Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby Ethanovic » 11 Jul 2020, 21:23

This is sounding real good manu.
Always remember to be proud of yourself btw.
You are doing such a good job with tennis elbow and tennis elbow 4 will be your best work ever.
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby manutoo » 12 Jul 2020, 06:51

fabos,
Ball in the air & bounce physics are more or less done now ; only spin after bounce may need a bit more tuning. :yes:

I don't need the video, but if you notice anything wrong, you can send me a bug report so I'll get the .dmo .

Ethanovic,
thanks for the cheering ! :jap:
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby fabos » 12 Jul 2020, 17:31

8-) Hi manutoo,

ok thanks and i m waitng for the next update
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Re: Comments about TE4 Alpha Version

Postby noname1988 » 15 Aug 2020, 11:29

!!! :D
the new animations on the screenshots look fantastic!
I didn't think that would be your priority now :) It's a nice surprise!
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby rharm2 » 15 Aug 2020, 12:22

Hi Manu,

1) Pretty amazing advances with the new reach and stretch system, very nicely done and good to see that this is being worked on! May I ask, what is the prospects of these animations being modded?

2) Also, you shared a clip of Gonzalez charging up a forehand to gain a heavy ball speed, however if you look here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY8TOSN_ukw this shot had barely 0 charge, and 100 percent timing on the ball, so what would you think about a situation like this?


Great advances though Manu, and interested to see what is next up!
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Re: Comments about TE4 Alpha Version

Postby CHAPI » 15 Aug 2020, 17:12

manutoo, I have nothing to say other than:
WOW WOW WOW :dance: :bounce:
:applause: :applause: :applause:
(congratulations on such great advances and of course, I can't wait to test it all out)
There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary and love for the broken heart...
There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing, He'll meet you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus!
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby Strikeware203 » 16 Aug 2020, 02:14

Hi Manu!

This looks sooo good and promising and I think this is the way to really take Tennis Elbow to the next level. Looking forward to trying out these new animations! Can't wait :D
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby manutoo » 16 Aug 2020, 08:18

noname1988,
actually, I started to work on the stretch anims at the beginning of July and I realized I should check 1st how much additional reach could be achieved from implementing the dynamic animation system.
And the change of reach is pretty important for the gameplay (especially on the return of serve where there's not much time to run), and thus it became a big priority. :yes:
Plus I wanted to play with it since August last year as I was very curious to see the results, so I jumped on the occasion..! :)

rharm2,
1) As explained in the post, these animations are created in real-time, so they use whatever animation is currently playing, so it doesn't change anything in term of Modding. Eventually, I'll try to add high FH & BH volley animations, plus maybe FH & BH rally stretch animations (depending on feedback), and these new animations will be moddable like any other anim in the game.
Note: split/sliding animations should also be added (and moddable), they are a separate issue :blackeye:

2) Several things :
a) When creating a simulation, it's better to take a common shot (Gonzalez did these FHs day in, day out) instead of once-in-a-lifetime shot like this Blake return. Else, you might end with something looking like this :

(Top Spin 1 endless risk shot fight, looking more like table tennis than actual tennis)

b) And actually, on this return, as Blake didn't move after the serve was hit, he got a 0.6s "charge" by the current TE4 rules, which is more than enough to get the maximum possible speed (although I may tune that some more).

c) Instead, you could have taken the Monfils' record on the run (something like 188km/h, as I took that FH as maximum possible speed in TE4, IIRC) ; but again, it was once in a lifetime shot. And if you're skilled, you'll be able to reach 150km/h on the run, which is the max acceleration speed in TE3 (without the Shoulder Height bonus), while the players move much slower in TE4...


CHAPI &Strikeware203,
thanks, I'm glad to know you're pumped up by that new anim system ! :dance:
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Re: Comments about TE4 Alpha Version

Postby polakis » 16 Aug 2020, 17:55

I am dreaming the moment to play tennis elbow 4 on my ps5. Cant wait!!!
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Re: Comments about TE4 Alpha Version

Postby Ethanovic » 16 Aug 2020, 19:36

OK manu but you know you gotta show us this new animation feature in a little video man.. lol
Seriously though i'm eally looking forward to seeing it in action.. you're doing just fine
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby Rob92 » 28 Aug 2020, 16:36

The latest dev blog post shows some great progress/ideas - as much as I've enjoyed TE3, it's been almost 10 years so it will be nice to play something new and different, and this new animation system could really change how the game feels to play, looking forward to seeing how it progresses! :)

Regarding the shot speeds/charging, while I understand the reasons you have outlined, I feel a major limiting factor in TE is the way the top spin attribute works and the lack of control over the trajectory of the ball.

