Aiming in 3D, Part Three

This is third in a four part series, describing the evolution of the aiming mechanic in Minecart Basketball.

Continuing from the previous setup in part two, when the prediction ends before colliding with the ground, it now draws a gray line straight down to the ground. It also detect collision with the objects like the backboard & rim, and stops the prediction at that point and draws a line down to the ground.

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Sound effects have been implemented, including a “swish” sound when the ball travels through the basket.

What It Does Right

This stage makes interaction with the world and other objects more clear. When aiming at a rim, we can now clearly tell whether a shot will hit a backboard or go just below it, or whether a shot will hit a rim or miss it (based on whether the prediction stops there or not).

I also added a rim shadow projected down onto the ground, so the combination of the line of the prediction (or where it intersects the ground) and the rim shadow makes aiming easier.

What It Does Wrong

It’s true that aiming is POSSIBLE now; based on the information projected on the ground, we can reliably determine whether a given shot should be taken, or whether it needs adjusted.

Even with this increase in feedback, aiming STILL doesn’t feel good. Shots that go through the net and shots that don’t are almost imperceptibly different.
Comparing misses and hits
The important difference is on the ground. The airball intersects the ground just behind the rim, which means it only got to the rim’s position a few feet before that, which is well after it passed the rim’s height. The successful shot, however, ends up well past the rim as it passed through the rim’s level much higher up.

While it’s technically possible to derive needed information, the two major problems are a) the idea of “make sure your shot hits the ground well past the basket” isn’t intuitive, and b) lining up a basketball shot by staring at things on the ground ISN’T FUN. Players should be looking at the rim, not the ground!

The next part of the series remedies this.