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Author Topic: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")  (Read 10283 times)

Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« on: 02 Oct 2010, 14:57 »
Hi. It's my first post here and my first game.
It's a short (maybe 10-30 min, depending on how much you want to explore the obviously unimportant things just for fun) and easy adventure called "Tales of Otubania", which is a rather unoriginal title.

There's not much to say about the story without giving it away. It was a bit of an experiment: Instead of coming up with story elements and puzzles on my own, I wrote an "artificial intelligence" that builds a "story" out of random rooms, characters and items. As the program doesn't make use of any logical reasoning (so far), the results are rather silly (or dadaistic?). So I took one of these random stories and tried my best to build a game around it. I kind of like the result.

This is what it looks like:



As you can see, graphics are average, but acceptable in my opinion. The only horrible thing might be the walking animation of the player character, as there are not even up/down views and only two frames (but footstep sounds, yay!).

Since it's been my first AGS game, I wanted to try out as much features as possible, and so I also did some voice acting (which, in general, might be a bit too much effort put in a small and not-so-good game). The voice acting's not very good, some parts are pronounced wrong or with strong accent as English is not my first language. Also, after I did one part of the recording, I noticed that I should not have cut the individual lines too early, as now the spoken text may be too fast. But then I didn't want to re-record or re-cut it, so if it's too annoying to you, just play the game without the voice pack.

Now, I hope you'll give it a try and enjoy some of the jokes and the unusual experience of a randomized storyline.

Download:
Game (including music and voice): http://home.arcor.de/tith-ags/TalesOfOtubaniaSpeech.zip (11 MB)
If not available due to traffic limit, use this download mirror, but be warned: it's one click more to do.
Game (including music, without voice): http://home.arcor.de/tith-ags/TalesOfOtubania.zip (2.5 MB)
Voice pack: http://home.arcor.de/tith-ags/speech.zip (9 MB)

Thanks for your attention,
any feedback welcome!
« Last Edit: 11 Jan 2011, 18:25 by TomatosInTheHead »

bicilotti

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Re: Tales of Otubania
« Reply #1 on: 02 Oct 2010, 16:02 »
One of the funniest games I've played lately! It's short and I loved every character and dialogue in it! Bravo!


Kweepa

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Re: Tales of Otubania
« Reply #2 on: 02 Oct 2010, 17:13 »
I agree, very entertaining!
The voiceover fit perfectly, and was well worth downloading.
Everything I tried had a clever response. I was pleasantly surprised at times by what you'd thought of.

One thumb and one big toe up. Thanks!

[EDIT] I just re-read your post. Is this SillyStoryMaker something that we can play with?
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2010, 17:16 by SteveMcCrea »
Still waiting for Purity of the Surf II

Re: Tales of Otubania
« Reply #3 on: 19 Dec 2010, 11:25 »
Totally forgot this thread/forum/game, sorry!

Thanks to you two, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

Is this SillyStoryMaker something that we can play with?

Well, yes, I can give you the program, but it's really nothing great and I haven't had the time yet to make anything more sophisticated out of it. Download it here [edit: a slightly updated* version on a more reliable server can be found here], and you'll have a zip file containing the exe and some text files. The text files contain the items, locations and characters that may be in the game, and you can edit or replace them by other lists as long as the file names and format are the same.

Possible values for characters are divided in three lists "animals", "creatures" and "jobs", but there's no program semantics behind that, for every character one value of one of these lists is chosen at random (animals are less likely with a 20% chance, the others have 40% chance each, I don't know why I chose to do that, probably because I'm worse at drawing animals than I am at drawing people or monsters).

I've compiled these lists by searching for vocabulary lists on the internet, or wikipedia categories and articles like "List of legendary creatures by type". Sadly, there is no such list as "real and imaginary objects of past, present and future that are small enough to be carried in an adventure game and are neither too specific nor too general" on the web, so the items list is really not good.

