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Topics - Ali

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And Tony Benn is still alive! Finally, a victory for the left!

I know this issue has come up many times before... but as I start to update animations for Nelly 2, I'm reminded of what a ridiculous waste of time it is to manually replace hundreds of frames of animation over and over again. (I seem to remember it was a major factor in pushing Theo away from AGS towards a custom engine for The Journey Down, so it is a big issue).

Can anyone suggest something I can do to make it more efficient? Is there a way to create an editor plugin which acts like an action in photoshop and repeats the reloading process for a selection of sprites?

I'm afraid I don't have the programming knowledge to just deal with this myself, but I would like to help if someone could suggest a possible solution?

26/04/14 Sadly, I've had to shift production if this game to Unity in order to achieve multi-platform delivery & high-resolution.

Nelly Cootalot II: The Fowl Fleet

The Story
Pirate heroine Nelly Cootalot is on the trail of Baron Widebeard, from the South Seas to the icy north. The nefarious Baron has kidnapped a fleet of birds and hypnotised them to do his bidding. What is he planning? Can he be stopped? In what way is a frozen volcano involved? These questions may or may not be answered as Nelly uncovers the secret of William Bloodbeard's final voyage.

This game is a sequel to Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! It will be a commercial release, bigger than the original with richer graphics, more remote islands to visit and many outlandish characters to meet. It will also be both pointier and clickier.

In this game, Nelly will heroically:
  • Race aristocrats for fun and profit
  • Be immortalised in folk song
  • Join the Merchant Navy *shudder*
  • Pilot an airship.
  • Uncover Bloodbeard’s Lost Treasure
  • Take advantage of a short-sighted old man
  • Lie to strangers with no consequences

Crowdfunding Campaign
In order to complete this game, I am throwing myself bodily upon the crowdfunding bandwagon. The campaign is now live: Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Kickstarter! I'm now working on a playable demo, so watch out for updates on Nelly's website, and by following Nelly on Twitter and Facebook.


Nelly washes up on Vogel Island and meets Sebastian the Coot

In the workshop of Rackham the Birdman

On the trail of Captain Rehab Sea Shanty Town

Looking for something special in Lady Chang's Junk Shop

Plot & Puzzles: 80%
Background Art: 80%
Character Art & Animation: 50%
Scripting: 25%
Voice Acting(?): 0%

I released the original Nelly game in 2007, if the word 'original' can be applied to a pirate-themed adventure game. Back then no one on the AGS forums could grow a beard and 640x480 was considered hi-res. These days the forums are thronged with facial hair, and 640x480 is still considered hi-res.

Since 2007 I have been gradually working on this sequel, beset by jobs and distracting noises. Now I feel like I have reached the point of no return. I'm hoping a crowdfunding campaign will give me the push I need to complete the game, and stop having to think up nautical puns on the bus.

Please let me know your thoughts!

- Ali

For the past few days I've been getting this error quite frequently when compiling (Running 3.2.1):

An exception 0xC0000005 occurred in ACWIN.EXE at EIP = 0x0044EF47 ; program pointer is -1893, ACI version 3.21.1115, gtags (159,135)

It crashes, and then after that it never successfully compiles until I restart my computer. Other programs run very slowly sometimes too, even after quitting AGS.

Can anyone help? It's getting annoying to have to keep restarting!

General Discussion / Laptop and OS advice?
« on: 17 Dec 2012, 22:48 »
Hi Guys,

I'm wondering if you can offer some advice on buying a laptop. My work is mostly video editing and animation - Avid, After Effects, Photoshop, so everyone I work with is on a mac. I want a laptop so I can be more flexible on freelance jobs, but I'd also like to work on AGS games while commuting. Which I would rule out mac (right?)

I'm not desperate to pay for or use a Windows OS, and not being able to read/write to mac-formatted drives is a real problem. So I was leaning towards something Linux-y, but would that rule out AGS and Adobe software?

Any advice would be helpful!

