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Messages - Ali

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1
Adventure Related Talk & Chat / Re: Picking up objects..
« on: 20 Jul 2018, 11:23 »
My view is that nothing that is easy or boring in real life should be a puzzle in an adventure game. Not walking off the edges of cliffs is easy, so it shouldn't be something the players have to avoid. Finding your keys before you leave the house is boring, so you shouldn't make a player do it (Unforeseen Incidents, what I worked on, does do that, of course!). I don't see why players shouldn't be able to pick up random, useless objects. But if they can pick them up, they should also be able to drop them - like in an RPG. This could massively complicate puzzle design, without necessarily adding much. And even RPGs cheat by giving you Quest Items, which can't be dropped.

In an ideal world, the player wouldn't pick up an item unless it was either generally or specifically useful. But that's not the way we play. The worst crime in adventure games is having a hotspot which doesn't become active until the object is deemed useful by the game. So the player has forgotten all about it by the time they need it.

So the solution must be mostly "A, Pick up all objects whether you need them or not." But I'm aware of a handful of tricks for giving the player the right item at the wrong time:

1) The item seems generally useful.
e.g. Why wouldn't you pick up today's newspaper?

2) One item contains another.
e.g. The item the player wants is wrapped in foil. They unwrap the foil, and it stays in the inventory for when they need foil later.

3) Prevent the player from taking the item, but make it obviously desirable so they remember it later.
Not very satisfying but sometimes necessary.

4) Have the PC explain their reasoning and/or make a joke.
e.g. In Unforeseen Incidents one click on a dumpster reveals your elderly neighbour's pantyhose, which you probably don't need yet. If you click again, Harper says with disgust, "I'm not going to take the pantyhose... am I?" Then he takes the pantyhose. Not a hugely elegant solution, but since Harper is a dumpster-diving hoarder it's not out of character.

5) Another character gives the item.
Helpful, because the other character can be aware of things the player and PC aren't.

2
For background speech you would have to do this anyway, since playing a speech clip is always blocking. So I'm not quite sure I follow what Ali is doing.

I can't believe I hadn't noticed that SayBackground doesn't allow audio! In that case there's all the more reason to want to call a particular speech clip from script. I only have a handful though, so I'll just workaround.

3
Just bumping this, because I want to know the same thing - for background speech using a speech bubble module.

4
In the era of touch screens, I don't know if you can assume that someone would eventually right click. Making the thing the player wants to do (interact) harder to do seems like a poor choice. (I say that as an enthusiastic Blender user.)

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about buttons being infinitely wide in SCUMM / Sierra interfaces? Surely distance is a factor too? In those interfaces the mouse has to sweep all the way across the screen, whereas the verb-coin puts the buttons right next to the thing you wanted to interact with.

EDIT: Thanks for explaining!

5
I think examples of people quitting games because they don't know how to use verb-coins are probably proof? Some people hate single-click games, but no one has ever stopped playing one because they were confused.
Can we please stop ignoring that there is a difference between those hold-down-to-show and single-click verbcoins?

I acknowledged that you were right about that earlier in the thread. Nonetheless "verb-coin" as a category includes "traditional/bad verb-coin". I suspect that - as Cassiebsg says - the click-and-hold verb-coin was designed with hotspot-heavy rooms in mind.

6
Unless someone is going to disagree with the reasons Snarky listed, in which case, where is this proof of verbcoins causing people to dislike your game?

I think examples of people quitting games because they don't know how to use verb-coins are probably proof? Some people hate single-click games, but no one has ever stopped playing one because they were confused.

7
That's why when I wrote "That Damn Dog" I added a timer and if the player does not right click after some time has passed I show a message box with "Did you know? You can right click on stuff". No idea if that worked, though.

In the Fowl Fleet, you have to right click to solve the tutorial puzzle at the start. Players do it, and then never right click again, I'm sure of it. I wrote SO MANY lines that I'm sure at least 1 reviewer (who found the puzzles incomprehensible) never heard.

Click somewhere where no hotspot is? Just the same as with a single click interface. Click on a hotspot -> a verbcoin is opened/an action is performed directly vs. click somewhere else -> walk there. I don't see any difference here.

Good point!

8
For the record, eri0o and I moved to DMs, and then he modified the module himself to serve his needs. I didn't abandon him!

To create edges, rather than modify the module, I would have a dummy character pinned to the X and Y of the player as long as they are within the prescribed limits. If they leave the prescribed limits, the dummy stops following and the target character switches to the dummy. Maybe?

Edit: In fact, the target character could always be the dummy, no need to switch.

9
The Verbcoins in CMI and Full Throttle all required you to hold down the left mouse button for a period of time. If the coin appears instantly, how does left clicking to walk work?

10
So the “Windows” way of a verbcoin would be: A (fast) right-click opens the verb coin, which stays visible until the player either left-clicks on an option or moves the mouse off the verb-coin.

If this is the handling that a Windows user ”expects”, then long-left-clicking instead of right-clicking and dragging the mouse to the option instead of fast-left-clicking the option is quite counter-intuitive.

Maybe this is off-topic, but I think it's interesting. You're right, *except* lots of people probably never right click in Windows, or use a touch screen. I am resigned to thinking that single-click is the only option. The dev of Unforeseen Incidents insisted on single-click and I disagreed, but they were right. In the end we wrote two+ responses for every object, so if you do left and right click, you get the same experience.

