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Messages - Ali

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General Discussion / Re: the blender 3D thread
« on: 25 Apr 2018, 15:17 »
Also clearly a work-in-progress, but seemingly more up-to-date:

This version runs on 2.76.

I agree, Amnesia was too much. But it was scary. Soma is a huge improvement, in that it's scary, but the story and voice acting are also excellent.

Why isn't this thread just the words AMNESIA and SOMA over and over again until we're all dead?!

Will we be seeing a DRM-free release, or is it steam-only?

I hope it'll go to GOG, but the publishers will also sell it direct from their website (there will probably be serial number number copy protection, but not intrusive DRM).

General Discussion / Re: the blender 3D thread
« on: 30 Mar 2018, 18:28 »
This is fun. I love blender, and I use it all the time to add elements to video / animation. But I never seem to create any finished scenes. The best I can offer is an unfinished magic lantern. You can see exactly the point where I got distracted, because it has no back or top. Or slides.

General Discussion / Re: I made a Folklore Podcast
« on: 31 Jan 2018, 22:58 »
Thanks for listening! We have another episode coming out tomorrow, containing my current favourite story so far: The Wilnecker Paradox.

Snarky: I have long been a fan of Kelpies, but I either didn't know or had forgotten that they could take human form. Thanks for the tip.

Blondbraid: We are planning to get some international comedians to tell us some non-British stories. How famous is Storsjöodjuret in Sweden? Is she Loch Ness Monster level, or more obscure? Because we like obscure!

General Discussion / Re: I made a Folklore Podcast
« on: 25 Jan 2018, 11:05 »
Damn right. So far I've introduced him to a Bluecap and a Redcap, why not ol'Greenpants?

Sidenote: We have two more episodes out. The latest one features both idiots and Nazis.

General Discussion / Re: I made a Folklore Podcast
« on: 25 Jan 2018, 00:29 »
I greatly enjoy this podcast, and can say, with some measure of authority, that Ol' Greenpants would approve as well.

Now THAT is an endorsement! (Albeit, one I'll have a hard time explaining to James.)

Would the ratio of AGS Developers : Wadjet Eye be significantly different to Unity Devs : Commercially Successful Unity Devs, I wonder?

AGS gets character movement and animation right. Other engines I've used move a character at 60 FPS regardless of the speed of the animation. I think this is mostly due to laziness and lack of consideration at the point of design.

This is bang on, in my view. It's not perfect, but it captures the character movement from 90s adventure games - which (inexplicably) better than character movement in many contemporary 2D adventure games where sprites slide all over the place.

Scripting sequential events is also super-easy. You can write a script which works like a movie script where the game waits for each event to complete before moving on to the next. it sounds simple, but other game engines seem to be designed around things happening simultaneously, based on lots of different inputs. For artists and writers, the AGS way is incredibly helpful.

Thimbleweed Park is a bit of an anomaly. They haven't make enough money for Gilbert to deem it a success (though I think most of us would be happy with the sales figures!). But I really can't understand where it belongs in the story of adventure games dying (or not dying). Some people seem to think it's an innovative genre experiment, like Undertale, that subverts gaming conventions. Others seem to think it's just a classic comedy adventure game.

For me, it reminded me of the AGS games I played back in the early 2000s when there were relatively few actually playable games in the database. What it lacked in ergonomics and interaction it made up for in tiresome, repetitive self-referential humour. I really wanted to like it, but I found it as alienating as that Space Quest reboot.

I agree there's a problem with Point & Click. I find that I have less and less patience for P&C clunkiness these days. But since the video above isn't a P&C, I thought it was a fair point.

I was really annoyed to see Kotaku running a Point & Click is dead article about Syberia 3. S3 looks absolutely terrible, but isn't a P&C game as far as I know. The writer complained that it wasn't more like Sexy Brutale which you actually can play as a point and click. The article might as well have been called "Bad games: bad, good games: good".

Without wanting to criticise that video, adventure games are fine. Look at Firewatch, or Life is Strange.

