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Messages - ElaineMc

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Competitions & Activities / Re: MAGS 2008-08: Minigames
« on: 31 Aug 2008, 02:05 »
Evaluation: Lazy!


But, still, who can resist
Spoiler: ShowHide
a good game of whack-a-rat

I'd say it was mandatory! No other way to see "your own" facial expressions and body language, which is one key way to bring internal thoughts across visually.
You can also make a judicious use of character portraits.

It does warp the first-person perspective concept a bit, but I think most of us are fairly familiar with our own facial expressions; so I think it's fair to assign the same knowledge to our in-game avatars: that is, the in-game you isn't seeing "yourself" from a third-person perspective, but from a memory of what "you" look like. If that makes sense.

Modern setting, alternate universe, roughly 10 years post-zombie-apocalypse; game is first person (in this section).

Hoping for commentary on:

- General playability. Are hotspots easy to spot, are the fonts readable, are there unexpected slowdowns, etc?
- Internal consistency. Do events seem to follow a reasonably logical pattern?
- Bugs. My code seems to be working well. This makes me suspicious. There are three "mid-game" endings available. Did they all fire? Are GUIs appearing where they shouldn't, or failing to appear when they're needed?
- Overall tone and feel. Is the writing too heavy-handed, or too vague? Is the exposition handed out too heavily?

Thanks for reading!

I believe I can answer part of this!

Secondly, i would like to reposition all the text that is displayed so it is out of the way of the main scene, maybe at the bottom of the screen and so that i can fit 10-15 words across horizonal, instead of the small box that appears at the moment.

DisplayAt is your friend for this bit-- it lets you specify not only the location of your text, but also the wide of the text displayed. It's a great effect, and gives you total control over where each bit goes.

Removing the white box-- what speech style are you using?

I had a similar problem with an MP3 file-- turned to be either corrupted or in an odd format, but I didn't figure it out until I tried to open it in a regular player.

This probably isn't what's going on here, and you may already have checked for it, but thought I'd throw it out there, especially if all other sounds / music play properly.

Limping Fish:

Clicking on the close up of the bathroom takes me outside.

It's actually supposed to do that; looking at the bathroom door explains why, but I may move the explanatory text around a bit-- maybe add to both look and interact, but set it to only fire once, so you don't have to repeatedly read it....

Generated in the warning file after exiting the game:

I hadn't even thought to check that kind of thing-- I'll fix it right away!


The cabinet in the main office area, the one by the main entrance.

Okay, got it-- I'll fix that today, too.

I personally don't examine 'obvious' inventory items, like guns.

The photo is actually the trigger there-- but your point about a duty list is well taken. It would probably also let me streamline the code, too.

Thanks to you both for the corrections!

I didn't encounter any bugs aside from the closeup shot of the cabinet staying open if you switch angles before closing it.  I do think some of the writing is a bit heavy-handed in terms of making it obvious that something is going to go wrong, and I don't think that forcing the player to examine their inventory to advance the plot is a good idea (this actually kept me from moving forward until I re-read your post) but I think the game shows promise, and being a fan of zombies I will play it when you are finished. :)

Thanks for the input! I'm glad it ran all right. I'd begun getting seriously twitchy, thinking over how I'd re-work all the graphics!

Which cabinet in which room? I thought I'd fixed all those, but evidently not quite.

re: Foreshadowing - Yyyyyyeah. I think I'm due a bit of fine-tuning. This turned into a rather more serious game than I'd originally meant it to be. The first draft had more of a slasher-movie vibe to it (and that's still on the table, sometime-- I'm thinking "Red Hood: Werewolf Hunter!" or something like that), and this story has developed into more of a what-when story.

As in "What happens (individually and societally) when you've spent most of your adult life learning that each individual is responsible for the actual, physical safety of the people around them?" and "What happens when death becomes an everyday occurrence?" * That first question is one I tried to hammer in pretty heavily, but I may have to redraft some of that text, too. I know it sounds like a lot to try and squeeze in, but I don't want to so much have a philosophical debate in the game, as to use ideas like that as sort of a framework for plot.

re: Inventory - I thought I had something foolproof there! I figured, everyone checks their pockets / purses before they go about their daily business; and in an adventure game, I figured an inventory check would be a natural. I'll think that over a bit more.

re: Zombies - Just finished drafting the first zombie encounter (the hemicorporectomized guy in the above screenshot), as a matter of fact. Glad you're looking forward to it; I'm pretty fond of the zombie genre, myself. Nothing like a bit of escapism....

