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AGS Games => Completed Game Announcements => Topic started by: moloko on 03 Jan 2014, 12:53

Title: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: moloko on 03 Jan 2014, 12:53
You wake up in a dark room, and you have no idea where you are or what is happening. If you liked Space Quest, Larry, King's Quest or Hero Quest, this is a game for you (and, man, you're pretty old...)! I created Ponderabilia from scratch and it took me about 14 years. So if you're in for an adventure, dive right in!

This is a link to the .exe file. (http://users.telenet.be/wimdehert/Ponderabilia/Index.html) Keep in mind that this is an executable created with Adventure Game Studio, and not every platform handles these files... gracefully.

Anyway, hope this works for you guys, and enjoy!

Ponderabilia 2.0 version notes:
*Sound! Gorgeous music by the amazing Handsfree, Sean A. McCabe, and Clément Reviriego, AGS-ers all.
*Two (That's right! 2!) alternate endings.
*More nudity, more cursing, more stupidity.
*A possible high score of 406
*Fixed the De Sade bug
*Fixed the cocktail mixing weirdness
*Fixed the "I'm stuck in a room and I don't know where the door is" problem by adding more doors.
*Fixed the "Where the hell is the electrical closet" by making it so wide it's nearly impossible not to fall in.
*Added easter eggs (so hidden I'll have to look up myself where I put 'm in the first place. I'm much like a squirrel that way...)
*Added extra hints to help you advance through the game
*Countless little nits and fixes
*Added Herobrine

This image contains pixel nudity. Viewer's discretion advised.
Spoiler: ShowHide
(http://users.telenet.be/wimdehert/Ponderabilia/pb_room1_3a.jpg)

(http://users.telenet.be/wimdehert/Ponderabilia/pb_room1_2a.jpg)
(http://users.telenet.be/wimdehert/Ponderabilia/pb_room1_5a.jpg)
(http://users.telenet.be/wimdehert/Ponderabilia/pb_room1_8a.jpg)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: arj0n on 03 Jan 2014, 13:04
Love the retro style of your graphics!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 03 Jan 2014, 13:11
Thanks mate. Coming from Keen that means a lot to me. Would you let me know if it works?
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: arj0n on 03 Jan 2014, 15:18
:)
Will do.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Anian on 03 Jan 2014, 16:33
If that first screen is a sex scene, you might want to put link to the image in these brackets [ hide][ /hide] (without spaces in the brackets) so young viewers might not be "scarred" for life.

But the game does look interesting.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 03 Jan 2014, 16:56
You're right. It's amazing how much innuendo can lie in a tiny square. :) I blocked it out, so people are warned. Also: the entire game is rather lewd. Don't say I didn't warn you. If you guys do start playing, it would be neat to get some in-game screengrabs. This game has yet to be finished by the first player, so good luck on making it first!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Peder 🚀 on 03 Jan 2014, 20:00
Game looks amazing! I tried playing it but eventually got stuck (most likely because of a bug). Also why did you only upload the .exe file?
It's better to compress (zip) the contents of the "compiled" folder, then we are able to change the settings etc too.

I'd suggest you find some people to help test and find bugs, then fix them and release an update. It seems it could potentially be impossible to finish with the "bug" I encountered, and it would be sad to see people put off by the bugs when the game itself looks so good! :).

Spoiler: ShowHide

The bug I encountered that seems to stop me from playing anymore is when I go to "home" and walk into the building, I am then unable to leave! Also the room where you have to use the ticket, you don't actually have to do it as you can just walk right past the "pole" thingie.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 03 Jan 2014, 20:03
Exiting the house works by clicking down far enough to the southeast (past the door) with the walk icon. Weird you got past the pole thingy tho. Tried that one extensively and it never showed up. Did you lose the ticket or can you just pass with ticket and everything?
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Adeel on 03 Jan 2014, 20:30
Hey Moloko. Congratulations on releasing your game. :) The game's pixel art is excellent! 8-0

I've downloaded your game and will be back with my feedback, once I complete the game. The reason I'm writing this post is to offer you a suggestion, i.e, you should perhaps upload the compressed file instead of plain .exe or compressed file alongside with plain .exe file. Not only the file size will decrease, but it'll also prevent your file from being corrupted.

PS: I compressed your game's .exe in .7z archive format. Initial file size was 9.41 MB and after compressing, it reduced down to 935 KB.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 03 Jan 2014, 21:13
Thank you. Duly noted. There's now a link for .zip file, too.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Secret Fawful on 03 Jan 2014, 21:15
Game looks amazing! I tried playing it but eventually got stuck (most likely because of a bug). Also why did you only upload the .exe file?
It's better to compress (zip) the contents of the "compiled" folder, then we are able to change the settings etc too.

I'd suggest you find some people to help test and find bugs, then fix them and release an update. It seems it could potentially be impossible to finish with the "bug" I encountered, and it would be sad to see people put off by the bugs when the game itself looks so good! :).

Spoiler: ShowHide

The bug I encountered that seems to stop me from playing anymore is when I go to "home" and walk into the building, I am then unable to leave! Also the room where you have to use the ticket, you don't actually have to do it as you can just walk right past the "pole" thingie.


