Author Topic: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018  (Read 1084 times)

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2018, 12:06:31 AM »
My bad. It's been fixed now anyway. Thanks both of you for your constructive feedback so far. I take in everything as it's the only way to get better.


Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2018, 12:26:13 AM »
As for today's work, I've been tinkering with getting an acceptable parser. I'm not really in rush-mode at the moment as a big part of the game will be putting all the room graphics in and getting Ebenezer running around. Or at least making it look like he is.

However, that doesn't mean I've been idle, and I've mocked up a play area screen where I can start working out where the game elements are going to go.

I have a status bar at the top of the screen which currently will need to show the score, a visual indicator of all 5 safe code digits either obtained or still to find, how many moves the player has made and where the ghost of Scrooge currently is. Under this is the picture window which is framed and then there's an area which will have direction buttons for the mouse-people. Under that is where the text for the game is going to appear, in another frame, and then there's an area where you type in commands.

That area is what I've been focusing on today because an adventure game can be really frustrating if you're struggling with trying to tell the game what it is you want to actually do. So I'm going with the tried and tested old Scott Adams method of two words to give instructions.

In the old days of writing an adventure, you'd just put up an input prompt and do some kind of parsing with whatever text the user entered, and just ignore the fact that it's probably some idiot like me who's just constantly pressing cursor down to scroll off all the text on the screen just because I can.

For an input handler to work I've made it so that only one space can be entered on any command prompt - hence forcing the two words syntax. I've also put in the option of repeat commands by allowing cursor up/down to recall previous commands typed in which is something more recent games did to save on a lot of typing. This game doesn't really need it as it's pretty short and isn't going to have long words or weird mumbo-jumbo to type in but it's all future-proofing. Also the standard stuff like capitalising the words and make sure it doesn't get punctuation or other miss-typed stuff that could crash the game. It took a lot longer than you might expect to get all this working as i'm so unfamiliar with how string handling worked with GML until I dug in.

I'm now at a stage where I'm ready to start processing instructions in the game but I can't do that without having the window where all the descriptive text is going working correctly because I do want the player to be able to read backwards over events that already have happened, should they need to. I'm currently thinking that may end up being one of the hardest bits to actually implement as I'll need to use a list and keep track of a lot more information to actually allow that.

Obviously nothing to show yet, apart from the rooms as my artist sends them to me, but hopefully by the end of the week I will be moving around the house, even with just text descriptions for now.

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2018, 11:32:41 PM »
3rd room - the upper hallway. Both the steps down and ladder to the attic are used in the game.


Offline Holzchopf

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2018, 05:15:15 AM »
It's strange being northern-hemispherian and seeing green trees outside at Christmas.  ??? You have now 3 of 20 rooms... TBH I don't think that's much. Or let's say maybe 20 rooms in total are a bit too much for such a short comp. I guess you have a plan B for when you have to cut some rooms?

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2018, 07:09:32 PM »
It's strange being northern-hemispherian and seeing green trees outside at Christmas.  ??? You have now 3 of 20 rooms... TBH I don't think that's much. Or let's say maybe 20 rooms in total are a bit too much for such a short comp. I guess you have a plan B for when you have to cut some rooms?

Nope, 20 rooms isn't big for an adventure at all. It's a mini-adventure - if anything. Even doing a map as you played it wouldn't take that long. But I also didn't want to fall into the bad-gameplay trap of making people go back and forth to each side of the house multiple times to actually finish the game as that's a poor way of disguising a lack of game content.

I've given my artist a deadline of four weeks from when he started the job to get it all done. He's only been on it a few days so far so I'm not worried that I won't have them all in time because I'm still coding the game without them. It probably will only take a day or so to put them in once i'm happy with them all and there's still a week at least to get that done from his deadline.

The other images like the ghost can all be put in at my own pace because I'll use a placeholder image until the proper images are ready.

As for cutting some rooms, that's not going to happen. I've worked out the whole layout of the game without having any code for it in place. That's right down to how many moves it will take to complete the game from scratch. To take out rooms and stuff in them now would be more work than just leaving things in place.

TLDR, it will all come together. I'm currently working on the part where i can keep a scroll history of all events which is more complex than it might sound. Once that is finished then I'll start actually processing commands input because the parser is already in place now. I just can't do that bit yet because I need to be able to show my progress without using bodgy debug code.

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2018, 11:42:13 AM »
Wow xerra, nice looking chrimbo tree
happy coding ;)

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2018, 12:24:35 PM »
And now we have a boxroom. He's got to add a little Xmas tree on the bedside table but, other than that, it looks good to me as it is.

Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2018, 01:14:54 PM »
What does the rabbit do to his buddy (see wardrobe, upper shelf) ... looks as one said "no".

