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Topics - Babar

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1
Top Tier (unsorted because that is too hard):
  • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge- Graphics, music, humour, feeling of adventure
  • Loom: puzzles, innovation, atmosphere, music-interlaced-with-story
  • Grim Fandango: Story, writing, characters (are all those the same thing?), music (although I'm not THAT big a fan of the style, so I wouldn't say music myself), and unfortunately horrible controls at the time
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Possibly nostalgia speaking here, but I thought the graphics, music and insult swordfighting were great
  • Day of the Tentacle: The time travel puzzles

Middle Tier (solid adventure games that just weren't the very best of LucasArts)
6- Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis: Possibly belonged in the Top Tier, but it was getting too big ;D. Lots of interesting interplay between Indy & Sophia.
7- Sam & Max: Hit the Road: Awesome humour, fun interactions between the two main characters, zany setting.
8- Full Throttle: Interesting setting, Pretty graphics, Fitting music and voice acting
9- The Curse of Monkey Island: Pretty graphics (I'd rate this at the end of the middle tier, though, but that could just be my "This isn't what Monkey Island is!" fanboyism speaking).

Bottom Tier (some rated low for simply being too primitive design-wise, not their fault, maybe at their time they were at the top of the game)
10- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
11- Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
12- Maniac Mansion
13- The Dig
14- Escape from Monkey Island
- Labyrinth: was never able to finish this game, so perhaps it is unfair to rate it 15th, lets just say "unmarked rank"

So what do you say? Agree? Disagree? COME FIGHT ME BRO
**List excludes remakes and desktop adventures**

2
The description for this sub-forum mentioned not being technical, and I'm not sure this counts as non-technical, but it isn't as technical as something I'd put in the technical forum, and it isn't a problem that I'm looking for a solution for a specific project just now, either, so I figured it'd fit here. If it fits somewhere else better, I'm sure a mod will move it.

So, a lot of my recent projects are rush jobs for jams or MAGS, and as such, they end up with a lot of ad hoc checks which I know shouldn't be the way I did them if I had planned properly.
For example, if ((player.HasInventory(iThing) && (oPlant.Visible)) { dialog1.Start(); } else { dialog2.Start(); }

As you can imagine, things get messy, especially when considering conflicts and finding situations where something should or shouldn't work.
When there's no possibility of using a combination of such explicit conditions, I end up creating a global variable, so then my code is littered with numerous different bools or ints also included in these ifs. I don't feel this is a good solution either.

  • I remember there used to be a state machine module or something similar by SSH from years ago- but I'm not sure how usable it'd be today.
  • I also had a thought of creating a global array where each index would be a decision point, and the value at that index would represent what choice the player took- the problem here is that I'd have to remember or comment down what each index and each value at each index meant.
  • Another thought I had was to use the score, perhaps even multiplying prime values to it, and then checking the mod of the total score to see what actions the player had taken- same problem as the last idea, I'd have to remember what each value meant.
How do you handle tracking the exact point of progress the player is at for your games? Is there some standard way of doing it that I'm missing?

3
Completed Game Announcements / In Bloom
« on: 23 Oct 2018, 07:50 »
In Bloom



The Infestation is blooming, and time is running out. Will you be able to save humanity?
In the far-flung future, the earth is in danger: A malicious bloom has spread through the galaxy and will soon engulf the earth. You will be tasked with saving it, but in the end, you must decide how!


A short game with only a couple puzzles, limited palette, and hopefully interesting world. You play as the Scout, on a mission to save humanity from the encroaching infestation bloom. This game has nothing to do with the Nirvana song.

So back in September, I decided to participate in the $102 Adventure Game Challenge. Being my usual procrastinating self, the vast majority of my work on my entry took place in the last week of the jam. Still, it is a completed and complete-able game, so I figured I should share it!
This version has some improvements over what I submitted to the jam, but the walkcycle is still as janky as ever. I'll try to fix it when I'm less prone to frustration, but aside from that, it should be mostly complete.

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

KNOWN ISSUES:
* There's an immediate room transition in the overworld screen, the moment you click the exit. I have no idea how to fix that.