There is an exit, but it's in the black space underneath the room. To the left of the southeast corner. I would have put some light or something there to signify an exit.

The game is very pretty, and stays somehow intriguing in spite of it's total lack of direction for the player, and limited animation. I don't mind limited animation, though. I'm stuck right now, as I have no idea what I'm doing.

I
Spoiler: ShowHide
had sex with Syph, and mixed the Four Horsemen. I have the pills, the drink, the remote, and the Kama Sutra.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 04 Jan 2014, 19:19
Congratulations on making it this far, Fawful! Other players have already advanced a bit further, but I have yet to see the first one to finish it. As for having no idea what you're doing, I can definitely relate. :) Here's some information to get you along:

Spoiler: ShowHide
You may have picked up somewhere that in order to get to Steve, you'll have to have a chat with the Shaman. Not an issue, but there's no chance to reach the Shaman in your current "body". I suggest you find a way to get rid of your corporeal state. Furthermore, here's one hint that may make things less frustrating: If you manage to get past Steve's self-defense, hit the remote.


Hope this helps! I'll be around some more to help people that are really stuck, and will probably release an updated version based on player frustrations. 
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Ghost on 04 Jan 2014, 19:30
This looks so awesome! I am so going to download and play it right now!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Grim on 05 Jan 2014, 04:18
I do like the look of this!;)

Reminds me of my Amiga days.

I'll try it when I've got some free time and I'll be back to report what I think about it!;)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Daniel Eakins on 05 Jan 2014, 10:33
The graphics are pretty good! Looks like a grittier Gobliiins game :smiley: I'll definitely play this.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 05 Jan 2014, 13:44
Hey everyone,
I updated with a version that has these edits:
*Version number when accessing the ags logo in the menu bar
*A doorway hinting the exit of the House (thanks Peder)
*A bug in the cocktail game that allowed for some funky placement
*Several small hints as to what to do where and why

Hope this works out for everyone, and still eagerly awaiting the first of you to finish it!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: n0p on 06 Jan 2014, 08:55
Strange yet interesting game :)
--
Here's a quick bug report:
In first version of Ponderabilia:
Spoiler: ShowHide

After meeting Syph his friend didn't teach me anything - stuck on "If you ever need" line,
restarted with second version - and was able to continue this time.

Now:
Spoiler: ShowHide

I've got solid light, pliers and pebble and no idea what to do next :)
Meat hook sequence can be repeated, increasing points.
Reentering cloning room after meeting with T-Rex guy replays body cloning sequence, increasing points.
One can take "Smell" cartridge again and again, though only one stays in inventory.
How come cloning machine works again if i used "Smell" cartridge on it before and Nikkee broke it? Or she didn't?

Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 06 Jan 2014, 09:37
Thanks for listing these out. I'll make sure and correct as soon as I can.

Now, the fact that you're stuck is not really a bug. :) Did you check out all the rooms with the elevator?
Spoiler: ShowHide
There ought to be a top floor that is now accessible.


*I wasn't aware of the meat hook sequence repeat points. Will correct asap.
*Thanks for pointing out the cloning room bug. Will fix.
*Which cartridge are you referring to that can be taken again an again?
*Nikee never broke the bodymapper, though she did end up giving it a big dent on the inside.

Thanks for playing Ponderabilia, BTW. Adeel was the first to finish it, and I hope you do too! I will include a bit more direction in the next update, so people don't know where to go anymore. Apparently some aspects are far to obscure or unclear to really guide people.

Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 06 Jan 2014, 09:58
I've downloaded it and I'm very attracted to those graphics. It has a flavour of "time travellers" (slightly smaller characters than other games), just better ;-)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: n0p on 06 Jan 2014, 10:55
moloko, thank you for making the game :)
Spoiler: ShowHide

Pressing MNAO again ang again says "cartridge popped out" and can be used to cheat score :)
As for elevator rooms - TBH, i was looking for a button or make-up way to short elevator circuit from start of the game, but didn't succeed.
And i've a bit tired from using pliers on everything that seemed to contain wires :-D
Will keep looking, thank you!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 06 Jan 2014, 11:17
You're welcome. It's a free game, and my biggest reward is people enjoying it and having fun in the process. You may have noticed I'm not too much of a programmer, and the entire game has to rely heavily on scenario. In regards to your question:

Spoiler: ShowHide
 I like the idea of a short circuited button. A lot. I'm not sure if you got to the ending yet, but you'll notice you're able to end up with another, final button. On the elevator control panel, there are open slots, so I'm heavily inclined to further the ending (at least the alternative ending) and use your idea to elaborate on the scenario. It fits seamlessly. I won't spoil the ending by telling too much about it (it's got plottwists and everything!) but this is certainly a path i'm willing to take towards further production
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 06 Jan 2014, 12:24
Great game. I absolutely love it. Both the graphics and the writing.

EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide


Small glitch: Nikee has no "idle" view. Therefore when you stand doing nothing for a few seconds, the generic "blue cup" sprite flashes briefly.

