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Roller Coaster

, 31 Mar 2014
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Build and ride roller coasters on Windows 8. Use your Ultrabook to play the game using touch.

Please note

This article is an entry in our AppInnovation Contest. Articles in this sub-section are not required to be full articles so care should be taken when voting.
  • App Up Store Closed

    Roller Coaster did fairly well in the free section of the AppUp Store, ranking in the top 10 at times. It was a great run, and I appreciate being invoked in the contest from Intel And CodeProject. But Times are a changing and its time to look forward. I have decided to rebuild the back end and open source it (This is a work in progress). Although I enjoyed the style i coded it, it was way too complex, and hard to debug (More on this later If I create another post). So the new focus is simple straight forward minimum dependency's. I have Created a WebGL Version for testing, but keep in mind the new backed isn't done, but it will in the end have the same functionality.

    I plan to build a front end in Unity at some point, to push out to several devices. As This is really branching off from this post, I may create another post focused on its new focus and purpose at some point. Everything In Introduction on this page and below ill leave as is.

    Open Source: https://rollercoastermaker.codeplex.com/

    RCWebGL: http://rollercoaster.dickinsonbros.com/index.aspx (This is running the game server side and displaying it in webgl)

    Flow charts: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/47a0-9e54-52e81405-b926-70b30a0080fd

    I Built this along with the AppUp Project, and it shares the same code base the AppUp Version has.

    Windows Phone: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/roller-coaster/139a20f7-31c2-40b9-8deb-de763c3c3032

Introduction

Roller Coaster. Build and ride roller coasters with ease. Designed to be able to learn to play in seconds with touch. Use of gyroscope while riding to get coins for high scores.

Its designed to be able to play it in varying time spans. Its a game you could pull out at lunch and build a coaster in 2-3 min and show a friend. Also one that you could spend much more time building the perfect coaster.

The game is written in C#, and is using XNA as a front end (a Windows 8 "Desktop App").

Background

My name is Mark Dickinson I am a student at ASU, and am a CS major. I have been working with roller coaster design since I made my first mod on Warcraft 3 with triggers. I learned a huge amount from watching players struggle to learn the game quickly. I stopped adding features and spent over a year on and off making the features that existed very easy to use and straight forward. I have since spent most of my time in c#, sliverlight, and xna.

Key Features

  • Fully playable with keyboard, mouse, and touch.
  • Building coasters, with a large amount of flex-ability yet designed to take only seconds to learn.
  • Ride coasters, from in the cart or from a third person perspective.
  • Ability to lean in your cart left or right in your cart to get coins while riding.

Screenshots

Riding (Cart View)

Riding (Third Person View)

The code

Backend

The back end of the game is built in c# in a library called "RCLIB" .

Here is a function I have in "RCLIB".

Build Track

  • Is coaster finished
  • Where would the track be built
  • Check for flipped on bools, (e.g., iqnoreOutOfBounds)
  • If its on, make sure it can fix the issue, or return zero tracks built.

Note: When it attempts to fix the issue, it allows the game to build additional tracks, or back up a small amount.

static public int BuildTrack(Direction direction, 
          List<Object3D> myTracks, ref List<Direction> directions)
{
    //No Building Tracks IF Coaster is finshed, this is a fail safe.
    if (CoasterFinshed)
    {
        return 0;
    }


    Object3D track = new Object3D();
    Vector3 newOrientation = new Vector3();
    Vector3 newLocation = new Vector3();
    Vector3 LastOrientation = new Vector3();

    //Find Where Next Track would be
    if (myTracks.Count > 0)
    {
        LastOrientation = new Vector3(myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Orientation.X, 
          myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Orientation.Y, myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Orientation.Z);
        newOrientation = new Vector3(myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Orientation.X, 
          myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Orientation.Y, myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Orientation.Z);
        newLocation = new Vector3(myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Location.X, 
          myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Location.Y, myTracks.Last<Object3D>().Location.Z);
    }
    else
    {
        LastOrientation = new Vector3();
        newOrientation = new Vector3(0, 270, 0);
        newLocation = new Vector3(0, 0, -40);
    }
    newOrientation = GetNewOrientation(newOrientation, direction);
    newLocation = GetNewLocation(newOrientation, newLocation, LastOrientation);

    track.Location = newLocation;
    track.Orientation = newOrientation;
    track.Scale = new Vector3(Constants.TRACK_SCALE, Constants.TRACK_SCALE, Constants.TRACK_SCALE);

    //
    if (iqnoreAllButStandard)
    {
        //Build The Track Standard
        directions.Add(direction);
        myTracks.Add(track);
        return 1;
    }

    else if (iqnoreFinshArea == false && InFinshArea(newLocation))
    {
        directions.Add(direction);
        myTracks.Add(track);
        FinshCoaster(myTracks, ref directions, 1);
        return 0;
    }

    else if (iqnoreAutoLoop == false && AutoLoop(myTracks, ref directions))
    {
        return 0;
    }

    else if (iqnoreCollision == false && CollisionDetected(newLocation, myTracks))
    {
        return 0;
    }

    else if (iqnoreFlaten == false && Flaten(myTracks, direction, track, 
             newOrientation, newLocation, LastOrientation, ref directions))
    {
        return 0;
    }

    if (iqnoreTracksToLow == false && TrackToLow(newLocation, newOrientation))
    {
        return 0;
    }

    else if (iqnoreBounceOffWall == false && BounceOffWall(newLocation, direction, myTracks, ref directions))
    {
        return 0;
    }

    else if (iqnoreOutOfBounds == false && OutOfBounds(newLocation))
    {
        return 0;
    }

    else
    {
        //Build The Track Standard
        directions.Add(direction);
        myTracks.Add(track);
        return 1;
    }

The point of showing this is that the game attempts to fix rules broken by the user, so to lower the learning curve in such a way that they can keep building, with out having to deal with rules most of the time.