(* I'm drawing from society in the 1910s, when life expectancy was still fairly low compared to today, and almost any family would have lost an immediate member (sibling, parent). In a lot of today's narratives, a death in the family was a plot point; in narratives of the time, it was a pretty common occurrence.)

I'm sorry I don't have time to beta-test this, but I had a play through and didn't experience any of the problems your initial tester reported.

Thanks for the welcome & the kind words, as well as the feedback. I haven't sorted out what the problem is here, yet-- my big concern is that I'll overdo the filesizes and make the game run like molasses; then again, the average systems are a LOT more powerful than they were the last time I did something like this (what is that? Four years ago now?), so it may be misplaced worry.

Am also running around reading up on theory and discussions in the forums-- so much to catch up on.

The first beta version of "chapter one" is available, and I'm hoping I can get a few beta testers for it.

My initial tester reported some fairly worrisome results: slowdown during room transitions, slow-moving cursor, a disappearing GUI, and a text input box that refuses to accept input. If anyone could give this a runthrough, so I can start trying to figure out what's going wrong (as well as any other input or criticism), it would be greatly appreciated.

Issues under consideration:
- Slow cursor responses; undue CPU / memory useage.
- The use of a crosshair instead of an inventory item when an item is selected (item still appears in the inventory box in the GUI). This seemed like a good idea at the time.
- The use of comic-book styling.
- Information dump! I've tried to provide all necessary info fairly painlessly, but it's still a lot of text.
- Currently, room transitions = instant, to remove one possible source of drag.

Here's the link to the file itself (.rar format, ~2.7MB): http://finalgirl.us/ags/OutriderBeta.rar . I can supply a .zip file if that's preferred.

One-sentence summary: Ms. Delgado is single-handedly manning a watchtower that surveys an island that is still overrun with the undead.

Mini-walkthrough: To advance through the "plot", you need to: look at the items in your inventory; interact with the launch at the dock; and check the computer functions. There are only two "endings" available at this point, obviously.

Edited to add another (edited for size & gore) screenshot:

This game is in the very, very early stages of progress, so it doesn't quite fit on the Production board. The plotline is storyboarded out, and much of the gametext is written, but I'm still fiddling with style, and could really use some input.

This isn't going to be a long game, and it has a very simple plot.

You are temporarily staffing a watchtower on an island, due to illness of the staff member assigned to the duty. The watchtower is on a small island in between the mainland and a larger island; you're watching the larger island and the water in between. The community on the mainland is counting on you to protect them.

A storm is coming in fast, and communications are being temporarily shut down between your tower and the mainland. But that's not really a problem. After all, you just have to wait it out (an estimated ten hours) and full communication will be re-established.

Of course, ten hours can be a very, very long time if something goes wrong-- and since this is an adventure game, something will go wrong.

There is no sound or music at this early date, and the graphics are NOT mine at all-- I've built all the sets and the main character in the Sims 2! I'm not much of an artist, and I really want to concentrate on storytelling; sorry if this is considered "cheating".

Download here: [REMOVED - no longer current!]

There isn't much to do right now-- I just wanted to provide a general feel for how the game is supposed to operate and what it's generally looking like so far. You can poke around the main room, take closer looks at most areas (excluding the computer and the desk drawers), and pick up a useful item in the bedroom. At this point, there's nothing that can kill you.

I'm thinking I may remove the choose-your-own-look option, though-- the coding is starting to be incredibly cumbersome, as well as inflate the filesize. We'll see, though.

Any feedback, notes on gameplay or things that broke, etc, are appreciated.

Thanks for your time in reading this!

Hints & Tips / Re: Armageddon Margaret
« on: 27 Jan 2007, 01:12 »
's kind of a blast from the past, for me.

Just put up the walkthrough here: http://overactivei.net/ags/am_walkthrough.htm.

Thanks to all who've downloaded and played, and put up with the many flaws in this thing!

I work at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, handling everything from volunteers and community service workers, to answering the crisis hotline, to counselling residents, to putting together classes on domestic violence and general life skills.