Puzzle writing :

[hide]
Just a minor frustration to the player:
There is a liquor cabinet, AND a huge hint that one should prepare a cocktail (I don't know yet when that will be needed, but I already know that at some point I'll need to mix 4 correct beverages into the shaker), AND there's a book about cocktails in the bookshelf just there on the left ... and yet Nikee says "those books are not worth taking". Yagh!


Technical suggestion: by changing just one setting in your game settings and re-compiling it, you could turn it into a 32-bit game. This way people would be able to play it efficiently with filters: hq2x or hq3x. That would work wonderfully with your graphic style.
[/hide]
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 06 Jan 2014, 14:24
Changes are duly noted, and I'm going to have a look and see if I can make it into a 32 bit game without crashing everything entirely. If more annoyances or suggestions pop up, feel free to post them here or in a PM. Also, it would mean a lot to me for everyone to rate the game.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 06 Jan 2014, 14:40
EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide

Small glitches:
[hide]
- the "shiny pebble" stolen from Ankou cannot be looked at in the inventory.
- are you sure "use arm on vibrator" can be done both ways? (arm on vibrator AND vibrator on arm). I'm too lazy to start the game over to test, but I'm almost certain I tried "use vibrator on arm" and it didn't do anything. Or aybe I thought I tried but I didn't. I tested it, it works.

[/hide]
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 06 Jan 2014, 15:22
Noted. Will change in upcoming version. Managed to finish it yet? :)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Tramponline on 06 Jan 2014, 16:51
Wow, what a surreal experience! Twisted humor and some really absurd and hilarious lines - love it.

One glitch I encountered (at least I assume it to be one):
Spoiler: ShowHide
Steve's Robo-Securitron-screen:
I exhausted all dialog with the battle robot until Nikee comments she's not able to muster up the courage to speak to it once more.
Didn't have the 'remote control' in my inventory at that time [...since I overlooked/missed that one for quite some time].
Despite this, I was able to simply walk past the robot into the next room without the need to deactivate it.

Nit-pick: Spelling.
When Nikee is about to get it on with Syph: "[...]Take of your shirt.[...]", the 'off' is missing one 'f'.


But now, I've to admit, I'm at my wit's end - [or rather, have been for quite some time, but still manged to make some headway up until now, despite my confusion :tongue:]
I seem to be at the same point that 'n0p' reported earlier on:
Spoiler: ShowHide
Visited the Shaman, got the solid light (it's graphical representation caused me quite some brain-twist - nice one!), the pliers and the shiny black pebble and I don't know
what to do with Nikee or any of those inventory items.)
No additional top floor seems to be accessible through the elevator as far as I can see.
 Some subtle nudge into the right direction would be very welcome...

 
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 06 Jan 2014, 17:49
Tramponline:

As for the glitch: noted and will fix in upcoming version (keeping track of these to have them all in one go.). As for being stuck:
Spoiler: ShowHide
Did you already use the pliers? The top floor doesn't come on without the electricity going. I'm not sure if you found the electrical closet yet. It's a bit hard to spot, in front of the blue house.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Adeel on 06 Jan 2014, 18:03
Since people are pointing out about glitches here, let me join the fun too. (laugh)

Spoiler: ShowHide
When you return from the visit to Shaman, leave the bodymapper room and then enter it again. The bodymapping sequence plays again. Leave the room and enter it again and again, you'll find the sequence playing. This goes on and on. I noticed that both versions of your game have this bug/glitch.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 06 Jan 2014, 19:10
Yup, someone mentioned that before. Apparently nowhere during testing I thought it necessary to reenter that room (seeing as there's no need). The hardships of developing... It's on the bug list.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: n0p on 06 Jan 2014, 21:30
Finally!
Spoiler: ShowHide

806 points, and i hope to play extended version :)

Got me attracted till the end, moloko, great job!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: selmiak on 06 Jan 2014, 22:41
loving it already, though I'm a bit stuck. Someone mentioned the brain brother giving you hints on erotic action but they are not doing this for me. And I'm playing the V1.1, at least I hope so...
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 07 Jan 2014, 06:18
EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide

To moderator(s): I hope you guys are not getting the feeling that the thread is turning into a bug tracker, because that's not the case : people are just all excited to play the game, and these are mostly tiny glitches that don't spoil the fun. Nothing to do with an OSD release :-D
I just felt like clarifying that, because you can realize that only by playing the game.

@selmiak: I think you should ask your question in "hints and tips". Short answer: [hide]When you talk to the brainbros, do they at least mention the name "Juliette"? If yes, then I have the same issue as you: it feels like they're on the verge of giving you sex tips, but apparently I haven't triggered the game event that makes them say the right dialog all the way through.

[/hide]
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 07 Jan 2014, 07:30
@n0p: Congratulations! 806 Points is pretty impressive, and will most likely be an impossible score after the next revision. Glad you stuck to it to the end, and I hope you enjoyed the story. Please rate is when you have the chance. So far it remains unrated. If you feel like it, do send me a list of things that bothered you or were unclear. I'll try to make the entire experience smoother for future players. I'm taking tips storywise, too. I heard some great ones already.

