September 15, 2019, 07:29:30 AM

Author Topic: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd  (Read 5934 times)

Offline Xerra

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #60 on: December 24, 2018, 11:55:52 PM »
@derron Yes, I did use your interface so probably invalidated you voting anyway, if you were thinking about it. I do also appreciate your help and probably didn't do you work justice but thank you anyway. It was much appreciated.

I'm disappointed that we only had three entries that made the deadline as i'm pretty sure that there were quite a lot more who were thinking and actually started working on something for this competition. I know BasicBoy ran into time problems but nobody else said anything so I assumed we'd have the level of entries that we've had for the last couple of competitions but it was not to be. I feel a bit responsible as I was pushing for the adventure category as it was something that I wanted to test myself by doing.

Next time I think we will need to have something more generic to generate the interest level again. Adventure games are tricky to create - trust me, I know this now - and a short deadline could be off-putting to most.

I would encourage everyone to at least have a play and vote for the entries we do have, however. We all need feedback and I believe the other two entrants are actually debutants so it's probably even more useful to them, as much as I would value it too.

Looking forward to the next one - as always :-)

Offline Holzchopf

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #61 on: December 25, 2018, 07:26:57 AM »
Well I had an idea right at the beginning for a pure point and click adventure and I planned to build some scenes out of stuff in the apartment and then take pictures of them. But first of all I had another project going on, second I live somewhat minimalistic and would have had to take home some toys and stuff from my childhood place (or go there to shoot all the scenes), then I realised the story I came up with was not much of a story and needed more work. So I let it be. And in retrospect (as I'm writing this), I realise I don't even own a digital cam any more, thus taking the pictures could have become somewhat challenging :-[ :))

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #62 on: December 25, 2018, 07:44:50 AM »
I'd an idea which made it to the paper prototyping stage, alas, getting the two monitors up from the side of the couch (wheel my Dev machine location lives) proved less appealing than playing games.....

I will be trying out all the entrants soon and providing feedback, well done to all for your entries!

Offline Derron

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #63 on: December 25, 2018, 08:59:52 AM »
Story in my mind and on some "sketches" were:
"Don't bother Santa"
- santa factory + living area
- someone sabotaged the production of toys
- Santa was asleep as the "big day" was approaching and it would be a long long day!
- player is one of Santas little helpers a.k.a. an elf

scenes:
- sleeping room of santa (keys to certain important rooms are there + other puzzles)
- factory (production lanes ... with "handles" missing, directions mixed, color bins for automatic "brush paints" exchanged ...)
- "garage" where some parts of the sleigh were missing
- outside area with a snowman hiding some information

Of course it is that little snowman who sabotaged everything - he came alive by the magic of christmas years ago ... and as nobody was visiting him in all these years (all were busy building up so many toys as more and more children wanted soooooo many presents each year) he got more and more angry / grinchy. He created an evil plan - starting to lower temperature in areas so he can safily enter the house to start sabotaging christmas to stop this "gift creation mayham" so elves start to have sparetime again ... start to create other snow mans, to play outside at the north pole ...

OK, enough spoilered. Did not finish it so .. yepp, bye bye idea.


Back to the kitchen - cooking next meals for this evening.


bye
Ron

Offline Dwapook

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2018, 10:46:37 PM »
I had jotted down 9 puzzles and a premise during a lunch break at work, but I just didn't end up picking it up again after that... x.X! I didn't have a lot of free time this month..

Offline RemiD

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #65 on: December 30, 2018, 09:36:39 AM »
I did a quick test of the 3 games :
good news : all games worked well on my computer.

concerning the gameplay, imo, adventures games are appreciated by people who have a lot of free time and mental energy to put in entertainment... (= not me...)
i had some fun playing "SANTA FANTAZMA" because it is more an action game with easy controls... (the more i age, the less patience i have to "learn" to play video games...), but i quickly got bored and stopped...

my suggestion, if you make games, is to ALWAYS keep in mind that the others players don't necessarily know what you know, and some (like me) will quickly become annoyed / bored if they don't understand how to play / what to do next, so imo, it is a good idea to provide a "help / what to do next" screen (always accessible)

anyway, kudos for your perceverance to have finished a functional game !
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Offline Xerra

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #66 on: December 30, 2018, 12:09:42 PM »
my suggestion, if you make games, is to ALWAYS keep in mind that the others players don't necessarily know what you know, and some (like me) will quickly become annoyed / bored if they don't understand how to play / what to do next, so imo, it is a good idea to provide a "help / what to do next" screen (always accessible)

Both the adventure games did exactly this. I know the other adventure game did because I used it a lot playing it while trying to solve the encyclopedia problem.