That remake has nice graphics, and is a decent proof-of-concept. But it's misconceived in my view. Pointing and clicking is fast - walking very slowly from place to place to read big chunks of (unvoiced) text is not so much fun - and even less fun to watch. Where is the interactivity? The first thing the player does kills them. If you haven't played Space Quest, this would be incomprehensible. I'm sure you can find dozens of boring FPS shooter and minecraft clone tech demos on YouTube.

Making games and finding an audience is hard, and can be unfair. But I also think very few people succeed by trying to do what is popular.

General Discussion / Re: Trumpmageddon
« on: 09 Jan 2018, 15:36 »
It just shows how easily people are misinformed and will believe anything that supports their own preconceived notions.

It does also reflect on the absurdity of the man, that ludicrous satire is only a few degrees apart from reality.

General Discussion / I made a Folklore Podcast
« on: 04 Jan 2018, 13:51 »
I hope you don't mind a bit of shameless self promotion?

I recently started a podcast with another comedian, which I thought might appeal to other AGSers. It's called Loremen, and it's a funny podcast about "forgotten folklore and local legends". Basically, looking at weird stories that are very famous in one small place, and totally unheard of elsewhere. If you're interested, please give it a listen. There's a short teaser trailer, and we just uploaded the 3rd episode. As always, feedback is very welcome!


All the best - Alasdair.

General Discussion / Re: Moho Pro
« on: 30 Dec 2017, 10:24 »
I bought Anime Studio 11 when it was 50% off (which I think was the version before they renamed it Moho) and was really disappointed by how badly designed it was. I used it to do the simple character animation for this Kickstarter, and I probably wouldn't use it again, unless the task were very specific:

Importing from svg or ai files was totally messed up. All the colours change, and because the software can't do weighted bezier curves, the actual nodes shift around to an approximation of what you drew. But not actually what you drew. This is particularly annoying when you've created nodes that are going to be a joint, and those nodes disappear. There is also no integrated lipsynch, and the freeware app they've created doesn't consider "Thh" to be a phoneme.

Most infuriatingly, when I raised these issues on forums, the responses were all in defence of the software. "Oh, you just have to do all your drawing in Anime Studio from scratch." No! Its drawing tools are terrible and it claims to have .ai import. It should work!

Perhaps they've fixed these quite basic issues for version 12.

OpenToonz has some serious stability issues for me, but I'm very impressed with other aspects of it. And I've found english docs for everything I've needed to look up. The lack of an English user-base is a bigger issue.

Soma and Amnesia are both very scary survival horrors, on the first-person adventure end of the spectrum. Amnesia is more classic horror, but Soma is has better writing and characterisation.

Perhaps I've misunderstood, but I think setting "AdjustSpeedWithScaling" to true would have the desired effect.
(Though agree that the character is probably moving too slowly at 100%)

The trick of making seemingly different options lead to the same outcome (which I suspect most adventure games use in dialogue at least) is the only one I can think of that really qualifies as a trick - something the player remains unaware of. As Snarky said, a lot of the suggestions in this thread are good design tips, but not exactly tricks.

I guess the difficulty of identifying these kind of tricks in adventure games is due to the fact that adventure games are comparatively un-interactive. They don't have enemies, health bars, stats, timing or physics based challenges. There's less room for the game to secretly cheat, because a lot of the 'game' of an adventure game happens in the player's imagination.

The Iraq war was a pretty big deal, and fewer than 5,000 American soldiers died. Fewer than 200 British soldiers died, and over here it is widely viewed as having been a disaster. So in a more advanced world in which (we hope) war is less common, 80,000 deaths is enough. Surely?

I do think that the Klingon prosthetic are a problem, although I like the design. They should have ADRed all the Klingon dialogue. They seem to have solved the Buffy vampire teeth lisp, but nasal sounds come out weird. I love the idea of the Klingons speaking Klingon, but L'Rell seems to be the only one who gets near to it sounding natural. Most deliver dialogue as a series of meaningless barks.

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