Lateral rod movement?

Discusion of Pishtech's game VR Sportfishing

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Lateral rod movement?

Postby AzDesertRat » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:39 am

First of all, thank you for an AMAZING fishing simulation! Since the days of Trophy Bass I've longed for a worthy fishing title on the PC and VR Sportfishing has me hooked, lol.

I'm not sure if I have overlooked an option but there does not seem to be any way to control rod tip movement left or right after you have made a cast. Almost as if the rod is fixed to a y-axis only with no lateral x-axis movement possible. If this is not currently possible I believe adding this capability would greatly enhance lure control, especially when popping jigs, twitching a texas rigged worm along the bottom or zigzagging a crankbait.

Also, I noticed in the video featuring 3D glasses and the Stix controller that you are able to cast using a simulated motion. Adding an optional control method for mouse users similar to that used in the Rapala PC game would really help to increase the realism factor. While I've read that some users enjoy the current, simplified click method for casting it certainly wouldn't hurt to have an advanced casting method that provided more immersed "feel" to the gameplay experience.

Lastly, I can not wait to work with the lake editor once it is made available! Giving users the ability to create custom lakes/ponds/rivers would really help the community to grow and I believe will attract a lot of new customers. I personally have access to literally terabytes of high resolution 0.5M LIDAR elevation scans from many areas of the United States which I use to design virtual renditions of golf courses for a simulator company. The accuracy of this data is incredible and since the scans register down to bare earth all terrain data is captured including waterbed levels. Below are some sample screenshots from within a propriety architect program. The first pic is raw LIDAR data of Bodega Harbor on the northern California coast imported directly into the software after being converted to DXF format and the other two pics include a Google Earth satellite image draped over the terrain. I can convert the elevation data to any type of mesh format or height field image :wink: .

http://desertrat.customplaygolf.net/bodega_1.jpg
http://desertrat.customplaygolf.net/bodega_2.jpg
http://desertrat.customplaygolf.net/bodega_4.jpg
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby paul » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:58 pm

Hey, AzDesertRat - Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your feedback!

You're right that some lateral control of the rod and an optional manual mode for casting would be a real improvement for those who like to simulate the sport as closely as possible. The manual casting mode is something I've given a lot of thought to, and I'll put it on the list for the next update.

The lateral rod movement is a little trickier, but not impossible. The challenge is coordinating the movement of a lot of joints in the human body, so the reeling hand stays with the reel while cranking and moving the rod. Picture yourself holding a rod in your right hand and the crank of the reel in your left and cranking the reel, all while moving the rod up and down and side to side, coordinating the movements to keep the reel cranking in your hand and turning correctly. The combination and coordination of movements of wrists, elbows and shoulders to do this, all without thinking about it is a good example of how amazing the human brain is. We simply think about how fast we want to reel and what motion we want at the rod tip, and all our muscles do whatever it takes to make it happen. One of the bigger challenges for me in animating the characters in the game was that coordination of moving joints to work a rod while reeling. Adding a sideways componant to the rod movement complicates it much further, but I've got an idea for a method to simplify it somewhat. If I can make it work and look fairly realistic I'll include that in an update too.

Of course, if it works, that would open up other casting techniques too, like side-arm casts. I'll do some experimenting that that and see what I can do.

As for supporting custom lakes, I'm definitely going to include that. Enough people really want it, so it's definitely worth the work. I want to be careful about how custom lakes are distributed, though. With the recent comments about the custom waters for RWFF the creator of the most add-ons has decided not to share his work with the community any longer. I'm really hoping he'll reconsider, and fans of his work are desperately urging him to come back. A lot of people have a lot of fun with his add-ons to the game, and it would be a terrible loss if hard feelings over a few comments on the forum cost us such a valuable contributor. It's really important that we all remember that an add-on that doesn't appeal to one person might be someone elses idea of a great virtual fishing experience. There's a place and an audience for all styles and types of add-ons, and we need a way to share these things that allows for a wide range of content and makes it easy for people to find and download the add-ons they'll enjoy. I'll continue to release some official Pishtech add-ons, so those who prefer those types of locations have some new waters to fish from time to time. And I'll continue to encourage others to share their work with the community as well.

Tight lines,

Paul
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby David Holak » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:29 pm

Yes great catch...lol no pun intended! This would deffinetly work great with the jerk baits! Keep up the great work paul 'n' crew! :)
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby mitchlin » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:38 pm

Support for force feedback joysticks would be nice also. RWFF has it.
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby AzDesertRat » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:40 pm

Paul,

Thanks for the quick reply. Great to hear a manual casting method will be included with the next update.

I understand the complexity of having the reeling animation tied to the rod movement (done some animation variants for a golfer model to mimic pre-address routines, can take a LOT of time for them to look just right in Max). Perhaps in the interim, a simple solution that would still be quite realistic could be to disable reeling when the rod is swung left or right? Once the rod is repositioned after the lateral rod movement you can start to reel again. This would essentially require only one new animation so the rod control would then toggle between the two animation options based on left mouse button being clicked or not.

