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Messages - st.

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Hi KC,
Thanks for the game.

I would like to join the others in congratulating you on your first achievement: It is a healthy start which shows good game-maker potential. I think that It might be developed alongside your writing, as p&c-AG design can open new storytelling perspectives, in general.

By now you probably are very aware of your game´s weaknesses. Let me know if you would need any assistance identifying them. I will only refer to one major aspect, cohesion; and we could start a dialog from there, if you like. But before I do, let me propose that we see my comment as referring to a personal preference, rather than to a fault.

Cohesion: ShowHide
For me, the game´s elements started to work together only some time after reaching the end; in my mind. I had to realize what it was all about, first.

I would have liked it better if the game´s idea would have been approached through a gradual build-up in my awareness, while playing the game, instead of coming as a surprise at the end; or rather, beginning with the end. And I believe that, by trying to make the player aware of the game´s idea through the various game elements, not only would everything have worked more harmoniously, but some minor weaknesses would also have been, implicitly, avoided.

There is one category of minor weaknesses that is of particular interest in connection to the above: bits of the protagonist´s attitude that could stand in contradiction to the main idea. One example is treating the friend´s house as that of a stranger. Shouldn´t it rather be evoking some memories, even if only vague ones? (And I´m refering to the furnishings, of course, not the books´ contents.) For the case when you agree that this would have been a better choice, I add that this change would be one means of making the game´s idea available during the time of playing.

If keeping the game´s idea a secret is a must, then there is an alternative way to achieve cohesion, while not (gradually) sharing it: richer and more dynamic interactions, both between the protagonist and the game world, and between the protagonist and the player. As it is now, not much is happening in the game to keep the player engaged.

This is probably obvious, but I will say it, if only to avoid an abrupt ending: Without enough cohesion, the various game elements stand individually out more, and that may lead to them being appreciated only as such; instead as one game.

There was one compensating factor, at The Chrysalis: that you did not try to achieve too much for a short game, KC. And this may be off-topic, but I would like to say that I enjoyed the game for its modesty, the most.
I hope that you will find this comment interesting. It is also meant as the encouragement of no more than a fellow game-maker.

I also wrote a short and formal comment on the game´s download page. I hope that you will find it fair.

Games offer alternative means of experiencing life. What each of us really seeks is the complete satisfaction of being. Games can be focused on allowing us to express and experience more and more of ourselves. That is not the commercial way, but you should be able to make both money and a difference.

´The more´ in players would be brought out by ´the more´ in developers; or the need for it. The means of storytelling and interaction make that possible, but cannot alone achieve it. As far as expectations from form can go, what matters is how much the whole of game elements matches ´the more´. Therefore, I think that the (polished) old can be as good as the new for occasioning a truly profound experience.

Traditional p&c adventures proved that they can unite beauty and logic, and that makes them very suitable for the purpose I mentioned. It also makes the genre strong enough to undergo surface changes without losing identity. Most of these would probably be aimed at better getting and keeping the player engaged. But to bring out ´the more´, perhaps only a change in the approach to using known game elements would be necessary.

Completed Game Announcements / Re: Sleeping Beauty
« on: 06 Apr 2018, 07:17 »
I made some changes. On the AGS Games download page, the Download button is linked to the new version´s archive. Please read under --- Latest Version --- on that page. You can find more information about the changes in the Update.log file. I hope SB will seem more approachable now.

Completed Game Announcements / Re: Sleeping Beauty
« on: 05 Apr 2018, 07:35 »
:) Guess what! The first part of the intro uses Say(). Your tip about the Game.TextReadingSpeed variable was just what I needed for that piece of code. Thanks again! I learned something useful.

Completed Game Announcements / Re: Sleeping Beauty
« on: 04 Apr 2018, 16:14 »
Hi Crimson Wizard! I am so glad someone with your skills and experience stepped in to lend a hand! It´s hard to think of everything by yourself... I will sure try to put your idea to good use; and I say try because the end result will probably not remind of your standards of quality.

Just for you and other programmers: I used Overlays combined with timer and timer limit variables. My quick solution is to greatly increase that timer limit. The player will then have to move the conversation to each next step manually. But still, it will take me some time to implement this. Apparently, to have conversation animations and speech share the timer limit variable was not such a great idea XD

I hope that my decision to call the game options ¨-blur- Settings¨ meets your approval. There will also be a change to the Stuff.txt file´s Credits section :)

Thank you for your advice, CW! I gratefully accept it.

