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Messages - Snarky

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1
There's a module called MultiTextBox that provides exactly the functionality you need. Get it here: http://americangirlscouts.org/agsresources/modules.html

2
Not a lawyer or expert, but my layman's understanding:

Trademarks are "marks" that identify a product for sale. They can be pretty much anything: a name, a logo, a character, a jingle. They need to be registered, and they are only protected within the scope of a certain business. So for example "Apple" is a trademark name in the computer market, but you would still be able to use it for something completely different, e.g. as a clothing brand, since there's no risk of confusion. Trademarks do not expire as long as they are used. Companies MUST defend their trademarks, or risk losing them, so you cannot rely on them turning a blind eye even to non-commercial fan creations.

Some fictional characters are trademarked because they serve as mascots for products (e.g. Tony the Tiger, Mickey Mouse), or just because they are important to the company and it offers additional legal protection, but most are not. Indiana Jones may very well be trademarked, but I wouldn't expect a side-character from the series to be. You might want to check that.

What's probably much more relevant is copyright, which is an entirely different thing. Every creative expression these days is automatically copyrighted, without any need for registration. Copyright is not limited to a particular context, medium or business: if you take a character from a book under copyright and use it without permission in a game, or to sell cookies, that is still copyright infringement. However, copyright is subject to fair use limitations, which means that others are allowed to use it in certain ways (most notably parody, but other things as well) without that infringing on the copyright. Copyright eventually expires (at least in theory), but companies do not risk losing copyright if they don't aggressively protect it, so they can choose to look the other way (and often do so for non-commercial fan-created work).

Basically, your use of a copyrighted character (any character from Indiana Jones who is not an historical character, like Hitler, or from some earlier piece of fiction that is out of copyright) is most likely a copyright infringement, unless what you create falls under fair use – and I wouldn't think what you describe does. However, LucasFilm has mostly been fairly tolerant of fan works of this kind as long as it is non-commercial and doesn't compete with official products. A resumé piece would probably be fine. If you acknowledge LucasFilm's ownership of the character in the game, use a title that is clearly separate from any official LucasFilm product (film, game or other), and make it clear that this is a fan-created, non-official work, you should probably be fine.

As a practical point, the legal situation doesn't really matter: if Disney don't like what you're doing, they'll send you a Cease and Desist notice, and since they have unlimited lawyers it will be impossibly expensive for you to fight them, even if what you're doing is legal. Vice versa, it doesn't matter if you're infringing on the copyright if they don't care about it. So the question is really, is this the kind of thing Disney/LucasFilm try to stop?

3
While it's true that the APIs are not directly comparable, function call by function call, it's also true that there is quite a bit of redundancy between them: I believe every effect you might use Overlays for can also be done using GUIs, DynamicSprites and DrawingSurfaces. (I actually often forget about Overlays, because I've learned how to use the other features, so that's what I always jump to.)

I think there are two cases where you might want to use Overlays:

-When you need to mess with speech display (e.g. for background speech, to have two people talking at the same time, overlapping text, or text effects like using a special font for certain words). The Overlay.CreateTextual allows you to plug into what I assume is the built-in system AGS uses to display speech.

-When you have some graphical effect that sits as a layer on top of the "game world", and that doesn't need to be clickable or affect interaction in any way. It's most useful for static effects, because there's extra work involved in animating it (you need to delete the old overlay and create a new one for each frame). I can't really think of a good example: personally I would always use either a non-clickable Object or a non-clickable GUI with a button, which I'd draw to by assigning it a DynamicSprite and getting its DrawingSurface.

4
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 13 Feb 2017, 03:26 »
The Wolf of Wall Street?

5
Avast is so fucking annoying when dealing with more obscure applications or programs you compile yourself that I'm dropping it for something that doesn't default to blocking without any user recourse.

6
Engine Development / Re: Direct3D issues list
« on: 08 Feb 2017, 20:25 »
No, I think the IRC server or channels from back then aren't available any more, so you won't be able to get into the hall, but in Direct3D it should crash before you get to that point (unless there's some race condition going on to see what error happens first). If for some reason you really need to connect, I can look into changing the IRC settings.

7
Particularly since switching to another set of sprites is tough when you're supposed to smoothly scale with distance.

8
Critics' Lounge / Re: mountain scene
« on: 08 Feb 2017, 07:41 »
Kumpel, I'm pretty sure all those things you've marked "valley?" are actually mountain sides, and that the white thing in the center is just the snowy slope of a mountain. The lowest point in the image is then the bit that is covered up by clouds, further down that slope. I'm not sure whether there is actually a village on the slope or whether the dots are merely boulders or something. But it's probably a little unfortunate that it's so centered and symmetrically triangular, so it can be tempting to read it as continuing the perspective of the slope down. And why is it covered by snow to a lower altitude than any of the surrounding mountains? And doesn't that stream on the right jump from one peak to another?