Assuming the current TE controls are maintained, on normal depth topspin strokes you only have b1, accel and top spin buttons and each has it's own speed/trajectory depending on player attributes, so you only really have 3 choices. A high top spin stat reduces the top speed of the player's strokes and makes all of them more loopy. Even on acceleration shots from a relatively high/slow ball cross court over the low part of the net, a high top spin character will still hit the shot with heavier top spin and less power than they could. Acceleration shot is the hardest/flattest available but because a player has an average high RPM topspin stroke and therefore high topspin rating in TE, they are unable to play very fast/flat shots when the situation calls for one.

Many players in real life with great forehands, for example Gonzalez, have such an impressive FH because it's so versatile, they can adapt the spin and trajectory to inject the most pace depending on the shot selection. Depending on how aggressive they are trying to play, or the height of the net on that particular shot etc. they can choose to put more pace on the ball at the expense of top spin. I think being able to choose if/when you want to hit flat in TE would really improve the variety and depth of the gameplay, and individuality of the characters if this type of versatility of spin/trajectory was reflected in player attributes. Monfils is another example of a player who hugely varies his spin on the forehand - as he's typically a more defensive player, you would probably give him fairly high topspin in TE, but he's capable of some of the most incredible crushed flat shots and in TE you can't let him have both.

On a related point from your most recent post - while I understand the reason for using the most "common" shots rather that "once in a lifetime" to base the gameplay around, it can leave the gameplay feeling quite formulaic and predictable if you go too far in that direction and leave no space for "highlight reel" moments. I've played TE3 for so long, and while it's a really challenging/competitive game (especially online), I would see no value in a kind of "TE3 best shots" compilation. You can't attempt anything out of the ordinary so nothing unexpected/impressive really happens, in just a few games you already see many shots at the maximum power and all possible ways to win the points.

If you had more control over shot spin/speed, you could try to attempt some different/unlikely shots, and see many more different types of rallies and winning shots. You would need to be careful to not turn it into that TS1 "risk shot fight" nonsense by allowing harder/flatter shots, but with careful tuning and basing the success/probability on positioning and shot difficulty/net height etc I think it could work. However, it may also need a significant change away from the 3 choices of b1, accel and topspin strokes towards either more buttons, double tapping or analog gamepad controls.

Another thing related to this would be that in TE3, net height didn't really seem like much of an obstacle. Playing an accel shot down the line was just as easy and likely to be successful as cross-court as long as positioning/charge was sufficient, have the physics changes in TE4 made the net more of an obstacle at the highest points? How about simulating the difficulty of changing the direction of the ball to hit down the line as opposed to cross-court? This cc vs. dtl shot selection in TE3 didn't really seem to be influenced by the factors it would in real life.

Final point (sorry for the long post and if it's off-topic for the miniblog discussion) - I can understand to an extent your logic around the "charging" simulating the player planting their feet to generate power, but this "charging" mechanic also applies to aiming in TE3, has this changed? For example, if you are on the run and arrive to the ball with only a short time available to charge your shot, you can hardly move your aim away from the middle of the court (this is one of the only reasons volleying is viable sometimes, when you see the opponent won't be able to charge their aim). While I understand that the defending/running player should have more difficulty aiming their shot, I don't think this should be in the "intention" phase of the controls (where your aiming reticle is placed), but in the error calculation based on positioning and the incoming ball. If you are on the run, it should still be possible to instruct your player to attempt to aim the ball near to the lines. Again, this may need a restructure of the control scheme from TE3.
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby manutoo » 29 Aug 2020, 07:21

Rob92,
0) It's really complicated to talk about TE4 if you hadn't already spent several hours playing it. The current main issue is that it's too easy to hit winners out of the blue, so your feedback based on TE2013 is kinda outdated... :blackeye:

1) A few things :
- the topspin strike is a charge button, thus you can decide how much spin you put into your strike
- in TE2013, you can off-center the ball on both the normal & topspin strike to shorten your strike (it's quite useful to do passing-shots) ; it's not really possible in TE4, though
- higher spin means you'll be able to hit stronger balls in many cases (the main example being the short acceleration) ; it's only the top speed that is capped, and it's achievable only on a high enough ball. The top speed is capped so gameplay-wise having high or low topspin provides more or less the same overall efficiency (but it's still better to have a high topspin on clay and a low one on grass)
- if the main issue in TE is that you can't enjoy much watching best-shots compilations, then I guess it means I didn't do a too bad job, and I can live with that result... ':D (I know, I know, it's not exactly your point :) )

2) Due to the change of the precision rules (now it's physics-based), you'll have a bit more chances to get the ball into the net while playing down the line.