- Al

Some of you may be familiar with my smooth scrolling module:

I'm using it to create an ocean wave effect - the camera going up and down gently. However, the module doesn't allow very slow movement. When movement gets near to 1 pixel per second it looks very jerky, like stair-step aliasing but for movement. To get around that, I have a line which cuts off the movement when it gets slow:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. if (Centring == false && ScrollSpeedY < 0.7 && ScrollSpeedY > -0.7) ScrollSpeedY = 0.0;

Now, I can create a passable ocean effect by temporarily changing those 0.7s to 0.3s. But it's still quite jerky and jerkiness is not what the smooth scroll module is about! The jerkiness is accentuated by the parallax effect, because when the camera makes a single 1 pixel jump, the foreground objects make a 1 or more pixel jump in the opposite direction.

What I'm wondering about is whether, what with all the AGS changes afoot, there will be any prospect of setting an object's position, or even the viewport, using floats rather than ints? Or might there be a cosmetic way around this which I haven't considered?

I would appreciate any input!


Perhaps I'm being an idiot, but deleting and overwriting save games doesn't seem to work on win 7. I imagine it must be a permissions issue with the windows save game folder. Deleting save games simply does nothing, but overwiting creates a file named this: agssave.-01 (This is the new save game, not the old one.)

I couldn't find if this is a known issue, is there a way around it?

- Al

Beginners' Technical Questions / Max save games - 50?
« on: 06 May 2012, 18:18 »
I'm updating an old save/load script, and I wanted to know if the 50 save games limit was still around. I searched but I couldn't find an up-to-date answer.

- Ali

I know this is small fry in the context of AGS development, but using a crosshair image imported from PNG doesn't seem to work.

It's been posted about before and was 'fixed' by using a gif instead. But for nice anti-aliasing the only option is to add the crosshair into the cursor image for every item. Which is a bit cumbersome.

Adventure games are lots of fun.

Historical atrocities are profoundly sad.

Those are my opinions and I don't care if they're too 'controversial' for you. Lock this thread if you like, but I won't allow my well-researched beliefs to be suppressed!

Critics' Lounge / AGS Awards BG - Volume vs Linework
« on: 27 Nov 2011, 22:22 »
I recently drew a backdrop for the AGS award ceremony, and I wanted to use it as a chance to try a different technique for colouring and brushwork.

(Click for full size)

At full resolution (1280x960) it's a bit soft. I tried that because of something I read Loominous say while researching other folk's techniques.

I also looked very hard at Zyndikate's Well Backdrop and Theo's Harbour.

I noticed that volume and shading are much more prominent than linework. They seem to use quite hard-edged brushes with bold strokes.

That's not something I'm very comfortable with. I've never painted non-digitally and I tend to depend on colouring-in outlines rather than capturing volume, light, shade and texture. Here's some examples:

(Click for full size)

(Click for full size)

And more in my portfolio:

I took three attempts at colouring the AGS Awards backdrop, and the one I posted was the closest to the style I was aiming for. However I still think there's a lot of softness in the shading and a lack of boldness and energy in the brush-strokes. Part of the overall fuzziness at full-scale is the lack of hard linework, which is normally what I'd rely upon.

I would appreciate your thoughts on the volume/linework issue. As well as any tips on what photoshop brushes you find most useful.

In the last few days a fog descended on the UK, seemingly engulfing the AGS forums. It made me realise that I check the boards embarrassingly frequently.

I hope the rest of you used the down-time as an opportunity for reflection and quiet meditation.

Hi guys, I've just discovered a Russian game called Narok:

It's an interesting proof-of concept as far as action/adventures in Blender go, the idea of which was discussed a little while ago. It's pretty cinematic and a lot of work has clearly gone into it.

I have reservations (including the walking animations and an off-putting opening puzzle) but it's a step in an interesting direction.

Thought you might be interested!

Hello everyone,

I'm studying an MA in filmmaking at the London Film School, and I'm raising funds for my graduation film through IndieGoGo.

It's called The Library of Burned Books. Please have a look at the pitch video, it has jokes and me looking like an idiot on Hampstead Heath.

Here is a propagandist poster from the film:

If you like the pitch, please support this project by sharing the link with any wealthy uncles you may have. And, if you feel compelled to do so, by donating money.

