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Tiger Territory

 by Filip
 Rating: 6.7/10 after 7 votes Please login to rate! Can't rate your own Game! Already rated!

5 years ago by Filip

Hi ImpactJS community,

Tiger Territory is a two-mode top-down adventure/arcade game focused on the life of a Sumatran tiger in Indonesia. I made it using ImpactJS (with artwork and animation by my colleague Alasdair Davies). I made a bit of music for it as well.

Both of us work for the Zoological Society of London, a charity based at and including ZSL London Zoo (the world's oldest scientific zoo).

The game is full screen, hopefully works on most desktop and tablet browsers and can be controlled with keys, mouse and touch. I'm still working on a properly small-screen mobile friendly version as it doesn't scale down that far yet very well.

As with most such things I would have probably done a lot of things differently if starting today (it's been a giant learning experience) but the game has quite a few fun features that I'd love to share with you and possibly discuss.

Features
---------------

Mouse, keyboard or touch joystick controlled tiger (I made my own simple touch joystick using Microsoft's new pointer events standard and hand.js as a filler for nonsupporting browsers)

Tiger movements include running (with energy bar), walking, prowling, swimming, sleeping and sniffing

Tiger can hide from prey under trees (almost invisible to prey when prowling)

Prey is tapir, deer and boar and each have their own little AI personality traits including sight range/angle, hearing range and speed.

The world also includes snares which can catch tigers, camera traps which take photos of them and electric fences which hurt.

Adventure mode contains 12 achievements the player has to unlock.

Spoiler: On adventure mode you can find another tiger that follows you around.

Arcade mode is a race against time to get as many points as possible. Mostly through 14 bonus/combo types. There's a MongoDB powered scoreboard for this too.

There are two maps, one ridiculously huge one for desktop and one smaller one for tablets.

Every game activity is logged using Google Analytics events so we can track exactly what's working and what isn't and hopefully do some live visualisations eventually.

---------

I'd love to hear what you think and get some feedback. Also, if anyone has any questions about how I did something or why I did something, let me know.

www.zsl.org/tigergame

Thanks for your time.

Filip

5 years ago by copman

This game looks really good and polished!
But you can really make lot more of it, as some things are really annoying!
-Controls are not good,
-"Z" is always a bad idea because it is "Y" in german.
-Animals just disappear, why ? where are they gone ?
-Collisionboxes are much too large i guess.
-if i caught an animal, no feedback, again where is it?

just giving this (honest) feedback because the game could be tremendously better if you fix this, and this could be done more ore less easily, i guess…

the visuals & UI and the atmosphere is great!

5 years ago by Filip

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'll certainly fix the controls. Especially the running button (didn't think of the Y/Z flip!, very valid point). The best control method is actually the mouse/touchscreen so I'll probably push that to the top of the control list to make it clearer.

Regarding the disappearing animals, they vanish when they hit the side of the screen and respawn at their first location but also when they hit snares or electric fences.

There's not really a death animation as on the arcade mode you get so many that it'd look a bit silly. We were originally thinking a cloud of some sort so might re-investigate it. There used to be a message but it just got a bit crowded with too many of them when you play well in arcade.

I'll push a few of these changes tomorrow. Certainly the control change but also perhaps some feedback that an animal has been killed as the disappearing is confusing a few people.

Thanks again, glad you like it.

----

UPDATE: I've switched the controls to CTRL for run and A for action (sniff/prowl). Annoyingly keyboard ghosting (http://www.microsoft.com/appliedsciences/antighostingexplained.mspx) makes many combinations unusable on lots of keyboards. Hopefully CTRL will work better than Z. As most people seem to prefer them I've pushed the mouse/touch controls to the top of the control list as well to encourage that.

5 years ago by Patrick

Hi Filip, the game is great. I like the graphics very much.

How big is the whole map? Are the trees entities? Do you use setPosition() to produce the scrolling effect?

Look forward to hear from you.

5 years ago by Filip

Hi Patrick,

Glad you liked the game.

The whole map is (slightly ridiculously) big (2.4MB file). We were going to make multiple zones but in the end we stuck with one big world. It didn't load too well on tablet/mobile so we made a smaller map that loads for that (88KB). It takes about a minute of running in a straight line to cross.

There are 24 layers of background tiles plus around 25 entity types (many static but interactive like the trees) and three types of collision tile (water, electric fence and actual collision).

The trees are entities so that the player could walk under them and hide from enemies (prowling to become invisible).

To centre the player on the map I used:

this.screen.x = player.pos.x - ig.system.width/2;
this.screen.y = player.pos.y - ig.system.height/2;

except on the edge of the map where the player moves without scrolling.

5 years ago by Apiheld

Wanted to try, but on OSX, Ctrl + Arrow Keys is switching to another desktop. So running and controlling is impossible.

Guys, don't make controls so fancy. Just go with X + C and arrow keys or WASD and HJKL or so.

Edit: Besides that, it's quite nice. Good idea. The lurking beneath a tree is nice and the multiple layers.

5 years ago by Filip

I knew there was a reason I moved away from ctrl previously! Thanks for the feedback. To please everyone, hopefully, I'm going to offer two options for the problematic run key. I'll push that change tomorrow. I was tempted to offer the user the option to pick keys but that might be overly complicated.
It's funny how the touch/mouse control which was harder to implement is actually causing the least problems.
Glad you liked the lurking/layers.

Update: Changed the keys based on document.navigator.platform to swap out control on Mac.

5 years ago by Apiheld

Controls work now, thanks. Quick update on my feedback:

very nice:
- idle: laying down
- graphics
- good feeling (which is the most important part)

bugs/suggestions/improvements:
- other tiger sometimes moves his head rapidly (like adjusting the position/angle too fast)
- achievements are unclear how they get unlocked
- text in center distracts from gameplay
- the "meet other tiger" achievement was unlocked only 20-30 seconds after I actually met the other tiger
- this weird round info in the upper right, what does it do?
- there's no visual indicator whether or not I ate another animal. they just disappear. feels weird, especially since other animals at the border also just disappear if they leave the field – or did I eat them?

5 years ago by Filip

Awesome! Getting there... thanks so much for the feedback. Really nice to be able to improve something after launch.

The other tiger movements/AI were done quickly as an experiment and I never really went back to them. I think I might spend some time making him/her more fun. Currently it stops when close to you and follows if within that range and another slightly further away one. I might make it hunt on its own to see how that works out. Could be really cool and hopefully not too difficult to implement. Sumatran tigers are independent and solitary animals so it might push that feeling home. The achievement is unlocked when you touch the other tiger. Judging by the statistics, most people have got this but I might make it clearer by offering some other visual feedback.

The round info in the upper right is if you've been seen or heard by the prey. Seen is if you go into their sight range (each animal can see slightly differently) and heard is if you are running or walking too close to them (again specific to species). I might have to make it clearer in the instructions screen.

The text in the centre is pretty essential for the adventure mode as the point is to educate with conservation messages (edutainment!), in the arcade mode hopefully it doesn't distract too much with the bonuses. Most people seem fairly happy with where this is and we did try lots of other options but will have another think about it. The first draft was huge close-able popups for the adventure mode which was far more distracting.

The visual indicator for eating seems to be a constant complaint. To fix this quickly I'm going to implement a fade out or glitch on the animals when you kill them. Hopefully this will make things slightly clearer. The tiger does roar when you eat them but people often play with the sound off. For the arcade mode I might add a little +1 etc for the score for that animal but given the complex bonuses this may be a bit text heavy and complex.

Glad you liked the good feeling!

5 years ago by digitalworkshed

yeah
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