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Messages - Titch

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41
games / Re: Tuper Tario Tros
« on: Wed, Dec 30, 2009 »
Yeah, it was plugged by Kotaku.

It's a great concept, just too darn slow. The slowness takes all the fun out playing mario and all the challenge out of playing tetris.

42
games / Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
« on: Wed, Dec 30, 2009 »
The slidiness feels really weird. I feel like I'm driving a car on wheels that has to spend a lot of time speeding up and slowing down, instead of a person running around.

Basically every itteration I do on movement ****s the slidy-ness levels up. So I've given up balancing it on every itteration. You will be able to almost stop on a dime, but accellerating will still take a bit of time (like 1-2 tiles running for top speed).

I don't like not being able to jump on my own. I can understand not being able to jump in a game as a design decision, or by virture of being a heavy robot or something, but the character can clearly jump. It doesn't seem right to have to back track and trigger the autojump to grab a platform that's only one square above my head when I'm standing next to it. Let me jump straight up and grab ledges, ala Prince of Persia.

This definitly, I'm going to add some kind of contextual grab move for platforms that are only 1-2 units out of reach. It's been niggling me for a while, especially because of the number of weirdly shaped bits I have to put into the level to make the level 'work'. The autojump is here to stay though, because I -need- the jump button for shooting and I don't want combat to become a jump evade fest.

The gun system is promising, but a little boring as it is. What about separate keys to aim and shoot? It's strange to me that I can't tell how accurate I am without shooting at it first.

Complex issue.

Item 1: Realism. In reality you wouldn't be able to tell your chances of hitting something until you shot at it. I think possibly the level mechanic in the game is going to play a part in this. So before you shoot you'll have a broader 'guessed' chance of hitting

Item 2: Button count. I don't think games should have more than 6 buttons. If it has more than that then the controls are too complex. There is a Z lock on key, but it should be non-essential unless players want to absolutely maximise their gains. Under the current mapping you can 'tap' to lock on to an enemy as the player won't shoot whilst drawing guns.

Item 3: The processor cost of finding the nearest enemy. Every time the game tries to find a new target it has to check all the enemies on the stage and do a distance calculation which is a little expensive. So I don't want to be checking it all the time.

My last attempt to 'fix' this problem was a fairly big disaster. So now I'm just looking at way of migiating it that don't involve 'check for new targets every single frame'

Smoke trails or tracers would be nice visual disinction between the guns. Aside from the rockets, the guns are rather same-ey.

Getting tired of repeating myself. Current gun art is ALL placeholder. It's subject to change. I don't want to spend a bunch of time coding effects for guns that might change in visual style. There will be tracers, smoke, shooting animations, drawing animation and reloading animations. But not untill I've got the acctual final design of the weapons.

The design of the weapons is -really- important because so much of the game revolves around them, in both gameplay and story, so I don't want to rush anything.

Thanks for your feedback =D

43
help / Re: CPU 80%
« on: Tue, Dec 29, 2009 »
Finally I think 40% CPU usage for empty project is very bad.

It's not very relevant. Nobody is interested in how an engine runs when empty, they want to know what it's like when running a game. What's important is what the CPU usage is like when rendering a lot of objects. 40% for an empty project is not bad at all if adding more stuff to the game uses up less cycles overall. As opposed to using something that has a very low initial threshold for processor usage and then starts to chew it up like crazy when you add things.

My last project ran just fine (30 fps) on my 2GHz laptop with a few hundred animated particles and and a thousand or so objects in game. I did very minimal optimisation on it to. Since you haven't stress tested it, you are basically complaining about something you haven't even tested yet.

Premature optimisation is the root of all evil.

44
help / Re: CPU 80%
« on: Tue, Dec 29, 2009 »
The way Flashes rendering cycle works, with the default frame rate set to 90 it will cheerfully eat up CPU cycles to achieve that regardless of how unnecessary it actually is.

Level Up ran ok on my older laptop, although that was a much smaller (320x240) rendering area.

45
help / Re: FlxKong - a wrapper for the Kongregate API
« on: Mon, Dec 28, 2009 »
WHEW! I finally got this working for Blasting Agent! Using the code posted on Kong's Forum, except, since we're not using Flixel's Preloader, I had to pass it the stage from our other preloader to get it to go. Thanks a lot!

Titch: how long did it take before they gave you badges on Kong?

I got an email from Greg about it about 24 hours after the game went up. Accutually badges took about 3-4 days to set up.

46
chat / Re: Name Some Good Platformers
« on: Sun, Dec 27, 2009 »
I like the design of the 2D Sonic Games. Although they didn't lend themselves to precision platforming the levels where all multi-pathed AND very memorable, with a decent balance between spectacle and playable sections . In fact I've pretty much loved every platformer where Hirokazu Yasuhara had anything to do with the design (Jak and Daxter especially). There is an interview with him floating around somewhere, on the edge magazine site or gamasutra I think that is a fairly interesting read.