4
So I created a palette of colours I want to use for my game, and that includes for the GUI items and speech colours as well.
Unfortunately, for all of my colours, they cannot be used in speech colours or GUIs.

For example, say I want to use a nice shade of blue at about 18, 111, 126 RGB for a character's speech colour. So I put that into their SpeechColor property, but it gets reset to 16, 108, 120.
The same with GUI elements.

This might just be a sad reality of working in AGS right now, but then the next part is a bug as well.
I tried plugging the colours I wanted into the Palette tab in the AGS Colours menu- I tried both using the pre-existing colours 1-15, as well as adding new ones to the end. Now if I choose the colour index to the colour I want in SpeechColour properties of characters or BackgroundColour properties of UI elements, the editor shows the correct colour with the correct RGB code, but in-game, the colours shown are the same hardcoded colours for that index- so for example, if I plugged in my blue shade at palette index 7, the editor shows the blue I want, but in-game, it shows the grey colour that is colour 7.

And yes, I'm using 32bit. 8bit would've been great, but the days of being able to smoothly 8 bit seem to be far behind AGS, and there was too much mucking about required to do that.

5
Hi!
So I'm using the default Y-axis pop-down GUI that AGS provides (I don't remember what it was called, the description now says "Visibility: When mouse moves to top of screen"), and the problem is that whenever I click a button in it, the GUI disappears, and I need to move my mouse up the screen again. Most cases I guess this would make sense, but I want to use it for inventory and scrolling through inventory.
Example:

Is the only solution going to be "Code your own Y-axis pop-down GUI"?

6
Hey! I'm trying to come up with an optimal verbcoin (you can see the background in this thread here), but I've run into some hiccups, so I figured I'd get some help here. It's not exactly scripting help questions as much as procedure advice :D. Keep in mind, I'm trying to create a generalised solution that at most requires users need to add some of their own text or properties at a later time if they want to make changes to the verbs, but don't have to go into adjusting hardcoded numbers each time.

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. function bLook_OnClick(GUIControl *control, MouseButton button)
  2. {
  3.   gVerbCoin.Visible=false;
  4.   if (button==eMouseLeft) Room.ProcessClick(verbCoinX, verbCoinY, eModeLookat);
  5.  
  6. }
That's the code for the OnClick of one of the buttons that pop up on my verbcoin UI. Every button's function is very similar, the only difference is the eMode... at the end. I could make a single function that just changed the last line of each, but I can't think of a generalised way to handle this. The function itself has the GUIControl as a parameter, so I can identify which verbcoin button was pressed, but there doesn't seem to be a useful way to use that. I had initially thought that everything (including UI elements) had Properties, so I would have used those, but apparently they do not.
As a related problem, I wanted to add action texts connected to each verb. So if the player moves the mouse over a blue cup, the text "Blue Cup" would appear at the bottom. When the player clicks the blue cup, this opens the verbcoin, and what I'd like is that when mousing over the LOOK button, "Look at" would be added to the text to change it to "Look at Blue Cup". I was assuming each text would be connected somehow to the verb.

So what I can think of right now for all this is to either use GUIControl.ID and/or create enums and strings for all the different possible verbs, but that really isn't a generalised solution, and would require a user in the future to add to it/remove from it themselves themselves if they ever wanted to make some changes. Is there a better, more generalised way?

7
Critics' Lounge / Verbcoin Interface
« on: 15 Jul 2018, 13:55 »
Hey all!
I've never seen a well implemented verbcoin, but people keep telling me that there's this hypothetical verbcoin that is really the best UI ever. Since I can't find it (side note: if you've made one, please share, the verbcoin template that comes with AGS counts as one of those horrible ones, and I've seen people complain about the template available on these forums as well), I decided to make it myself. And for that, I need your help!

