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Messages - John Hutchinson (Johntron247)

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games / Re: Duckz
« on: Wed, Jul 25, 2012 »
I don't feel like filling out surveys but I did try all of them and I like #2 the best.

games / Re: BOTRUNNER (a poorly planned platformer)
« on: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 »

games / Re: Dodg'a Virus - Prototype
« on: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 »
Great job!  This seems good as-is.

No clue about your slow down thing.  I played through 3 times and it ran smooth for me.  Did you look into garbage collection?

chat / Re: Global Game Jam 2012 is comming!
« on: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 »
Ok, I actually AM getting sound... I just needed to jack up the volume to ridiculous level.  Moving this to my desktop, which has studio monitors hooked up that I can pump up and hear you just fine.  Good luck guys!

chat / Re: Global Game Jam 2012 is comming!
« on: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 »
Awwww yeah! I'm there. 1 hour into coding right now. Not using flixel though.

Watch us livestream :P

Cool idea.  We can't read anything written on that whiteboard though.  Can you move the camera?

...Also, I'm not getting any sound and it'd be cool to hear what you guys are talking about. :D

chat / Re: Global Game Jam 2012 is comming!
« on: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 »
Dang! Sounds like fun and a great learning experience.  I'll have to keep better informed in this area.  Anyone know of a good resource for keeping up-to-date with jams, conferences and other meetups?  I know there's a section for that on the tigsource forums but I'm wondering what else is out there.

games / Re: Bullet Time Ninja (on Kongregate)
« on: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 »
I personally like love the mechanics, and the controls aren't TOO far off (but they do need work).  The way the game plays now feels very unique, almost like you're in direct control of time itself, and I believe that adds to the charm of the game... and indirectly explains why ninjas seem to have super-quickness. :D If you change the controls too much then it won't feel so much like a puzzle game, which I feel would be a step in the wrong direciton... even if it IS a ninja.  Why? Well, because I noticed the fun I experienced wasn't centered so much around moving the player around (like in an action game). Instead, it seemed to be focused almost entirely around finding ways to avoid or crash through obstacles (the problem solving / puzzle aspect).

Several times I got a sudden burst of joy from having figured out how something worked and then used that new skill to get past an obstacle (that first long stretch of spikes is a prime example).  Whatever you do, you don't want to take away from that experience because that's where the fun is.  However, I do agree that right now it's too hard for players to even GET to that joyful aspect.  That problem has been hinted at by a lot of people already and I think that more attention there could make this game a huge hit.

Right now the controls are just not intuitive and are hard to use as well. The game could drastically benefit from more attention to teaching the player how to use the controls, and also a few clues about how to use those controls to solve the first couple puzzles.  Consider pictures in the background showing arrows and which buttons to use (hold this button and press that other button)... kind of like what they did in "Braid".  Simplifying the controls a bit would also help, but they'd have to be very clever changes designed to make the core mechanics more intuitive and easy to use without ever taking away from the mechanics (the puzzle-feel).

The point I'm trying to make here is that the game has huge potential and is fun even now, but it does feel off-balance in terms of playability.  Players are finding it frustrating, so you need to figure out how to help the player get to fun part: where you use the controls (after learning them) to overcome obstacles (the player experience).  Currently, I think the "learning" part is completely missing and the "using" part needs some work as well.

I wish I had more useful suggestions that you can actually put into practice, but I don't/can't.  That part is in the designer's hands.  Anyway, this is how the game comes accross for me.  I hope my blabbering on helped in some way.

games / Re: Bullet Time Ninja (on Kongregate)
« on: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 »
Cool that you're thinking positively despite an early version being stolen.  If it's been a while since you talked to FGL, you might want to upload the newest version and message someone from FGL to let them know that there have been several improvements since the leaked version.  I'm quite sure that sponsors will be interested, even if there is an old version out there. If FGL won't help you then please consider contacting sponsors directly.  I completely understand you wanting to "cut your losses" but I believe that there's still potential to "maximize your gain" with this game.

games / Re: Bullet Time Ninja (on Kongregate)
« on: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 »
I agree with paala.  This is a great game a deserves sponsorship.

games / Re: Run and Shoot Game.
« on: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 »
Good points Umz Games. I agree with all of that.  I think increasing the bullet's range and making up/down movement faster will also help reduce the impossible/frustration factor and allow for longer plays.

games / Re: Run and Shoot Game.
« on: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 »
Pretty cool!  One thing I would do is make the player tumble, flash red, or blink when you get hit.  Also, define a no-hit timer so that you can't lose three hearts all at once.  The problem is that the "end of game" feels really random right now.  Also, sometimes it's not possible to shoot all of them, so making it so that you can't lose too much when it's not your fault will help reduce frustration.  It took me several plays to even notice the hearts and why I kept dying.  After I realized what was happening, the game became much more fun. The only other thing I'd suggest is to change the "restart" key to space instead of enter.  There's no need for an extra button here.  When the game is over, set a timer and ignore any input for a short time.  That way you can use the same button, keeping everything simple and fluid, and also eliminate the risk of an accidental restart before they see their score. All-in-all, the game was simple and fun.  Great work for such a short time.

help / Re: Performance boost. What is the best method ?
« on: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 »
Seriously!? If you implemented all this then you should have gotten some very noticeable gains. Would you mind posting up a new link for comparison?  With a fresh look after whatever you did we may be able to get an idea of what's still a problem, and what isn't.  At very least your FPS should be more steady, closer to either 30/30fps or 60/60fps, and the number of object updates should have dropped considerably.  I could speculate on why you're still having the hiccups but more information would improve accuracy.

help / Re: Help with the math
« on: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 »
I get that you want the player to automatically jump to the next platform but exactly how that happens isn't clear.  Can you draw it out or explain it in more detail?  Is there a specific reason you're staying away from the usual gravity (+accel.y) and jump (-vel.y) system?