Completed Game Announcements / Re: Sleeping Beauty
« on: 04 Apr 2018, 08:40 »
Thank you for your opinion, blur

With regard to the protagonist´s movement: Yes, it is very slow for my usual taste as well. I don´t suppose any arguments as to why it is justified, theme- and settings-wise, can by themselves compensate for that feeling of being restrained in interacting with the game world. It must be that the game asks a price of patience from the player. Hopefully, other elements of the game will make that price seem reasonable.

It came as a surprise to hear that the speed of speech can prevent someone from reading everything... I thought I gave each speech line enough screen time. Hm... I did count on the speech being able to pull the player in strongly enough to make following all words easy... It appears that the price asked of the player may go up with involvement demands... What can I say to you and to those who share your opinion... Maybe, treat SB as something special? Give it time? Or return to it when you are in an unusually generous mood? Provided that you believe SB can offer you some compensation, of course; beside my gratitude :)

UPDATE: I decided to implement two switches - one for increasing the protagonist´s speed and one for decreasing the speed of conversations. The end result will probably look like a patch up job, but that hopefully will be enough for most people´s needs. It will take me a while to achieve this. Once ready, an alternative download link will be made available. Thank you, blur, for your assistance with beta-testing!

Completed Game Announcements / Re: Sleeping Beauty
« on: 02 Apr 2018, 09:39 »
You´re welcome, Cl...

The game is made with AGS. What made you think it isn´t? In any case, anyone can verify that it´s an AGS game by pressing v or the more usual Ctrl+v; while playing.

Racing game? You mean with cars or the like? XD I don´t think anyone playing SB could possibly get that characteristic speed feeling!

I guess it´s okay to call SB something in between adventure and other genres. I think this post, leaving the presentation style and length aside, fits here just fine. Of course, I can only bow to this site´s moderators´ decisions.

And to anyone else: I must apologize for not being able to respond quickly to your comments. I will try to take all into account and make time to return here. Thank you :)

Completed Game Announcements / Re: Sleeping Beauty
« on: 02 Apr 2018, 08:52 »
Quick note that didn´t fit anywhere else, inserted after having reviewed the requirements of this forum:

SB is probably not an adventure. I would be pleasantly surprised by anyone´s choice to see it as such, but I can´t expect that. Like most of my previous productions, SB approaches adventures in style, somewhat, but its spirit is more that of a work of art.

Completed Game Announcements / Sleeping Beauty
« on: 02 Apr 2018, 08:50 »
Before you start reading:

This presentation is a speech held before an imaginary audience, most likely formed of people like myself. It´s probably verbose and I may have been crossing, now and then, some of the socializing boundaries you are familiar with. I hope that getting over such inconveniences will not seem difficult... My intention was to make everyone feel comfortable. If there will be comments to answer to, I will try to adapt to the style chosen by each of you. Thank you.

_/ _

Welcome to Sleeping Beauty's Chat Lounge! On your way to finding a good seat, please take a copy of this presentation to use as a cushion. Either to make your playing experience more comfortable, or to start a pillow fight - there are, perhaps, enough good and less-so points to Sleeping Beauty to expect any mood :) - the presentation proposes to be faithfully stuffed with notes on all the game aspects that you may want remembered. It had to be small also (if it feels long, just fold it, okay?), since the Lounge is, first of all, a place where I hope to enjoy your conversation. So do let likes and dislikes be known, and, maybe, if it inspires you in any way :)

-_- -_- -_-
  -_- -_-

With a small game world, only 4 screens wide, Sleeping Beauty features both realistic and fantastical woods-related elements, which occasion a total of 20 challenges. It's up to you which of them you take the main character through, as you give shape to what might be called the development of the narrative.