Some design points I gleaned from these forums on what is the best kind of verb coin:
  • Left-clicking where there's no interactable makes you walk there
  • Left-clicking where there's an interactable opens up the verb coin around the point you clicked
  • If you click in a corner, the verbcoin opens such that it would fit on screen
  • Interactions are LOOK, USE, TALK and OPEN INVENTORY
  • Right-clicking does nothing (although I don't think I'd ever want to make a generalised UI for both PC and mobile, apparently it's important)
  • Clicking outside the verbcoin closes it
  • Moving the mouse around without clicking shows whatever is under the mouse (not relevant to mobile, though)
  • The eventual game would have keyboard shortcuts, but I've not currently implemented them, as I wanted to get a feel specifically for the verbcoininess of this system

So what I came up with (I can share the entire game if you like, but I'm not sure it's necessary just at this moment):

(don't be bothered too much by those things in the corners, those were just to test the literal edge cases)

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. // main global script file
  2. int verbCoinX, verbCoinY;//stored coordinates of whatever the user clicks to have the verbcoin pop up
  3.  
  4.  
  5. function repeatedly_execute()
  6. {
  7.   if ((gVerbCoin.Visible==false) && (tLabel.Text!=Game.GetLocationName(mouse.x, mouse.y))) tLabel.Text=Game.GetLocationName(mouse.x, mouse.y);
  8.   // gVerbCoin is the Verbcoin GUI, tLabel is the label showing what interactable is under the mouse
  9. }
  10.  
  11. function on_mouse_click(MouseButton button) // called when a mouse button is clicked. button is either LEFT or RIGHT
  12. {
  13.   if (IsGamePaused() == 1)
  14.   {
  15.     if (gVerbCoin.Visible==true)
  16.     {
  17.       if (GUI.GetAtScreenXY(mouse.x, mouse.y)==null)
  18.       {
  19.         gVerbCoin.Visible=false;
  20.       }
  21.     }
  22.   }
  23.   else if (button == eMouseLeft)
  24.   {
  25.     if (GetLocationType(mouse.x, mouse.y)==eLocationNothing) cCharacter.Walk(GetViewportX()+ mouse.x, mouse.y, eNoBlock, eWalkableAreas);
  26.     else
  27.     {
  28.       verbCoinX=mouse.x;
  29.       verbCoinY=mouse.y;
  30.       if (verbCoinX<gVerbCoin.Width/2)gVerbCoin.X=0;
  31.       else if (verbCoinX>System.ViewportWidth-gVerbCoin.Width/2) gVerbCoin.X=System.ViewportWidth-gVerbCoin.Width;
  32.       else gVerbCoin.X=verbCoinX-gVerbCoin.Width/2;
  33.      
  34.       if (verbCoinY<gVerbCoin.Height/2) gVerbCoin.Y=0;
  35.       else if (verbCoinY>System.ViewportHeight-gVerbCoin.Height/2) gVerbCoin.Y=System.ViewportHeight-gVerbCoin.Height;
  36.       else gVerbCoin.Y=verbCoinY-gVerbCoin.Height/2;
  37.       gVerbCoin.Visible=true;
  38.      
  39.     }
  40.    
  41.   }
  42.   else //Right-click, which does nothing right now
  43.   {  
  44.     //Room.ProcessClick(mouse.x, mouse.y, eModeLookat);
  45.   }
  46. }
  47.  
  48. //If the player clicks the LOOK icon on the verbcoin
  49. function bLook_OnClick(GUIControl *control, MouseButton button)
  50. {
  51.   gVerbCoin.Visible=false;
  52.   Room.ProcessClick(verbCoinX, verbCoinY, eModeLookat);
  53. }
  54.  
  55. //If the player clicks the USE icon on the verbcoin
  56. function bUse_OnClick(GUIControl *control, MouseButton button)
  57. {
  58.   gVerbCoin.Visible=false;
  59.   Room.ProcessClick(verbCoinX, verbCoinY, eModeInteract);
  60. }
  61.  
  62. //If the player clicks the TALK icon on the verbcoin
  63. function bTalk_OnClick(GUIControl *control, MouseButton button)
  64. {
  65.   gVerbCoin.Visible=false;
  66.   Room.ProcessClick(verbCoinX, verbCoinY, eModeTalkto);
  67. }
  68.  


So what I'm asking help for is to make this system as user-friendly as possible, and to have the code as generalised as possible (so it can be made a template for any game), and if there are any potential bugs or improvements. I don't really need help with the art, but if you're willing to provide something I can use better than what I'm using now (thanks, cat! :=), then I'd be more than grateful to use it.