Other films/drawings I've made are here:

Thank you,


It's all getting a bit smashy here in London.

I wanted to say hello to other London-dwelling AGSers. It's quiet where me and Nelly live, but she works in Brixton (where it's even less quiet than usual) and lots of our friends are in Hackney.

It's a real shame, because these are riots without a real motive. Some people are venting legitimate frustration, but there's no ideology or meaningful protest. Just a lot of people taking advantage of an opportunity for violence and looting.

On a side note, I'm off to Greece tomorrow (they know how to riot there, I'm going to pick up tips).

- Al

General Discussion / Do you know where your towel is?
« on: 25 May 2011, 18:54 »
No, I'm not competing with Calin on the non sequitur front... I just discovered that today is Towel Day, a celebration of the life and works of Douglas Adams. I am currently sitting on a chair with my towel (though I must admit it's just a coincidence and the towel was here before I found out about towel day).

Dualnames posted about it back in 2009, but we seemed to have forgotten about it since then. The shame! This year the guys behind it have produced an animated short demonstrating why a towel 'is just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have':

Spread the word!

Advanced Technical Forum / Translation bug? [Solved]
« on: 12 May 2011, 21:55 »

I think I've found a bug with translations. This bit of script doesn't seem to work in Spanish:
Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. if (iPostcard.Name=="Signed Postcard"){
  2.   sayinv ("I've signed it with Bloodbeard's initials.");
  3. }

Presumably because when translated iPostcard.Name is not reading as "Signed Postcard"? I've replaced it with this bit of script and sent it to the Spanish translator/tester:
Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. if (iPostcard.Name=="Signed Postcard"||iPostcard.Name=="Postal Firmada"){
  2.   sayinv ("I've signed it with Bloodbeard's initials.");
  3. }

But I was wondering if this issues was known about, or understood better by anyone?

Hello British AGSers!

(Relax, foreign AGSers, this doesn't concern you.)

Having discovered in this thread that these boards are swarming with beard-hugging tree-wearing socialists I'm asking you to respond to the:

It asks delightfully leading questions like "What else can be done to make patient choice a reality?", assuming that we believe that the introduction of free-market competition to the NHS spells anything other than disaster.

I am asking all the Brits I know to respond with a talking-loudly-and-crossly exercise, and that includes YOU (unless it doesn't).

- Ali


I'm compiling Nelly Cootalot in AGS 3.2.1, and I've noticed a bug which I don't think used to occur in the old version of the game.

If the mouse is over a character/object/hotspot at the point when the game goes back to the dialogue options, the @overhotspot@ GUI appears, and then stays on the screen. Weirdly, it disappears if I move the mouse over the menu buttons, though I can't see any reason for that in the script.

I can switch the @overhotspot@ GUI off when the dialogue GUI is visible in rep_execute_always, but I can't think of a reliable way of switching it back on when the dialogue ends. Any suggestions?


- Ali

Apart from the stylistic incongruities between the two games, a tester has told me that an updated version of Nelly Cootalot using DX9 doesn't seem to work if The White Chamber is installed. Apparently winsetup.exe will not run if TWC is installed. When it's uninstalled, winsetup.exe works, but if TWC is reinstalled winsetup.exe stops working again.

(Please note that this is a beta version of Nelly Cootalot v1.6, not the currently available v1.5 which does not conflict with TWC).

The report I got is this:

I just removed "The White Chamber" from my computer (it runs under Wintermute engine) and Nelly 1.6 winsetup.exe works fine... so strange.

I just install again "The White Chamber" and the error come to life again! I attach to you the win7 error message. It's in spanish, but the sentence is:

"Some game's essential files can't be loaded. Reinstall the game and try again please."

The more strange thing is that the error's icon is from "The white chamber". So, I execute Nelly's winsetup.exe and the error come up with an icon from "The white chamber"... crazy world!

So the error appears to come from the white chamber, even though Nelly's setup is being loaded...?!

I'm going to download TWC as soon as I can to try and replicate the error, but perhaps you guys know of a possible explanation?



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