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Topics - esper

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Critics' Lounge / game GUI
« on: 02 Sep 2009, 18:44 »
Hey guys. I'm working on my new super secret project, but I wanted to drop the GUI on you for C&C. Whaddaya think, and what can I do to improve it? The tone of the game is kinda dark, like most of my others, so I'm not sure about the bright colors... the main character has sticky notes all over his office, so I figured it was appropriate. Should I maybe make them all yellow, or perhaps desaturate a bit, to get more of a hollow, darker feel?

Also, I can't think of how to do a matching inventory menu. Any ideas?

(note: the BG is not a screenie of the game, it's a capture from one of my older games. Also note that I made the font from my own handwriting.)

General Discussion / Back... again
« on: 30 Aug 2009, 15:00 »
Hey everybody.

So, a long time ago, I came in here and I was all "I'm back, yo! I'ma start posting and being a part of the community again!" And then I spent the next few years wandering the countryside (really). Hopefully I'm really back this time, and to commemorate it, I'm working on a super secret project. Keep your eyes peeled.

Love you guys! Nik, ManicMatt... where my posse be at?

Hmmpph. I always wanted to be the guy who selected a blitz topic. I didn't want to have to because no one else wanted to. Ali asked me to helm this one, since I got an honorable mention last time.

What is a Photoshop Saturday?

Photoshopping isn't drawing a completely new image -- It's editing images to create a new image, such as editing one image or combining several images. The contest usually lasts for a fortnight. Also, you don't have to specifically use Photoshop -- Paint Shop Pro, MSPaint, or any other programs can be used, even Mario Paint.

(I question the possibility of Photoshopping with Mario Paint, but the above is a cut 'n' paste, so...)

Ready for the challenge? Here it is...

Photoshop a scene from your favorite media using scenes from another favorite media!

By this, I mean, take a scene from your favorite movie, television show, or music video, comic book, graphic novel, comic strip, or video game, and use it to show a scene from your favorite movie, television show, music video, comic book, graphic novel, video game, or book.

Take Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, for example, and photoshop him into World of Warcraft. Take Hulk Hogan and make him perform for Amy Lee in an Evanescence music video. Take the characters from Peanuts and show them acting out a scene from Stephen King's "The Stand."

Hopefully, this will be fun. The one rule I'd like to enforce, though, is that there is some sort of image manipulation or compositing and not just an already-existing picture with word bubbles, captions, or subtitles.

The comp will last a fortnight, as usual, from Saturday to Saturday two weeks hence (which actually gives you 15 days).

Ready? Steady? GO!

Advanced Technical Forum / SUGGESTION: Room Information
« on: 29 Mar 2007, 23:58 »
I'm sorry if this has been asked. It's my first time (at least as far as I remember) making a suggestion, so bear with me. I'm sure there's probably a very good reason why this hasn't been done yet, as it seems simple enough.

First: Why can't there be a place to rename rooms in the room's properties, rather than right-click>renaming them in the room editor?

Second: It would be nice if you could reorder the rooms in the room editor. I just spent a month making sixty rooms for my game. Now, I have to figure out which order they need to go in and then import them. It would be so much easier if I could just import them all in the order they are saved and then reorder them by dragging them around the editor view.

Like I said, these suggestions probably aren't worth the 3k of space on these forums they're taking up, but I think it would make things a little simpler for everyone.

Help me out. This is pissing me off severely.

Hoping to one day be an author with at least one of my books in every home in the country (OMPTIMISM IS FOR LOSERS!!!) I spend a good deal of time in Microsoft Word. I'd love to get into something else, but I'm so used to Word that I just can't adjust to the look and feel, however similar, of things like Lotus or OpenOffice or Works or any of the other commonly-used word processing applications available for Windows.

However, as is the case with all Microsoft-made products, four howler monkeys and a macaque of dubious parentage and unconventional eating habits created the program (I just accidentally typed "problem") by hurling their own feces at each other, and the code was then derived by a team of experts by staring at the aftermath of their Bowel Royale (see what I did there?). I'm hoping someone is on hand who knows how to translate said fecal matter turned code and can give me a hand with something, and possibly, in addition to giving me a hand in stopping it, could possibly explain why it's happening in the first place.