Specific things I'm currently unsure about:
  • I had initially thought to use radial menus, because apparently they're the best, but ran into issues with screen edges. Along the edge, I'd have to rearrange the button positions, and depending on the number and size of the buttons, and whether the click is near the corner, the buttons would not fit. So currently, it's just a GUI with 4 buttons in fixed positions relative to each other. Does someone have a suggestion that would make radial menus viable, or is it fine as is?
  • I'm assuming there's an optimal size of Verbcoin/buttons/mouse to screen ratio. If someone can point to a better one, I'd appreciate it. Currently the resolution is 320x200, the verbcoin buttons are 32px large, and spaced 70px away from each other (corner to corner, not centre).
  • CrimsonWizard in another thread suggested a system where once the verbcoin is opened, the mouse pointer would disappear, and one of the buttons would be highlighted to be clicked, moving the mouse in another direction would highlight another button. This system would have the issue of requiring another button to close the verbcoin, and would require a rethinking of the button placements. Is it worth it? Would it be better?
  • Verbcoin currently closes when you move the mouse out of the verbcoin range. Should an X button be added to be able to explicitly close it? Or some other system to close it?
  • I just randomly set the current buttons and their placement. Do you feel something else would be better? Should inventory be there, or be opened through something else? Disadvantage of having inventory only through the verbcoin is that you may want to check your inventory without wanting to interact with something on screen. What about a settings menu? Where would these go if they weren't in the verbcoin?


Sorry for the long post (hope that doesn't translate to a lack of responses), and thanks in advance for all your help!

8
Competitions & Activities / Artjam Thread
« on: 09 May 2018, 20:41 »
Hey all!
Every couple days on IRC, #AGSers get together and pump out art of questionable quality within the confines of an hour! It's quite disorganised, mostly just me yelling "ARTJAM!" and then trying to collect people to participate. Feel free to do the same! So far there have been no rules as to what you can use to draw: pencil, MSpaint, sketching, tablet, whatever.

Anyhow, I figured I'd document them all for my (and your) pleasure! If this thread belongs better in the Rumpus Room, please feel free to move it!

May 4th 2018
Theme: Robert Z'dar
ibispi:

CassieBSG:

Babar:

9
General Discussion / Toronto Meet-up (Toques 2017?)
« on: 18 Sep 2017, 05:21 »
Hello everyone!
So I've been exploring the western hemisphere, and one of my stopovers is in Toronto, where I'll be from the 25th to the 29th noon of this month. A bit of short notice, but I figured I'd meet up with and put some faces to the names of some of our illustrious AGSers. I'm not sure how many people actually are in or around Toronto at that time, so I figured a forum thread would be helpful.

I know that Catpuncher and Sylvr expressed interest. There's also Baron and Ryan Timothy who live around there? Or any other takers? :=
Since my timeframe is during the weekdays, I figured an evening meet-up would be more suitable for all the employed peoples- maybe meet up for a dinner meal or after-dinner hangout around 8 somewhere on a date that works for everyone?

10
Hello!

I was preaching earlier to someone about how more of the community should be involved in developing AGS, and realised, I'm not doing it myself! :D
I'm not some supercoder, but I figured I'd look under the hood and get a feel for things.
So according to this link: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/wiki/Compiling_AGS
I need a specific version of VS2008 to be able to compile the full editor? Is this still a requirement?
I don't think VS2008 is even available anywhere. When I had a dreamspark account (2 years ago?), and it didn't even list 2008.

So...next question, what exactly is in the Native.dll? Would it be some really low level stuff that I would probably never need to bother with?

(also, sorry if I posted in the wrong place, this seemed the most appropriate)

11
EDIT: Hourgame is over!
Everyone vote now!

Hello everyone!

Not much for long complicated posts (that's a total lie).
On the spur of the moment, we in #AGS irc decided on having an hourgame (that is a total truth).
Time is in about 2 hours and 15 minutes from this post (7pm GMT?)
Rules not yet set.
Will try to get someone to post the rules in here when it starts (might not be me, because I want to participate), but to get into the mood with like-minded participants, you can join the #AGS channel (the server is irc.adventuregamestudio.co.uk and the channel is #AGS) on IRC, or even the AGS discord channel here: https://discord.gg/BSvN5ZF
So get your AGSes warmed up and ready!

