SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => Worklogs => Topic started by: Xerra on November 05, 2018, 11:38:44 PM

Title: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 05, 2018, 11:38:44 PM
Bah, Humbug! will be my entry for the Xmas competition.

You wake up one morning, after having a wild party the night before, to realise you still haven't found your Xmas present and your parents are due back from holiday today. To make matters worse your friends have hidden all your mothers Xmas cards and you need to find them before their return or there's going to be hell to pay. And just what are you going to do about this ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge that's wandering around the house shouting "Free my spirit" constantly?

Can you complete the game and both side quests to score the maximum points? You'll also need to complete your school homework which is an essay on the benefits of procrastination. You have been putting that off for weeks.

All of the game will take place over 20 locations in one house.

The game is not going to be tricky as I'm aware a lot of people find this type of game frustrating these days.

It will have graphics and music as well as buttons for moving around the map quickly.

---

For this competition I've decided to go with the traditional text adventure but rework it a bit so it can appeal to people who aren't fans of that type of game. By this I mean that interacting with the game will be by the old method of Verb/Noun so you will use commands like "Get Stick" or "Go North" but I plan to work around a lot of the typing, particularly around navigation of the map, to make it more dynamic.

For example if you wanted to move north then valid commands would be:
"Go North"
"Move North"
"N"

And you will also have the option of clicking on buttons under the graphics view for the same directions to save time.

"Get Stick", "Take Stick" will both do the same thing.
"Drop Stick", "Leave Stick" also do the same thing.

The idea being that the game puzzles are what makes you think rather than having to fight with a difficult parser.

A text adventure game would be pretty boring so I'm going to see if I can get room pictures done along with some Xmas music just to fit the theme.

I've not designed an adventure game since the early 80's when I used to make crude attempts in basic on my old Vic 20, which is why I'm doing this as I want to really test myself with a proper design this time. I've been guilty of jumping straight into game coding with no real plan before and it's usually come back to haunt me right near the end of a project. The six minutes to deadline of submitting my last game have taught me a valuable lesson here.

So the only code I've done so far is to modify my template project to have a text input/parser function ready for when I start coding the actual game. But what I have done as well is look for a tool to help me design the map and keep track of all the items, events that will be part of the game. There are some elements that this map isn't going to help with but it does give me a solid footing to actually get the core in place without suddenly realising I have rooms in the wrong place, items that I can't reach because I need the item to actually get to the room where I can find it and other logistical issues. Paradoxes like that would be a nightmare to deal with late on so I need a complete design before I actually do anything.

So what you're seeing here is a quick sketch of the room layout that I was considering working from - until I actually saw sense - and a map created with Trizbort which makes everything so much clearer. I spotted four major flaws in what I thought was a working game flow straight away once I laid it out like this. By the way, you're looking at a map without any items or other details put into it because spoilers etc.

If anyone is looking to create an adventure game like I am then I'd recommend using Trizbort to lay it out first. There's lots of different versions out there if you google it. I used a windows one (thank heavens for Parallels) to do mine which you can find here http://trizbort.genstein.net/ (http://trizbort.genstein.net/).
 
Six weeks isn't a long time to get this done so wish me luck :-)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Matty on November 06, 2018, 12:05:05 AM
Excellent.  Love the idea.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube on November 06, 2018, 02:22:57 AM
Interesting idea and all the best in getting it all together :)

I'm still pondering an idea and wondering how to best go about it ( no bought media this time around ).

Quote
Six weeks isn't a long time to get this done so wish me luck :-)
No it's not a long time but luckily this comp is seven weeks, so no excuses :P
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 07, 2018, 12:19:26 AM
Didn't count the weeks on a calendar. Good news, that is. Bit more time to hammer at the keyboard.

Been working hard again today to tweak all the items in the game and get their locations on the map correct. I have to make sure that the game is solvable with every item in the game where it is so I spent lunchtime at work with a friend writing down a complete move list from the start point to game complete. At present, ignoring all three of the side quest objectives, the most optimized solution to completing the game takes exactly 82 moves. I'd estimate around a third of that is moving locations and it does skip going to a couple of the rooms completely as they only have relevance for completing the optional parts.

TLDR - I have the complete game design worked out ready to put in place once I get all the visual stuff that I need now, such as text formatting for long description lines and laying out a mock up screen so I know what area of the screen I'm using to fit with the graphics.

I wrote up a complete list of all the rooms detailing what elements need to be drawn in the picture for that room as well because I need some essential parts such as portrait pictures being shown visually as well as in the text for .... reasons. As well as all 20 rooms needing their own picture, I also need the wandering ghost of Scrooge that's going to be an animation, and some border stuff to work buttons and text areas around. I'm just hoping that my artist isn't going to throw a really expensive quote back my way once he costs it up.

