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  1. #1

    Gimbal - Build spaceships. Multiplayer. Physics.

    It's time to show off my big project of the past two years.

    This is Gimbal. Players build ships from pieces, fly them, and blow up other players' ships. It's top down 2D to keep game mechanics simple. Wide open maps. Newtonian physics with aerodynamics.

    Rewind a couple years, and this is the game I wanted to play and wished existed. The end result is pretty close to my original vision. It was awesome to actually play an intense game against real people for the first time.



    Tech Stuff...

    APIs
    C# codebase
    XNA for sound/graphics/input
    DirectX for gamepad support
    Lidgren for UDP networking

    Tools
    Visual Studio 2008 is my IDE
    Paint Shop Pro 7 for art
    Audacity for sound
    Reaper for music
    Lightworks for video editing

    Some cool stuff...

    Per-Pixel collision detection, optimized with bounding circles. All the parts of a ship affect the physics and handling.


    Motion blur on particle effects.


    One aspect of the component-based physics engine: Missiles physically leave the launcher when fired, and free up some weight and drag on the parent ship.


    Client-Server multiplayer network model. Clients send their input changes (deltas), and the server runs the simulation. Server sends regular vehicle state updates to the clients.

    The physics engine is multithreaded and runs on N logical processors.

    There are more cool programming tricks in this game. I can speak to any part you are interested in.



    Anyway, check it out if you want. You can see pretty much everything in the demo that I recently launched (at www.gimbalgame.com).

  2. #2
    Looks interesting, downloading the demo now.

  3. #3
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    How much does the purchasable version cost? Basing on the Intro, I found this game interesting. Perhaps I'll consider buying the complete version after I'm done playing with the demo later.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Is this purely combat or will there be quests and trading? Multiplayer I can take or leave but if this is anything like Escape Velocity I'll buy a million billion copies (well, one for sure, two probably).

    Actually it looks totally brilliant anyway, I'll get the demo right after I vote for you on Greenlight!

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    ...wow. Your dedication to modelling physics has won you my money. Well, some of it anyhow.
    Itsbastiat, Dawngate
    Bastiat, Planetside 2, Miller NC
    Therin Katta, FFXIV, Cerberus

  6. #6
    Network Hub tomeoftom's Avatar
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    This is so far up my alley it's practically trapping me inside my dumpster. I applaud you for, as mickygor said, actually understanding the joy of emergence and making a simulation that is tactile, transparent, and complex. You will definitely have my money as soon as it's more disposable.

    EDIT: Now that I saw the "WATCH OUT FOR THE BING BAR OPTION" warning in your demo's installer for DirectX, I simply have to buy this out of respect.

  7. #7
    Network Hub sendmark's Avatar
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    It's good fun :)

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I ignored this thread at first mistaking it for the http://kerbalspaceprogram.com/

    Doh, this looks great.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    This sounds great, and I'll give it a try at the earliest opportunity.

    It's also lending weight to my "every game I try and fail to make will be later made, much better, by someone else" hypothesis

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    I ignored this thread at first mistaking it for the http://kerbalspaceprogram.com
    Haha, KSP is awesome. I love what they've done.

  11. #11
    Activated Node Gnoupi's Avatar
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    Downloading it right now from IndieGameStand (sloooooooowly), I tried the demo in the meantime, it's fun indeed, from the little I tried. And it gets simply impressive the moment you realize that all those ships are made by placing the thrusters on the good places, the guns, etc. Really impressive.

    I miss being able to target with the mouse, like in SPAZ, for example, but I understand that it's not the point of the game :P

    I miss one thing, though, the ability to map two keys to a thruster for the same direction. Why? Because that would allow me to strafe. Exemple, WASD for thrust, and rolling, and Q and E pushing both turning boosters in the same direction, for extra dodge.

    But maybe I missed how to do it.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoupi View Post
    I miss one thing, though, the ability to map two keys to a thruster for the same direction. Why? Because that would allow me to strafe. Exemple, WASD for thrust, and rolling, and Q and E pushing both turning boosters in the same direction, for extra dodge.
    A function (like thrust forward) can be mapped to one and only one input. I considered multiple mappings, but the interface becomes more complex. I could maybe do a software part that can control another part and add alternate inputs.

