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Messages - Snarky

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I confess I still don't really see how I'm supposed to use it either.
If I want to play the sound of wind and stop it later I just do

But that's not using channels. If I want to use channels, I have to make a global variable 'wind' and go
wind = aWind.Play(); Is that correct?

Not quite. The system uses audio channels regardless (you are literally calling the same system function in both cases). The question is just whether you want to keep track of them. And also it doesn't need to be a global variable: any kind of variable will do (local, script-scope, struct member), depending on what you need it for.

Imagine that each audio channel is a separate music player with a separate speaker. Each player can play one thing at a time, and you have about 8 of them. When you ask the system to play an audio clip, AGS will look for a player that isn't currently playing anything, and tell that player (i.e. audio channel) to play the clip. As it does so, it lets you know which of the players it used; so if that's something you you are about (because you might want to adjust the volume or stop it from playing later on), you can store that value in a variable. If you don't need to, you don't have to; it will still play the same either way.

To stop a clip later on, there are two ways:

1. If you stored the player (audio channel) that the clip is playing on in a variable, you can call AudioChannel.Stop() on that variable. However, it might be that the clip has already stopped playing, and in that case AGS may now be using the player/channel to play something else. There are ways to check for this (see CW's sample), but you should probably only use this approach if the sound logic is written in a way so that it can't happen (e.g. with looping sounds that aren't in danger of being preempted).

2. You can just call AudioClip.Stop() for the audio clip, like in your example. This is fine, but it won't just stop just any particular instance of the clip being played, but all of them. So if it's the sound of a glass breaking, for example, and you're playing it separately for a lot of glasses shattering, it will stop all of them. This should only be a problem in rare circumstances, though.

Should I make 5 channels: sound1, sound2 etc, and decide myself what sound will be played on what channel?

No, absolutely not. And in fact I don't think you even can: there's no way AFAIK to tell AGS to play something on a specific channel. (Edit: Apart from the workaround CW described, but even that doesn't allow you to choose a channel freely, just predefine one that will always be used.)

Finally, I want to go back to this:

If I want to use channels...

It's not about wanting to use channels or not. The audio channels are how the AGS sound system works. (And having some understanding of it is helpful however you want to use it.) It's about you implementing certain effects in your game. Keeping track of the channels is necessary for some effects, but most often it is not.

AGS Games in Production / Re: Unavowed
« on: 21 Oct 2016, 15:24 »
Sweetness! Are all the fireball effects and so on hand-animated, or rendered with AfterEffects or some similar special effects suite?

Critics' Lounge / Re: character walkcycle
« on: 21 Oct 2016, 15:17 »
I wasn't talking about the twisting of the shoulders, which is fine, but the point Andail made about the whole torso and head moving left and right in the frame. In your animations the effect is so enormous that it looks like some sort of mistake, while in Trample Pie's edit it's much reduced, to the point where someone might wonder if that's indeed how the torso and head move while walking (slowing down and speeding up the forward movement on each step). The video demonstrates that it is not. There's perhaps some slight variation in the motion of the hips, but the upper torso moves forward at a steady pace (or on a treadmill, stands still), as can be seen in the video by focusing on the motion of the shoulders.

All right, cool. If you're unhappy with the result, let us know and we can look into how to script a truly random animation.

Critics' Lounge / Re: character walkcycle
« on: 21 Oct 2016, 09:31 »

(See how the shoulders are only moving up and down, without almost any backwards/forwards motion.)

In a sneaking walk someone might be bending forward on the step, but this uneven forward motion of the whole body just doesn't appear warranted. (And doesn't it make animation a whole lot easier that you don't have to deal with back-and-forth motion in the frame?)

Yes, it's possible, but not entirely straightforward. It would be much easier to just put a long random sequence of frames in the speech animation loop, and that's what I would recommend unless there's some very particular reason why it needs to be "truly" random.

The idle view is not the "standing still view". It's an animation that can be played every few seconds when the character has been standing idle for a while, typically something like the character tapping their foot or looking at their watch.

The way AGS is set up, the walking view and the standing still view is the same. The first frame of each loop is used for the character standing facing that direction, and the other frames are used for the walking.

I would script the flickering as a random event (i.e. generate a random number each game loop in repeatedly_execute_always(), and show the dark version if the number is above or below some threshold).

This is also a case where it makes sense to use multiple background frames instead of a full-screen object. Just make one frame the light version and the other frame the dark one, and then stop background from cycling automatically by calling SetBackgroundFrame(0) in the enter room function.

This is getting into coding advice, though.

The Rumpus Room / Re: The Poetry Thread
« on: 20 Oct 2016, 18:50 »
Wow, that's a lot of poetry about atrocities in Spanish wars! :~(

Nice Blake translation, Andail. What I really like about that poem is how it makes the creation process so tangible, imagining the Creator working in some forge or artisan's workshop: "twisting sinews" like a weaver or rope maker, blowing the spark of life and forging the body like a smith. Yes, I agree that the poem is in some sense about theodicy ("Did he smile his work to see? / Did he who made the Lamb make thee?"), but – in keeping with Blake's original theological thinking – I think he steps outside the good vs. evil dimension and asks us to reflect on the awe-inspiring, frightening or even cruel dimension of creation, and what that implies about the Creator. The tiger is not evil, but it is terrible in its "fearful symmetry". I think that for Blake, evil is hypocrisy, repression, denial (see for example "The Little Vagabond"), and he asks us to accept the terrible and frightening aspects of creation as part of God's true nature, however difficult and shocking that may be.

I knew the couplet "That dream, that never came true, / that dream was angelic to get" ("Den drömmen, som aldrig besannats, / som dröm var den vacker att få") from somewhere, but I don't think I'd ever read the whole poem. Thanks!