As for code I'm using the same project template which I've used for my last three games now. I'm always working on it between games as well as incorporating new elements from the games I create so it's a lot more useful for getting things up and running now than it was at the start of my first competition game back in February. I'm going to need some kind of scroll back on any descriptive text so I'll have to add some kind of surface code to that area to keep around 100 lines roughly. This way it will be easy for the player to keep track of the things they have done so far. I'm also going to display a visual score, along with progress on the safe combination code, number of Xmas cards found and where the ghost currently is in the house.

Speaking of the ghost of Ebenezer, he's going to play a big part of the game as one of the side quests. He wanders around the house randomly and stays in each room for a certain amount of time. There is a way to free him to get a score multiplier and there will also be certain side-effects in his pattern depending on your actions which I won't spoiler for now. Suffice to say you don't want to be in the same room as him for too long as your total score will start dropping.

There's no deaths in this game - it's Xmas after all.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on November 07, 2018, 07:47:34 AM
Sounds like it's all coming together nicely.  Hand drawn adventure maps; takes me back  :D
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 08, 2018, 11:31:40 PM
Now that map layout and the items in the game are decided I set to work putting the information into .csv files so it will be easy to make changes later on if I do run into a problem for any reason. As it stands the game has 20 locations and 24 moveable items and an adventure game is not an adventure game unless any object can be in any room at any time. I still remember old adventure games I played that, being a coder, you could tell hadn't organised their data handling well and had silly restrictions on stuff like number of items in a room, wouldn't let you drop anything once you picked it up or, the biggest travesty, actually lose track of items completely in your inventory.

I want Bah, Humbug! to have the facility to have all 24 moveable items in one room if the player wants to do it. Not because they need to but because it's stupid to have to say "Sorry, i can't do that!" if the player decides to drop something in a room that he thinks he doesn't need. It may be a pointless exersize for this game because I'm not setting any kind of inventory size limit, but who knows if I might reuse the data system in another adventure game that might one day.

So how I currently have it set up is the rooms list as shown in the csv file attached. Here I will parse the file and store each room in a data list, ignoring the first line with the headers. Then I create a grid with the list data so I can reference a room number and the item number for whatever bit of information I actually need. This is done because it's easier to pull out data from a grid than a list but a grid can only be 2*2 dimensions.

The csv file contains the name, room number, and then six fields which point to the room number that you will end up in for each of the moveable directions. Finally there is a very brief 1 line room description at the end which will be used for location display followed by any descriptive text being added in the individual room processing scripts. So, for example, The lounge is room 13 so the player decides he wants to go East. The game reads number 16 for the East direction room number and changes the room to the Conservatory and then processes the script for that room instead. This way I can basically code all the eventualities that are required for each room in their own script without worrying about anything else. Should the game find a zero in any direction and the player tries to move that way then I'll make the player bang their head on the wall, or something. It's a kind of state handler, basically.

As for the items list, I won't show that here because spoilers. But the layout only has four fields: Name, Item Number, Room location and Hidden. Name is pretty obvious, item number is a reference for the item and Room location states which room it's currently in. If that is loaded with a zero then the game knows it's in your inventory and will list in when you type "Inventory", "Inv" or maybe click a button. Hidden is self explanatory and is either Yes or No. If it is hidden then the game won't list it as being on screen until the player has discovered it by moving an object or another condition.

How it actually works is based on the room number. Every time player enters a new room then the list of items will be parsed and any that match the current room number will be listed as present. I will then have code in place for using the drop and get commands where it will update the item with the current room number if it gets dropped and reset it to zero if it's picked up.

As I've not written an adventure for 30+ years it took quite a while to come up with this system and it's not in code yet so may need to change once I start working on that part but I decided that I really needed to think it all through properly before I tried putting it all in place.

I also negotiated with the graphic artist I've used for my three previous games to work on this project as well. It's worked out to be a lot more expensive than the other three games put together so I'm really going to push myself to create a game that justifies the total cost. If I am as proud of it as I was of Rockman when it's complete then it will be more than worth it. Especially if I do use the shell for another adventure game one day because it was pretty good fun plotting this one out.

Finally as for writing the game itself I've actually not got too much done. I've mapped out some graphical stuff for a game screen so I can put start throwing text around to check the map and items all work correctly but not actually put the scripts in place yet so there's nothing to actually show yet. My project file has been dusted off and stripped off any fluff ready to go however, so I'm hoping it's going to be a lot quicker coming together now the data is all in place.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Matty on November 09, 2018, 06:33:19 PM
Hangon a moment-did you really commission an artist for the games in the previous comp entries? That would cost as much or more than any possible prize wouldnt it?
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 09, 2018, 10:51:12 PM
Hangon a moment-did you really commission an artist for the games in the previous comp entries? That would cost as much or more than any possible prize wouldnt it?

Yes, I did. I had the same guy I'm hiring now who did artwork in all three of my last games - including the unfinished one. I posted confirmation receipts to show the costs as per the rules. I got someone to do the art for me for several reasons:

1) I can't draw for shit. I'm really hopeless and not very good with art packages beyond the basic stuff like resizing images, swapping colours and stuff.
2) I didn't really pay that much until now.
3) I never have to worry about using free stuff and not reading the licence properly.
4) I own the stuff that I've paid for. I could use it again if I wanted to.
5) I never expect to win a prize so I've already justified the cost to myself against the pride in having another game I've written out there.

