May 27, 2020, 07:36:16 AM

Author Topic: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018  (Read 6742 times)

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2018, 09:33:57 AM »
If a game looks "ugly" then expectations for the gameplay _will_ go down - same for the overall "rating". You can claim what you want - it is like saying "the inner beings is what counts" if your potential partner is not looking "nice" to you, chances are low to get that person known better as you already dared to start flirting.

I was not talking about adding all the bells and whistles needed for a AAA game. I was talking about a bit "love" for the interface part of the game. Why? It is visible in >90% of the game (exclude intro, credits, start menu ...). Means it is _one_ thing you could improve and it improves the whole game. If you improve a single of 20 rooms in the game - you improve 5% of the game (not finishing all of your rooms and having "placeholders" of course reduces overall appearance more than by 1/20 as the feel of "incompleteness" then floats around).

Little Love: use a suiting font, make the text display look "good"
Big love: use some "talking icons" (not "talk", "take" but a mouth, a hand , ...) if you want easier access and a "later 90s" interface rather than a "late 80s/early 90s" interface

The "little love" is what I was talking about. The "big love" is what can be done at the end if there is time left.


Additionally: I suggested it as it might be that your artist wont be able to finish with all the assets - so you _might_ already have to plan a bit ahead what happens if some rooms don't get finished in time - eg. replacing them with some simple:
- dark room
- eyes glowing in the dark
- "puzzly"-dialogues with the monster/whatever creature leading to items you use elsewhere
- or mini games (stuff you can easily do without an artist)


If there are some small assets needed maybe the community (I or others) can jump in to help a bit (or a byte).


bye
Ron

Offline Qube

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2018, 10:49:10 AM »
@Derron - I do agree with the nature of your post but due to the short time frame of the competitions you have to decide where you spend most of your time. First port of call has to be gameplay and acceptable graphics / sound. Should time permit then you can add sparkly bells to other elements.

Sure, the gui we see currently is rudimentary and needs work, but if the game is engrossing enough then that will not be a detractor in any shape or form. The current gui does the job just fine so I’d say complete the main gameplay and if time permits then revisit the finer details.

It’s not any easy task creating complete games in such a short time and I’d much rather see and experience the actual game, even if rough in places as apposed to a polished bare bones concept.

Until the next time...

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2018, 11:07:34 AM »
I think he gone far further already than just having a "barebone game". It sounds as if only "rooms" (with their corresponding interaction are missing). It sounds as if interaction is done "procedurally" instead of object oriented. Means for each room he will "copy paste" functionality or do some "if mouseInRect(0,0,10,10)" things. This of course takes a bit more time than having all objects defined somewhere and then "auto place" everything according to the "in one place" given definitions. So yes, he will need more time to put together new rooms means less time for "other stuff". But it also means that many other rooms are already "functional". And if Xerra planned well ahead he had the artist do the "most important rooms" as first jobs - so he _could_ (even if he declined that already ;-)) story a bit if the artist does not deliver the rest in time.

If this game is created "step by step" then improving the interface, adding background music (if not done yet), ... is stuff you _could_ add inbetween your "room-coding".


Regardless of my own opinion/preferences (each one of us will have them - and during voting this will influence ones vote somehow) it is _really_ nice of Xerra to keep us informed about progress, handing in pictures of the WIP etc.
IF you want I could spot some errors in the current images but for now I better won't do that as it would delay stuff even more.


bye
Ron

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2018, 11:36:08 AM »
It's not a "barebone game" now but there's still a fair way to go, in all honesty. I've mentioned previously about how much more work it actually has been compared to what I expected when I started writing this game. It certainly has given me a lot of respect for the people who created games like these back in the day. As simple as some of them appear to be, there's a lot of grunt work going on in the background.

Derron is right in some parts but out of the 20 rooms in the game only three of them currently have all the actual game elements completed where you can interact with every object, find every item, and count the room as done. Those were only finished earlier this morning but a lot of the ground work such as how they are described based on actions has been mostly finished a lot earlier but I've spent almost a week with some stupidly tricky bugs that taught me a lot while trying to fix them.

I have planned ahead considerably before starting the actual coding of this game though, so only very minor changes have been needed to the design up until now. But I can't approach it the way Derron seems to think it can be done with the time limit we have here. The game has to be complete and working properly before I can do any kind of graphic stuff or it could all go to pot if I ran out of time. At least with doing the game stuff first without polishing, I know how much time I have left to get it looking much nicer afterwards.

I almost got caught out with Rockman like this because I spent a load of time doing a fancy credits scroller without having stuff like the enemy movement done and the rocks working correctly. That's why I ended up submitting six minutes before deadline and had a game with enemy AI that was impossible to avoid and rocks that sometimes got stuck where they shouldn't.