You could type h or help into Bah, Humbug! and it gave you a list of most of the commands you would ever need to complete the game. It told you that after every input you put in, pretty much.


Offline RemiD

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #67 on: December 30, 2018, 01:59:18 PM »
@Xerra>>that's good, i have not noticed it (not my type of game, so i did not play much)
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Offline DaiHard

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #68 on: December 30, 2018, 04:47:53 PM »
while trying to solve the encyclopedia problem.
I hope describing it as "the encyclopedia problem" means you solved it, and got out of the first room!  ::)

I've tried to give enough hints to make it solvable in a sensible time. There's a fine balance to be made between making the puzzles too easy,  so the  game is boring and pointless, and making them so difficult the game is insoluble unless you know the solution! You DO need to read the books, though...

Best wishes,

D

PS Managed to finish Bah, Humbug!, but seemed to LOSE points for catching the ghost! Is that meant to happen?

PPS Couldn't finish Santa Fantazma: I splatted all the baddies, got the key and unlocked the chest, but still couldn't get through the cave?

Offline Xerra

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #69 on: December 31, 2018, 02:14:43 PM »
while trying to solve the encyclopedia problem.
I hope describing it as "the encyclopedia problem" means you solved it, and got out of the first room!  ::)

I've tried to give enough hints to make it solvable in a sensible time. There's a fine balance to be made between making the puzzles too easy,  so the  game is boring and pointless, and making them so difficult the game is insoluble unless you know the solution! You DO need to read the books, though...

Best wishes,

D

PS Managed to finish Bah, Humbug!, but seemed to LOSE points for catching the ghost! Is that meant to happen?

PPS Couldn't finish Santa Fantazma: I splatted all the baddies, got the key and unlocked the chest, but still couldn't get through the cave?

Actually, no i didn't. I was struggling to find the right words to use. I am making the assumption that I need to use it as a step to get through the window? Would appreciate a hint here as I want to go back and get a bit further in the game for sure. There's a lot in your game you've done very well that maybe not many people will appreciate, unfortunately, as they're not people who've ever played games like this. I think that was always going to be a problem with this type of competition theme :-(

Glad you managed to solve Bah, Humbug! The lack of feedback yet means I have some big concerns about wether I have made it either too easy or too hard. I had some very worrying feedback on the lack of real help while playing the game a week before deadline from a couple of my testers which made me do some very last minute major changes to make it easier as a result. I do have concerns that people aren't going to give it enough time to see everything that is actually there.

Did you solve all of the quest lines or just the opening of the safe? To fully complete the game you also should have found all the xmas cards, found and used the computer disk to finish your homework and got rid of the ghost of Scrooge completely?

As for your issue with the ghost, I think you may not have noticed the adverse affect when he's in the same room as you. When you find the Xmas pudding you will notice he's always following you around because he really wants it. The side-effect is that he's sapping your score by 5 points every few seconds so the best strategy is to only carry the pudding when you need him to come to you and then deal with him as quick as possible, once he does appear. I won't give any more spoilers than that for now, unless anyone is really stuck.



Offline DaiHard

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2019, 05:48:52 PM »
Hi Xerra,

Missed this post earlier! If you are still interested, you need to use the encyclopaedia to build steps:

make ("build" also works, as per help) steps with encyclopaedia (lots of synonyms, including eb!)

Then you can get out the window, and get on with the rest of the game!

Bah, Humbug: yes, I found the cards and did my homework. I got as far as trapping the ghost in the vacuum - are you meant to do anything more with him?

I found out that I was meant to catch him in the vacuum by mistake: I tried vacuuming the dusty attic, in the hope it would turn up something useful, and the comment I got indicated that I had to use it on him.

Two critical comments, if I may, which I hope will improve things if you amend this game or do others like it:
1) When moving things, opening the window, etc, I often missed  that I could now see something, since that appeared high up in the communication window, and I was focussing on the message about what was happening, which just makes some vague comment about, "now you mention it, there WAS something under/behind it". Of course once I'd worked out where it appeared, I stopped missing them so often...
2) I found it difficult to ignore the pictures - they are attractive and compelling, but generate cognitive dissonance. You DO tell us to "focus just on the text", but the temptation to move the bed, or whatever, is annoyingly strong.