12
Site & Forum Reports / Avatar not being settable?
« on: 22 Nov 2016, 17:13 »
Hey!

I realised that my avatar hasn't been visible for ages, and when I checked, I realised why- it is my old (now defunct) imageshack link. So I uploaded to imgur and put the link in there, but every time I then click CHANGE PROFILE underneath (or even just paste in the link and hit enter), the page refreshes, informs me that "Your profile has been updated successfully", but now my Personalised Picture is set to "No Avatar".

So...help?

13
General Discussion / Which Android phone should I buy?
« on: 01 Jan 2016, 15:58 »
Hello all!
With my recent birthday (and with this time actually having family around) I came into a little money, and figured I'd get myself a new android smartphone.
It seems I keep coming back here for recommendations, so figured I'd do it again :D.
My old phone is an offbrand android using a MTK MT6859 chip (QuadCore, 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM), but that was pretty cheap, and the quality of hardware is showing now.

I plan on rooting the phone, replacing all the default apps (homescreen, calendar, keyboard, dialer, etc) and appearance, so what it comes with doesn't matter if it is good otherwise. In fact, I want to try and distance myself as much as possible from some sort of pervasive "always connected to google" stuff. I'm also (attempting at) doing some android dev, so I don't know if that'd affect things if I want to use it for testing.
I'd like nice hardware features, though (stuff like wireless charging, microSD slot), although I guess some of the stuff I'd be interested in is no longer feasible (FM transmitter, IR :D), should have the usual cool stuff, and maybe some extra stuff.
Still, I'd like it to be relatively new, so that I could be upgrading it and using it as my main phone for a while now.

With a max budget of about $600, any suggestions on a phone? Any suggestions where I could look for options? Most stores seem way more complicated for this stuff, since they factor in contracts or have 'unlocked' phones as some special category. Or should I just go with the latest iteration of one of the major brands (Nexus 6 or Samsung S6 or Xperia Z5)?

Or should I skip out on a mobile get something else entirely :D? Currently I don't have the option to order from abroad, so most other stuff is less available to me. If I was more certain where I'd be in the near future, or that I wouldn't be constantly moving about, I might've pondered getting a nice battlestation of a desktop computer, but that doesn't seem likely at the moment.

14
General Discussion / Help me find a laptop to buy
« on: 30 Oct 2015, 13:47 »
Perhaps this is an odd topic for this site, but since there's such a large concentration of you awesome people, I figured I could ask for help here.

My current laptop, which I got around 2009 (a Core2Duo Toshiba Satellite) has served me very well, and still has absolutely nothing wrong with it (aside from a reduced battery life and the "3" key having come off, I suppose). The issue is that the work/research I'm doing now has requirements that are beyond it, most specifically, no USB 3.0 ports. It's a bit complicated, but I can't use a converter, backwards compatibility isn't going to help here, and installing a USB 3.0 on this system isn't going to work.

So I figured this was as good an opportunity as any to move up to a new laptop. Something I can use for my work right now, as well as keep for everything else for hopefully at least another 5-6 years.
The optimal specs for my work (other than the aforementioned USB 3.0 port) are essentially:
i5 Quadcore or more
2.4 GHz or more
8GB RAM or more

I have no issue with sizes (although the screen needs to be less than 24 inches, which I don't think will be a problem), weight, battery life (will mostly use it plugged in), brands, OSes (my work requires Windows 7/8, which I have a license for, although it would be nice to have enough space to dualboot with linux), or HD space (although again, this being for long term use, and hopefully dualboot so something as low as 120GB probably wouldn't work).

I'm looking locally as well, obviously, but I've got an opportunity to be able to order it from the US (if I can decide within the next week). I've looked around online using various sites (eg. amazon and newegg) with some relevant (and loads of irrelevant) filters, but that weren't very helpful. In fact, someone suggested a laptop model to me which fit my criteria, and then when I googled it, I got an amazon page, which I hadn't seen when I was using the filters on amazon.

Can someone suggest to me some procedure through which I can find the cheapest choices for my criteria?