If I break Humbug down right now into a list of what I need to do - ignoring what my graphics guy has to get done:
17 more room interaction scripts.
A few more movement conditions like not being able to go up a ladder without a certain item.
Add the ghost of Ebeneezer roaming the house.
Title/End screens.
Add in the music (there's a lot of it but I've got approval and it's a quick job so I leave it to the end to have quicker compile times)

The rest is stuff that I've got that could optionally be added given time. Such as two other sets of objects to find apart from Xmas cards that could possibly go in as it would be just adding to lists with the data system I have now.

So what you're seeing isn't final of what the game will look like at the end but I am thinking that maybe I need to make some stuff a bit more configurable anyway. I've just done some changes to the descriptive text which didn't take that long and perhaps looks a bit better already. Have a look at the old and then new screenshots below. The top line is still just typed in stuff on the image so ignore that even though it has changed as well.

Oh, and one more thing to check with Derron. I only added the buttons in yesterday - are they another element you don't like? I've used a website to generate the images but it was a quick half hour job and I'm now wondering if I need to change these again? AFTER I've finished the game, i hasten to add :-)

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2018, 11:41:14 AM »
BTW, Qube, can i use the Xmas lights from the website in the game possibly? They look very Xmasy :-)

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2018, 12:06:14 PM »
The buttons look "alien" (color choice). The font "display" improved a lot - yet it is (in my opinion of course) the wrong font to choose from. Dunno how hard it is to replace the font - but once the "interface" is done you can pretty easily choose another font which looks "better". It depends on the game and the mood you want to "spread". You do not need to use some fancy "xmas greeting card"-font (they are not easy to read). Still there are a lot of fonts looking better than the current ones - the first had some odd scaling issues (letters being less wide than they are supposed to be). The second font has pretty ugly upper chars (as they are having a heavier font weight - aka "look bold").
As said, this is not a biggy and can be done later on.

_IF_ you want, I could help you creating some stuff for the interface part - so it does not look that sluggish around the "room area".
According to what your controls seem to be about - I would move stuff a bit and design around a "logical alignment of buttons"-idea.
Also I would need to know if you can easily draw over other stuff (means eg. an object can be positioned a bit "over" other elements so it does not look that "rectangular").

If you are interested in it - you can PM me or write publically in this thread (if you do not dare to keep things "a secret"). Of course I would not ask for money. Just want to help out. I would need 2-3 phrases about the "mood" in the game - is it a modern adventure with a "it's xmas"-story or something "heart(h) warming" with all these xmas-decorations hanging around and christmas ornaments in the interface ...
Just think about how an interface looks if you had a wooden panel as background (with a feather instead of a pencil, some serif-arrows, ...) compared to a steel/grayish background with sleek "non-serif" arrows ...
"Mood" or ambience is what I would need to get descibed (only some words).

Even if you do not want me to do some stuff, thinking about above's paragraph might help improving your (graphics) design decisions. And NOPE. Having hundreds of colors for everything does not make it look distinguishable - for this you already have the location on the screen ("top right = location, top left = score").


bye
Ron


Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2018, 03:58:11 PM »
The area around the graphics window and around where the text is drawn are this particular size and placement because my graphics guy is being paid to do a frame to replace the square boxes for them. I literally have just stamped down temporary borders so that I new the sizing (I don't have an option to change resolution with the game so it's written for a 1280 * 1024 resolution but can be bumped to full screen and will black box the sides without hardly affecting the images at all.

I opted to do the buttons myself but I'm kind of swinging with you when I look at them now. When moved over I just shunt them a few pixels right and down at present as a crude feedback animation. I think I will have to address that later on after all.

I'd like to see some font suggestions if you have any that would look better. This one was thrown in as a tester as the original was just a scaled up default font from the editor as I was planning to do something neater with the text later on. With the one that's there now I literally just draw in black 2 pixels to the right and 2 pixels down with the text and then change colour to yellow and draw the same text where i want it. It came out a lot better than I expected. I did something very similar with the menu system in Rockman, as I recall. A font can literally just be dropped into my system and then I just do a search and replace on the referenced name within my display step event so it's a two minute job to change if you can suggest something that works better.

The room graphics are not really changeable, however. They are static pictures which I decided on at the start due to how much money the game was going to cost as it was. I would have liked to have built up objects like I had for the RAM computer room screen so I could have toggled windows open and closed as the player interacted. If only .....