@selmiak:Don't worry about the brain brothers. They will give you the appropriate tips when you're fully prepared to take on Syph.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 07 Jan 2014, 11:52
EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide



@selmiak:Don't worry about the brain brothers. They will give you the appropriate tips when you're fully prepared to take on Syph.


Actually no. This is why I was getting crazy.:

There is a game-blocking bug. I don't know exactly how to reproduce it, but if you get the oscillator+arm and get latex-covered in the wrong order or something, then the proper dialog with De Sade never gets activated. Every time you go back to him, he tells you something like "when you need it I'll teach you everything I taught Juliette", but never does it.

I started the game over, did the same things (not necessarily in the same order), and this time De Sade helped me.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 07 Jan 2014, 12:04
I can see why that is insanely annoying. Will try and fix ASAP.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: selmiak on 07 Jan 2014, 12:58
that explains a lot. Will insert coin and try again.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 07 Jan 2014, 13:00
EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide


Small Glitches:
- you can get the "Evelyn smell" cartridge as many times as wanted. This is confusing when comes the "time to backup", because you're not sure if you've done it already or not.
- the walkable area in the bedroom is slightly faulty and lets you walk through the TV set.
- If you DON'T push the red button ,then simply talking again to the screen allows you to have a second chance (that might be by-design, though).

Puzzle writing:
[hide]I suggest you make more obvious what actually happens when Nikee goes into the Bodymapper:
- does her spirit get transferred into the cartridge
OR
- does Evelyn's smell get transferred into Nikee?
It becomes obvious later on, but at the time it's not obvious which way it goes. Maybe a small additional sentence on the bodymapper after the transfer is complete would help.

[/hide]
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Adeel on 07 Jan 2014, 13:42
Ah, this is truly a wonderful game. Its got excellent graphics which would bring back a 'nostalgia' feel to most of the gamers who've played early Sierra games.

Puzzles weren't too hard and made sense, but at the same time, they were very frustrating to solve too. Similar to those puzzles you'd often counter in Sierra Classics (wtf). This is why I really liked the puzzles of this game, despite getting stuck at one or two occasions.;-D

The Dialogues are not too verbal and give enough detail about the game without making a player bored.

Lack of Sounds and/or Music is the only negative point about this game. But even with the lack of sound, the game's very impressive. Combined with suitable music, this game will become even more impressive.

The Story of the game is original and I've not played any game of similar story before.

Humour of the game is yet another positive side of this game. Especially, the humour at just the start of the game is splendid! :-D

In short, it is an excellent medium length game. I would recommend it to anyone who isn't offended by little explicit content.

I look forward to see more games from Wim in near future. Best of luck! :)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Shadow1000 on 08 Jan 2014, 00:03
I finished with 376 points.

I liked the graphic style. I had a bit of trouble finding a "flow" to the game because of how abstract it was. It's not quite clear to the user what the goals were so a lot of "what do I do now" was by trial and error or by "I think I'll use A on B because otherwise there's no use to A". There definitely is a lot of originality and creativity in this game. Some sound would have dressed it up a bit.

As I said, I do like the graphics but unless you label hotspots, you really have to use the graphics to make hotspots stand out or have some reason for the user to click on one. For the most part I think that hotspots were fairly logical but sometimes exits are depicted as dark spots or less and hard to identify.

Anyway, overall a decent game with some good humour. Thank you and good luck in your next game.

SHADOW
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 08 Jan 2014, 09:56
Thanks for the rating Adeel! If a couple more people rate it it may actually have a public rating. I'm glad you liked the graphics. Since this is a project that took so long in the making there are a lot of things I'd do differently by now (for example, the intro room was created back in 2004, the final room with the oracle in 2012). Getting puzzles to exactly the right difficulty is tricky, of course; I remember needing ages to solve the "plunger against the wall/climb plunger to avoid acid" in SpaceQuest 2. I'm now reworking some aspects to drop more hints. I wholeheartedly agree on the sound issue: if anyone has some experience in the sound department, feel free to ping me!

As for the story: it took me ages to write out the scenario (which is over 80 pages of in-game copy, by the way. :)), but it's original in its entirety. Fun fact: Nikee exists, and lives in Belgium. I'm glad you liked the humor by the way. It's not easy finding a tone that appeals to different people... I'm also the author of this Man Card and Guidelines (https://www.etsy.com/listing/118412195/man-card-and-guidelines?ref=af_shop_favitem) and a lot of people fail to see it's meant ironically.

Furthermore, I'm very inclined to make the next game even more explicit, but I may need to recruit a female author for character development (no offense, but women are a lot better at that.) Later this year we're expecting twins, so I imagine having a bit less time, but I'm quite motivated to elaborate on this and make a series out of it.

Shadow1000: I can imagine getting into the "flow" can be somewhat tricky. All the characters, locale and puzzles make sense within the scenario, but this won't be very obvious from the start. As for the trial and error, I'd really like to get that out of the way completely (it's pointless and annoying), so if you could tell me what really came down to trial and error for you I'd try and revise. I'm redoing all the exits that aren't painfully obvious atm, too.