Frontend

The front end is using standard XNA, to for user Inputs, loading content, and showing visuals.

Due to not wanting my back end to have any ties to my front end I had to rebuild parts that existed in xna.

Here is my draw method, showing a downside of my choice of making them completely separate instead of sharing some of the xna code base. But overall it makes for a much more flexible code base.

Draw loop

protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime)
{

    GraphicsDevice.DepthStencilState = DepthStencilState.Default;
    GraphicsDevice.BlendState = BlendState.Opaque;
    GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.CornflowerBlue);

    //Layout
    drawManager.DrawModel(layoutModel, new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(0, 0, 0), 
      new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(0, 0, 0), new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(.25f, .25f, .25f));

    //Tracks
    for (int i = 0; i < core.Tracks.Count; i++)
    {
        drawManager.DrawModel(trackModel, 
          new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(core.Tracks[i].Location.X, 
              core.Tracks[i].Location.Y, core.Tracks[i].Location.Z),
          new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(core.Tracks[i].Orientation.X, 
              core.Tracks[i].Orientation.Y, core.Tracks[i].Orientation.Z),
          new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(RollerCoaster.Constants.TRACK_SCALE, 
              RollerCoaster.Constants.TRACK_SCALE, RollerCoaster.Constants.TRACK_SCALE));
    }

    //Cart
    drawManager.DrawModel(cartModel, 
       new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(core.Cart.Location.X, 
           core.Cart.Location.Y, core.Cart.Location.Z),
       new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(core.Cart.Orientation.X, 
           core.Cart.Orientation.Y, core.Cart.Orientation.Z),
       new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector3(RollerCoaster.Constants.CART_SCALE, 
           RollerCoaster.Constants.CART_SCALE, RollerCoaster.Constants.CART_SCALE));


    spriteBatch.Begin();
    //Menu
    DrawMenu();

    //Draw Mouse
    MouseState currentMouseState = Mouse.GetState();
    float mouseX = (1980.0f / GraphicsAdapter.DefaultAdapter.CurrentDisplayMode.Width) * currentMouseState.X;
    float mouseY = (1080.0f / GraphicsAdapter.DefaultAdapter.CurrentDisplayMode.Height) * currentMouseState.Y;

    Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector2 posMouse = new Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Vector2(mouseX, mouseY);
    spriteBatch.Draw(pointer, posMouse, Color.White);

    spriteBatch.End();

    //Clean Up
    GraphicsDevice.DepthStencilState = DepthStencilState.Default;

    base.Draw(gameTime);
}

Final Note

Building a game project that makes sense for the Ultrabook has been sort of like building a project built for computer and a tablet at the same time. Finding the fine line from additional features/ Options and keep simplicity has been a interesting struggle.

In the end roller coaster is a perfect fit for causal play on an Ultrabook in nearly any setting.

Download

http://www.appup.com/app-details/roller-coaster-maker

Change Log

10/8/2012 - Uploaded Roller Beta Version (1.0)

10/27/2012 - Uploaded Roller Coaster Version (1.14), Fixed Menus (ride menu still needs finished), added coin mode, fixed several issues and bugs. Next version will be on the app-up Store.

11/21/2012 - Finished Game, Cleaned out bugs, streamlined UI. Submitted App to AppUp Store, Awaiting approval.

11/21/2012 - Approved in the Appup Store. Removed old Versions from this post.

3/31/2014 - Appup Store has been shutdown. Added Section At top with a open source links and more information about the future of roller coaster.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Rover2341 - Mark Dickinson
Student
United States United States
Student at ASU, CS Major.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberMember 106163912-Apr-14 22:01 
SuggestionDownload Link PinmemberGamenew0930-Mar-14 16:02 
GeneralRe: Download Link [modified] PinmemberRover2341 - Mark Dickinson30-Mar-14 16:22 
Generalwow PinprofessionalPaulo Augusto Künzel29-Oct-13 14:34 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 94311087-Jan-13 10:55 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermanoj kumar choubey15-Nov-12 19:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberSavalia Manoj M6-Nov-12 17:19 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmvpMika Wendelius27-Oct-12 9:24 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberHari Tantry24-Oct-12 11:57 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberHari Tantry23-Oct-12 7:32 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 [modified] PinmemberRover2341 - Mark Dickinson23-Oct-12 8:10 
GeneralMy vote 5 PinmemberNitin Sawant22-Oct-12 20:23 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberAndrewAylett20-Oct-12 12:06 
Looks really fun -- can't wait to try it when I get suitable hardware Smile | :) .
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberYvan Rodrigues19-Oct-12 13:26 
QuestionMy Vote of 5 PinmemberRatish Philip16-Oct-12 18:02 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberPaul Daniel Dickinson12-Oct-12 3:42 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinadminChris Maunder9-Oct-12 14:45 
SuggestionRegarding Downloads PinmemberRanjan.D8-Oct-12 1:26 
GeneralRe: Regarding Downloads PinmemberRover2341 - Mark Dickinson8-Oct-12 6:11 
GeneralRe: Regarding Downloads PinmemberRanjan.D8-Oct-12 6:55 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberIInjac7-Oct-12 11:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberlukeadickinson7-Oct-12 8:52 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberRanjan.D7-Oct-12 8:25 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberFaithcz7-Oct-12 3:58 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 [modified] PinmemberRover2341 - Mark Dickinson7-Oct-12 5:25 

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