Optional casting methods would be sweet :D . Again, to keep it simple you could just have the cast method choice in one of the option menus and/or assigned to a hotkey to quickly toggle from one method to another. A sidearm and underhand option would be ideal (I do a lot of jigging for largemouth at my local lake in AZ so underhand would be a welcome addition).

It's unfortunate that the user who has created custom content for RWFF has opted to not share work. I have seen this happen before with other simulation games and most of the time is due to a few ignorant users that make uncalled for or rude comments rather than providing constructive criticism. If these people understood the time and work required for people to create custom content then they might have a bit more appreciation. No one forces you to download the add-on content so if you don't like the lake/map/course just delete it and move on. One thing that I have done on my fansite (http://www.customplaylive.com) for the retail version of our golf title is setup a system where all user submitted content must be first reviewed by the site admins before the file(s) is added to our download section. This helps to ensure there are not any obvious issues with the content before it is made availabe. Also, we do allow our site members to add comments but I have a couple moderators that ensure that any negative remarks are stated in a tasteful manner. The last thing we want to have happen is for custom designers to be disauded from creating new content because of comments from a few unruly people. The whole idea is to create a positive online community for fans of the game to share their passion with others.

BTW - I have the space and bandwith available on my server so if we get a lake editor there's a good possibility I'll setup a fansite to host custom content. After closer inspection of the game's file directory I noticed that the object assests are .X based which could open a lot of potential for custom model add-ons if the editor will be able to support them. I have used Alien Codec's Plant-Life and Tree Magic for other games which both offer directx .x mesh export and have a pretty substantial custom library that I could make available to other users. Loads of potential with this game!
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby paul » Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:50 pm

I'm happy to say that the custom outing creator I was speaking of has returned. A lot of fans of his work urged him to continue to share his outings and he's already back to work on new ones. I think we all learned from the incident - those who don't care for certain types of add-ons should be keep in mind that not everyone wants the same content for the game, and we need to accept that some of the add-ons will have quality issues, especially the work of a new contributor and they learns through the process. And when we disagree about what's best for the game we need to do our best to keep it civil. Considering the total number of posts on these forums I'm happy to say that the tone is almost always encouraging, welcoming and cooperative.

I've been thinking about the rod movement issue. Even if you couldn't reel while moving the rod you'd want your hand to stay with the reel knob, at whatever position the reel crank is at while you move the rod. One shortcut I'm considering for the lateral rod movement would be to twist the anglers shoulders around the spine 10 or 15 degrees. It's an oversimplification of the motions you might make to move the rod, but it would keep the arms parallel, so the coordination of the hand positions with the reel wouldn't be effected. And that's a motion I can do programatically, by directly changing the rotation of a few bones in the software, without changing the animations built into the models at all.

Yes, all the models used in the game are in the .x format. I use Blender for the modeling. It's a very powerful tool, capable of doing just about everything the expensive modeling tools can do, yet it's free. It takes a while to learn the interface, since to be efficient with it requires that you learn a lot of keyboard shorcuts, but all in all I've been very impressed with it.

The first thing I need to do for the lake editor is to move all the data related to the lakes (longitude, fish populations, concentrations of different types of weeds and trees, bait shop location, names of files for textures and maps used for the lake, etc.) out of the code and into files. Then adding a lake will be a matter of creating the maps and textures and filling out a configuration file. When that's done I'll write detailed documentation about what tools I use when I create a lake myself. Most of the mapping is done in L3DT, a powerful terrain generator. There's a free version and very reasonably priced professional version.

Perhaps in time I can add support for customized boats, etc., but first things first.

If you'd be willing to host custom content for VRS, that would be great!

Tight lines,

Paul
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby AzDesertRat » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:25 pm

mitchlin wrote:Support for force feedback joysticks would be nice also. RWFF has it.


Much agreed, FFB support for joysticks and analog gampads along with mapping options would be great. I know the Agetec reel that was bundled with Bass Landing for the PSX works just fine on the PC via a cheapo $10 psc-to-usb converter from Radio Shack. This is an excellent controller which could be a viable alternative for some users if generic pad/stick support is eventually added.

Also, wanted to thank Paul for giving us a simulator that presented the gameplay from a fisherman's POV. I've played far too many games that force the player to use an underwater lure retrieval view only which I personally feel completely detracts from the sim experience. While it might be "cool" to see this viewing angle I think it's best reserved for replay videos only. Nothing like that adrenaline rush you get from a sudden surface strike or line tug, especially if you happen to be reaching for a cold one at that exact moment, LOL:lol:.
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Re: Lateral rod movement?

Postby AzDesertRat » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:00 pm

Glad to hear that Martin is back for the RWFF crowd after the unfortunate trail of messages.

Your rod movement quick fix sounds like it will be a good solution, thanks for listening to feedback.

While I primarily use 3DSMax I'm glad to see Blender mentioned since it is free. The no cost factor may encourage designers to learn some basic modeling skills to spruce up their lake surroundings. I'll be happy to host custom model and texture content for designers (plus any other related files) in addition to user submitted lakes or other fishing locales. We have a 100mbit pipe and substantial server space. I can setup the lake downloads very similar to our golf site with different categories: Pond, Lake, River with Real & Fictional sub categories for each.
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