressed keys - we want to make the keys remappable so once we get that done you'll be able to play around and find something that works for you.

You can check if it's definitely a problem with your setup using the "showkey" program that should be part of the Debian image - that will print the scan codes of keys as you press them. If that doesn't report pressed events for all the keys as you press them then that'll be the problem :-)

Alan M wrote:I've had a few plays now, but never encountered anyone else online. The enemy fighter is easy, but that cruiser is nails.

A tip for the cruiser is that it has a blind spot directly to each side of it. You do need more than one of you though to take it's shields down fast enough.

Alan M wrote:1. The option to invert the Y axis on the controls would be great.

Yep, DarkDragon and I argued about which way that should be already. We plan to let you remap all the keys in the next release, but if we don't manage to get that done we'll just add a command line option to invert up and down!

JonB wrote:They could do it like Elite - with "space dust" streaming towards the user's POV

Arusha wrote:Of course it all depends on how realistic the devs want the game to be.

We'll definitely give the "space dust" a go, though we have a few other things (like in game chat) we want to get done first. On realism - to start with we had no drag at all, but that makes the game rather unplayable - you tend to fly past the person you're fighting against really fast! We're trying to balance making it reasonably realistic with making it playable.

Unfortunately I'm busy this weekend, so next client release will likely be the weekend after.
Find Iridium Rising, our 3D space combat game, on the Pi Store!
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by JonB » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:30 am
I would recommend recreating the Elite control method for flying about in a 3D environment. Anything else is basically unplayable.
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by Newt_Othis » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:39 pm
JonB wrote:Looks like we may see a port of Oolite...


Please tell me this is true... :)
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by tawalker » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:49 pm
Newt_Othis wrote:
JonB wrote:Looks like we may see a port of Oolite...


Please tell me this is true... :)

I noticed oolite is in the "community" repository of Arch/x86 - could it be compiled for ARM too?
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by pygmy_giant » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:57 pm
can you play this off-line?
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by Newt_Othis » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:02 pm
@ tawalker - I think the main problem is that Oolite uses OpenGL which isn't supported on the RasPi.

There is, however a lot of interest amongst the Oolite people for a RasPi port, I believe.
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by pygmy_giant » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:37 pm
@ pygmy_giant

No -its played entirely on-line - you should read the thread properly before posting
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by jimmyeao » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:37 am
I just dropped this on my Pi lastnight, but when I run I get:
./IridiumRising: line 49: ./rdwclient: Permission denied.

Im still learning linux (being a long time windows user) but Im guessing I need to chmod something, Im just not sure what :)

Any pointers would be appreciated, would like to try this game, I was a fan of Elite on the BBC back in the day, cant wait to see how this measures up!
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by rockhawk » Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:29 pm
jimmyeao wrote:I just dropped this on my Pi lastnight, but when I run I get:
./IridiumRising: line 49: ./rdwclient: Permission denied.

Im still learning linux (being a long time windows user) but Im guessing I need to chmod something, Im just not sure what :)

Any pointers would be appreciated, would like to try this game, I was a fan of Elite on the BBC back in the day, cant wait to see how this measures up!

Apologies for the slow response, I've been busy with "real life". The good news is we should have a new release for you tomorrow, with (hopefully) space dust, in game chat, and remappable keys (so you can invert up/down, and in fact reconfigure what keys do what as much as you like).

That's very strange that rdwclient isn't executable - it's in the subdirectory PI of the IridiumRising distribution. Try
Code: Select all
chmod a+x PI/rdwclient
from the main IridiumRising directory.

If that doesn't work, let me know what
Code: Select all
ls -l PI
says.
Find Iridium Rising, our 3D space combat game, on the Pi Store!
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by rockhawk » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:59 pm
I've just uploaded the new version to http://iridiumrising.co.uk/, please give it a try!

New features:
- In game chat: You can now chat to other people in the game, press T to enter chat mode, type your message, and press Enter to send it or Escape to exit chat
- Space dust: As suggested by JonB and Alan M, we've added some space dust to give some hint of your speed - let us know what you think.
- Remappable keys: You can now switch to inverted up/down by copying keyinverse.txt over keyboard.txt in the PI directory. In fact, you can completely change your keymap if you want - it should be fairly obvious how to edit the keyboard.txt file, the key numbers are the scancodes that the "showkey" command returns.
- The script that launches the game now remembers your name.

Plus, we've fixed a few minor bugs.
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by BenWiley4000 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:45 pm
Could someone briefly explain what changing the split will do to my system? I'm not even completely sure what it means, and will it reduce my system's general performance?
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by Alan M » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:01 pm
BenWiley4000 wrote:Could someone briefly explain what changing the split will do to my system? I'm not even completely sure what it means, and will it reduce my system's general performance?


Changing the split means you vary the amount of memory that you dedicate to the graphics processor. The GPU in the Pi has no memory of its own as most PC graphics cards do, so it uses a portion of the main system memory. Whether or not this will reduce your system performance really depends on what you're doing with your Pi. Also keep in mind that you can always change the split back when you're done. It's not permanent.
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