I normally have my Formatting and Word Count toolbars open, although I often open others and then close them as needed. However, a couple months ago, I opened the Annotate toolbar, and then closed it. Now, every time I open Word, it's open in it's own toolbar which I then have to close in order to give myself a nicely sized and comparatively uncluttered workspace.

How do I get rid of it for good, and what is the reason it tortures me so? I know it sounds petty, but after a couple months, having to close it every time I open Word, which is on average around 10-15 times a day, is really starting to peeve me. I'd leave it open, but it's starting to really grate on me for little reasons, such as reducing the amount of page space I have to view, creating a distractingly cluttered workspace, and causing my page scrolling to have less time before it jumps a whole page.

Assistance would be so appreciated.

I'm sorry to post this, but in a way, I'm not. I know that if every n00b with a modem started posting threads about their favorite movie, this would eventually become a rather lousy place to be.

That having been said, I just watched a movie that shattered me. Shattered me, for God's sake. I tremble to remember it. I'm an avid horror fan, and have watched, unflinching, THE most terrifying horror films of all time. I normally forsake the slasher movies and go with the more cerebral, deep movies that are designed to leave you with dread long after you turn off the TV. But just last night I found a movie in a dollar rack at Hasting's that I've been meaning to get for a while. I brought it home, put it in... and it ruined me. It was almost two hours long, but as soon as I finished it, I did something I've never, EVER done before... I watched it a second time through immediately. When I did, the opening scene suddenly made terrible sense to me, and it crushed me. I've seen movies about horror, but this isn't a horror movie... it's a movie about despair, and it shook me to the very fabric of my being. I've found myself getting misty-eyed at odd cinematic moments, like when Data found his cat in the wreckage of the Enterprise at the end of Generations... But I can seriously say as a non-emo adult who's very secure in his masculinity that I wept continuously throughout the entire film, both times, and today, when I tried to watch it again but found that I couldn't bring myself to. In fact, I'm having a hard time typing this as I remember it now.

I feel strange saying these things about a simple movie. Especially one that I would normally eschew ("It can't have a good, meaningful storyline! It's just a violent teen flick! What is this, some kind of cheap Red Dawn ripoff??")... But there was no way I could resist posting this about a movie that touched me so profoundly. So...

Has anyone else seen Battle Royale?

General Discussion / Psi Arena
« on: 10 Feb 2007, 13:09 »
Hey all. Two years ago I dropped my laptop and cracked the screen really badly. I got a new one quickly and haven't messed around with that old one for a very long time. I just found it and was going through some of the files on it when I found this old gem. It's an old game I made a few years ago that I think is really quite cool. It's just a rough skeleton, so right now all you do is fight indefinitely, but that's really all it needs to be cool. I mean, I was sitting there playing it, and I was like "Holy crap! This is so cool! I can't believe I made such a cool game!"



So anyway, since the game is totally bare bones, let me explain a bit.

You are some crazy psionic warrior in the future whose sole job is to fly around in some experimental game show where a swarm of killer robots is constantly trying to kill you. You will die eventually (first of all, because that's what's expected to happen on this gameshow, and second, because I never got around to creating any more of the game), but see how long you can stay alive in the arena.

Controls: up moves forward, down moves back. Left and right strafe.
mouse in the direction you want to face.

Left mouse button fires a ball of psionic energy in the direction you're facing.

Hold left mouse button to raise a psychokinetic shield. you can't do anything else but move while the shield is up, but it can help you move to a more strategic location.

Right mouse button lets you use your psychokinesis to grab objects. This includes the robotic sentries you're fighting and the signs you see floating around your starting position advertising the show. While holding objects (keep the mouse held down) you can wield them like weapons by dragging them across the screen and smashing them into your opponents. You can actually swing the signs around and let go of them to throw them at your enemies, but the robots have thrusters that will let them take control once you have released them.

