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Messages - Snarky

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1
... and, as usual, no mention of what version of AGS, no link to the font file you import... Sure, we do not need to test what happens and fix the error.
oh well, at least we have "Adventure Game Studio" written on that message title bar, so we may guess it was really AGS you are using after all...

Relax, CW. If it wasn't obvious to Slasher that this was an AGS bug, how should he know that it was something that needed fixing?

Personally I experienced this frequently when building the Awards Ceremony, using AGS 3.3.3 with your special lateRepExec build. The problem was intermittent (it might fail on first attempt and then succeed on the second), and like I said, seemed to have to do with accessing files (I also got a different error when it couldn't successfully overwrite the files in the compiled directory). I don't think it happened outside of compilation. I could probably recreate the error if that would help.

2
Beginners' Technical Questions / Re: Font memory error
« on: Yesterday at 20:28 »
I get this a lot when I keep my AGS project in dropbox. I think it has to do with trying to access a file while dropbox is indexing it. (I've found in general that modifying files while they're being indexed leads to synchronization issues while dropbox tries to catch up.) The solution is simply to pause indexing while you're working. Just remember to turn it back on afterwards!

If that's not the problem, it might potentially be something serious, like failing hardware.

3
Also, contrary to what RetroJay's post implies, this is not a new part of the 3.4 UI. I'm almost positive it's been like this since the introduction of the C#-based editor, if not before.

4
The premise sounds a lot like a certain Doctor Who arc...
(Amy & Rory)

The graphic style is fine, but I think it would look a lot better if you stuck with one consistent resolution, instead of mixing in smaller pixels here and there and having the characters (and title, on the third screen) on a different grid than the background. That just looks sloppy.

5
I'm pretty sure the preview timing doesn't exactly match the in-game timing. I wouldn't rely on it, but always test in-game.

There are two factors to look into here:

1. The number of game cycles/frame.
2. The number of game cycles/sec.

As discussed, the first number is not simply the delay. (It is also affected by any frame speed settings, so you might want to check that they are all set to the default.) It should be pretty simple to check by creating a game cycle counter that you increment in repeatedly_execute_always(), and comparing its value before and after you run the animation.

There are various reasons why the second number might not be exactly 40, even if that's what you've set the game speed to. Most notably, the speed might dip for a cycle here and there if you're doing anything CPU-intensive, and the engine doesn't try to "catch up" after that happens.

6
425 frames / 16 secs = 26.6 frames/sec.

What's the problem, exactly?

Oh, I get it. You're saying that you have 85 frames in your animation, and with a delay of 5 that should be equivalent to 425, and at 40 cycles/sec that should run about 10 seconds, but it's not.

Well, it doesn't quite work like that. Even with a delay of 0, the animation still takes some time to play. I think the way it works is that at 0 it plays one frame/cycle, and then the delay is the number of additional cycles to hold the same frame beyond that. So 85 frames with a delay of 5 should take 85*6 = 510 game cycles to run, and at 40 cycles/sec that should take 12.75 seconds. Not sure where the additional delay is coming from.

7
I thought I posted this on the Kickstarter page as well, but it mysteriously disappeared (which seems to happen a lot, for some reason): Congratulations on getting funded!

8
... or you can do that.

9
My laptop (an old MacBook Pro) is a bit banged up, and has the peculiar feature that any black parts of the screen get filled with green snow, like some shitty version of the matrix, unless i press down on the case in certain specific spots. And sometimes there's pink static in white regions, but not as much. I don't use it for drawing, but it makes it quite annoying to watch movies on.

10
Interesting. It looks OK in theory... Might be that 320x200 somehow uses a subsection of a 320x240 canvas, and for some reason the bottom, not the top part. If I were you, I would test by rawdrawing a line from 0,0 to 320,200 (or rather, 319,199) and see how it appears.

The other thing I would address in this code is the DrawingSurface* in the struct and in the PlanetForming() function. There's absolutely no reason for that to be part of the PlanetStruct, or for you to grab and release GetDrawingSurfaceForBackground() twice for each planet. It's always going to be the same! Just grab it once before you enter the loop and release it afterwards, and don't store it as part of your data at all.

11
I would create a global variable to keep track of the previous room, e.g. "int prevRoom". Then I would add a condition to globalscript on_event():

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. function on_event(EventType event, int data)
  2. {
  3.   if(event == eEventLeaveRoom)
  4.     prevRoom = player.Room;
  5. }

Now you should be able to just test whether prevRoom is the value you're looking for.