Shadows of the bed are a bit ... too strong. It looks too much cludged together from various stuff your artist found somewhere. It suits but it all looks "put together" instead of being "all of a piece" (which would happen if you eg. paint the whole image, or render it).

Some elements (bedside cabinet) have wrong/broken perspectives ... hmm, I better mark them right in the image:




Some shadows should fall differently (watch the shadow of the window - it defines how "tall" the window is, so as the window ends short after the image ends,  the shadow of the board shelf cannot be straight horizontal, the shadow of the lamp on the cabinet is wrong as it is a shadow of a window which would be 2m more on the right).

I also drew red lines over the corners of the room (the upwards corner is very odd - it is not vertical as the rest of the room suggests). Elements in the room should follow these 3 lines as they define the camera angle. Some elements seem to try it - but their/artists perspective correction missed some stuff. The yellow lines should expose some flaws.

Shadows on the right bottom of the bed make it "pop out" instead of a furniture belonging to the room scene. 



So why do I "nitpick" here? You seem to pay the artist - and I do not know how much you pay (it is your decision and the agreement between you both) but for paid work I assume to be allowed to write some critics here - maybe you were not aware of it as you have seen many revisions of that image before and got used to these issues.
.
And do not get me wrong - it looks above average and has a lot of potential but for "collages/photoshop jobs" there is still a lot to improve here and there - and if not in this image, then maybe the artist will do a(n even) better job in the next image.


bye
Ron

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2018, 02:01:04 PM »
Thanks Ron. I've passed it back to him to fix this. That corner line is glaring obvious once you spot it. Glad you caught that.

Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2018, 05:00:15 PM »
Not updated this worklog for a while but I've still been beavering away. I've had a bit of a nightmare the last few days tracking stupid bugs which would have made me tear my hair out, if I still had much left, but I'm now back up and running again.

Graphics are not finished and deadline day for my artist was yesterday so that's a major concern at the moment. I planned for this by allowing an extra week to the day I'd given him so hopefully he'll still be able to get it all done. I currently have a game which has 10 of the 20 rooms done (with some modifications still needed on a couple of the complete ones) and some incidental graphics such as the Ebeneezer ghost, some frames for the display area and a logo. I'm still hoping I don't have to end up doing any of this for myself (shudder).

Game is now working and can be played but I don't have the rooms individual stuff set up yet for specific actions so you can go everywhere but the game can't be completed until you're able to do stuff like move the fridge to find a hidden item. I'm not thinking the code to do all these is going to be that tricky so hopefully not too much time.

I've got movement buttons in as well, although I'm thinking people probably won't use them much if you can just type "n" to go North, for example.

Inventory, pick up & drop all items now works as well so every object collectable can be dropped anywhere even if this game doesn't need to very much because I've been working it to be reusable for additional adventures, should I do another one.

Deadline is looming now - particularly for me because I really need to be done a couple of days before the deadline due to Xmas commitments. I'm still optimistic that I can finish the game before the end of the competition but, if you'd asked me this morning, then I'd have been very uncertain. Hopefully I won't have any more nasty issues like the stuff I've been working through the last few days. Like all bugs, they turned out to be pretty obvious once I worked out where they actually were  ???

Here's a few screenshots of how it looks at the moment with a couple of new rooms that I've not shown yet. The borders and info at the top of the screen are just place holders still so excuse how they look.

 

Online Steve Elliott

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2018, 05:17:38 PM »
Looking good.  Hopefully your artist can make up some time.
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Offline Derron

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2018, 07:45:53 PM »
Please improve "GUI"/interface. Might be a "dev"-thing for now - but it MUST look similar than the images/backgrounds. Else it looks as if you borrowed some images somewhere. Make it look similar. Dialogue texts should look _clear_ but pleasing the eyes (anti-alias, nice font, maybe a subtle shadow to increase readability).

Polishing can help people to forget about small gameplay issues.


bye
Ron

Online Steve Elliott

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2018, 07:51:55 PM »
No, gameplay is the most important part of a game!  Polishing comes later.
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Offline Xerra

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2018, 12:00:13 AM »
If all goes well then I'll have a bit of time for polishing it up once the actual game is complete. I always have a list of stuff that has to go into the game and stuff that could, if I have time at the end.

I agree completely with Steve - gameplay before anything else. If it's a little rough around the edges but a properly playable game by the 23rd, then I can live with that.

Offline Qube

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Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2018, 05:45:21 AM »
Quote
I agree completely with Steve - gameplay before anything else. If it's a little rough around the edges but a properly playable game by the 23rd, then I can live with that.
I totally agree, get the game sorted first to a decent level and then if time permits get the polish out.
Until the next time...