For Envahi I was using basic artwork that I'd either hacked together myself or dug up free stuff that kind of worked but it didn't look very good. By the last couple of weeks it looked like I would get the game completed in time and it was going to stand up terribly against the other games. So I thought to myself that I'd always planned to do this game anyway, and the competition had motivated me to finish the game (one off the bucket list), so why not get someone to at least do a better job with the moving sprites and make the game a bit better. I spent around £30 in total but I was lucky enough to get 3rd place for £100 so it ended up being a good investment.

I took the same route with RAM and spent a bit more cash this time because I needed a decent background and also several computer parts that i could use as needed on top of it. Think that one was around £45 in total but around a week to the deadline I just found the game wasn't working out. Too much time spent working on the background stuff and the game was too shallow so I canned it in. If I ever go back and work on it again it's still going to be a loss as I'd probably never release it now.

Rockman was a different story as I got a bit more adventurous and actually did some of the simple graphics myself. Stuff like wall background objects and earth. Nothing very impressive but I had got more comfortable with software like Logomaker and the tools within Gamemaker 2 by now so I only spent around £15 on the character sprites and a couple of other bits. Because I felt the game was coming together well in the last few days I then spent around £25 to get the main characters drawn in a much larger scale so I could use them for ItchIO images and on my website etc. Rockman didn't win the competition but I was so proud of the game anyway that it wasn't really about the money at all.

For Bah, Humbug! I'm currently going to be laying out around £150 after Freelancer fees but there's reasoning to this, even if it does seem insane for a competition game. I played Adventure games with my mother when I was a teenager. It's one of the few things that we ever really related to as a hobby. My plan is for one of her presents to be a USB stick this year with my adventure on it for her to play through. She has parkinsons so can't really use a mouse properly any more but she's still ok to type. She thought her adventure game days were over so I'm hoping this will go down rather well. For the last 3-4 years I'd been planning on remaking Voodoo castle as a graphic/text adventure as that one had always been our favourite but I think this will go down even better.

So, in short, I don't give a monkey about laying out a bit of cash this time round. The competition is my spur to get it done. Making a game good enough to actually win a prize would just be a bonus this time round :-)

Additionally, Freelancer is full of people who can do artwork and other creative stuff. I use the same guy because he's probably nowhere near the best but he does a competent enough job, he's reliable, I suspect the money is worth a lot more to him than me and also he's working very, very cheap. Art can cost an absolute fortune, especially in a game that needs a lot of it. I'm after 20 room backgrounds in a house, as well as a logo, an animated ghost character and some other bits. Bet it would be really hard to find another graphic artist who's going to do that as cheap as £150
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 09, 2018, 11:08:14 PM
My artist has come up with an initial design for the starting room of the adventure which is your bedroom. The coke machine and the coat are in there specifically for the first puzzle. He's going to add in some window lights as I've requested him to make it look like Xmas in each room but I'm pretty happy with how it looks apart from that.


Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on November 10, 2018, 01:16:41 AM
Make sure to not infringe any copyright...

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: therevills on November 10, 2018, 01:41:11 AM
Make sure to not infringe any copyright...

Yeah you'll need to change the Coke vending machine to something generic... also why would someone have a vending machine in the their bedroom? Is it a nod to MI2?

(http://vgsmproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/monkey_island2_se.jpg)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube on November 10, 2018, 02:45:48 AM
Quote
Make sure to not infringe any copyright...
Yeah, get your artist to change it to something like "Polar Cola"

Quote
also why would someone have a vending machine in the their bedroom?
Do not query as to why someone would, but why they actually have :P

Also, because...

Quote
The coke machine and the coat are in there specifically for the first puzzle
It's part of the game, deal with it ;D
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on November 10, 2018, 08:42:01 AM
The look of the second picture is - in my opinion - the one to stay with. The first picture looked too "clean" and as if someone pasted parts of the image together or created "paintings" out of real-world-pictures.
The "painted" look of the second image might be a bit "concept art"-like but I think it suits very well to a competition-game-entry.

So you hired a paid artist again - or did you find a talented person willed to create stuff together with you - aka a "team" ?


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 10, 2018, 09:30:50 AM
Make sure to not infringe any copyright...

Didn't think anything about the coke machine until you said that. I've asked him to change it to just say Cola and make it look different now as well as change that picture above the bed. It's supposed to be a teenagers bedroom. I don't recall mine ever being that tidy :-)

As for why the machine is there then it's just because it's a kind of tribute to the babel fish puzzle in Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. That was just a generic vending machine, however. You forget stuff over the years. I also made it a lot shorter to solve as that one is probably only interesting the first time you run through it.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 10, 2018, 09:42:25 AM
The look of the second picture is - in my opinion - the one to stay with. The first picture looked too "clean" and as if someone pasted parts of the image together or created "paintings" out of real-world-pictures.
The "painted" look of the second image might be a bit "concept art"-like but I think it suits very well to a competition-game-entry.