Hold down the right mouse button while not selecting an item to use your PK in order to build up your psionic energy. The black bar in the bottom right will begin to fill up with blue, and when it is completely filled you will release a giant ball of energy that will destroy any and all enemies it touches. Be careful, as this bar takes a while to fill. You can still fire while doing this, but if you accidentally move your mouse cursor over an object you will grab it and have to start over.


i would someday like to start working on this again, as I feel it's really cool and kind of innovative. If anyone's interested, let me know. I'd like to add more characters to play, each with different kinds of psionic powers, new enemies, new levels, bosses, and the addition of a story mode and possibly two player cooperative mode. BONUS: Extreme accolades to the first person who can tell me where the theme music comes from.

General Discussion / Science Fiction for Nitpickers
« on: 08 Feb 2007, 06:38 »
I was just thinking up some puzzles and the idea crossed my mind of having my main character come across some kind of time-stopping technology (don't worry, there are no spoilers here, I decided not to use this in my game) in order to stop a missile strike that would wipe out the entire city. When I thought about grabbing what should be the hot-to-the-touch missiles to turn them back on their source and having the text read "They are unusually cold for rocket-propelled missiles," I got to thinking... you wouldn't be able to survive if you could stop all time around you. Heat is simply the result of friction from the vibration of the molecules in a substance. If time were to stop completely, this vibration would no longer exist and the entire area effected by the time-stop technology would be zero degrees Kelvin, AKA absolute zero, and the character would die instantly.

Does anyone else have any cool sci fi that just wouldn't be possible, and why? Or a rebuttal for the one I posted (don't just say "Duurrr, you can wear a special suit that keeps you warm, herf derf," actually have some science to explain it)?


Ever heard of Inignokt and Err from Aqua Teen Hunger Force? Well, they're terrorists now. Damn this friggin' moronic country...

Just because C+C is full of webcomics these days, I figured I'd throw together something just for kicks. This is just for everyone to enjoy, not to critique, which is why it's here and not in the Critic's Lounge.

The last frame has something for everyone... If you're an atheist, bam: funny ha ha without even trying. Otherwise, it's a shot at how the people who are supposed to be portraying a 33-year old Jewish man are always 20somethings with blonde hair and blue eyes.

...Enjoy, regardless of your system of belief!


I've just finished working on a shooting gallery for my new Alpha - X game where your character can practice his shooting skills before going out into the real world. Your robotic assistant is supposed to tell you how you did when you leave the range. Here's how I coded it:

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. if (GetGlobalInt(496)==1) {
  2.   if (GetGlobalInt(499)==GetGlobalInt(498)/2) {
  3.     spottalk("Wow, Rhys! You didn't waste a single shot! Good job!");
  4.     return;
  5.     }
  6.   if (GetGlobalInt(499)-10>GetGlobalInt(498)/2) {
  7.     spottalk("Ummm... How long have you been doing this? You sure wasted quite a few shots!");
  8.     return;
  9.     }
  10.   if (GetGlobalInt(499)-5>GetGlobalInt(498)/2) {
  11.     spottalk("Well, good job, Rhys. You missed a couple shots, but you still managed not to waste too many trigger-pulls.");
  12.     return;
  13.     }
  14. }
  15. if (GetGlobalInt(496)==1) {
  16.   if (GetGlobalInt(497)==GetGlobalInt(498)/2) {
  17.     spottalk("You hit just about as many as you missed... Looks like you should try it again.");
  18.     return;
  19.     }
  20.   if (GetGlobalInt(497)<GetGlobalInt(498)/2) {
  21.     spottalk("You hit quite a few more than you allowed to get away. Good job, Rhys.");
  22.     spottalk("Maybe just a bit more practice and you'll be ready for the real thing.");
  23.     rhystalk("Hey, Roger! You forget, you're talking to a professional here!", 21);
  24.     return;
  25.     }
  26.   if (GetGlobalInt(497)==0) {
  27.     spottalk("Wow! You didn't let a single one get away! Those smashers had better watch their backs!");
  28.     return;
  29.     }
  30.   if (GetGlobalInt(497)>GetGlobalInt(498)/2) {
  31.     spottalk("Oh, my, Rhys. That was a terrible job! You let more get away then you even hit! Looks like it's back to the drawing board!");
  32.     return;
  33.     }
  34.  }

Sorry for the messy code... That's just how I roll.
global variable 497 is the number of targets that got away from you. variable 498 is the number of hits you made (for some reason I can't quite figure out, every time you hit one of them, this score went up by two, so that's why it's divided by two here). variable 499 is the overall number of shots you've taken. This code is in the Enters Room After Fadein code, and global variable 496 is the one that tells the game you've just come from the gallery.