But if I could do anything, absolutely anything, I'd go back to school, get a degree in teaching English as a second language, then move back to Budapest and teach. It was an incredible amount of fun when I did it as a total amateur, about eight years back, even though it was inredibly difficult.

General Discussion / Re: I hate Steven Seigal
« on: 17 May 2004, 18:25 »
Check out Jabootu - for all your Steven Seagal mockery needs.

The Patriot! http://jabootu.com/patriot.htm
On Deadly Ground! http://jabootu.com/ondeadlyground.htm
Half Past Dead! http://www.jabootu.com/hpd.htm

All hail Jabootu, "the muse of Bad Movie creativity"!

It's official: I really have to start learning how to script properly. I have a general idea of how text scripting works, in terms of else/if, or expressions, and multiple conditions [thanks to the tutorial]. What I want to check is to see if I have the right idea in terms of combining these elements.

Example situation: Mary needs a book. John knows that Sue has the book. Sue is willing to sell it to Mary, but not give it to her.

If Mary talks to Sue before she's talked to John, she doesn't know Sue has the book; and Sue doesn't know Mary needs it.

If she talks to Sue after talking to John, but before having the funds, Sue tells her she has the book Mary wants, but won't give it to her for free.

Mary has to talk to John, and must have money, before she can buy the book from Sue.

Okay, if I understand how this works, my code would have to check for multiple conditions, as well as use else/if to decide what happens under a given set of circumstances. What I'm not sure is quite how I'd set it up.  Would it be something like this?

Global Integers: TalkToJohn, set to 1 after talking to John, set to 0 before.
Inventory: The sum of money is the first item in her inventory, making it player.inv[1].
Dialog topics:
1 - Standard greeting, since Mary doesn't know Sue has the book.
2 - Mary knows, but doesn't have the money. Sue tells her how much the book is.
3 - Mary knows, *and* has the money.

My code would have to checkfor multiple conditions:

if ((player.inv[1] == 1) && (GetGlobalInt(TalkToJohn) == 1)) {   
   DisplaySpeech(MARY, "Sure, I'll sell it to you-- here you go. That'll be fifty Reality Dollars, please!");

However, since I have three possible outcomes, I have to check for three possible combinations, correct? That would mean using else/if. So then, I might have:

if ((player.inv[1] == 0) && (GetGlobalInt(TalkToJohn) == 0)) {   
   DisplaySpeech(MARY, "Hi, there.");

else if ((player.inv[1] == 0) && (GetGlobalInt(TalkToJohn) == 1)) {   
   DisplaySpeech(MARY, "Sure, I have the book, but it's going to cost you fifty bucks.");

else if ((player.inv[1] == 1) && (GetGlobalInt(TalkToJohn) == 1)) {   
   DisplaySpeech(MARY, "Sure, I have it, and I'm willing to sell. That'll be fifty Reality Dollars, please!");

Am I on the right track here? Do I at least have the correct general idea? If not, where am I going wrong?

General Discussion / Re:how old are YOU?
« on: 12 Apr 2004, 19:48 »
32 here. Very interested at the wild range of ages.

General Discussion / Re:Baby crying help...
« on: 10 Apr 2004, 02:30 »
At two weeks, it's really hard to guess what might or might not be up. If he were older, I'd bet he was about to start breaking teeth; at this age, it *could* be colic; more likely, he just hasn't adapted to, well, *anything*. There's a good chance you'll just have to wait him out. That being said, there's also a good chance that he'll just mellow out all on his own, given a little time.

To survive the whole thing, one thing you can do is for the both of you to try swapping off sleeping shifts for a little while-- with the use of earplugs, if necessary, and napping during the day, when he goes to sleep.

Competitions & Activities / Re:April MAGS
« on: 09 Apr 2004, 17:46 »
Isn't it? Sadly, none of it's mine-- it's all RON work. I only edited things.

Competitions & Activities / Re:April MAGS
« on: 07 Apr 2004, 19:28 »

Once you use the axe on the door, you should have only have a few things
Spoiler: ShowHide
(a lantern and a book)
left in your inventory-- one of those things should work on Margaret.

I'm glad you're enjoying it; I really had a lot of fun putting it all together.

I think it's a remarkably dynamic design, with real appeal to the happening, hip, "now" Interweb surfer.

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