Cheers,
Moloko
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Adeel on 08 Jan 2014, 14:46
You can consider me on the safe side then. Because I like all type of humours, even lame humour too. And yes, I agree that many times one fail to see irony and/or sarcasm. This happens to me too. (The Man Card looks cools btw :-D).

Yay, another (more) explicit game is going to come in near future ;-D . I'll like to play it too.

I'm glad to see that you've started a recruitment thread, I'm sure that soon you'll find a musician for your game. :)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 09 Jan 2014, 14:32
EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide


Lack of Sounds and/or Music is the only negative point about this game.

I think the same thing (even though I'm more of a graphics guy so I was really enjoying the graphics). And I had the feedback of someone on the AGS IRC who said he gave up on playing because he didn't like the complete silence.

Even if you don't add sound effects, maybe just a simple music loop taken from rights-free libraries could do the trick.

Also if you decide to polish up the game, I think you could edit Nikee's walkcycle: just move the waist one or two pixels up: this way the torso will be shorter and the legs longer. At the moment it's obvisou you drew over AGS' default Roger, who looks awful. Oh, and slightly shorten the arms too.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 09 Jan 2014, 15:16
Do you know of any decent and free libraries online? There seem to be plenty, but a lot them are useless. No idea what the most popular ones among the AGS developers are...
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Uziel on 11 Jan 2014, 04:04
moloko - I think I've found another bug unfortunately... I've played through the bulk of the game (near-death experience done, etc), went into the electricity room and tried to use the pliers on the switch box. It tells me "best to leave it alone while it still functions". I've looked at it, spoken to it, use the action on it, the fish, etc. All inventory items return the same msg as the pliers....

I sincerely hope I'm wrong... as I know i'm near the end again and don't really fancy a third run through of the game from scratch... (got caught out the first time with the De Sade bug and had to restart).
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Adeel on 11 Jan 2014, 10:39
moloko - I think I've found another bug unfortunately... I've played through the bulk of the game (near-death experience done, etc), went into the electricity room and tried to use the pliers on the switch box. It tells me "best to leave it alone while it still functions". I've looked at it, spoken to it, use the action on it, the fish, etc. All inventory items return the same msg as the pliers....

I sincerely hope I'm wrong... as I know i'm near the end again and don't really fancy a third run through of the game from scratch... (got caught out the first time with the De Sade bug and had to restart).

I, too, were stuck because of the bug you mentioned above. I had to restart my game from scratch to complete the game. Perhaps, this bug is caused whenever puzzles are solved in specific order. Because, when I started the game again from scratch, I solved the puzzles in order different than my previous play and this bug didn't show up.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Hansi on 12 Jan 2014, 16:59
Hi Moloko.

Congratulations for your game, it's very funny. However, my play was ruined by the De Sade bug, and I'm waiting for your fix before playing it again. I supose you will notify the new version release in this forum, but I think it's also a good idea to append the version tag to the exe file name. Something like ponderabilia20140113.exe ... It will be useful for knowing wich version are you downloading.

I know something about web design, and I found the buttons on the Ponderabilia download website a little misplaced. Take a look to the code I've rewritten, you may use it if you like.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9596971/ponderabilia.html (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9596971/ponderabilia.html)

Another suggestion... The way Ankou appears is very tricky. I got stuck for hours with that.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 13 Jan 2014, 09:55
@Uziel: When going to the elevator, does the white button show up? if so, the electricity is fixed and you need not worry. I will definitely have a look at this in the revised version.
@HansiThank you Hansi. The version linked is always the latest version I created, so you can't be downloading a previous version. In order to check the version, I'm including the update date in the credits (which you can view through the AGS logo in the upper right hand corner. (Ironically, I usually append the date to the filename, but the Ponderabilia.exe filename link is hardcoded in other websites (not by me), so it needs to point to that exact filename. The new html you coded looks great, and I will be using that one later today. Thanks for that! As for Ankou, I agree, and I'm updating the new version to have another trigger, although I'm not entirely sure what yet.
@Adeel:: My guess is it will indeed be the order of the puzzles. I'm going through all the bugs now and will make sure to included this one. If you feel like being part of the test group, let me know. I'll need a lot of beta testers to abuse the next version. :)
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Uziel on 13 Jan 2014, 10:17
@Uziel: When going to the elevator, does the white button show up? if so, the electricity is fixed and you need not worry. I will definitely have a look at this in the revised version.

No, the white button doesn't show up. The only reason I knew what to do, was that I did this sequence on my first playthrough (got to the buggy room), but then got caught out by the De Sade bug. Then d/loaded your latest version of the game, got past the De Sade bug part, then found that I couldn't fix the elevator, the area which was previously clickable (ie. restore powers w/ pliers) was no longer accessible. As Adeel said, it likely is the order of things, but I'm not keen on a third attempt to play through due to bugs. I'll just wait till things are sorted and may pick this up again at a later date.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Hansi on 14 Jan 2014, 11:34
As for Ankou, I agree, and I'm updating the new version to have another trigger, although I'm not entirely sure what yet.