  13. #13
    Some updates:

    1. I've upgraded the official servers to EC2 small instances. They have more horsepower now, but they are expensive. I'll see if that solution is sustainable. If not, I'll find another host.

    2. Steam Greenlight: Gimbal is now "96% of the way to making the top 100 list". With the top games being accepted to Steam, it should only be a matter of months before Gimbal is Greenlit.

    3. Gimbal is now live on Desura, as of yesterday. It's not Steam, but it's still good. I'll issue Desura keys to existing players, too. Just PM your key to "colinshark" on Desura, and I'll set it up.

    4. I have a (free) expansion planned for release in Q1. I'm currently in development. New features will include different game modes and parts.

  14. #14
    Gimbal Newz



    1. Expansion: There are just a couple weeks of dev/testing left for the Gimbal Expansion (Beta) features. Some of you have been in on this, so you know what it is. You'll have to wait until the actual release for the complete feature listing, but there will be more parts and popular game modes such as Capture-the-Flag, to really flesh out the game. There is no charge for the expansion- It's just a very large release.

    2. Cheap Gimbal: Gimbal is now part of the IndieGala Mass Effect Bundle for the next 11 days. It's Pay-What-You-Want, but you need to beat the price threshold to get Gimbal and Mass Effect 2, among others.

  15. #15
    Activated Node P7uen's Avatar
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    This thread was enough to convince me, just bought it without touching the demo, if only for your approach to simulation etc as the chaps up there said before. Can't wait to get home and have a bash.

    One question: there is mention of bots, is it online only, or can I play with myself (ooh err missus) locally with bots? I am an anti-social man.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by P7uen View Post
    One question: there is mention of bots, is it online only, or can I play with myself (ooh err missus) locally with bots? I am an anti-social man.
    I am anti-social as well. You can definitely play alone with your bot friends, in a local server.

  17. #17


    It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Gimbal Expansion One! It has taken many months of Beta testing and development, but Expansion One is now here. Thank you, Beta Testers!

    This is the largest release of Gimbal features since Gimbal's original launch in August 2012. Expansion One has new game modes, weapons, and features which work together to bring Gimbal in line with my original vision.

    It's a free update to Gimbal, so all you have to do is launch Gimbal and let the automatic updater do its thing.


    26 Indispensable New Parts

    • Linear Extenders
    • Winches
    • The Repair Bot
    • Repulsor and Tractor Force Fields
    • Captive Bolt Guns
    • Drone Missiles
    • Huge Naval Cannons
    • Stealth Armor
    • Bumpers
    • Smarter Stabilizers
    • +More



    New Maps

    • The Cyber World will challenge your senses
    • Build with friends in MULTIPLAYER Flight Test
    • Enhanced Classic Maps



    Racing Mode

    • Mach 3 ships welcome!
    • Race your friends or race the clock
    • All weapons legal
    • Superspeedway and "road" courses available





    Deathmatch

    • Spammy gun barges welcome!
    • Mindless fragging action
    • EVERYTHING is legal in deathmatch





    Elimination Deathmatch

    • Where death is real
    • Are you a bad enough dude to survive?



    Capture The Flag

    • Where true teamwork is rewarded
    • Defend or Aggress - YOU CHOOSE!
    • Grab possessions that are not yours
    • Terrorize your enemies by activating your flag holder relict





    Custom Avatars

    • Force your friends and enemies to look at your avatar
    • Look Fresh
    • Look Cool


    Gimbal is not just a game- it's a community. Here are places where players are trading ships and doing Gimbal-type stuff.
    Gimbal Forums
    Gimbal Chat (#gimbal on Rizon.net)
    Gimbal Steam Greenlight Page
    Gimbal Subreddit
    Gimbal Facebook Page

    See you in the servers!

    -Colin

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    Once again I am reminded of a game I bought months ago on the strength of RPSer's recommendations and never actually got round to playing. Might be time to bump it to the top of the list, what with the shiny new goodies.


  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I gave Gimbal a good go last night and I love it. I spent the rest of the night and most of this morning dreaming up ship designs, my favourite being a small, fast ship covered in those ram rod things. With a cloaking device. Can't wait to unlock the stuff (and budget) to be able to build that.

  20. #20

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