11
People don't even understand a two-click interface any more. I swear some people played through The Fowl Fleet without right clicking on anything (even though it tells you how to do it), and then complained that the puzzles didn't make sense.

Kids today!

12
This is also, tragically, a good reason not to use the verbcoin. I've seen the exact same thing with Spoonbeaks Ahoy, even though there's a help button that tells you exactly what to do. I've taken the verb coin out for the HD remaster.

I remember enjoying this game, I hope you get another review!

13
Double bump:


AdventureX will be returning to London on the 10th & 11th of November 2018. Yay! We have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help AdventureX keep growing. Please share the campaign & support us if you can.


Applications for exhibitors / speakers / volunteers are now open:
Applications close July 31st. We don't charge exhibitors to show off their games at AdventureX.

There biggest changes for 2018 are:

  • We are running in partnership with the British Library, as part of International Games Week. This means we have a bigger venue, in a central London location.
  • AdnventureX 2018 will be a ticketed event for the first time. But you can get significantly discounted tickets if you back the Kickstarter fast! For more info on this decision, please check out the 2018 announcement.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at AdventureX 2018!

14
Bump! The Kickstarter for AdventureX 2018 will launch at midday tomorrow. Keep an eye on our twitter feed and get in fast for early bird discounts on a weekend pass.

The announcement on the blog goes into detail about our new venue, and why we've decided to make the event ticketed this year.

15
Sorry, I forgot to mention the positioning! Yes, those are for foreground objects. There's nothing to stop you replacing that whole section with different mutlipliers to create incrementally different parallax layers. I'd be worried about having too many large objects in a room, in terms of performance. But these days, that's much less of an issue.

16
I haven't got any plans to add more layers, not least because it would break existing games that use the module. But if you want a more subtle effect, you can play round with the maths in this section:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. if (PxObj[objectpass].GetProperty("PxPos")==7) {
  2.  
  3.       PxObj[objectpass].X=PxObjOriginX[objectpass]-FloatToInt(IntToFloat(viewx)*3.0); //Move the object in opposite direction to the screen scrolling, at 150% of the scrolling speed.
  4.  
  5.       PxObj[objectpass].Y=PxObjOriginY[objectpass]-FloatToInt(IntToFloat(viewy)*3.0);
  6.    
  7.     }

Down to...

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. else if (PxObj[objectpass].GetProperty("PxPos")==1) {
  2.      
  3.       PxObj[objectpass].X=PxObjOriginX[objectpass]-FloatToInt(IntToFloat(viewx)/4.0); //Move the object in opposite direction to the screen scrolling, at a quarter of the speed of the scrolling.
  4.  
  5.       PxObj[objectpass].Y=PxObjOriginY[objectpass]-FloatToInt(IntToFloat(viewy)/4.0);
  6.  

So to make them move more subtly, you could change /4.0 to /16.0 for PxPos 1, and so on.

I probably should break those values out into floats, so you can change them from the script. I might do that in a future update, but for now I'm afraid it's up to you to experiment until you get a speed you like.

17
That is probably exactly what I'm doing. Crossfade is on. Good thinking!

But it's not very intuitive. It's far from obvious that you can't set a channel's volume if it's currently fading.

18
Yes, MusicVol.Value is 0 throughout.

If I do this:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. playMusicContinuous (aMusic1ogg);
  2. channelMusic.Volume = MusicVol.Value;
  3. Display (String.Format ("MusicVol: %d", MusicVol.Value));
  4. channelMusic.Volume = MusicVol.Value;
  5.  

It mutes the music only after displaying "MusicVol: 0". Just like before, setting the volume only works when there's some kind of delay.

EDIT: I have given up on making sense of this, and am using Game.SetAudioTypeVolume(eAudioTypeMusic, MusicVol.Value, eVolExistingAndFuture) instead. It would be very helpful in the help document if SetMusicVolume redirected to this function instead of AudioChannel.Volume.

19
I'm playing music by calling a function called playMusicContinuous, which is supposed to check the level of the volume slider (MusicVol). Except it doesn't work. When I lower the slider to 0, the music cuts out, but when I enter the next room, it plays at normal volume.

In the GlobalScript I have:
Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. function playMusicContinuous (AudioClip* clip){
  2.   channelMusic = clip.PlayFrom(musicPos[cN.Room], eAudioPriorityNormal, eRepeat);
  3.   channelMusic.Volume = MusicVol.Value;
  4. }


In the room script I have:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. // script for Room: Player enters screen (after fadein)
  2. playMusicContinuous (aMusic1ogg);

The volume is not set correctly. This doesn't work either:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. // script for Room: Player enters screen (after fadein)
  2. playMusicContinuous (aMusic1ogg);
  3. Wait(1);
  4. channelMusic.Volume = MusicVol.Value;
  5.  

But this DOES work after playing for a few seconds:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. // script for Room: Player enters screen (after fadein)
  2. playMusicContinuous (aMusic1ogg);
  3. Wait(150);
  4. channelMusic.Volume = MusicVol.Value;
  5.  

Does that make sense to anyone?

20
Hi! The Kickstarter is coming very soon, so I was waiting for that to post here. But, basically, its happening.

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