 Anyway, I'm having hella problems getting this to work right.

--Firstly, the RETURN; code, which should just be backing you out of the conditional block, seems to be backing out of the entire rest of the code. Your robot should tell you both how you did with the number of shots and the number of hits, but after telling you the first set he doesn't tell you the second.
--Second, there's a block of code at the end of this that resets all the targets, all the timers involved with the targets, and global variables 496, 497, 498, and 499. However, when you go back to the range, you still have the same score from last time, and some targets are sometimes still on the screen.
--Tertiarily, when I took out the "return" phrase, the robot would go down the list and say a couple different things that he shouldn't have said, even though the conditionals weren't met for him to say it.

So, what am I doing wrong?

SEE THE DEMO HERE: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/games.php?action=detail&id=852

UPDATED April 1st, 2007

Welcome to the year 2195. You are Rhys Dryden, detective for the department of Bureau 6 responsible for hunting down and bringing to justice dealers of the deadly new virtual drug, SMASH. You have been transferred to District 13 to assist them in a difficult mission: one of the Bureau's own, a Cleric for Bureau 7 named Zadok Allen, has changed sides. Not only is he dealing in the drug, but he is also assisting the other local SMASHers to smuggle information out of the worldwide database known as Alpha-X to create a counterfeit system accessible to those less-than-law-abiding citizens he has joined with. The time has come to take him down.

Alpha X is the sequel to the recently-developed short "Alpha-X: Project SMASH." It features better, hand-drawn graphics, a much longer (full-length) story, and some other special features...

   -First person adventure
   -gunplay system... the spacebar arms and holsters your ion blaster, and clicking fires.
   -access to the whole ALPHA-X system, granting you knowledge about the many characters, locations, and ideas in the gameworld
   -a DRIFTER (pictured below), with many functions including a scanner which can help discover otherwise undecipherable clues
   -a deep storyline with twists and turns aplenty.

This is the lovely Katherine Jackson, secretary for Bureau 6 HQ in District 13.

Meet your robotic D.R.I.F.T.E.R., Roger. He'll become your assistant and your best friend in Neo York.

The government-sanctioned church where you learn "the truth..."

Current Progress:
Story: 100%
Background Art: 100%
GUI: 100%
Character Art: 40%
Cutscene Art: 0%
"Specialty" Scripting: 95%
Regular Scripting: 45%
Sound Effects: 98%
Music: 45%

I'm making a first-person adventure game with some shooting elements. I am trying to make a bullet-hole as a "character" that, when you shoot something, will appear in the object. Is there any way to do this if, say for instance, the player decides he's feeling particularly sadistic and decides to unload twenty shots into something?

General Discussion / Welcome Back!
« on: 17 Jan 2007, 21:12 »
Welcome back, everybody!!!

...wait, no... Strike that, reverse it... I'M the one whose been gone.

I just wanted to swing in here and say hi to everybody. I've missed being a part of the forum, and with my tabletop RPG ready to be published and my first full-length novel completed and currently in the mailboxes of a ton of literary representatives, I have time to come back and be a part of the goings-on around here.

Everyone please check out my new "welcome back" game, Alpha X: Project SMASH, available

Yay! I'm back!! For good this time!!!

I'm having a bit of a problem.

In my game, I have a default overlay GUI (it appears like a screen around the room); a GUI in the shape of a small robot in the corner that you click on to access a menu screen that gives you access to the inventory, save/load/quit, and your different cursor modes; that aforementioned GUI that pops out of the robot, and a "scanner" GUI that pops up and covers the screen with a semi-transparent filter that makes it look like the room is being scanned, along with some other nice graphical functions.