Now if you start the SillyStoryMaker and press the only button in the program, you'll get a one-line description of the "global situation" (name and job/species of the player character, name of the world) and some kind of "backwards walkthrough". The program essentially creates a goal and a tree of subgoals to reach these goals, and eventually all remaining subgoals in the tree are reachable from the beginning, like picking up an item in a room you can reach or talking to a character. A short sample story is this one:

Quote
Ter is a sphinx who lives in Tyxypipernia.
Ter must TALK to Daros, the painter AND GIVE the earring to Illamevomman, the flight attendant.
In order to GET the earring, Ter must USE the block with the coin.
In order to GET the block, Ter must GO to the pub.
In order to GET the coin, Ter must TALK to Dygeffafaler, the goblin.

Now you have to use your imagination on how the hell this can make any sense. Especially the "use X with Y to get Z" things are hard, in this case it's relatively easy: one could use the block to make a hole in a [gold] coin to transform it into a [golden] earring. But instead of an earring, the program could as well have chosen a car, and that's where the "silly" from the title really comes in...

One problem is: You can't give the program a minimum or maximum number of goals to create, so a game may consist of just "pick up one item and you've won" or it may become too complex - I set an arbitrary break condition of 99 or 100 goals, then the story will end with "STORY TOO COMPLEX!" in the last line. In these cases, just click on the button again until it gives a story of the desired length (or take the remaining subgoals as elementary goals, e.g. by giving inventory to the player from the beginning).
[*) this problem is fixed in the updated version 1.1, you can now specify the (approximate) desired length in terms of lines/actions/goals/puzzles.]

Another problem: currently there is no check for duplicate items. you might have a goal "to get the car, you must first get a car" or even "to get the car, use the car with the car". First, I'd number the duplicate items throughout the story to avoid confusion, like "to get the car1, use the car2 with the car3". Now again, you need some imagination to make (at least a bit) sense out of this. Maybe car1 should be a working car, and you need to combine the parts of two broken cars to build one. Or in the first case, maybe you want a specific car (say, a blue car), and can interchange it with a car you don't need (say, a red car).

Well, I think that's basically it. I'd love to see other games made with this program, of course!
« Last Edit: 15 Jan 2011, 09:57 by TomatosInTheHead »

Igor Hardy

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #4 on: 19 Dec 2010, 11:42 »
Fun dadaistic game. I hope you have more projects in plans.

But you could have added the voice file right into the original archive - it's not particularly hefty.

kaputtnik

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #5 on: 19 Dec 2010, 12:02 »
Haha, splendid.

Xan is a pig who lives in Xykynnonia.
Xan must USE the pillow with the container.
In order to GET the pillow, Xan must GET the toy AND GET the paper
In order to GET the toy, Xan must USE the paper with the shoe in the river.
In order to GET the paper, Xan must TALK to Vifidus, the bear.
To TALK to Vifidus, the bear, Xan must first TALK to Vifidus, the bear.

I, object.

bicilotti

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #6 on: 19 Dec 2010, 12:16 »
Decent program and nice bump, i fear this extremely enjoyable game flew under the radar of many of us!

Hope to see more from you!

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #7 on: 28 Dec 2010, 06:35 »
:D funny as hell, you have talent for dialogue writing. I will be waiting for more of your future projects.

poltergeist

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #8 on: 28 Dec 2010, 20:17 »
This is brilliant! It may be short and nonsensical, but the dialogue is kills!

Great work, I don't think I'd ever be able to make as much sense out of a bunch of nonsense as you did! Definitely looking forward to more of your work!

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #9 on: 02 Jan 2011, 11:33 »
Glad you liked it!

But you could have added the voice file right into the original archive - it's not particularly hefty.
That's true. I thought I should exclude it as a convenience for those who find the speech annoying (e.g. because it's too fast), but this thought doesn't make much sense since one can judge only after having heard it... I've changed it in the start post now.

To TALK to Vifidus, the bear, Xan must first TALK to Vifidus, the bear.
Oops... well, I guess you have to talk to him twice then :)

Concerning future projects: I'd love to, I have to see when I have enough time (especially since I would want the next game to be a little longer) and story ideas (that is, if I don't use such a randomizer again, I generally use my tools no more than once).