Classic 2D Rayman was awesome too, one of those platformers that just 'felt' right. I really miss the classic 2D platformer style games. They just don't make them like they used to. Little Big Planet was cute, but it was the sharing and style of the game that drew me in more than the platforming mechanics of the game, which where a little too simple and loose for my tastes.

On the Indie side of things. Cave Story for level design. The Egg Corridor and the vertical assent level near end of the game stand out in my memory as particularly memorable. Sperlunky for game controls/mechanics. When something goes wrong in Sperlunky not only does it usually unfold with a Rube Goldberg like spectacle, but you nearly always feel like the cause of your own death. Never the character for sliding too far, or the game behaving in a nonsensical way. Oh and Fancy Pants Adventure is the -closest- thing I've seen that give me those old school Sonic 2 playing chills. Minus the multi-pathed levels.

47
I liked it. Fairly similar issues to lithander.

I 'got' what the 'D' packs where for, they just didn't seem to be visually very effective. The sheer number of enemies on screen makes it WAY too hard to be like "Aha! That took less shots!" So you either need to make the effect a bit more easy to spot (do more damage, add an enemy healthbar) or visually more dramatic  (bigger explosions on hit, different damage noises, alternate shot colours)

Also with the Damage count, it might be worth not making it a decimal to make it just 'appear' more impressive. In a subtle and very stupid way players as easily influenced by bigger numbers.

You need to cap the spawn rate on the bigger enemies. If you can't take them down fast enough it can become literally impossible to cut back through all the other enemies they spawn without actually dying. So either the player has to be totally ovverun or have some kind of decent chance to claw back.

48
help / Re: Donations
« on: Sun, Dec 27, 2009 »
That is a good idea, especially for christmas. We should make a Flixel-a-thon :)

Well some kind of nice support for donations, like a little 'Flixel Supporter' banner or something would be nice. Really though, I just appreciat that it helped me get my game out there and wanted to show my appreciation by showering Adam in 1 dollar bills. :p

49
help / Donations
« on: Sat, Dec 26, 2009 »
I want to make donation to the Flixel project in general. Is there a particular spot to do it or can I just use any old AdamAtomic PayPal Donate link?

50
chat / Re: FlxLipSync
« on: Thu, Dec 24, 2009 »
Well as ambitious as I am, I think a game about lie detection (it was part of Apollo Justice, you had to study someone during a statement and spot the physical 'tick' when they where lying) would be an awesome thing to do with Lip Synch, as it adds another interesting subtlety to the character you are studying. There are other things, but thats what lept to mind.

51
chat / Re: Flash Gaming Summit 2010
« on: Thu, Dec 24, 2009 »
Oh god would I love to ever go to something like this.

Too bad I live in England. Miles away from ANYTHING interesting XD.

EXCEPT FOR GAME F'ING CITY!!1

 :-\

I'm confused.

Also, Adam, would you like some emotes that don't have horrible white anti-alising around them? :p

52
chat / Re: FlxLipSync
« on: Thu, Dec 24, 2009 »
Well, the most obvious benefit would be scripted cut-scenes. In the case of some of the games you produce, Titch, I imagine you might be able to use it for NPC dialog sequences. Have a little potrait of an NPC character popup, and apply the lipsyncing to that.

I've been trying to develop this class with the same methodology that is used in developing the rest of Flixel. Right now you create an instance of it, point it to the FlxSprite you want to animate, and then add individual "Phrases" to it. The adding of phrases and the playback of those phrases works similarly to how animations work on FlxSprites. The class stores an array of the phrases you add, and you call them by name to play them back.

It would be cool, but I tend to avoid intergrating things I don't see as essential to the experiance. So for this I would need to have a game focused on having conversations or something where lip synch was really important. Something like a Phoenix Wright esq game.

53
help / Re: Looking for (22050 rate?) music
« on: Thu, Dec 24, 2009 »
You are probably using the wrong method in Audacity to change the sample rate, if it sounds -that- bad.

Are you doing it by going to "Preferances" "File Formats" and tweaking the Mp3 Bit Rate (audacity auto balances the quality based on this) until you get the sample rate you want?

54
chat / Re: FlxLipSync
« on: Wed, Dec 23, 2009 »
Oh this is really cool.

I wish I could think of something interesting to do with it. XD

55
help / Re: Procedurally Generated Islands
« on: Wed, Dec 23, 2009 »
Hello,

I'm trying to come up with some algorithm that given a matrix of empty tiles, would generate a randomly shaped "island" in the middle of it. Something like this for instance:

----------
-----##--
-######-
--###----
---####--
------#---
-----------

Does anyone have any idea how this logic could be implemented?