It appears that you already know how to make a character jump:  so that's why I'm asking what's different about your current idea

btw, the link in your signature is broken

games / Re: SOPA Jam Games made with Flixel
« on: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 »
Get it? "Flashy"! hehe.  Good one camasthecat

help / Re: Performance boost. What is the best method ?
« on: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 »
Great replies so far. 

Try setting the game/flash framerates to 60/60 and also 30/30.  I've noticed that flixel performs best when game/flash fps are equal, and especially at either 30 or 60.  I've found this to be true regardless of computer speed, game performance, or browser used.  Also, a game like this doesn't REALLY need to push 60/60 anyway, so if you set it to 30/30 then whatever drops still occur will be less noticeable. 

It'll also allow the virtual machine's elastic racetrack more time to do its thing without interrupting the game loop. Try them both and see which setting works better for your game.

Then, when you're done optimizing the game as much as you can, try it again to see if you've still got it right.  When I started optimization on my current game I got a huge "smoothness" improvement at 30/30.  Then, when I was done with other optimizations (mostly), the game was running much smoother so I checked again and found that I could now afford the 60/60 (actually, it ran even smoother at 60 now).

Also, DEFINITELY do the flixel adjustments that c023-DeV suggested with the links - those will help a little, but combined they will help a lot.

Those background are pretty darn wide.  You might be able to get away with smaller ones.  Test it and see if the performance boost is worth it.  I'm thinking it probably won't be worth it, but it doesn't hurt to try it - sometimes results may surprise you.

The only other thing that immediately springs to mind is garbage collection - that should always be a primary focus and tends to be the #1 "smoothness" optimization you can make in any game coded in a language with GC.  Make sure you're using a registry so that you can recycle everything more easily.

If you've already done this, do a search on keyword "new" and cleanup anything else that's still creating new instances during the game loop.  Unfortunately, flixel does this quite a bit, so there's a lot of potential optimization here.  Believe it or not, even really small objects like FlxPoint make a difference.  It's true that the GC doesn't clean until enough memory is wasted, but even small objects have to be marked, which means bigger trees to traverse, and longer marking/cleaning cycles (== bigger hiccups).  So, yes, take the time to change
point = new FlxPoint()
point.x = 0;
point.y = 0;
anywhere after the constructor and create() methods

The last thing I'd mention is that performance tends to be the worst with IE and Firefox, so make sure you're testing on all major browsers as well as a few really slow computers.  When I'm unsure about something and working on performance, I like to make several builds and then test them out using all browsers and various computer.  Make sure to take notes!  It's easy to forget an important piece of info and you may find yourself thinking it works one way, only to realize that it doesn't.  In those cases its very helpful to review your notes to see if your new hypothesis is reasonable.  Retest to verify.

Additional research:

I hope this helps.  A little jitter should be fine, and is normal with flixel.  As goshki mentioned, this is mostly due to blitting (direct pixel-memory manipulation/copying) and integer approximation of floating point numbers.  However, this is not what I'd consider a "jitter".  These are "hiccups" and they need to go pretty badly, so the game can be enjoyed to its fullest.  It IS a pretty fun game, BTW.  You're not too far off. You just need to find a cure for hiccups (easier said than done).  Good luck and happy coding!  :D

games / Re: Dodg'a Virus - Prototype
« on: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 »
Neat proto.  Kinda fun even at this early stage.  It seems you need more screen space though.  The difficulty is probably too high as-is, especially with how fast the objects are and how much your guy is randomly moving about.  Maybe make the graphics smaller to maximize real estate - then you'll have more space to move about and the speed of objects won't matter as much.  Also, I'd suggest giving the player a secondary objective: like, maybe give him stuff to collect for points or to do something cool with.

games / Re: Sleigh Run [Finished]
« on: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 »
This game is making excellent progress.  Keep it up!

help / Re: Box2D + FlxCamera following the player?
« on: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 »
Wish I could help but I haven't used Box2D with flixel yet.  Do your fixtures extend any of flixel's object classes or are they completely separate?

help / Re: Help needed with music.
« on: Mon, Jan 16, 2012 »
That's what I was thinking but usually you get an error message.  With that said though, sometimes the file does get past the error-checking and simply doesn't play (or plays strangely).  If you have something like Adobe Audition then you can try loading the file then saving it as MP3, 44100 Hz, Stereo, 16-bit, constant bit rate of 96kbps, and uncheck the box that says "include markers and other meta data".  You should have no problem playing an MP3 with those settings in flixel.

help / Re: The best way to implement dialogue in games
« on: Mon, Jan 16, 2012 »

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