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Topics - Snarky

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Just the latest example of this setting confusing newbies:

Would it be possible to change the default value of the setting to "Display normally"?

Continuing on from last round, it's another...

Game Pitch Competition – Round 5: "Pitch Me Baby One More Time"

The object of the competition is to present the best possible "elevator pitch" for an original adventure game.
So, come up with a cool idea, and explain it very briefly to someone in order to catch their interest and make them excited about it.

This time around I plan to be stricter about the word limits: If you go above the max length, the remaining part will be placed behind a spoiler tag, and voters may choose to ignore that part of the pitch.

  • Submit your game pitch via this form.
  • I will post the entries (anonymously) as they come in. Hopefully this will inspire others to join.
  • Submissions close 2. September. I will then open a thread poll for voting.
  • Voting will last 1 week (until 9. September). Discussion and feedback on the entries is encouraged, but make sure to maintain anonymity.
  • After voting is over, the results become public. I will post the list of participants, and we can then work to identify the authors and discuss the entries further.
  • The pitch should be for some kind of adventure game (under a broad definition of the genre).
  • Try to stick more or less to the word limits: An elevator ride is not that long!
  • You may submit only one entry in the round.
  • The entry should be anonymous. Do not reveal your authorship until voting closes.
  • Do not vote for your own entry. It's not cool.

All clear?
Then start sending in those pitches!

The submission period is closed. Now vote (in the poll above)!

And we have the results! Congratulations and thanks to all the contestants and voters.

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
1: The Grapes Are Always Sweeter
A rural feud between wine-making families that spans many generations.

1908. In rural Italy a pure mineral water spring suddenly breaks ground on the border of the properties of two competing but, until now, friendly wine-producing families. This water will surely produce wine superior by magnitudes.  A legal battle ensues to take control of the water source. In a brawl outside the courthouse a child of one family is disfigured for life.

1928. The two families, having been forced by the court ruling to share the water, still plot against one another for any means of control. Meanwhile, a teenage

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
boy and girl of the two families are caught in a tryst and attempt to flee the hateful grasp of their heritage.

1948. The child injured in 1908 now controls his side of the family feud and seeks to takes revenge on...

2. Amandarin
Find a balance between her sanity and her well-being. Some truths are best left unsaid.

Amandarin is locked in an asylum because she suffers with wild hallucinations. She wants to go see her boyfriend before he joins the army. Yet the doctors won't let her out until she proves that she's cured. Luckily, she can count on you, her imaginary friend, to tell her what's real and what's fictional. Because you'll be reliable, right?

3. Young Crone
I Was a Teenage Witch!

As a child, Tess was sent to the big city for a modern education. But before her studies are complete, she is called back to the remote valley where she was born when the old crone falls ill.

Tess must serve the nearby villages as crone: midwife, matchmaker, soothsayer and sorceress, picking up secret gossip. To help people she must wield her knowledge carefully, balancing new ideas with tradition and superstition. Whatever path she chooses will make her both human and supernatural enemies, and meanwhile the Inquisition is drawing close...

4. What could have been.
A deep dive into life and love.

Julie Watts, 82 years old, has decided to give up on her long fight against cancer. You play as her husband Mark as you reminisce through stories of your life imagining what could have been. The player is free to make choices that don't correspond to what actually happened, unlocking new fictional stories narrated by Julie and Mark. The player can unlock all these stories if they please to do so, but the main goal is to get to know all the people in these wonderful lives.

5. Dragonville
Play as a dragon among dragons in a pursuit of happiness and survival

When the humans escalate their hunts, the few remaining dragons decide that it's about time to stop being lone wolves and form a community together. God knows they have enough gold to build a magnificent city- Dragonville! However, the hundreds of years living alone had taken their toll: it's not easy to get along when everybody is asocial and egotistic- nobody wants to share but everybody wants to lead! Will you and your fellow dragons be able to overcome your differences, while the humans are still plotting your destruction?

6. Background Battle
In an AI-controlled future, who is REALLY on humanity's side?

In the future, AI-controlled machines work behind the scenes to enrich and enhance every aspect of human life - people really have "never had it so good!".  But one of the two main controlling artificial intelligences senses something wrong, and starts to change things, leading to a conflict within the two main AI hierarchies.

You play a technician trying to put a peaceful end to the AI conflict, but what you find might just lead to you to pick a side...

7. Inside these white walls
Adventure game set inside a multi-generational colony ship. Mysteries Abound.

44 years ago, one of Earth's multi-generational colony ships set out for Luyten's Star. A decade into the journey, a mysterious catastrophic failure forced the captain to quarantine several residential areas to save the ship. All records about the event were sealed and old captain is dead. With decades living in cramped conditions, the administration is being pressured by the colonists to re-open the closed section.

A survey team is sent into the quarantined area to find out if it is safe, and what really happened. You lead the team.