You could probably adapt a tapestry algorithm (My favourite because they are so darn customisable) to generate them.

http://www.simugraph.com/h-world/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.TapestryDungeonAlgorithms

56
games / Re: Blasting Agent [RELEASED!]
« on: Wed, Dec 23, 2009 »
Sorry about the sponsor being plastered everywhere.  It was a bit interesting for a first time dealing with the sponsor requests, to say the least.  Something tells me I should be more aggressive and persistent in the future with what I allow.

I hope the game play is attractive enough, and the pause screen gets fixed!  Bloody hell.

Game making and flash money making are constant works in progress duders.  Damn the man?


If you don't mind me asking. Did you just use Flash Game License for your sponsor, or did you email individual sponsors. Your game really seemed like a better fit for the 'core gamer' portals like Armour/Newgrounds/Kong/Crazy Monkey. It's important to push for multiple bids to give you more leverage against anything unreasonable the sponsor might ask you to do.

@Markham

This is a good idea. If you give it some thought early on you can also minimize the intrusiveness of sponsors branding (harder than it sounds), or at least try to make it fit nicely with the rest of the game.

57
games / Re: Blasting Agent [RELEASED!]
« on: Tue, Dec 22, 2009 »
Cool game, though the sponsor seems to think they have to stick their logo freaking everywhere.  The game over screen is non-functional, as all mouse clicks cause the sponsor's site to pop up.

I really dislike having to visit the sponsor every time I pause. Doubly so because they have plastered ever last inch of your game with their logo which is kinda uncool. I hope you guys got a good deal cos it's a bit...excessive. :|

I liked the game itself. If you can fix that problem I'll try to play some more of it.

58
help / Re: Download Source For Custom Color Palettes?
« on: Tue, Dec 22, 2009 »
why is this important? i mean, what are the consecuences of not having this in consideration?  :-\

Artistic limitation. If you don't learn your own style and way of doing things you won't develop as an artist, just become better at copying the works of others.

I worked with fixed palette stuff for a very very long time (eight years or so) and it's now VERY hard for me to develop my own colouring style without wanting to default back to the fixed setup I know and love. It really limits the breadth of what I can do art wise.

@Gary

Limited palettes are good, they are the cornerstone of good pixel art. I'm just saying you should define your -own- limited palette rather than working around someone else's, as it gives you the opportunity to develop a style of your own. So you are still only ever using 16 or 32 colours, but you picked them all yourself.

59
chat / Re: Big levels?
« on: Mon, Dec 21, 2009 »

Players will always take the most efficient path to achieving something even if a more fun one is available.

That's a very good point, but I don't see why the most fun and most efficient ways would have to be separate.   That's where scale of the game comes to play.  If you're just making a little platform shooter, there shouldn't really be that many ways of doing things, so a map shouldn't impact your decision making anyways.  (Like I said, even Cave Story didn't need it)  Maps don't matter until you get to these massive open-ended environments like Legend of Zelda, Brawl's Great Maze or Castlevania.  Intuitive controls would be nice, but there comes a point where you're just going overboard. 

Part of games design is trying to bring these two things together. Getting it -perfect- is not an easy task, especially in a non-linear game when you can't be certain of a players skill level or avatar enhancements. Sprawling games tend to hide this by making advancement linear but exploration open ended, so they know exactly order you will be entering areas for the first time (it eases the work on narrative design too).

To me that -is- clever design, funnelling a player through the 'best' most challenging path whilst maintaining the illusion that they have the whole world to play in. Metroid does it twice over with brilliant sequence breaking. Games are getting more and more clever at it all the time. All I'm saying is just because maps work, doesn't mean we should stop there. I want to one day make a game with a map the player never ever needs to look at and STILL feel like they can go anywhere they please.

NB: The Great Maze would be exibit A) in my list of "****ty Sprawling Level Design." It's giant, repetitive and no fun at all. It's the sort of thing that makes me hate people who complain about games being too short, because designers waste their time 'padding' the game with re-used assets, when they should focus on making what they have as fun and thus, re-playable, as possible.

60
help / Re: Download Source For Custom Color Palettes?
« on: Mon, Dec 21, 2009 »
It seems overwhelming at first (I should know, I used a default palette for the whole of Level Up) but you ARE better off making your own in the long run. I point you at tutorials like this one : http://www.derekyu.com/?page_id=224 or this http://www.natomic.com/hosted/marks/mpat/colours.html for doing that.

The rule of thumb is, pick your first colour and then use Hue, Saturation and Lightness for all adjustments on the same scale (Rather than RGB). If I remember correctly. Similar saturations for similar layers, and use lightness for doing shading. Hue for blending two colours together. It's not iron shod, but it's a simple starting point and the best thing about simple rules is the more you apply them the more you learn about how you can break them and get away with it.

In looking for said tutorial I found this:
http://www.antifarea.com/?page_id=177

If you -must- use a fixed pallet as a starting point.

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