So you hired a paid artist again - or did you find a talented person willed to create stuff together with you - aka a "team" ?

The look of the second picture might well be much better for you, Ron, but it's not what my guy has done. That artist is probably a lot better but it would probably cost me a hell of a lot more to get art like that in this game. I might not care about spending the money but I do have to have the money in the first place :-)

There's no real team thing in any of the games I've written. I've got a friend who sometimes helps me out with some technical stuff, as he was an industry developer for years and understands GML a bit better than me. He doesn't do any actual coding, however, just a bit of testing. My better half looks at stuff I do and she will sometimes play it, if it's not a fast, hard arcade type game, because she has almost zero experience of playing games so it's not really her thing. I've also got a colleague at work who's one of my systems team, who has helped me work out some ideas for RAM and also this game.

If I could find a talented artist who wanted to work as a team instead of hiring someone and paying them then I'd be really happy. Unfortunately people do want to be paid and I've yet to write a game that I'd consider good enough to actually sell. While there may be people out there who want to do stuff like this, just because it's what they do, rather than for money, I don't actually know any of them.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 11, 2018, 09:11:20 PM
Bedroom has now been changed to more reflect a teenage boys room. Probably should be a bit messier but at least it's a lot more Xmas-themed now. Oh, and the Coke machine got taken away and we all now drink generic-cola. Not that I'm worried about being sued by Coke for freely advertising their product :)

Also Attic is almost done now. The old picture in the background needs to be an elderly gentleman but the rest works just fine. No Xmas decorations up here as they're all around the house ... obviously !!
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: GaborD on November 11, 2018, 09:21:39 PM
Looks great!
Reminds me of the old adventure games I used to love so much. Looking forward to it!
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on November 11, 2018, 09:53:47 PM
Quote
Reminds me of the old adventure games I used to love so much. Looking forward to it!

Me too.   :D
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube on November 12, 2018, 04:15:36 AM
Using bought media? Wow, the game's practically made for you! - This is the attitude that Unity users get :P

Love your artists style, especially the volumetric lighting in the attic scene. Nice and subtle but adds so much.

If I were to go into Derron mode ( just jesting ) then I'd say the attic needs to look a little more dirty, dank and unused. Petty stuff as I really like that scene but an attic to me always is a dark place full of spiders and old abandoned stuff.

The replacement cola machine texture is not too good and looks like a photoshop botch job, sorry ;D but the rest of the scene is nicely done yet that replacement part looks wrong. I'd get your artist to fix that as you can see white bits / fringing on the textures edges.

Overall I'd congratulate your artist on the work they've done considering they're not charging a premium. They've a really nice atmosphere to them, so well done on that side :)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: GaborD on November 12, 2018, 08:20:25 AM
I think using Unity automatically pulls you to the dark side. You lose all control and are forced to do evil things.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on November 12, 2018, 08:29:31 AM
Quote
Wow, the game's practically made for you! - This is the attitude that Unity users get :P

Maybe Qube should change the SyntaxBomb tagline to 'They mostly click menus at night...Mostly.  Hehe  ;D
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on November 12, 2018, 08:59:09 AM
Someone asked for Derron mode? Really? Here it comes:


The more special a part of an image looks, the closer people will look. For the bed-room I just had a whirl on what images were "photoshopped together" here - and as a weath is hard to "reverse find" on the internet, the image right above the bed ... can be found on various "Asian poster shops" (so most often unlicenced... I assume so at least). But with the images there (un-skewed/distored) I have run a little tineye.com search - not resulting in the original info yet, but I somewhen ended on a page describing who originally painted that image.

Patrice Murciano
With that info you can visit his website and there you skip right through the portfolio:
http://patricemurciano.com/en/muses/

So ... I do not know about copyrights in your country - but at least the original creator should get asked for permission first. If you now think this is "nitpicking" - create contracts with your artists to avoid becoming liable for copyright infringment in assets you bought from a 3rd party (or let the assets get created for you by a 3rd party).
Why? Of course your artist might have already asked the original creator and got permission - or he bought some licence or so. This is then of course legal and nothing to worry about. But to make sure you always should put such stuff into a contract. If someone really persued you to sue you at the end, it is always good to have a postal contact address to your asset producers (and you would need a lawyer in their country to have your rights "claimed" - aka ask for the money someone else was asking you in first instance).
While your country might allow for such "creative use" of 3rd party stuff it might not be allowed in other countries and depending on the way on how you "distribute" stuff then, you might end up uploading it to a website located in a country in which this "creative use-law" is not existing.

I do not want to put you off, or to teach you - I just want to ensure that the original author was asked (or the licence of the image allows a usage like a "collage" in an game background image) - and to help you not to run into trouble.


And yes, I understand that painting a "background painting" looks like it takes time better spend on other things but hey - he could have put some "PD/CC0"-images there (even if you cannot be sure if they are really CC0'd by the original authors or just some reuploaders).