8. Naive
Can you find a tea lover to trust in this self-seeking future?

You are tired of being in fear of potential danger all the time. You want to relax and get in a conversation with someone without watching all their moves to see if they want to hurt you. You want a friend, a lover and you start your search from local tea shop.

In this near future you play an idiot who most likely will die.

9. The Antidote
Uncover mysteries and seek out elements needed to create an antidote to save the world.

You live in a futuristic society where all of the western hemisphere is united under a single governing body. You are a member of the secret service, tasked with protecting the Prime Minister, but something has gone wrong. The Prime Minister, a good and honorable man by all accounts, has been poisoned! Under the direction of the Deputy Prime Minister, you try to discover who could have wanted the Prime Minister dead, all while working against the clock with government scientists to help find the antidote and save the world.

10. Meet Me in the Rings
Grabbing a bite of your favorite space burger used to be so simple.

You’re heading toward Saturn’s moon Titan in your daily driver spaceship to your favorite burger joint, when a shadow rolls over your ship. You've been caught in a tractor beam by a space pirate gang and end up on an adventure to save space whales, Darly and Jobe, and burger joints everywhere. Along the way, you’ll meet a trader on the run, a feathered performer, and a conscientious gelatin as you uncover a plot by the local leaders that you’ll need the help of a ragtag team to foil.

11. Verb Coins
An adventure game where you must earn ‘verb coins’ in order to progress.

You embark on an epic quest armed with a single verb, ‘walk’. Gradually, you earn ‘Verb Coins’ by solving puzzles. Most hotspots remain non-interactive early on but as you progress you can exchange Verb Coins for extra Verbs which opens up more hotspots, paths and interactions.

It could work with an actual verb coin that gradually fills up and gets more complex. However, that could get a bit unwieldy so I see this working best with a LucasArts 9-Verb set-up where each button becomes available once you buy each Verb.

Engine Development / File access on Linux
« on: 02 Aug 2018, 10:56 »
I've had a report from someone using the TotalLipSync module that while it works on Windows and Mac, it doesn't work on a Linux build of the game. I can only assume that this has to do with how the module accesses the file system.

The way the module works (code available here, see lines 267, 524 and e.g. 321 in TotalLipSync.asc), it tries to access lipsync data files for reading, by default in $INSTALLDIR$/sync, though it can be customized (AFAIK the game sticks with the default). It uses File.ReadRawLineBack() to read the data.

My first suspicion is that $INSTALLDIR$ doesn't work properly on Linux. Or maybe any file system access at all? My second theory is that it has something to do with the linebreak differences between platforms, which might mean that File.ReadRawLineBack() doesn't return the expected result and parsing fails. (But if this was the case I would expect it to fail on Mac as well.)

I don't have a Linux box, so I can't really test any of this myself.

I really enjoyed this activity that Andail started (last round here), so I thought I would kick off another round!

Game Pitch Competition – Round 4: "Son of a Pitch"

The object of the competition is to present the best possible "elevator pitch" for an original adventure game.
So, come up with a cool idea, and explain it very briefly to someone in order to catch their interest and make them excited about it.

I've tweaked the rules a little, and changed the way you submit so that I don't know the identity of the authors (which means I can vote without any risk of bias).

  • Submit your game pitch via this form.
  • Submissions close 8. August. I will then publish the entries here in this thread, and open a thread poll for voting.
  • Voting will probably last 2 weeks. Discussion and feedback on the entries is encouraged, but make sure to maintain anonymity.
  • After voting is over, the results become public, and we can then work to identify the authors and discuss the entries further.
  • The pitch should be for some kind of adventure game (under a broad definition of the genre).
  • Try to stick more or less to the word limits: An elevator ride is not that long!
  • You may submit only one entry in the round (but you may edit your entry up until submission closes, using the link you get when you submit the form).
  • The entry should be anonymous. Do not reveal your authorship until voting closes.
  • Do not vote for your own entry. It's not cool.

All clear?
Then start sending in those pitches!

Editor Development / Build is wrong after project rename
« on: 12 Jul 2018, 20:51 »
If you rename the AGS project (by renaming the root folder where the project files are stored), things get weird when you build.

If you launch the game through the IDE, everything appears fine: if you make a change to the code, it's reflected in the game that runs.

However, the EXE file from the Compiled/Windows folder does NOT update. It sticks to the version of the game from before the rename. Even if you delete it and rebuild it, it's still the old version that gets recreated. Only if you delete the files in the Compiled/Data folder and then recompile does it catch up. I think what happens is that the name change means that the .ags data file in Compiled/Data now has a different name (and this new file is used when you run it through the IDE), but for some reason the compilation step that creates the EXE still refers to the old file.

From a user POV this is extremely confusing: if you run the game through the IDE and it works, you expect the game in the Compiled/Windows folder to behave the same way.

My suggested solution: The build step that creates the .ags data file in Compiled/Data should first delete any files in the directory (any build process I've seen usually includes Clean as the first step). Also, the step that creates the game EXE file in Compiled/Windows (and the other platform executables) should always use the current data file.