3) When you stand 2m behind the baseline, you need to press left/right for 0.4s to aim 0.5m away from the lane line.
When you stand 2m inside the baseline, you need to press left/right for 0.3s to aim 0.7m away from the lane line.
With the inertia system which allows you to end your run while preparing your strike, it means there are very few shots where you can't aim to the sides of the court.
So sure, it's still not perfect and there are strikes you can do in real life that you can't do in TE, but all other tennis games I played didn't provide a more satisfying aiming experience. Some provide a direct aiming using the controller analog stick but for me it doesn't provide an interesting feeling, especially as the aiming system in TE also transcribes the body synchronization required in tennis (in other words, it's the main timing mechanism of TE).

4) Overall, I really don't want to complicate the control scheme of TE, especially as I'm already planning to add a context-sensitive action button. So right now, there are 9 strikes, which requires 9 buttons while my XBox controller has only 8 available. Add the action button and you also need a switch button so 3 strikes will be a combination of 2 buttons. I think it's already more than enough for the average gamer (at least it is for me), and as the up/down selection really doesn't work well with a controller, I don't see any meaningful simplification to do.
So in short, there's very low chance for the control scheme to change (except for that action button). :)
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby Rob92 » 29 Aug 2020, 12:35

Thanks for your responses, I can understand the compromises and the reasons for them - it's impossible to allow for every shot you could possibly play in tennis, and the more variables (like different shots) the more it needs balancing for simulation and competitive play and complicates the controls.
What I like about TE is how positioning/movement/decisions are among the main factors in how well you play and relate to real tennis, rather than simply who is the best gamepad ninja and wins the timing QTE most often like other games. The uncomplicated controls of TE contribute to this a lot.

I haven't played TE4 yet, but I'll buy it soon, I am usually an online player so I just checked the blog every few weeks while waiting for that mode to become available, so apologies for the outdated feedback. It sounds great though if the game is more winner-friendly, even if its perhaps too much at the moment :).

People with very good positioning/movement in TE3 could retrieve almost everything, even shoulder accels to the lines with high power characters which could be so frustrating to play against, which is probably the main reason why I asked for a flatter very hard shot to shorten rallies and put away some easy balls. The only attacking tool in TE3 to really defeat these players was extremely accurate short acceleration shots, even drop shots were not too effective despite the opponent's very deep position... A few things I have read here (slower characters, more chance to hit the net/error on imperfect shots, reaching shots maybe allowing for better volley chances) seem to suggest this may be less of an issue in TE4 and that will be interesting to see.

Regarding a kind of "best shots" video, I know most points in real life don't have shots like this, but they are the moments that everyone remembers and a big part of what people love about sports. To use another game as an example - a reason people loved PES5 was because you could shoot from anywhere see fantastic goals you wouldn't see again in 100s of hours playing, you would save the replays and remember those goals vividly. I know it's different for a tennis game, and very difficult to tune the frequency for such moments so it seems fair/realistic. Some games let you blast these incredible shots every rally (like TS1 as you showed) and others give the choice to attempt it but make it impossible/pointless to try and that button never gets used, so maybe your approach is the best one.

Despite any limitations I think TE3 had, it's still the best tennis game I've played online and I'm glad you have your own vision for TE4 rather than putting in everything people like me ask for :).
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby manutoo » 30 Aug 2020, 11:26

Rob92,
yes, it's not easy to balance between opposing suggestions, especially as the majority of players is satisfied enough with TE2013, so every step further from it is a risk to create more displeased people than pleased ones... :fear:

Once you'll have played TE4 a few hours, don't hesitate to give your feedback here : topic15-31985.php ..! :yes:

A little note about the drop-shot : it is now much more effective. It's still not too easy to get a direct winner from it, but now its bounce is more realistic and thus it gets less far ; plus the players being slower, it means even if your opponent gets to it, he'll have a big chance to put it back in the net or do a very weak shot. But in a similar manner, a not well-struck drop-shot has a big chance to end in the net.
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Re: Comments about the TE4 mini Dev Blog

Postby SamModder » 17 Sep 2020, 10:14

Great stuff Manu, you 100% have our support with this game.

I have few questions (sorry if they've already been answered):

1) Will all TE2013 anims be able to be imported into TE4?
2) To which extent will the game be "moddable"? Can we use courts, outfits, face textures from TE 2013?
3) Do we have an approximate date for the full release?

Keep it up, everything looks very promising!
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