Where the top line of info is concerned, I'm wanting some kind of like simple dashboard display (obviously not a lot of room to work in) where the elements fit into spaces. There needs to be 5 lamps which are either green/red depending on how many safe codes have been found and the same system for Xmas cards. It needs to display a location for which room the ghost is currently haunting and also show both the players score and how many moves they have made. The lamps are going to need to be sprites which are put into holes in this panel because they will need to be one of the two colours and change during the game.

Any of this you feel you can help me with then I'm open to assistance. I'll send you any information you need including the design document I sent to the graphics guy - even though it doesn't document the panel or buttons. I'm guessing that helping me would exclude you from voting for my game if you liked it however :(

Offline Qube

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2018, 08:13:44 PM »
BTW, Qube, can i use the Xmas lights from the website in the game possibly? They look very Xmasy :-)
Of course you can :)
Until the next time...

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2018, 09:53:30 PM »
I will try to come up with one proposal these days - which we can "improve/adjust" then here and there until it suits you well.


bye
Ron

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2018, 12:51:09 PM »
Are the backgrounds scaled down to the resolution - so one could scale them until they do no longer have these uhm ... "unneeded" borders around them? Or are these images fixed and the design needs to tackle these gray borders too?


bye
Ron

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2018, 05:40:32 PM »
For the interested and not just Derron. Here's the document I sent to the guy doing my graphics so you can see how I planned it all out. The design hasn't changed at all since sending this which proved to myself that giving the idea enough time to create it properly has saved me lots of messing around having to possibly change anything near the end. Hopefully it stays that way right to the end ...


Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #56 on: December 10, 2018, 07:07:45 PM »
Dunno if you really should share the doc _now_ as it reveals some puzzles or "important objects".

I only needed the dimensions of the images.


Suggestion for next asset guideline: think of 16:9 or 16:10 displays with the possibility to go back to 4:3. How= Let it design for "full hd" (which is common these days) but limit left and wide of the image to be "unimportant stuff/noninteractive/decoration only" - if full width is needed, then make top and bottom unimportant. That way you can cut off from the image in 4:3 while having the whole stuff get rendered on a more modern display.

Will try to create some stuff now - guess I was right searching for some wooden background ;-)


bye
Ron

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2018, 10:37:53 PM »


Not really happy with the "controls" but they are done in only some minutes - maybe doing a kind of "real" compass looks better - and more colorful icons (suitcase + up/down arrows). Except for the textures all elements are vector based, so resizing is no problem (feather + ink, controls,  screws/nails, ...).
"score + Log + Input"-Font-shadow looks a bit odd as I tried to already create a shadow as if it was done by your game engine + code (black text 2 pixels down/right). If you used a proper bitmap font one could precreate the shadow already.

I moved the "room" some pixels down as I think the bottom part looks _way_ to big (the wooden parts occupy half the screen...).


Sound + music icons could move to either bottom right, or top right  ... or get hidden in a hamburger menu (these three lines you might know from your smartphone).
If "quit" just ends the game you could hide it in "windowed mode" or have a simple "power down"-icon on the top right when in full screen.

if "location" is important then it could receive its own decoration/background when position centered-top of the game.

"Safe" etc could get their own sprites too.



@ Logo / title screen
I could create some "festive" thing if you want (with transparency so you can put it on a background of your choice).


All in all I tried to keep my style similar to the "photoshop drop-shadow"-style of your artist.


Edit: I attached a transparend "interface overlay" (you draw your room "behind"). Of course the images could get splitted to draw "left, bottom, right, top" parts separately (if FPS go down with big textures).
Font I used is: "Joy for fun"
Url: https://www.dafont.com/joy-for-fun.font
As you see in the font preview it contains basic umlauts, so a German localization is possible :-)


bye
Ron

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2018, 05:29:58 PM »
Derron, have you got the compass parts as seperate images? Rather than work from the whole image as it is and mess around with regions to read mouse clicks, I'd want to put them into the draw event so they could be highlighted when moved over and mouse input could also be more accurate as I'd have them as event receiving objects. Same would apply to the up/down/inventory images.

It looks fantastic, in all honesty. I've no idea what the guy doing the frame will come up with but I'd be inclined to use yours instead of him even bothering.

When you say you've moved the picture image down, you have just done that and not actually resized it, right? I want to have a crack at putting it into the game but it would be a disaster to rip it all about now and then find the other image sizes are all changed.

As for the music note/speaker icon and quit buttons, I'd have to lose mine realistically. Or have ones that fit with the scheme you've drawn here.

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2018, 05:31:56 PM »
I should add that any images I put on screen I just control with depth settings. Thus I would put the back panel down with a depth of 0 and then the compass elements with a depth of -1 so they always appeared over the background.


 

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