15
*Entries Closed! Voting time!*
I've conferred with my co-winner, and decided to throw this at you this coming fortnight:
Unique Fantasy
So I've been playing Morrowind again, recently, and it struck me how interesting and different its version of a fantasy setting was. And also made it easier to come up with an (I hope) interesting idea for this BG Blitz.


So what I want you to do is draw a background image in some fantasy setting, but I don't want any of the usual boring stuff. No lush green forests with fairy circles and mushrooms on floating islands, no lava-filled, spikey demon-dimensions, no one-note desert/ice/forest planet. Aim for something different! And because so many "unique" fantasy settings are broody or horror-filled, just to make things difficult, try to make it happy (or at least neutral and not broody and horror-filled).

Other than that, the usual rules: Must be usable in AGS. Competition will go on till the end of the 15th, followed by voting.
Have at it!

THE ENTRIES:
Eric:

TheBitPriest:

Misj':

selmiak:

siliconangel:


Time to vote, people!
Voting will go on till the 22nd, hopefully enough time. Please fit your voting to these categories:
Concept: The coolest, most creative idea; the one that offers the best response to the rules and spirit of the Blitz topic.
Artistic Execution: The most technically and artistically accomplished image; the most successful expression of a personal artistic style.
Playability: The screen that would work best as an adventure game background (with possible interactions, walkable areas, exits, etc); a screen that would be fun to play.

16
General Discussion / Coin Collectors?
« on: 25 Jul 2014, 22:38 »
Ok, so I know some of you collect (don't worry, I won't out you :tongue:), and some of you have the attitude of "Cool, now you can buy loads of gum in many countries!" :grin:, but I figured I'd share and see who else is into this stuff.
I finally just finished organising and cataloguing each of my 853 coins (go ahead and count if you like := ), not counting the ones I keep to exchange, so I figured I'd show off.

To see how much of the world I've conquered, have a look at this map (hope it doesn't stretch the thread):
Mongolia and North Korea still hold out against me :(

And because pictures of bits of cardboard and maps might not be all that interesting, here is one of my favourite coins of my collection:
Not because of any cultural or numismatic significance, but because he looks like an awesome skeleton man.

So any other hidden collectors? Send me your change please, especially if you live in North Korea :P.

17
This is more just a simple question than any problem I've been having, although if it is as it seems, it really should be noted as such somewhere.

I know you can have animated cursors, and I know you can have inventory item cursors, and I know you can set a specific sprite for the inventory item hotspot marker, but is there a way to have animated inventory item cursors directly through AGS? Like you have an animation of the item glowing when it is over a hotspot, or perhaps have the crosshairs hotspot marker sprite animated.

I know one could easily code animated inventory item cursors in the script itself (and I know how to do that), but that is not what I am asking.

18
Hey everyone!

From 2009 up until about a month ago, I had a Nokia. It was cool, did most everything I wanted, and I got irritated when people people told me to "get a smartphone" ("IT COUNTS AS A SMARTPHONE! It has inbuilt GPS and maps and voice recognition and internet and emailing and messaging and all that! It has a keypad instead of touchscreen because I PREFER that!").

Anyhow, considering the horrible Nokia app store, and the fact that  wanted to get into dev, I recently got myself an android smartphone. It was an off-brand one, but with nice enough specs (Android 4.2, a 1.2GHz Quad Core, 4GB ROM/1GB RAM, etc.). It came with a ton of bloatware, so first thing I did was to root it and remove most of that.

What I'm looking for now are apps that would be an improvement on the functionality of the ones that came with it (phonebook, lockscreen, etc. stuff like that), but is also free - because I'm a cheapskate- and also ad-free and not requiring network access if possible - because while I have wifi at home, I'm a cheapskate with a horrible data plan (also the reason I'm less interested in the more "social" apps and social aspects of specific apps) - and preferably not a lite version of a better app. Sorry in advance for the long post, hopefully it'd be helpful to others as well.

First off, stuff I already got:

I got GO LAUNCHER EX (and a whole lot of associated GO apps), but I gotta say, I'm somewhat unsatisfied with it. It IS all swishy and cool and all, but it comes with loads of extra things I don't want, a whole separate interface to get backgrounds and themes and fonts and then some bits that I DO want it asks money for or tells me to upgrade to pro versions. If someone has a recommendation for a replacement, I'd be happy to hear!