Oh, one question: How long does it usually take for a game to appear in the games section on the main page? I'm about 50% sure I added it there when I had finished the game (in October), and don't want to re-add it in case it's already in the database and just not yet approved by the rating panel or something.

bicilotti

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #10 on: 02 Jan 2011, 12:28 »
Oh, one question: How long does it usually take for a game to appear in the games section on the main page? I'm about 50% sure I added it there when I had finished the game (in October), and don't want to re-add it in case it's already in the database and just not yet approved by the rating panel or something.

It's immediatly added! Something must have gone wrong that time, do it again!

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #11 on: 02 Jan 2011, 13:10 »
Oh, one question: How long does it usually take for a game to appear in the games section on the main page? I'm about 50% sure I added it there when I had finished the game (in October), and don't want to re-add it in case it's already in the database and just not yet approved by the rating panel or something.

It's immediatly added! Something must have gone wrong that time, do it again!
Okay, thanks! :)

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #12 on: 05 Jan 2011, 08:24 »
I agree with the others here, you did a fantabulous job of making a funny and interesting game out of some really random crap. I am intrigued with this kind of procedural generation stuff, and thought that the added manual touch was able to elevate it, where someone else might have just used the output of the silly story maker as is and it would not have been as entertaining. I have often dreamed of one day having a "make game" button. (Gee that would take the fun out of it though, wouldn't it)

There's definitely improvements that could be made to your version of this silly story creator, but it's pretty close to as good as it's going to get in this genre.

Also the phoenix looked a little uncomfortable lol. Like he was burning alive rather than just on fire. For some reason I felt sorry for him.

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #13 on: 05 Jan 2011, 14:05 »
Also the phoenix looked a little uncomfortable lol. Like he was burning alive rather than just on fire. For some reason I felt sorry for him.
Oh, I can assure you he's doing fine, he loves it snug and warm!
But well, yeah, it's not a convincing depiction of phoenix, it would probably be better if the bird itself was on fire or made of fire and not just had a fire below him (although I just saw that in heraldry it's pretty common this way).
I'm more bothered by the unnatural wing-flapping animation though. His wings seem to be glued in the air... next time I'll only include things in the story maker's list that I can draw/animate well enough ;D

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #14 on: 06 Jan 2011, 08:41 »
Lol but it was more memorable this way :)

LRH

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #15 on: 09 Jan 2011, 16:47 »
I thought I already replied to this but I guess I didn't. This game was awesome! I loved every minute of it and I want to do a review of it soon, probably sometime early-ish this week.

Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #16 on: 09 Jan 2011, 21:48 »
Despite being very rough around the edges. (Mainly in the graphics department but you already knew that.) this game was very enjoyable. Humor is great. I love the fact that you can try so many things and get unique, humorous responses (Like attempting to talk to most things).

If you ever decide to make another project. I'll certainly be excited.  ;D

tzachs

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #17 on: 09 Jan 2011, 22:12 »
This game was indeed funny and full of witty responses, way to go!

The SillyStoryMaker sounds like fun, I bet it can make for an awesome MAGS theme.

LRH

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #18 on: 10 Jan 2011, 05:44 »
Review-ified!


Hope you enjoy, I loved this game!

Dualnames

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Re: Tales of Otubania (plus "SillyStoryMaker")
« Reply #19 on: 10 Jan 2011, 06:16 »
I got to say Domithan was the last straw of awesome people, that liked this game, so I gave it a try. This was very good, I loved the references to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I loved the humor. Especially the "Objection" got me laughing. The graphics of course as you know, yes, they were okay, but overall it was a solid game. The voice acting was funny, I loved the sea. The puzzle design was logical inside a wicked frame, but nevertheless the game was very enjoyable, I'd totally check the next one from you. Way to go!

Oh and thanks for putting every possible interaction something more than "You can't talk to that" :P

EDIT: Not to forget, DOMITHAN MORE!! THAT WAS AWESOME! Especially the score part :P
« Last Edit: 10 Jan 2011, 06:19 by Dualnames »
No more military army stuff. I'm alive and back.