@ attic
Yes, I would also like some "toonish spider web" - it does not have to look "frightening", it should look "unused" (as Qube very well described).
I would also have a look if the shadows of the boxes fit to the boxes and do not end earlier than the box :-)
Once the shadows of the boxes are corrected, you can have a look at the brick on the right - and wonder why the brick does not have a shadow (at least not as tall as the one box - which seems to have a magic shadow). Think your artist just encountered the trickyness of creating shadows out of 2D assets (with 3d you do not get all these nice details and soft gradients but at least the shadows look as they should). Maybe have less harsh and "distinctable" shadows to not make errors so much apparent.

Aside of this critics: nice collage of stuff and surely a lot of time was spent in creating it - it is surely some output not everybody is capable of doing - yet there is stuff left for improvement. Keep us informed about the next incoming assets.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube on November 12, 2018, 09:52:33 AM
Quote
Maybe Qube should change the SyntaxBomb tagline to 'They mostly click menus at night...Mostly.  Hehe  ;D
LOL! fantastic, I like that :P

@Derron, I'm just having a laugh. I think you've been here long enough to know me and know I mean no harm at all. I enjoy your insights into things and I think every forum should have a Derron. Seriously, please keep giving your input as a lot of it highly valuable.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on November 12, 2018, 09:57:00 AM
I didn't feel harmed - everything is good. Just hope that Xerra is not upset about what I wrote - think he puts a lot of efforts into the competition and it is surely worth to get played at the end.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on November 12, 2018, 10:02:01 AM
Quote
Maybe Qube should change the SyntaxBomb tagline to 'They mostly click menus at night...Mostly.  Hehe  ;D

LOL! fantastic, I like that  :P

 ;)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on November 12, 2018, 06:20:34 PM
The edge of that Cola machine is a good spot. Never noticed that. I've asked the artist to clean it up now. Thanks Derron.

Derron, can you give me a link to where you saw the proper design which is in that picture over the bed? I want to have a look at it and get it changed if there's a risk-element there.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on November 12, 2018, 08:29:09 PM
See the link I gave you - scroll a bit down, it is one of the images.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube on November 12, 2018, 09:09:48 PM
Quote
The edge of that Cola machine is a good spot. Never noticed that. I've asked the artist to clean it up now. Thanks Derron.
Ahem, ‘twas me that spotted that :P
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on November 12, 2018, 09:11:06 PM
but you were in Derron-mode!

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube on November 12, 2018, 09:38:11 PM
Lol, that is true ;D
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Holzchopf 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?
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: 3DzForMe on November 16, 2018, 11:42:13 AM
Wow xerra, nice looking chrimbo tree
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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:


(http://i.imgur.com/P58KJGq.png)

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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.

 
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 08, 2018, 05:17:38 PM
Looking good.  Hopefully your artist can make up some time.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 08, 2018, 07:51:55 PM
No, gameplay is the most important part of a game!  Polishing comes later.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube 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.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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 :-)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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 :-)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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 :(
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Qube 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 :)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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 ...

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 10, 2018, 10:37:53 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/AP2xig3.png)

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 (https://www.dafont.com/joy-for-fun.font?text=my%20text%20umlauts%20%C3%BC%C3%B6)
As you see in the font preview it contains basic umlauts, so a German localization is possible :-)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra 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.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 11, 2018, 06:06:19 PM
Yes I have all the sprites as "layers" or "forms" - so I can extract them without much trouble.

@ image
I took your screenshot, rescaled it up to 1280*1024 (after deleting the OS X-Titlebar). Then I cut the "room" and moved it down 10 pixels.

This would mean that all elements (items in the room) would have a 10px higher Y-value. I cannot imagine that this would be that creates big trouble. I did not "scale/stretch" stuff. I just moved the "room" 10px down - so that the top area got a bit taller and the bottom area a bit less tall (it does not need so much space).


@ highlight/disable/...
What states do your buttons need to be? I could prepare "hover", "disabled", "down" ... most of them could be done "ingame" (lowering alpha when disabled, move by 2,2 when "down", ...).


@ icons
What icons do you need: SFX, Music, Quit ?

what about the "safe"-thingy (and the other one) in the top of the game? What is supposed to get displayed there? If you do not want to disclose that here, feel free to write me an email: ron at gamezworld.de

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 11, 2018, 07:32:40 PM
I copied the sprites into new images and saved them.
Each "button" thing has a "name.png" and a "name.hover.png".

For "clicked" (or more suited "down") you could simply move the image 1-2 pixels down/right and/or lower color/tint it a bit. If desired I can come up with some images for that too.


To properly "align" them with what I designed you can either measure it out - or just draw the "image with buttons" as one image - and the other elements on top, then move accordingly until they look "fitting". Then you can remove the "image with buttons".