I also got PitchLab Guitar Tuner and smartCHORD, in one of my "I really should properly learn the guitar" moments- the first has a tuner (more like a any sort of audio-note identifier) and loads of cool visualisations to help you. The second also has a tuner, but it isn't redundant, as it has loads other stuff: a ear trainer, nicely displayed chord list, a digital guitar thing, and stuff I don't even understand yet. Neither of them require any sort of network access, so I am really happy with them.

Still in the musicky side of things, I also have 2 "sequencers" Loops! and Plasma Sound, although the first seems a bit complicated for me (not that I'm an expert at using sequencers anyway), and the second is more of an enjoyable playing thing, messing about and making bloops and bleeps with the associated visualisations. Again. neither have any network access, and are absolutely free, which I love.

Because I'd like to be an astronomy buff, I also got Google Sky Maps, which is incredibly cool, as it allows you to see names of stars and planets and constellations in real time as you point your device at the sky. It is also totally free, but requires network access permissions, although I've switched off my data connection and only have it use my GPS, and so far I've had no issues.

For games, the one I play the most is Simon Tatham's Puzzles, recommended to me by Hajo/dasjoe, which have 34 puzzle games in one (including Sudoku, Minesweeper, Mastermind, Sliding tile puzzle, etc.), totally free, and again, requiring no network permissions. Some of the games don't seem to have been properly ported to the phone (Minesweeper requires pressing down and waiting to mark a mine, and some of them have a large amount of stuff on-screen making it difficult to press them accurately), but still, the ones that do, work great.

Instead of the default Google Maps, I'm using MapFactor: GPS Navigation, which asks for network permissions, but after I downloaded the maps at home on my wi-fi, it had no problems working without internet.

The default calculator had separate screens for normal and scientific mode, so I got RealCalc Scientific Calculator instead, which again is totally free and requires no network permissions.

Another utility I got is the TeslaLED Flashlight, because I wanted a free flashlight program for my phone that also did Morse code, and it suits me perfectly! Again, no network permissions required, and it even has this hilarious "Police Mode" where the screen flashes a bright alternating red and blue, that I want to abuse some time while driving.

So what I want:

Games! I've realised that at least for me, most actiony games aren't worth it on a phone. I have a 5 inch screen, but even at that level, it isn't all that fun, so I mostly go for puzzle games. I had bought the recent Humble Mobile bundle, but out of those, unfortunately, only Carmageddon, Time Surfers and Punch Quest worked, and currently I only have time surfers still on my phone. So if you have any suggestions, even ones to prove me wrong about my opinion of actiony games on a phone, or if you know of some free adventure game that works well on a touchscreen phone, please do tell!

Replacements for the system apps I have already. As I said, I'm not too happy with GO LAUNCHER EX and the rest of the stuff, so maybe a nice free launcher, and a screen lock with a similarly cool wiggly gesture unlock thing, maybe some Phonebook that includes a country field in the address (for some bizarre reason, the default one doesn't), and a birthday field that shows up on my calendar, and speaking of, a calendar app that syncs with the contacts, and be nice if it has multiple calendar systems (Gregorian, Islamic, Chinese, etc.), and shows the moon phase (there's that astronomy thing again), or at least another app that shows the moon's phase (preferably in a nice widget I can have on screen), a nice clock with alarms, stopwatch, timers, and some way of easily showing multiple time zones so I can keep up with everyone, etc.

A good music player. I'd definitely want one that can handle FLAC, which the default does, but it doesn't seem to be able to edit tags (of FLAC or anything else).

And anything else you suggest! As I said, I'd much prefer free stuff, and stuff that doesn't require a data connection (if it asks for network permissions, but doesn't require using it, that's okay too, I guess. I have adblock installed for the phone as well, but so far I'm not sure if it HAS blocked anything or not :D). I've set it so that I can download stuff outside of the Google Play store as well, so that is not an issue.