May I suggest you the moment Nikee reads the paper on the table? It's very difficult to overlook it.

Another thing I found improveable is the item selection from the inventory. I think is annoying having to click on the item and then on the arrow to exit the inventory dialog. In other games, you usually click on the item, the cursor becomes the item, and then you move the cursor out of the inventory dialog in order to close it.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 14 Jan 2014, 22:08
EDIT : post below referring to things that got fixed in version 2.x
Spoiler: ShowHide


move the cursor out of the inventory dialog in order to close it.

+1.
Also In the inventory, right-clicking to deselect the item (go back to normal arrow pointer) would be cool.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 17 Jan 2014, 10:05
Full speed on the update now, with beautiful sound composed by AGSers. In other news: the original Nikee found out today's she's a video game character. Probably should have told her ten years ago...
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 17 Jan 2014, 13:26
the original Nikee found out today's she's a video game character. Probably should have told her ten years ago...

I suspected it was a rela-life person, and possibly a person from the past, but I didn't think they wouldn't know they're in the game :D
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 17 Jan 2014, 15:02
Yah... that was kinda awkward. I got lost with her in the Sri Lankan jungle about ten years ago, and we kinda lost touch afterwards. I think her reaction this morning was: "WTF?".
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Abisso on 09 Feb 2014, 03:10
The game is fascinating so far. Charming graphics, weirdness all over and a persistent sense of eeriness. It's a middle ground between unnerving and bizarre.

Unfortunately, the several bugs and glitches kind of ruin the experience. Most of them have been already notified, but I can probably add a couple more:
Spoiler: ShowHide
Nikee is shown behind the couch where Ankou sleeps, behind the fish tank, and behind something else that I can't recall in front of the glass tub in the home's "bathroom". Also, the black ball (I don't even remember where I found it) has no description in the inventory.


The main thing that didn't work out for me was the constant impression that my progress was made impossible by a bug. This makes relaxing through the game rather difficult, as you get the feeling you should be able to advance even when you actually aren't doing the right things. Response to unintended actions is not very helpful and reasonable actions end up leaving you with no extra info.

For a game with no sfx and no music, so many glitches and bugs, this is incredibly entertaining and special nonetheless. The whole thing about Nikee being a real person, the fact it took you 14 years to release the game, all add up to the attractiveness of it. No kidding here.

Last but not least, I'm stuck, but I've only played a hour and a half so far and I need to sleep before I give another go. I hope I'm not stuck cause of a bug
Spoiler: ShowHide
(again, cause I already had to start again when I ended up not receiving any hint from De Sade's brain)


************

EDIT1: another thing that I think hasn't been mentioned is the absolute necessity of a dot identifying where's the pointer in the currently selected item. In a game with no labels to identify what's under the cursor, it's already quite difficult to know what you're doing, and this is an extra obstacle. I recommend adding a "what's under the cursor" label as well, as a matter of fact.
And what about using text dialogues in Lucas' style instead of putting them into the default text GUI? That would differentiate them from narrator's comments. Judging from your pixel-art skills, you could certainly paint a better text GUI, anyway!

As a small update, after another hour or so, I only managed to
Spoiler: ShowHide
find the hidden hole outside the house (thanks to the hint in the secret room), and fix the power. Been in the new floor, but I haven't accomplished anything there. Still, Nikee must (have) be(en) a cute girl, judging from the portrait! A fine painting too
.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 09 Feb 2014, 21:30
I am very sorry you've been encountering so many bugs, and I've been working really hard lately to improve the current version. Today I finished a beta, with audio in most locations. AGSers (namely Handsfree, Eldogond and Shangsean) have been working wonders to create a score, and the sound really improves the game. As soon as that version is complete, I'll release over the same download link.

If you wish to betatest this version, you can do so at this link:
http://users.telenet.be/wimdehert/Ponderabilia/beta/

I did a complete runthrough tonight, and I didn't encounter any bugs, but that may of course be because I made it. As soon as the audio to the last levels is finished, I'm upping the game to the beta test threads, too. If you want to wait until it's completely certified and bug-free, that's fine, too. Sorry this has been rather piecemeal, but I'm creating this game as a hobby, and I have a crucial lack of time lately. :)


Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: Abisso on 09 Feb 2014, 21:54
Sorry this has been rather piecemeal, but I'm creating this game as a hobby, and I have a crucial lack of time lately. :)

Naahhh... it's fine! I've been enjoying it. Also, consider the fact I don't play many games (read: I hardly play any game at all) so you should definitely read that as an appreciation of the 3 screenshots and the game's presentation. I understand lack of time and struggles with everyday life, and as a fellow game-maker this is even more clear to me. I really think this has the potential to become a masterpiece.

That said, I don't know if I'll have the time to test it, though I'll continue playing the current version for a while, until I either figure out how to advance or give up. Any bug I spot, I'll let you know for sure.