My problem is this: when the two latter GUI's are up (the scaner and the menu bar), the game animations freeze. I want the game to continue running while you are using the interface. How can I do this?

Completed Game Announcements / Alpha X - Project: SMASH
« on: 13 Jan 2007, 02:15 »
Well, it didn't take me very long (especially since I worked nonstop for three days and used a GUI I had already previously written), but nevertheless... Here is the completed game:


I really hope everyone likes this, because I want to make a bigger game using this idea and I wanted to see how people liked this before I undertook a large-scale project... so please, post any and all comments and criticisms. If anyone would be interested in helping out with background art and music in the sequel, please drop me a line.

Alpha X is a first-person cyberpunk adventure. For more info and screenshots, look here:


enjoy  ;D

AGS Games in Production / Alpha-X : Project SMASH
« on: 11 Jan 2007, 04:56 »
Welps, I've been gone for quite a while, but I've decided to make a new game in AGS. Be introduced to the world of ALPHA-X.

You play as Rhys Dryden, a detective working in the drug investigation department of Bureau 6 in the year 2195. Your job is to track down users and dealers of the dangerous drug known as SMASH. Now, reports are coming in that Zeke Russell, the only SMASH dealer ever to give you the slip, has killed a member of your team, and it's time to bring him in for good. Investigate the seedy underbelly of Neo York City, uncovering the illicit ring of drugs, prostitution, and murder.

 In the office of the chief getting your assignment.

 The downtown scene in the old sector of Neo York.

Alpha-X: Project SMASH is actually the prequel to what I hope will be a much larger game with more features and a much deeper story.

General Discussion / Look who's coming to dinner
« on: 12 Apr 2006, 08:54 »
Hey guys! I just finished the core rulebook of my ESPER pen and paper RPG and have sent it off to my editor! It should be ready for me to start working on the final draft in less than a month, and the editor is shooting for a July publication date! Yey!

So that means I'm back, although maybe not in the respect in which I was before, since I still have work to do on the campaign setting books to follow the core rules. I just figured I'd give you guys a screenie of my work computer at the hotel so you could see who's coming in today.

That's right. Agent 007, a United States president who's been dead for quite some time, and our very own paranormal investigator!

See you guys around.

General Discussion / I HAVE GLORY!!!!!
« on: 03 Mar 2006, 06:19 »
I have excessive glory!!! I just signed on with Silven publishing to start work freelancing a series of ESPER pen and paper RPG's and supplements! Rock the heck on!

I just thought I'd mention something to the community. Not like anyone eagerly awaits my next posts with as much relish as you might wait for, say, a good punch in the mouth, but nevertheless, I figure I'd let you all know why I might not be around too much. I'll still check up on you guys every day, but I won't open my fat mouth on such a frequent basis.

BTW, I'm having a little bit of a problem working out the combat system. I want a style of play that revolves more around role-playing than game mechanics, and as such, I'd like to try to do away with initiative and some other things that make RPG combat seem "mechanical" and unrealistic. If anyone has any ideas, or might be interested in some playtesting, let me know.

Critics' Lounge / Short Horror Story for Publication
« on: 12 Feb 2006, 09:13 »
Hi everybody. I'm really rather loathe to post this here, as most of what goes into the critic's lounge is beautiful artwork, animations, or music, and anything that isn't is normally crap. Thus, by my own admission, I'm posting crap, since this is neither beautiful, nor artwork, nor audible.

I am a writer. I love to write. I would love to become a full-time writer, although this is one of the most difficult careers to have outside of as a hobby in the US. Only, I think it was somewhere around 15-20% of all writers in America live off what they make from writing.

But I'm a writer. I'm not an artist, or a musician. As such, this story is probably the best thing I will ever put on the Critic's Lounge, unless I post another story. I would REALLY like some nice, detailed responses, as I'm not just putting this here to find out what you guys think about it, but because I am going to try to have it published in a professional paying literary magazine.

Thus, I submit for your approval, "The Axe of Theseus," a short horror story.


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