19
General Discussion / Tropes vs Women
« on: 03 Aug 2013, 16:18 »
I hadn't realised that the 3rd part of this series had already been released (I wasn't even aware that the 2nd part was out), so I just finished watching them both today, and was surprised there hasn't really been any discussion on it in these forums.

Now you probably want to watch them to know what is being talked about:

If you haven't seen any of them before, I think it'll take over an hours worth of your time.

I know there has been loads of horribleness surrounding the funding and development of these videos, but personally, I'm interested in them as a developer of games.
After watching, I had loads of thoughts and questions, so I figured it'd post them here as a way to get loads of different viewpoints.

First off, has there really been no game similar to the one she described at the end? It sounds familiar...or am I just thinking of the dozens of "male" versions of the game in existence?

Secondly, a lot of us are drawn here thanks to our love of the adventure games of the past, and our desire to recreate them. Is the only thing we can draw from those games the aesthetic and gameplay? Were the stories really so universally bad back then?

For my own part, my last MAGS game featured quite literally a Damsel in Distress- a songstress (I really love that word :D) you were listening to was abducted and taken to the king for nefarious, probably sexual purposes, and then you a random stranger, went on a quest to save her. If I felt the need for it, I maybe be able to throw a couple of arguments about my specific case defending the game, but what I want to ask, out of curiosity (I'm not dead set on making- or find the basic premise of it a necessary one- a Damsel in Distress game and trying to justify myself :D), is it possible, through carefully crafted story and narrative or whatever, to feature that- saving a friend, a girlfriend, a sister, a mother, or even a random female stranger as the goal or purpose of the game, without all the negativity inherited through this trope, or does cultural context and history and so on make it a totally lost cause?
According to the videos, the Damsel in Distress trope is employed to feed off of male empowerment fantasies at the expense of the woman. Would it be possible to remove such themes and ideas, while still having the player essentially, rescue a female. There are games where you must rescue a male friend or partner or something. If you just swapped those out for a female, would that automatically undermine the whole thing due to cultural context, or would it be plausible?
Interestingly, the video talks about ROM hacking (changing the sprites and text) to switch around the genders in console games. I've not played any of these games, but does the essential meaninglessness of the change to the game signify that yes, it does have more to do with the cultural context?

Also, finally, I realise that the perception of women in this medium will only advance through the work of developers that actively make games that challenge these stereotypes, but if I want to tell my own story, as long as I took to heart the issues presented and avoided them, is it really my job to be one of those advancing the medium developers?

I'm lazy, and likely not properly equipped to handle making such a game, and..I don't think I ever will. But it can't be anything other than a good thing to talk about this stuff!

20
General Discussion / Haaalp! Everything's Magnified!
« on: 31 Jul 2013, 19:59 »
For the last couple of weeks (possibly after I updated firefox), everything's been magnified in the browser.
When I googled around a bit, it seems that some new update of firefox dynamically changes the size of the stuff on the page depending on your monitor, which to me seems like a very horrible idea, but I guess I wouldn't mind it so much for text (although it'd take getting used to on my usually visited sites), but it does it for images as well, even when I open JUST the image in a new browser tab, which I really don't understand.
I keep my non-widescreen CRT monitor's resolution at 1280x1024, which may seem low, but I am happy with it. However, images that are even just 750 pixels tall are required to be scaled down and I need to click the magnifying glass to view them, at which point I have to use the scrollbars to view them!
I know I am not imagining it, because when I copy the image and paste it into Paint, it shows up smaller.

I haven't had so much of a problem on these forums, possibly because I have gifs and pngs to magnify using nearest neighbour(?) and how most pixel-level art here is posted using tags or something (or possibly because I haven't noticed it yet :O), but it is annoying me on most of the rest of the web, and I'm second-guessing myself as to whether everything just got bigger, or it is normal, or what.

Following instructions on some mozilla help thing (where someone else posted a similar problem), I installed the NoSquint add-on, but while that helps somewhat (but not really) by setting a default zoom level for everything or for specific websites, I'm mostly setting the size by guesswork, and Firefox STILL expands it when I open a picture in a separate tab (NoSquint gives the message that the zoom level is N/A for that page).

So...mozilla's own help thing has been kinda unhelpful, but I hope someone here might have a solution for this?

Thanks in advance!

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