On a side note, I was typing an edit to my previous post as I was playing the game, but when I saved the reply you had answered in the meantime. So please check the "EDIT" part in there for more feedback.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia. My point and click adventure.
Post by: moloko on 10 Feb 2014, 08:44
I'm very glad you've been enjoying the game so far, and that you've managed to get a bit further, too. I don't mind being stuck because of the game being hard, but that only works of course in the certainty that it's not bugging out. I remember spending days looking for answers in the SpaceQuest saga. The electricity room being hidden was a main frustration for previous players, and I've updated the new version to be way more obvious. A lot of the things you mentioned have been fixed by now. One thing I'm not fixing, however, is the dialog display. I realize this may be frustrating, but redoing it to the Lucas Art style would complicate matters, and I really like the literary aspect of them as they are now (In many cases, they function as a masking screen to time animations, btw). Ponderabilia 2 may have different text stylings. In case you really get stuck, may I point you to the Ponderabilia tips and tricks in the hints and tips forum? Monsieur OUXX wrote a rather extensive walkthrough. 
Title: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: moloko on 03 Jun 2014, 14:04
Hi Everyone,

I've been busy adjusting Ponderabilia to meet all of your comments on the first version and from here, things are looking up. Without further ado, here's a download link:
Ponderabilia 2.0 (http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/site/games/game/1751/)

New edition changes:
*Sound! Gorgeous music by the amazing Handsfree, Sean A. McCabe, and Clément Reviriego, AGS-ers all.
*Fixed the De Sade bug
*Fixed the cocktail mixing weirdness
*Added easter eggs
*Added extra hints to help you advance through the game
*Countless little nits and fixes

This versions works fine on my Windows Vista, but please let me know if it does for you, too.

Looking forward to you guys having a go. If this works out: I'm working on a complete walkthrough with screenshots.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: n0p on 04 Jun 2014, 14:44
Hi!

For me it seems like distribution is corrupted. I can't unpack zip or launch .exe :(
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: moloko on 04 Jun 2014, 14:58
Thanks for the heads-up n0p. I'll try and fix asap.

EDIT: I reuploaded the .exe version. Could you refresh, try again? Works fine here, but it's always kind of hard for me to gauge if it will on other platforms.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: Fitz on 04 Jun 2014, 21:46
Yeah, the zip seems to only contain acsetup. The .exe file works fine, though.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: LimpingFish on 04 Jun 2014, 22:57
Moloko, I've merged both topics together to avoid confusion, and you might want to update the first post to point to the latest version of your game.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: moloko on 05 Jun 2014, 06:13
Thanks a lot, LimpingFish! This looks a lot better. It was my fault to repost, and I'm glad you fixed it. Feel free to give it a shot when you get to it!

EDIT: Thanks to user Billbis, I solved both problems at once (I was having hosting and audio trouble). You can now download a .zip file with the audio, and it seems to be working fine. If any of you could have a go, too. I'd be much obliged.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: n0p on 05 Jun 2014, 18:55
.zip unpacked fine and game started :) Thank you.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: moloko on 06 Jun 2014, 12:15
Really hope you're hearing sound now. :) Please keep me posted on the run-through. I love hearing people's gaming experience.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: NickyNyce on 17 Mar 2015, 14:44
I know this thread hasn't been touched in a while, but considering it's game of the month, I didn't see an issue with posting.

Ponderabilia will take you on a journey through a beautiful game world. The rooms are gorgeous, and I can only imagine the time spent making them. The music is wonderful, and I loved every track that I heard. I must admit, the story was confusing to me. I'm still not exactly sure what I was doing there, and why. I'm guessing the developer wanted it this way, or maybe I'm just not great at seeing the big picture. I didn't mind too much that I didn't know what was going on, because I felt like you weren't supposed to know. I made it through most of the game without any help, but things got tough. I feel that without a hotspot indicator, and there not being many responses when trying things around the game world, and some very small hotspots, this game turned out harder than it should have been. There was a deep desire to continue though. I refused to give up because so much was done right. But I'm afraid that without the walkthrough, I may never have reached the end. 

Here are some thoughts on what I think could have been better. I'm not a fan of doing things more than once. There was some interactions where you will have to do things more than once to get certain items and move the game along. There was some pixel hunting that cost me valuable time because I missed some items. I think a hotspot indicator would have solved this. I wish I knew a little bit more about what was going on while I was playing.

Please don't let these negatives stop you from playing. These are more for the developer to think about. Not everyone looks at games the same way. The game is still a joy to play, and I'm glad I did. I commend the developer for a well made game, even with some slight hiccups along the way. IMO, the game is a solid 3 out of 5. If these issues that I came across didn't trip me up, I would give this game an easy 4. I would like to thank you for this beautiful game. I think you've done a great job, and with a bit more polishing in the areas I mentioned, I would have been praising this game like crazy. Still well worth playing!
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 17 Mar 2015, 15:44
Also, congrats for upgrading the game to 2.0. I feel like re-playing it now that there is music.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: Trapezoid on 17 Mar 2015, 23:25
I haven't finished this game, mostly because of the oblique goal. You've created an awesome environment, the graphics and overall effort are amazing, but being plopped into a mysterious world with zero character motivation (other than a vague "get out there and explore!") is inherently unengaging. I hope that's not too damning a thing to say.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: Monsieur OUXX on 18 Mar 2015, 15:52
I haven't finished this game, mostly because of the oblique goal. You've created an awesome environment, the graphics and overall effort are amazing, but being plopped into a mysterious world with zero character motivation (other than a vague "get out there and explore!") is inherently unengaging. I hope that's not too damning a thing to say.