@ icons on top
I prepared some already but I am not sure if you want to keep it that way or if you are able to code a proper "hamburger menu" (these three lines).
Click on it and a simple brownish (styled...) rectangle appears - with the entries:
Disable Music (if enabled - or "Enable Music" if it is disabled)
Disable SFX (....)
--------
Exit Game

You then wont need that much space for elements which you only use _once_ or twice in a game, not regularily (like the compass or inventory).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 11, 2018, 09:27:39 PM
I've emailed you, Ron. Not because I want to be secretive but I don't want to give any more spoiler information about the game away until people have had a play on it.

Graphics guy has come up with another six room backgrounds today so there's a list of amendments and four rooms still to do now. I'm a bit less apprehensive now :-)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 11, 2018, 09:55:50 PM
So Team Xerra/Derron/Artist!!  No problem with this at all, because it should result in a better game.  But clearly when it comes to voting Derron can't vote for this project.  Just saying  :)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 11, 2018, 10:05:37 PM
If some others needed some simple assets - they could drop a line too. Of course it will get harder if I was left with only one game to vote for *hah*.



@ xerra
got your email and replied already. If it is really tricky for you to move stuff ("game screen") you should consider packaging stuff into "containers". So instead of positioning room elements at "x=10,y=20" you position them relatively to the "rooms origin" so this "10,20" gets then interpreted as "room.x + 10, room.y + 20".
That way you could move the "room" without hassle. You could even add "earthquakes" without having the interface receiving the shake too - you just move the origin of the room.

But keep that for your next project - and I also do not know in which language you code in and how easy stuff is done there or not.



bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 11, 2018, 11:06:13 PM
So Team Xerra/Derron/Artist!!  No problem with this at all, because it should result in a better game.  But clearly when it comes to voting Derron can't vote for this project.  Just saying  :)

Completely agree. I said that it would have to be the case earlier on when Ron first suggested that he could help me out a bit.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 11, 2018, 11:22:29 PM
If some others needed some simple assets - they could drop a line too. Of course it will get harder if I was left with only one game to vote for *hah*.



@ xerra
got your email and replied already. If it is really tricky for you to move stuff ("game screen") you should consider packaging stuff into "containers". So instead of positioning room elements at "x=10,y=20" you position them relatively to the "rooms origin" so this "10,20" gets then interpreted as "room.x + 10, room.y + 20".
That way you could move the "room" without hassle. You could even add "earthquakes" without having the interface receiving the shake too - you just move the origin of the room.

But keep that for your next project - and I also do not know in which language you code in and how easy stuff is done there or not.



bye
Ron

Just noticed that your reply got thrown into junk folder. Fixed that now. Sorry.

You've misinterpreted what I meant by move stuff. I would use an origin system for stuff like text anyway as it makes moving lots of info much easier. With the pictures I meant I could move them easily but I'd possibly have more work to do if the image sizes were changed so other things had to be adapted around them.

I've sent you another email now.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 11, 2018, 11:37:09 PM
Nah, I think I did not resize stuff. Tried to occupy the given "borders" with some wooden panels and moved the content areas (room,  bottom and top interface). So only "x,y's" need to change, no "width,height's".
Top interface parts move down by height of the bright wooden panel.
Room moves down some pixels too
Bottom interface moves down the same amount. Bottom interface lost some height as the bottom bright wood panel subtracts some pixels.

Have fun adjusting it to your needs - and if you have access to Photoshop (CS1 is what I used) or Affinity Photo designer (might be compatible?!) you can even have the corresponding PSD file to adjust stuff on your own - if you desire.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 13, 2018, 09:05:41 PM
This is a rejected logo that my graphics guy sent to me earlier this evening. What do you guys think? I've asked to retain the background style but the lettering needs to be bigger, snow covered and different letters style.

This will be used on the title screen once I'm happy with it.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 13, 2018, 10:34:50 PM
Still am excited to see with what he/she comes up regarding your ghost - for now it looks as if he/she is exercised in photoshopping stuff together instead of creating something "out of nothing".


@ logo
Yes, it looks a bit hmm ... rejectable.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 13, 2018, 10:48:35 PM
Still am excited to see with what he/she comes up regarding your ghost - for now it looks as if he/she is exercised in photoshopping stuff together instead of creating something "out of nothing".

He's working on the ghost at the moment. I've made sure he understands exactly what kind of look I want from it. I've been working on the code for the ghost yesterday using a place holder image. If I have time then I've got plans to make it more interactive than what it does at the moment. Presently the ghost is wandering around different rooms of the house either on a timer or maybe a certain number of moves. I'm having it so he can be removed if you work out how and you also have a way of persuading him to come to you, which is going to be handy in case he moves rooms when you need to move to his location. Currently the idea is that he saps your score points over time while he's in a room with you so it's in your interest to either get away until he moves or deal with him properly. Naturally "dealing" with him will give a reward which i'm thinking should be a score multiplier on any scoring actions you perform afterwards.

Still a bit of thinking on how to use him a bit more at the moment but it's going to be relatively quick to have him functioning completely once I am done with the rest of the room scripts (17/20 now).