Having said that, I thought it was by far the strongest game, with an interesting, compelling story line and challenges, and an attractive interface, despite my whinges above. I liked the fact that while playing your game I was back and forth around the house, as I found tools to carry out different tasks. I thought my own game had some nice challenges (though I'm not sure anyone actually managed them on this forum - I'd be interested to know if anyone got close to completing it!), but was a bit "linear". Maybe that's just because I knew the order in which to do things most efficiently...

If anyone is interested, I'll happily post a summary "cheat sheet" on how to complete it, either here or in the worklog.

Looking forward to the next challenge...

:-)

D

Offline Xerra

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Re: Code a game comp - The Great Christmas Adventure - Nov 4th to Dec 23rd
« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2019, 10:23:22 PM »
Bah, Humbug: yes, I found the cards and did my homework. I got as far as trapping the ghost in the vacuum - are you meant to do anything more with him?

I found out that I was meant to catch him in the vacuum by mistake: I tried vacuuming the dusty attic, in the hope it would turn up something useful, and the comment I got indicated that I had to use it on him.

Yes, this was a 2 part puzzle dealing with the ghost. It shouldn't matter about a spoiler now as Xmas has come and gone and I doubt anyone's still playing it now.

You can "Use Vacuum" wherever you are in the house and the ghost is. As you discovered by accident, the ghost gets caught up in the vacuum cleaner and is no longer a drain on your game score. The trick to capturing him is to get the xmas pudding from the larder because old Scrooge loves a bit of Xmas pudding and will stalk you while you have it - as hinted at with it being present in his portrait on the master bedroom wall.

The second part is also hinted at when you examine the same picture as it tells you that he's looking at the fireplace. If you use the vacuum cleaner in the master bedroom with Scrooge already captured then you will free him up the chimney. This changes the end of game screen slightly and also boosts your score even further.

I was meaning to do a post-mortem on the game with the feedback I've had outside of the friends I had testing the game but I didn't really get enough, unfortunately. One of the things that did become apparent though was that it was a bad idea to throw in the coat blocking the mousehole puzzle at the start. I thought I was being clever doing that as a tribute to a puzzle that Doug Adams used in the Hitchhikers adventure game but I was wrong. A lot of people playing this game have probably never actually played a text adventure before and shouldn't have been dealing with a tricky one like that right from the off. Especially as the rest of the game was toned down twice to make it even easier during the last couple of weeks because my testers didn't get it.

As for the text, you're right, it wasn't clear enough that something in the room had changed really. The biggest problem I had was people automatically made the assumption that the pictures were gospel and the text was just re-iterating what they showed. A couple of the pictures I did show a different one, depending on events that happened in the game, but mostly they were just static backdrops as it never occurred to me that they would be the main thing people would focus on.

An example of this was in the conservatory where the magnifying glass wasn't on the table if you picked it up. The only reason I actually did that was because I still had the image of the room without it being in the picture because my artist had forgotten to put it in.

What I should have done was be consistent and either had them be just backdrops only and make it more clear from the start rather than be inconsistent like this. I really should have realised that people would have focused more on images than the text as it's something most of us would automatically do with a book.

When I started working on the game I fully intended to have a much better parser and also have the text as a proper scrolling display with the ability to scroll up and down to work out what you already had tried previously. In the end I bodged in the basic parser, threw in a poor text output function which only allowed for a few brief lines of text, due to making room for the select-able mouse click directions, and then got involved with the graphics stuff, music and making the game work. I literally rewrote the parser system to process actual commands whichever room you were in rather than huge room processing scripts because I realised that I was only accounting for people typing in the right commands every time, which was really stupid.

In the end I didn't even mention that you could use the up and down arrows to repeat previous commands because I put the feature in right at the beginning and then realised it had broken somewhere down the line just as I submitted my final build.

These competition games are great fun but it's murder when you realise how many screw-ups you made when you look back because you're trying to hit a deadline :-)

Fortunately, the game works as it is, and only has a few bugs that don't really affect play so I'll let it be as it is. I've got the facility to rip out the game and actually use the shell for another adventure another day, should I wish to, so it's all good.

So, to be clear, evicting the ghost out of the chimney, finishing your homework, collecting all the cards and opening the safe to find your presents does complete the game 100%.

Why did I not think of putting a % complete display in the game!?!!?