It worked exactly in the opposite way for me: indeed, you don't know what you're doing, but since it's obvious that you're exploring your own mind, and taken for granted that you don't understand yourself, then it reinforces the suspension of disbelief rather than breaking it.
Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: moloko on 19 Mar 2015, 08:38
Thanks, Nicky, for taking the time to rate and Trapezoid for having a look. Unbeknownst to all of you, I am indeed taking notes of all these comments. One thing I'm taking home from this is the fact that an elaborate world is hard to communicate. Ponderabilia evolved, and things got more complex and diverse. I was able to communicate some of what was obvious to me, and other parts fell into places where they weren't obvious from the start.

The entire scenario of Ponderabilia is about a hundred pages long, with all characters having a background and the surroundings being there for a reason. Hardly anything in Ponderabilia is random. When people were getting confused the first time around, I added tons of extra explanations, and Vergil (the fish) is there to provide extra background on a lot of things. I realise this isn't enough.

Nicky, the hotspot indicator is a great idea, and the only reason I didn't yet implement it is lack of time (I'm running a business, building a house and raising a newborn at the same time, so it gets rather busy.). If you happen to have any great ideas to make things smoother, I'm all ears.

Trapezoid, the character motivation is a valid issue. I think it's necessary to have a look at what Nikee really is. She's the last active remnant of comatose brain, and a complete antagonist to Steve. As such, she's impulsive, easy-going and random. She cannot be aware of her surroundings, as she's never been actively remembered. Every location has to be new to her. I'm thinking of her as a sort of Charlie the Unicorn, where the lead is pushed along against his own will, ending up in places he never had any intention of getting to.

That said, I'm a horrible character writer. IMHO, this is often done by women to far greater success than I can ever hope to achieve. If any female writers among you wish to round the characters, please let me know. You may have some pages of script and notes to plough through first, though.




Title: Re: Ponderabilia 2.0
Post by: NickyNyce on 19 Mar 2015, 20:15
I never realized that the fish actually helped you throughout the game with telling you about the game world. I just thought it was an inventory item for trying on things, so that might have helped clear up some of the story. I'm betting I'm not the only one to not figure this out. :-\ Perhaps if it was even more clear at the end what was going on, I might have said...AHA, now I get! But at the end, I was still a bit puzzled. But I was on the right track, I just didn't put it all together.

I think if you had just a tiny bit more information placed throughout the early part of the game, letting people get an earlier idea that this was something going on in your mind the whole time, it would have pulled things together a bit better for me. I was thinking this, but I was never sure of it. Some games benefit from the HOTSPOT indicator, some might be better without it. I think that your rooms are so detailed, that I would have felt better with it. This will vary I'm sure with other people.

When I mentioned that I'm not a fan of forcing the character to do things more than once, I was talking about when you try interacting with something, and the character says, no thanks. Only to find out later, I needed to be persistent, and try again, and again, before she would say, OK, let's do it. For me, this sets a slightly scary precedent for me. It tells me that everything in the game might need this same action. I now start thinking that every time my character doesn't want to do something in the game, I might need to try, and try again. This only happened once, and maybe I missed some important text that she said the first time around, but if not, I think this is fooling the player. Normally when a character tells me no, I don't try again. I mean, who does want to try something over and over again? I know there are games out there, where you click multiple times on something, and as long as the text changes, you should pursue it, but maybe I've fallen into a bad habit of..if it didn't work the first time, I'm done with it.

These things I've mentioned are not bad things, so please don't take this wrong. I really enjoyed the game, but these were some things that I thought might have made my experience even better. I think it's a great thing to talk about games...The good, the bad, the ugly. If we are doing this, it's because the game has so much potential. I think we all need these things to be done and said about our games, not just, thanks for the nice game. Not everyone will feel the way I did, so it's just one opinion. I'm taking the time to write this because this game deserves it, and so does the developer. So thank you again for this cool game.

EDIT: Also, I don't mind getting dropped into a place without much knowledge of where I am or why, I actually love to explore. I don't think you should have to be guided everywhere to save the player time either. I'm not in a cart, that's on a track in a haunted house, and I'm just along for the ride, I'm playing a game where I need to explore. I think this is perfectly fine, in fact, I really like to wonder and think for myself. So bravo for this choice in game design. There is nothing wrong with figuring things out for yourself and wandering around and exploring the environment. This creates tension and uneasiness IMO, and that's what I felt. Again, I just needed a tiny more of a push, to figure it all out. And now that I think about how the game ended, (the very end with the end game button)..LOL...I loved it.