I've now got 19/20 finalised room backgrounds in the game so I don't have to worry too much about being thwarted by the lack of graphics at deadline now. Nobody else to blame if I don't get the game finished, however :-)
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 15, 2018, 07:02:36 PM
Hopefully this little video shows the ghost of Scrooge at work haunting me in the house driveway.

Old Scrooge looks a bit jumpy but that's just down to the video recording.

I've kind of decided to make him a bit useful by having him make random comments which the player can hear, even if he's elsewhere in the house. Maybe the odd hint or two, but mostly just moaning as usual.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 15, 2018, 07:04:46 PM
I should add that the game hasn't had any of Derrons artwork in it yet so that UI is still showing all my crappy background bits. I'm planning to start implementing all that tomorrow as the ghost is almost finished now and I only have four room processing scripts to go. All of the complicated ones have already been done, phew!
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 15, 2018, 10:02:58 PM
Dunno about the licence of the audi car - but I am pretty sure that the picture is done by someone who got paid for this and isn't willed to "give it away for free":

img: https://www.netcarshow.com/audi/2013-a8_hybrid/1600x1200/wallpaper_25.htm
source: https://www.netcarshow.com/audi/2013-a8_hybrid/
...
(dunno about the licences of the audi press kits but at least one might have a closer look about potential legal issues)

Same for scrooge - dunno if the image you gave him is useable / has an open licence.


He could at least have faded out the bottom of the image to make it look like a "ripped part" of a ghostly body or so ...


In most cases: do not use commercial brands - especially if they are in the "foreground", or if they help to improve "realism" (then your game "benefits" from these brands ...wich _can_ create issues).
As said times before: if your artist asked for permission and you have a contract making him liable instead of you when it concerns infringements then continue.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 15, 2018, 10:55:18 PM
Dunno about the licence of the audi car - but I am pretty sure that the picture is done by someone who got paid for this and isn't willed to "give it away for free":

img: https://www.netcarshow.com/audi/2013-a8_hybrid/1600x1200/wallpaper_25.htm
source: https://www.netcarshow.com/audi/2013-a8_hybrid/

Shit. I've asked him to change it to a generic kind of car picture now.

Ghost Scrooge is an image that's been jigged with a completely different colour scheme and changes for animation of the mouth so I'm not worried about that one.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 15, 2018, 11:39:33 PM
@ audi
Maybe the artist comes from a country in which copyright infringement is not really a matter (Russia, Indonesia, ... - at least it was that way years ago). So they do not think about that for longer than some seconds.


@ scrooge
Tinting an existing image and mocking up some animations can still infringe existing copyrights. Of course this is nothing to worry about if the image is available under a free licence or so (competition rules also state to not use copyrighted media/assets - except you have a licence to use it).
In the USA there might exist some laws allowing you to use certain stuff without "licence" (fair use, "arts", ...) but I do know how it is in the UK (think you live there) so it is up to you to just ignore what I said (because it does not matter you...) or to at least think about things.
And YES I am absolutely aware that this sucks so often if you need external assets then someone comes around saying "make sure to have proper licences". Even doing stuff on your own does not make you secure against potential infringements. We had the discussion about music and "recreating existing stuff out of your mind" somewhere somewhen already (at least I think so).

Sorry if I create "fuzz" about something which might at the end be nothing to consider ("no commercial usage", "freedom of arts" ...). Hope it does not disencourages you to finish the game. Do it!

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 16, 2018, 09:36:19 AM
The Audi has now had a few changes and become car X now. I'm just waiting on him to change the plate number as he plonked a licence number from a car in India on it. This game is set in the UK so that would have looked a bit odd :-)

Here's the last room background to go in the game now. The Cellar.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 16, 2018, 11:25:23 AM
You seem to have hired a real copy cat ;-)
Bertani is an existing wine brand - and even the logo is ... theirs.

Dunno about the rest of the image (painting on the wall, "M" logo in the background, ...). the refridgerator seems to be done "by hand" (as all bottles have the same "orientation"/are duplicates). The wine bottle on the desk seems to be an existing brand too.


Not all of these brands will see a problem when getting used in games. Most of them will even not be aware of getting used in a game or movie. Still it is a bit shady to "copy paste" stuff into collages to create images. It's of course a huge pile of work to assemble such image yet it keeps infringement if there is no permission of the  brand or original image to use them. It's not that he copied a wood texture from a desk he found on the internet - it would then be the whole desk they copied (not in this case, the table/bar here is done by hand out of wood textures).


Ah... and once I am talking about copied stuff - the bar stool is a copied one - and the shadow is ... uhm... how to say it ... wrong ;-). Just check the legs: if it was a 3legged stool then the middle-leg-shadow is wrong. If it was a 4 legged one (with the 4th being nearly behind the other middle leg) then where is a leg-shadow missing.
Next to that the shadow of the "left stool" is ... hmm just draw a line above it until you reach the wall - there should be the source of the light. And nope, the wall is no lamp nor is it emissioning light!

