Playing in cool places ?

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Mr. Morden
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Postby Mr. Morden » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:27 am

I lived in Arizona for about a decade and had a lot of fun visiting the Titan Missile Museum.

Also here's a Video Clip.

The launch bunker there would be ideal!
gerph
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Postby gerph » Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:02 pm

gerph wrote:
A. Smith wrote:
gerph wrote:
A. Smith wrote:best place ever would be ina dark room with an ultra-big touchscreen flat on a table... destruction of all human life at the touch of a finger! :D


Hmm... I have a touch panel... and I have a TFT monitor... all I have to do is lie the monitor down and place the touch panel on top. It's so easy it probably ought to be done :-)

do it, and tell us what the results are! its absolutely worth a try.


I've just had a quick play around with it. Making the TFT lie flat is tricky 'cos the back's all rounded. I might go and stick it on a bean-bag or something so it doesn't wobble over the desk. I'll dig out the touchscreen tomorrow some time. If I can I'll try to get some photos but my camera does suck. Hey, it's good for a laugh if nothing else!


Right... here's what happened.

Remove stand from TFT monitor and face up.
Use polystyrene blocks that have been packing other things to balance it so that it doesn't wobble.
Place suitable numbers of O'Reilly books on either side so that the polystrene and the display don't slide about.
Place touch panel on top of TFT.
Load drivers and calibrate.

Here's where the problems begin. Because the touch panel is just lying on top of the TFT it wobbles very slightly. This causes different inputs to be detected depending on where you press. The result is that pressure in one corner forces an edge to rest more closely to the TFT and gives a bad calibration. Solve this by using a glasses cloth under the corners of the panel to ensure its contacts don't change.

Actually seeing the screen properly without having parallax problems (because the panel is over the TFT display so moving yourself changes the perceived position WRT the touch panel - not by much but enough to be confusing if you're not careful), is fun. I had to sit on the desk, looking down on the TFT. In the vertical plane my TFT isn't so clear unless you're facing it, so for this case that means looking straight down at it.

Right, now to the game.

Placing units is nice. Touch unit, touch destination. Depending on how the touch screen is set up, it could be double press for each (first press to place mouse, second press does a click) but not too difficult to use.

Zooming in and out is keyboard only, 'cos there's no 'scroll wheel' on the touch panel.

Scrolling the map once zoomed in is tricky. You have to go right to the edge of the screen to get the map to scroll which usually means a small sweep at the edge of the map. It's possible that this could be solved by having a small zone at the edges which causes scrolling, rather than having to actually go to the edge. I'm not sure - I didn't look at if this was already possible to do.

Moving ships. Oh gawd. Ok, this doesn't work well at all. You have to right click to move the ships. With the touch panel software I'm using that means tap a special region at the top right of the screen (well that's where I placed it) then tap the thing I want to right click. Not impossible but tedious. This might be made easier by allowing the unit to be 'dragged'. Click on the unit and drag to where you want it to go. However, this would clash with the 'attack' order. Maybe if the destination is a ship you should attack and if the destination is clear water/land it should be a move.

Launching planes and bombers. Similar to the ship movement; selecting the type of operation from the menu (and this applies to ships and silos as well as air bases) is a frantic click top right, click unit, click the operation you want.

Silo targeting is as above pretty much, so you have to be pretty quick when you're switching modes from air-defense to launching.

How might I suggest that such things be made easier for a touch screen ? There needs to be an easier 'one-click' mechanism to change modes and select operations. I don't know if this would work, but clicking and holding over a unit could cycle modes. So after a one second click it highlighted that it would select the next mode along, eg after one second holding the button (ok, touching) it would display 'change to ICBM launch?' and if that's what you wanted you would just release the button (stop touching). Since there are a maximum of 4 options (IIRC; the carrier has fighters, bombers, anti-sub and cancel orders) this will take a maximum of 3 seconds per unit, but only one click - with a touch screen you're happier to wait than to have to race to touch somewhere else.

What about generally ? scrolling and zooming is a tricky two handed affair - you have to have one hand on the keyboard for the zoom.

My touch panel's not astoundingly accurate, so getting the exact unit can be tricky when you click on things. That may change if people have better touch screens.

However, these bits aside, it was quite fun. It was a lot slower than I'd usually play because there's only so much that I can do at once - and the scrolling made it harder to get around. As usual the computer killed me, but not as much as normal - maybe because I was playing slower and being more patient.

Anyhow... that's what I found about doing it. I'd have posted some photos except my camera truly has died. Use your imagination :-(
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Dunblas
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Postby Dunblas » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:40 pm

coolest place:
A military BUNKER :D :P
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hellcatv
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Postby hellcatv » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:19 pm

Well you could play the mac version when it comes out...that's bound to have a solution to your one-button woes

also you could try the utility applemouse.exe
http://www.geocities.com/pronto4u/applemouse.html

and just have a control key out there to change your click into a control click
like this device

Image ;-)[/img]
Vega Strike Lead Developer
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/
JoshB
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Postby JoshB » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:57 pm

How about McMurdo Station? Nukes are not very likely to hit you or even pass over you. It isn't even a target on the Defcon map!

Plus, it is very cool! Today a balmy -15 °F (-26 °C).
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MartFace
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Postby MartFace » Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:55 pm

Nothing sweeter than continuing to bring about armageddon while you're enjoying a number 2. Seriously, if you play on a laptop at any point take it anywhere it's just ace. And as for the guy earlier who played in the office meeting, put it in office mode so you can minimize to tray :wink: Also I like to play in the garden when it's nice :)
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GeneticFreak
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Postby GeneticFreak » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:32 pm

this is THE COOLEST place to play :)

Image
Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight

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