Adventure Related Talk & Chat / AGS Awards Client Updates
« on: 10 Jul 2018, 16:51 »

The AGS Awards clients for the last couple of years have now been open-sourced. A team is starting to plan out the updates for the next ceremony.

So it's time to hear your feedback, bug reports, feature requests and suggestions for the AGS Awards client. (I already have a pretty extensive list, but your input would help to prioritize all the different tasks.)

There are also a few design decisions we'd like to put to the community, but in order to stick to one thing at a time, I think we'll hold off on that right now.

Trying to run a search from the "Search Games by Title or Author" search box gives an error:

Error 403

We're sorry, but we could not fulfill your request for /site/games/namesearch/ on this server.

You do not have permission to access this server. Before trying again, close your browser, run anti-virus and anti-spyware software and remove any viruses and spyware from your computer.

Your technical support key is: 50d4-4e91-b40c-8ddc

You can use this key to fix this problem yourself.

If you are unable to fix the problem yourself, please contact the WEBMA5TER and be sure to provide the technical support key shown above.

Engine Development / Winsetup scaling options again
« on: 26 Apr 2018, 21:36 »
I know this is Crimson Wizard's favorite topic, so I just had to bring it up again. (laugh)

In v3.4.1 I don't see the x2, x3, x4... options under windowed scale when I run winsetup. The only ones are "None (original game size)", "Max round multiplier", "Fill whole screen", and "Stretch, preserving aspect ratio" – IOW no scaling and three very slightly different variations on scale to full screen.

This is particularly a problem for me since I run AGS in a virtual machine on a high-resolution screen (2880x1800). This means that without scaling the window is tiny, but scaling e.g. a 320x200 game with max round multiplier ends up being x9, and the VM can't handle that (I'm not sure exactly where the the problem lies, but it freezes the VM).

However, even if this was not the case, I would want to be able to set intermediate scaling options. If I'm playing in Windowed mode I probably have other windows open, and I don't necessarily want thhe game window to fill most/all of my screen.

I want to be able to run games scaled bigger than the original resolution, but not necessarily to cover as much of the screen as mathematically possible. I want x2, x3, etc. back!

Modules & Plugins / ENGINE PLUGIN: Clipboard v0.4
« on: 30 Mar 2018, 14:09 »
By popular demand: a plugin to support copy/paste, integrating with the Windows clipboard!
This plugin allows you to copy text from other applications and paste it into an AGS game, or vice versa.

The plugin provides two methods:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. bool Clipboard.CopyText(String copyString);
  2. String Clipboard.PasteText();

Calling Clipboard.CopyText(copyString) will put copyString on the Windows clipboard (returning true if successful), accessible to other applications. Calling Clipboard.PasteText() returns the current text content of the Windows clipboard as a String (or null if none) that you can use in-game. Pretty simple.

As with all AGS engine plugins, you have to place the .dll file in the AGS engine folder, then activate it in the IDE from the project tree before you can use the methods. It should be unnecessary to state, but for the record: the game must be designed and created to use the plugin, you can't just drop it into the folder of a finished game and expect it to do anything.

This is my first AGS plugin, and my first C++ project in many years. It works on my machine, but I'm not 100% sure it will work on every Windows machine – in particular on older Windows versions. If you could try the demo and let me know if you experience any problems, I'd appreciate it.

The code is available on Github. (In the demo game, the example of how to use it is in TextField.HandleKeyPress(), starting on line 538.)

Download Clipboard plugin
Download Clipboard demo

Change log:
-Initial release (untested except for on my own machine)

Modules & Plugins / MODULE: TextField v1.2.0
« on: 28 Mar 2018, 15:39 »
This is a quick little module I made for the AGS Awards client. It provides one-line text input fields, as a replacement for the AGS TextInput control.

Ways in which TextField is better than TextInput:
-It has a blinking text cursor
-You can position the cursor anywhere in the text (using mouse or arrow keys), and edit at that point
-It has a notion of focus, so that you can have multiple TextFields displayed without all the text being entered into all the fields
-You can define a max string length the field will accept
-You can make the border partially transparent
-You can add more advanced logic to it, e.g. to only accept certain character types, or to *** out the display of the text

Ways in which TextField is worse than TextInput:
-It's implemented in script, so on slow computers or in a resource-intensive game it could be less responsive than TextInput
-You have to do a little bit of setup to make it work
-You can't link the OnActivate event, so it's a little more complicated to respond when the player presses Return/Enter

The TextField module is available on Github.

Download TextField v1.2.0

You can also try it out in a demo game for the Clipboard plugin:

Download Clipboard Demo

- Fixes crash if TextField initialized with non-empty String
- Adds support for Clipboard plugin

- Initial release
- Fixes poor SHIFT-key detection

- Unreleased (used in AGS Awards 2017 client)

You can export all the files in a sprite folder, but is there some way to then reimport them again to replace the old sprites, after you've edited them in some external program, other than laboriously clicking "replace from file" on each and every sprite?

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