Shadows of the wine bottle on the desk ... argh another annoyancy - as all other shadows it should be way softer and "wider spread". Just compare lighting in the fridge to the other things. If the light was coming from multiple lamps (LED stripes in the doors of the frigdge, so you do not see them) then the shadow would be way more diffuse/shallow/... as you have dozens of little light emitters, means many little shadows to cast.
If it was only _one_ light source (the center top in the fridge cabinet shows a lamp) then the light would be coming from a "omni lamp/spot" - leading to a different kind of shadow. The shadows would not "taper" in that direction (just look again at the stool).


Sorry if that is again "nitpicking" for some of you - but remember: you seem to pay the artist to create stuff for you. And then they should at least pay attention to "obvious" stuff: using 3rd party stuff (brands) and lighting/shadowing/perspective.


This is the benefit of using "3D" or "renders" - physics are done (in a limited way ;-)) by the 3d toolchains already.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 16, 2018, 11:50:10 AM
Here is a simple mockup of the scene (in Blender):

one small but bright lamp (so sharp shadows...):
(http://i.imgur.com/9nAMjXv.png)

multiple lamps with less sharp shadows:
(http://i.imgur.com/uvFMWm6.png)

As you see, shadows will definitely show into another direction - sharpness is defined by lamp size and amount of lamps.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 16, 2018, 08:01:34 PM
I'm starting to dread when you see the finished game now, Derron. You can pull anything to pieces. I might make the next game just out of circles and squares. Surely you won't be able to find any potential branding/shadow/copyright issue with those ?

Anyway, the artwork is done now so if something is not accurate then I'm going to have to live with it. I am certainly thinking it's time to maybe get someone else doing the work next time. Probably you because at least then I'll know you won't be able to pull it apart :-)

Also the game itself is now finished from a play-through perspective. I still have stuff like title screen, win game scene, some more music and improving some of the text and parser input but nothing that should hold me up from making the deadline now. I've had the good-lady playing the game through all evening - with a fair bit of help as she's never played an adventure game before - and I'm fixing bugs left, right and center as a result. I'll have another friend play it through as well so I can get an idea of what kind of actions they take when playing so I can improve on the commands accepted because not everyone thinks the same way. Hopefully the only thing that will hold anyone back in this game will be working out what to use, where to find it rather than how to tell the game to do it.

Derron, I might ask for your assist once again once I have the graphics stuff all changed to what you've given me just for another take on how it plays. Let me know if you want to and I'll upload it somewhere for you to have a look.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 16, 2018, 08:25:13 PM
I could try a windows port on my windows10 laptop.

And again...do not get me wrong when "pulling apart" stuff. I just do it that way as you paid someone. And sometimes you just do not recognize certain flaws as you saw multiple incarnations/versions of this image already.

Also I blamed used brands as I think it is something an artist should be aware of... As it can (not must!) create legal issues.
If you hire a programmer then they cannot use some 3rd party libs normally requiring a commercial licence.

Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 16, 2018, 08:46:59 PM
I'm not sure wether my graphics guy just miss-typed this or was getting grumpy about how many times I asked him to change the logo. This is one of his submissions, lol.

Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 16, 2018, 08:52:10 PM
I could try a windows port on my windows10 laptop.

I can do a Windoze or OSX zip for you. I've got Parallels here so I can build for PC. I won't give you the Windoze build I have at present, though, because the missus has found quite a few bugs that I need to fix first and I want to put the new UI in. I'll email you as soon as I'm done with that.
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Derron on December 16, 2018, 09:05:41 PM
Maybe he should have a look at: google image - photoshop christmas text
It will come up with some good looking stuff - and tutorials on how to achieve it.

That way you get the desired sugar canes, bells whistles ... and so on.


@ logo
While it looks better than the previous one - this still cries for some simple "layer effects" (glow, outline, bevel and emboss) + snow on top (handpainted I think).
If you really want to piss him off you should ask why the exclamation mark gets two snow caps while the other letters do not get some (especially the H with is horizontal bar ...). Its nitpicking on a higher level - still talking about a "simple" competition entry. And if the artist has to do all these logo suggestions for 20 bucks then yes, he could become grumpy more and more with your requests ;-)


@ progress
Nice to read about it - and that you seem to be "within your plan". Also am excited what "hidden development" is done or if you are one of less than a handful competitors in this very contest.


@ binary
No hurry, send when ready and I will give it a go (of course I need some instructions - or better have instructions in the titlescreen -> "help").


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: round157 on December 25, 2018, 12:06:57 AM
I'm not sure wether my graphics guy just miss-typed this or was getting grumpy about how many times I asked him to change the logo. This is one of his submissions, lol.

Hi,

Is this Christmas adventure game a GM2 game?
Title: Re: Bah, Humbug! Code a game comp 7 - November 4th 2018 to December 23rd 2018
Post by: Xerra on December 25, 2018, 12:11:47 AM
Is this Christmas adventure game a GM2 game?

Yes it is. All of the games I've entered for Syntax Bomb competitions have been created with Game Maker Studio 2. Bah, Humbug! was the hardest one to do with it as it's normally used for arcade type games. But I like to challenge myself by doing something different with it :)