So previously the flight model took no account of the inclination of the plane – you could fly straight upwards and the plane wouldn’t stall – it wouldn’t even slow down. I’ve fixed that now.
For each plane type I can customise the amount of speed you can lose or gain depending on the angle that the plane is flying at. I’ve also got settings to adjust the maximum acceleration and deacceleration of the plane. All of this means that the plane will slowly slow down as you climb and you can get a real turn of speed as you dive. On the Sopwith I’ve set it so that you can accelerate faster than you can deaccelerate, which means that if you take a nice dive you can get up a nice bit of speed and keep going for a fair bit.
It’s not particularly realistic, but it seems to have quite a good feel to it.
I then decided I needed to add some stalling behaviour. It was a bit difficult to know the best way to do this; I don’t have any physics model that it would naturally fall out of so I had to think a bit about how I wanted it to behave. Stalling should:
- Cause the plane to lose altitude
- Cause the plane to spin around a bit
- Be a bit scary for the player
- Be recoverable from, after a little bit
So I started off by setting up a speed at which stalls kick in, and making the plane start to drop when you hit it, but the transition was very abrupt and didn’t give the player any warning – so I moved it to a system when the transition is gradual. To give the player a bit of warning, the plane now judders as it approaches a stall.
So I had it falling once the speed dropped between a certain level, with a fair warning to the player, but there was no way to escape from it, and it looked odd as it kept the same attitude as it fell. Therefore I made the plane gradually rotate down to face the ground; as it faces downwards it will speed up and eventually get beyond its stall speed and be able to fly properly again. I found that recovering from the stall was happening too quickly so I reduce the level of throttle just when in a stall, just to make it a bit harder to recover from.
Anyway, that’s still not enough – the plane just falls down a bit until it gets up enough speed to recover. Therefore I decided to make it spin, and I think that fulfils my requirements for a stall quite admirably.
After that I just had to spend a little time smoothing the transition between the pre-stall and stall modes, to make it look a little less ‘robotic’.
Try it out, and see what you think.
Movement – mouse
throttle , & .
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