To add to this, two famous love poems (my knowledge of poetry is not deep, so my picks will mostly be famous ones), one in Norwegian and one in English:

Ord over grind
Halldis Moren Vesaas

Du går fram til mi inste grind,
og eg går òg fram til di.
Innanfor den er kvar av oss einsam,
og det skal vi alltid bli.

Aldri trenge seg lenger fram,
var lova som gjalt oss to.
Anten vi møttest tidt eller sjeldan
var møtet tillit og ro.

Står du der ikkje ein dag eg kjem
felle det meg lett å snu
når eg har stått litt og sett mot huset
og tenkt på at der bur du.

Så lenge eg veit du vil koma i blant
som no over knastande grus
og smile glad når du ser meg stå her,
skal eg ha ein heim i mitt hus.

The poem ("Words across a gate" – the Norwegian "grind" means a gate in a fence) is about intimacy that respects that it cannot and should not ever be total. Roughly:

You step up to my innermost gate,
and I too step up to yours.
Inside of that we are each by ourself,
and remain so forever in course.

etc. (Literal translation here.)

And the other, a seduction poem from 1650 or thereabouts:

To His Coy Mistress
Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
       But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
       Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

The last two lines are particularly fine, I think. (I'm a sucker for enjambment.) Marvell didn't use an exclamation point, but I think one is implied.

The Rumpus Room / The Poetry Thread
« on: 19 Oct 2016, 17:55 »
Inspired by discussion of Blake and Dylan in General Discussion: a thread to post a poem you like.

Here's one that could be about sex and love and sin, or STDs, or twisted obsession, or about corruption in general... It's enigmatic enough to resist any one simple explanation, but the poetic image it paints is strikingly vivid.

The Sick Rose
William Blake

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Moving Thread, you have been coddled and flattered for far too long. It is time you answer for your crimes! Damn you to the deepest pit of hell, Moving Thread!

AGS Games in Production / Re: Unavowed
« on: 17 Oct 2016, 21:22 »

Blake also used to perform some of his poems as songs.

AGS Games in Production / Re: Unavowed
« on: 16 Oct 2016, 18:26 »
Looks great, though that last man can thank video game physics that he's not in the river!

The matter of whether or not Mr. Dylan deserves to win even in this case is a matter of opinion though. I have none.

Yeah, I have no strong opinion on the merits of Bob Dylan's work as poetry/literature. He's not my favorite (I like "Tangled up in Blue" and "Subterranean Homesick Blues", for example, but loathe "Hurricane"), but poetry can be challenging to appreciate, and he's certainly well respected by many people who are actually experts in the field. Beyond that it comes down to personal taste. This whole "it's not literature because he writes songs" thing, though... That just strikes me as misdirected snobbery.

Anyone wanna post some favorite Dylan lyrics so we can see what the ruckus is all about?

BTW, about adventure games (or adventure game scripts) winning in the future... well, it'd have to be one hell of a script! Some sort of literary IF experience could very well qualify, though.

Anyway, giving an award to someone who seems a terrible choice is bound to make the award less respectable.

Just because you don't like his work doesn't mean he's a terrible choice. And there are always people who complain about the winners: there's just more of them this year because more people have heard of Bob Dylan than most other winners.

It's my limited definition of the word literature. Which in my mind, means prose not simply text or just writing.
Not a screenplay, not a song, but possibly a collection of poems though.

You may have your own definition of literature, but I'm not sure under what definition "a collection of poems" could possibly qualify as prose.

As pointed out several times already, the Literature prize has gone to both poets and playwrights many times before. I think awarding it for screenplays would be perfectly within its scope as well. (William Faulkner and Harold Pinter won the prize and had written some screenplays, though that's not what they won for.)

You also mention that Dylan's lyrics have been compiled into written prose and released as books of poetry.

But this is not what he won the award for: He won it for his performance of his lyrics which changed the hearts and minds of a generation, but would not have done so in purely the written form.

In fact, the jury's rationale for him winning the prize is "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

And actually, many of Dylan's songs first became hits, or are more famous, in other singers' interpretations. ("Blowin' in the Wind" was first a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary, "Mr. Tambourine Man" for The Byrds, and "All Along the Watchtower" is best known in Jimi Hendrix's version, for example.) Dylan is someone you can make a strong case for as a songwriter first and foremost, rather than a musician or performer.

Problem with song-writing is that it tends to be secondary to the music, and in the particular case of Dylan it is arguably so-called low art. Yes, every kind of writing is writing, and one can term as art just about anything. That said, there is some difference between a song by Dylan, and a short story by Borges, and it is not in Dylan's favour.

I don't know in what sense Dylan is "low" art other than that he's fairly popular, but that's a charge you could make against Hemingway or Kipling as well. And sorry, but the ship has sailed for Borges: he is no longer eligible, having been dead for thirty years, so he was in no way competing with Dylan for this award.

Song writing is not literature. So yeah, definitely stupid.

Writing is not literature?

Bob Dylan has produced a series of texts. Those texts are primarily meant to be sung, but how is that different from the text of a play, which is primarily meant to be performed? And by the way, most traditional poetry was originally sung, from the Greek epics to the ballads and lays of the Norse skalds, Irish bards and Provençal troubadours.

It's a bit surprising at first, but I'm fine with it.

You can always find a long list of people who might have been worthy winners and were never honored (personally I think there are a lot of people who deserved it more than Eco). Whatever you think of Dylan, he's been extremely influential on modern songwriting and notions of poetry.

And the Academy has bestowed it on playwrights and poets before, so a songwriter isn't that much of a leap. Not to mention that Dylan's lyrics have been collected in numerous poetry anthologies.

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