What I would suggest to make the perspective clearer is to show a glimpse of the bottom of the valley, with some green of vegetation to make it clear that it is a lower altitude, perhaps a stream running along it. I think the lowest line of peaks on this side of the valley (i.e. right below the left area marked "valley?") could be removed, and instead offer a line of sight down to the bottom (if there's a gap in the clouds).

9
Engine Development / Re: Direct3D issues list
« on: 07 Feb 2017, 07:58 »
3. Supports only up to 75 sprites (character and objects) displayed at the same time.
Mentioned here: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=51823.msg636508899#msg636508899
This is a ridiculous problem that can be fixed in no time.

For the record, the problem can be experienced with the 2014 AGS Awards client, which runs in AGS 3.3.3.0 (set the renderer to Direct3D, start the game, select a character/name; as soon as the intro is over and the character tries to enter the main hall, the game will crash with a Windows error). Project source here.

10
Brilliant! Thanks!

11
Thanks! So... how do you change the template?

12
Whenever I create a room in the editor, there's a gray border around it, and if you zoom in and scroll around, you can end up outside of the actual background.

A while back someone explained that this is because some sort of default room template has a different resolution than the game resolution (for some to me inexplicable reason), and that there's a way to fix it. But my forum searches haven't been able to find the message. So if someone could explain it again, I would appreciate it!

13
In what sense is it public domain? Didn't Sierra buy the rights when they were going to make LSL, and so don't they still belong to whoever now owns Sierra's adventure game IP?

14
No, it's just for preview purposes. In-game, character animations are centered (so if two frames are not the same width, they'll be aligned according to their "center pivot" and bottom edge), while button and object animations are aligned according to their left edge (and the top edge for buttons, bottom edge for objects, I think).

15
If you indent correctly, the problem becomes obvious:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1.   //USE INV
  2.   else if(UsedAction(eGA_UseInv)) {
  3.     if (player.ActiveInventory==inventory[5]){
  4.       player.Say("It's very tempting, but a little too blatant.");
  5.     }
  6.   }
  7.    
  8.   if (player.ActiveInventory==inventory[6]) {
  9.     player.FaceCharacter(cHip);
  10.     player.Say("Hey Thursleigh!");
  11.     player.Say("I found something really retro and ironic you might like!");
  12.     cHip.FaceCharacter(cEgo);
  13.     cHip.Say("Oh wow!");
  14.     cHip.Say("really?");
  15.   }
  16.  

In other words, the if (player.ActiveInventory==inventory[6]) block is not inside the else if(UsedAction(eGA_UseInv)) block, so it runs regardless of which action was used, as long as the active inventory item is inventory[6], which I guess it is. Because dialogs only start after the script has finished, it then runs before the dialog.

16
Engine Development / Re: Direct3D issues list
« on: 05 Feb 2017, 18:45 »
Here's a pair of screenshots that demonstrate the Direct3D color distortion. The game is Aeronuts, running in AGS 3.20.1099 (and I believe it's a 16-bit game, which may be relevant). To reach this screen, just start the game and walk one screen left ("to backside").

(Sorry for the size, I used a 4X filter to also demonstrate the sprite scaling.)


DirectDraw


Direct3D

Notice the banding in the clouds. I've verified this this is not some kind of screenshot artifact, but how the background actually appears when playing. It also looks the same way both when running in a window and full-screen.

17
I've never encountered the other two. And I'm really curious as to what that colour distortion is about, too bad the screenshots are long since gone.

I still have them on my desktop PC, I think. I'm not at home right now, but I'll have access to it tomorrow; if I find them I'll re-upload them here.

I was not aware about these two issues, which makes me wonder why no one ever told me about them before. I am not reading every thread on this forum... (and the first one is from the times when I was not contributing to the engine)

 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For my part it was that as long as the sprite scaling was broken I considered Direct3D unusable, so I've always pretty much ignored it.

18
I have experienced three problems with Direct3D that makes me always prefer DirectDraw:

-Inconsistent pixel scaling with sprites (the problem you're working on fixing)
-Color distortion (reported here, though the screenshots are no longer visible)
-A crash when too many characters are in the same room, experienced with the Awards Client (see here)

Perhaps the last two have been fixed as well, I haven't tried it in recent versions of AGS.

On the other hand, because DirectDraw is slower, it means you get the music stuttering bug when changing rooms.

19
Is this a commercial game? If so, obviously you should follow Dave's advice. Why even ask?

If not... eh, do whatever you feel like.

Why on earth would you choose 16 bit colour?
Actually, scratch that, why does anyone choose 16 bit colour?
That always confuses me, so an answer to that would be brilliant.

Because until relatively recently, it was the default AGS setting. (The question of why that was is trickier.)

20
Critics' Lounge / Re: mountain scene
« on: 03 Feb 2017, 18:19 »
In order to have the camera angled down and still see the horizon, it needs to be a very wide-angle lens, so I think the fisheye effect is quite appropriate.

I do think the stupa suggests a steeper angle than is really feasible with the perspective, though. Also, I would add some rim highlights to the closer rocks, because if they are higher up they can't really be in shadow.

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