12
Well, did they call him on stage to accept an award? If not, he chose poorly. Get your priorities straight, AGA! (nod)

13
Yes, that's what I (tried to) implement, but I didn't have time to properly test and bugfix it (or to find the best possible audio clips), so there were a few problems. Mostly that whenever the clap level changed, it would interrupt the clap-clip that was currently playing and start another one. This made for very abrupt transitions. The clapping would also sometimes interrupt other sounds that were playing, in particular the fanfare for the winner. I still think it made the clapping feel more dynamic, but it should work way better once I iron out those bugs.

So far, I'm pretty committed to these fixes for next year:
-Different avatars for IRC-only presenters (not all Indy) and better scripting of their movements (e.g. ceding the lectern to whoever is speaking)
-Fix the dynamic applause
-An option to view the audience chat in the chat history during "silent" sections. Possibly distinguish audience and on-stage dialogue by color
-Improve chat window text formatting for better readability
-Easier tracking of your own avatar. Possibly an auto-highlight, or at least on-by-default highlight

These are things I will look into:
-Ask Wyz to port/rewrite the IRC plugin/module so the client will run on Linux (and maybe MacOS?)
-Some way to reduce crowding in the audience. Proposals are welcome
-Restore Dualnames' auto-announcement system, where nominees and winners automatically get announced when the presenters say their names (disabled because I changed so much of how the announcements work)
-Avatar speech animations, possibly custom animations

14
Thanks guys. I didn't realize how chaotic it felt to be in the audience. From up on stage, having such a packed crowd just looked great! :=

Lots of interesting ideas for how to alleviate it: limit on avatar size, more audience space, a seating area (not sure I fully understand this suggestion), some easier way to track yourself...

I worry that some of these suggestions would be quite a lot of work for only marginal improvement (like, if we get 40 people online instead of 30-some, that will consume any benefit), but since it seems to be a widespread concern I will definitely give it some thought. I did think about adding a second room, probably a balcony area, but I think the disadvantages of splitting people up into separate groups outweighs the advantages. And I do have to mention that there is already a feature to track yourself, or any other particular avatar: click on a name in the participant list (top-left drop-down), and they'll be marked with an arrow.

Also, for some reason I couldn't get it running in a window above 640 x 480. In order to make it bigger, I had to go to full-screen mode.

Not sure why that might be. I'm not doing anything unusual with the graphics, so it should be just like any other AGS game where you set 2x, 3x, etc. filters to make the window bigger (I assume your screen resolution is bigger than 1280x960). Someone else mentioned having this problem before or during the ceremony, so I tested it and it certainly worked on my machine. Could it simply be that the AGS 3.3 winsetup is a bit unfamiliar? (I think the other person eventually figured out he wasn't using winsetup correctly, but I can't imagine you'd have that problem.)

@Snarky, check out your PMs for my logs.

Thanks! ;-D

Just a quick idea I had... I thought it was quite fun to use the client when beta testing, sorry I didn't make it to the awards, but I thought it would be fun to use it for normal irc chat, just with a new BG, of course... maybe a lounge with some sofas and a bar... on a sunny beach... or something. (laugh)

Sure. I'll open-source it when I have time to take out the not-for-release assets and clean up the documentation a bit (of course, Dualnames's code from last year is already available), and anyone is free to adapt it for everyday use. Though I personally suspect that without the novelty and custom content from the ceremony, it might get old relatively quickly, and people would find it easier to just use text chat.

On the subject of avatars, I'd also like to see the MC and award presenters represented by unique avatars. Multiple Indy sprites is very confusing!

Yes, I totally agree, and this was something I had hoped to address. But it's a tricky problem, because of the way the program works under the hood. The Indy's (Indies?) are people who are just on IRC text chat, not using the game client. So of course they haven't chosen an avatar, aren't clicking to walk around, or anything like that. The AGS client is creating a virtual character for them whenever they're on stage (whenever they've been granted special IRC channel privileges), and tells them to move to certain positions when particular events happen. Since it's all done without any user input, and because none of the logic is synched but is all done locally on each client, I don't want to introduce too much randomness (like picking a random avatar), which might easily have unpredictable effects or cause confusion (if some people are seeing bicilotti as Nelly and some as Oceanspirit Dennis, for example).

I had thought one solution might be for me (or whoever hosts the AGS side of the ceremony) to set the avatar for them, but first of all it's difficult to implement given the architecture of the system, and secondly, having experienced what it's like to actually run the multimedia in real-time, I think it would be too stressful.

A better solution (that occurs to me just now) might be to simply predefine unique avatars for certain screen names (bicilotti and other likely suspects), which should at least cut down on the confusion somewhat. You could also split it by IRC mode (so that hosts/+m(oderators) get a different default avatar than presenters/+v(oiced) participants, and so on). Or you could hash the nick into an avatar ID (though probably only from a subselection of the avatars). And IRC people could get a special command to override their avatar if they wanted to (something like "/me becomes benjordan"), though of course they wouldn't see it themselves... Hmm. Yes, it's possible.

I also want to improve their automated positioning so they're not all standing on top of each other, and so that they make better use of the podium. I did make a start towards this (basically refactoring the existing code into one self-contained module and adding a little bit to it), and would want to flesh it out and tune it more in future years.

So, yes, this is absolutely high on the todo list.

Perhaps implement a timed "cooldown" on chat input? I didn't notice if the "mute" command was in effect during the presenting of awards, or if it only works in IRC, but it might be a good idea to curb the haphazard nature of the onscreen text.

I don't quite understand what you're proposing. The way it works currently, during the "mute" sections (which appear to AGS participants as "*QUIET DOWN* *QUIET DOWN*" and end with "*APPLAUSE* *APPLAUSE* *APPLAUSE*"), anything people in the audience type is not added to the chat log, but only appears over their heads. (Therefore, it's not seen by IRC-only participants.) This allows official announcements (presenting the nominees and winners, and the acceptance speeches) to not be buried in other chatter. Do you mean you don't want it to be displayed at all? That's how it was in (IIRC) the first year of the online AGS ceremony, but it turned out to be quite frustrating to have to spend so much of the time not being able to speak. Maybe I'm missing your point.

This is really good input. Keep it coming!

15
On that subject, things like capitalize, institutionalized and scrutinize (which I suppose I'm kinda doing here heh) are Americanised versions of the word. The proper English way to do it is to use 's' not 'z'. So capitalise, institutionalised and scrutinise.


That annoys me as much as the incorrect usage of 'their , they're, there' - and I've seen myself do it a few times!!!

This is not actually true. The "-ise" spelling is somewhat more common in British English, but both versions are in current use, and have been throughout history, with "-ize" being the older one (predating Americanization) and "-ise" a French borrowing. The OED and Oxford University Press use "-ize" (while the Cambridge University Press uses "-ise"), and it's therefore sometimes known as the Oxford spelling. "-ize" is also more authentic to the Greek root and to pronunciation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences#-ise.2C_-ize_.28-isation.2C_-ization.29

16
A very diplomatic and fair approach. Well done for navigating those waters skilfully too :)

Not skillfully enough, apparently... :~(

Glad to see everyone has accepted the political correctness of the ceremony, glad to see the ceremony much improved. In all honesty, I knew it would be a bad decision to join the ceremony after last years encounters, and it still hurts to see so much hypocrisy lying around, I felt it was a good decision to join, turns out it wasn't. I'll just leave this here, and leave the discussion as well, letting you guys to much lighter/cheery tones.

I'm sorry to see this is still such a sore topic for you, Dualnames. I wouldn't have brought it up at all if I knew you'd react this way, and mentioning it honestly wasn't meant as an attack on you. Planning and implementing the ceremony gave me greater appreciation for how difficult it is to design an event that has to target everyone in the community, when we don't all agree on certain things. What I came up with is no doubt biased in favor of my own opinion, but I did genuinely try to accommodate people on the other side of the issue as well. If it makes you feel better, from some of the comments in chat there were certainly people who would have preferred a more non-PC version of the ceremony. Hopefully it didn't ruin anyone (else)'s night.

I really appreciated your help and support during development and the event itself, and I got the impression you came around on the question of being involved, and ended up enjoying it. I've tried to make it clear whenever I can that the core parts of the program is all to your (and Wyz's) credit: I don't actually think I fixed a single serious bug in the existing code, apart from eliminating the chat bot. The fact that the backend was already working well freed me up to work on fancy new features that may look cool but are actually comparatively much simpler. So even if you regret your involvement, I certainly don't!

I hope a small thing like acknowledging a disagreement about suitable content doesn't ruin it for you.

17
I only encountered 1 crash, which happened before the actual ceremony was running.
I think Radiant reported that one already. I believe it is obsolete now anyway.

I don't know what gave you that idea. Any bugs you experienced with the final version are still current. It's too late to fix for this year, of course, but in case we ever want to use it again in the future, I should probably fix them now rather than wait till next year. It would be very helpful if you could send me the "game (timestamp).log" files so I can see more closely why the crash happens.

Quote
During the ceremony, no crashes or whatsoever, nice job!

Also:
I really liked the extra features as the program list. Nice job, Award Ceremony App Team :)

Great, thanks! Yeah, the program list is a feature I've wanted ever since SSH's offline ceremonies, because my short-term memory is terrible and I can never remember what's already been announced (also, the ceremony does go on for a bit, and I expect not everyone is paying attention 100% of the time). The implementation is pretty basic (I know some people didn't notice the difference between categories that had been announced and those that hadn't), but at least it's something. And last night it saved us from forgetting the best writing award. :=

Oh, and while I remember, there was a request for an option to include what people say during the "silent" portions in the chat window, and yes, I totally agree with that, since the text over people's heads is easy to miss. (It actually stays on for longer than before, but it still disappears quickly.)

18
That shouldn't matter.

I suspect this might be another instantiation of the problem where AGS updates character loops and positions AFTER your script runs but BEFORE the screen is rendered. If you manipulate those properties directly in script, that often means there will be one game cycle where it shows the wrong frame/position.

This problem is basically impossible to fully solve with AGS as it is. (I worked for weeks to create a complicated workaround in order to do custom scaling, but could never get it to work 100%.) However, Calin Leafshade made an experimental engine fix that lets you avoid it, and Crimson Wizard kindly built a custom version of 3.3.3 for me with it included. Since it's now been pretty thoroughly tested in the Awards client, I hope it will be included in the next AGS release. Meanwhile, you can get it from here: http://www.mediafire.com/download/jd86vdw6jxr6n5y/acwin_3.3.3--laterepexec.zip (just copy the exe file into an existing AGS 3.3.3 editor-installation directory, overwriting the one already there. Remember that it's still experimental, so backup your AGS installation and game projects first.) I hope CW doesn't mind that I share it; since it's open-source already I figure it's not a problem.

Then you'd just put your code in "late_repeatedly_execute_always()" instead of repeatedly_execute().

19


Woohoo!

Yes! I did beat that son of a bitch of a bug in the end, and with only one mass crash the whole night (actually caused by an IRC settings problem, not a bug in the client), I feel pretty happy with the end result.

Now, feedback and suggestions!

Radiant reports a crash. I'm hoping for more details on that. Any other problems you experienced?

Clearly one big, noticeable thing was that the applause system didn't quite work as intended, with abrupt transitions, and that applause would often cut off the fanfare. Also, the sound of one person clapping was... odd. (wtf) I actually anticipated these problems and wrote a bunch of code to try to stop it from happening, but it was very last-minute and, as you could tell, didn't really work. That's something I would definitely want to fix for next year.

If you have suggestions for other improvements or cool features, this is also the place to post them.

20
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! And well done to Quest for Infamy for giving Blackwell Epiphany strong competition!

Like I said in the ceremony, I fell behind on my game-playing last year and didn't have time to do my usual "play the nominated games during the voting period" due to working on the ceremony, so I've only completed a few of them, but from what I've seen they all look very award-worthy. Shame that The Samaritan Paradox (which I'd particularly highlight for some rather devious puzzles) and A Golden Wake (which I've been completely charmed by just from gameplay videos) went home empty-handed.

I'm also glad it sounds like people enjoyed the ceremony. Sox, you said you were recording? I look forward to seeing it on YouTube; I was too preoccupied to really get the full experience live. I also have a log that includes the "silent" portions missing from bicilotti's version, but it includes all the application communication as well (updates for people moving, and the multimedia control commands), so I'll have to strip that out to make it readable.

I apologize for any crashes, glitches or other bugs. If you did experience problems, please leave a bug report in the other thread. Suggestions for improvements are welcome! And I want to thank the many people who helped update the ceremony (and whom I've been bugging with nearly constant PMs in the last month or so): bicilotti, for running and hosting the awards year after year! Dualnames for providing the code from last year, advising on the programming, helping with testing and assisting with directing the multimedia part last night. Calin Leafshade and Crimson Wizard for making a patch and special AGS build that made the individualized character scaling possible. Noa Vana for her song, which she animated herself! Daniel Thomas and Andail for the brilliant red carpet background. Ali for sending the PSD of the main background, enabling the "lights out" effect. All the people who contributed music, particularly highlighting Mods and Problem, who gave me a lot to choose from. All the beta testers, whose immense patience helped turn a buggy mess into a relatively smooth experience. And finally, all the people who contributed avatars, which I think made the night a real AGS party! Thanks!

Edit: Oh, and I hope the NSFW afterparty ("AGS After Dark," as I called it in my head) was an acceptable compromise between the people who wanted to see some of the raunchy material from previous years and those of us who objected to that stuff. I really wanted the event to be something everyone could enjoy and not be put off by, without at the same time Disneyfying it completely.

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