Sleeping Beauty is the tale of a guy who takes his girlfriend to see a gorgeous mountain scenery that he remembers back from childhood. They traveled by night, as their plan was to be at the special place at sunrise. Their car was left at the base of a mountain trail and, as she was asleep, the main character decided to carry her in his arms to the destination. But his journey proved to be much longer than he expected, as the once familiar signs kept failing to lead him correctly. And the game starts from here. As in a dream, he encounters characters, and other local elements, which belong to the world of childhood fantasy and express the magical approach to life from back then. It is an ease of being he can't relate to anymore, and this is the cause of all the failures suffered throughout his wondering. That being said, you should know that you aren't supposed to succeed at the challenges :) I hope this won't be a cause for annoyance to anyone - in depth, the situation reflects the shortcomings of being human, at having to face the demands of life in the usual absence of (good) inspiration. In any case, you can look forward to the ending sweetening things a bit :) 

Some challenges take place at NPCs; I called them "static". The game is designed to end after you complete 5 of these; and there is only one ending, which can take place in any of the 4 playgrounds. I have chosen the encounter with the Old Man - the first character you meet in the game - for the first screenshots, meant to illustrate aspects of static challenges.

As you can see, the static challenges are based on (predefined) dialog, the course of which is, now and then, influenced by your choices; or that is attempted, in any case. You are offered each time 3 options, described through images; the options are, of course, based on what has been said until that point of the challenge, as well as on the main character's background and personality. You will find the main character's approach placing him into one of these situations: mentally detached, manipulative, unsuccessfully creative and playing along, while unprepared. Often, your character's words are accompanied by animations; at the Old Man, these depict smoke taking various shapes. One aspect you may have to get used to is seeing the character's speech and other pieces of text drawn right on the background.

Other challenges consist in passing through obstacles which you come across, as you follow the winding trail through the woods; I called these challenges "dynamic". They have no influence on the course (or, rather, the duration) of the game. I have chosen the encounter with the Stars' Rays for the next screenshots, meant to illustrate aspects of dynamic challenges; these may bring back some memories to those who witnessed the birth of Sleeping Beauty :) (It was the spring of 2015...)

The dynamic challenges represent action sequences where you are given, now and then, a short time to choose the foot your character will step with next (which sometimes gives his direction); as you try to avoid being touched/hit by the moving obstacles. After that short time, a choice is randomly made for you. As you can see, the interface here is described through an image of a mouse device - to the main buttons of which, the two feet of your character are associated. Collision may cause him to stop, or stumble and there is an echo in the lady's radiance.

You can tell which elements of the scenery you can interact with from the description you get when moving the cursor over them; your character has to be close enough to clearly see what you're pointing at, of course. The next screenshots illustrate this; again with reference to the Stars.

With a last screenshot, I take you back to the Old Man's to show the cursor having changed shape at [4] a point of exit from the screen/playfield. (The "hand" became "footprints".)

You shouldn't be looking for an inventory, because in Sleeping Beauty no items are used. Your character's arms are busy carrying his lady, throughout the game. There are no puzzles to speak of, either, not in the usual sense. One of the gameplay goals, from the beginning, was to make the player's involvement optional; the game as less demanding on the player as possible. And Sleeping Beauty grew in the direction of offering an experience of sitting with things, rather than of matching skills against. I often felt, while working at it, that I was building a music box, the melody of which was made of the different flavors of the interactions.

Throughout this presentation, as well as in the manual which comes with the game, I kept referring to the main character as to a he, separate from the lady carried in his arms. And they are separate, as far as the gameplay and the development of the narrative are concerned. But as mentioned in a reply to a compliment received back in the time of Sleeping Beauty's inception, they are, actually, one being; the human being, in general. I just threw this in as a hint for those who would like to reach for a deeper meaning to their experience with the game. And I will say no more on such lines at this time - not to sound mysterious, but because Sleeping Beauty was meant to be enjoyable (or acceptable) even without going into deep thinking :)

One thing about the main character everyone will probably have some difficulty with (I have to adapt to that each time...) is that he moves quite slowly; out-of-sync with the world around, often. This is one point where I was forced to put my priorities in order. And so I took my chances and let this bit of extra weight on the player's shoulders, so that the idea of the main character - and with it, his naturalness - would not get hurt; having him speed around just didn't seem to work... For more on this, please take some time to browse the game's short manual ("Stuff.txt"). You may also want to look in there for a few other references against which to check your impressions about the game :)

Here, at the end of the presentation, I call your attention to the audible side of the game. Other than one melody, played now and then, there is no other use of sound; and I believe the way text is used in the game will probably also make you think that (more) sound would have made following what goes on difficult :) ...Voices would have been nice though... About the melody: it was chosen to reflect the course of the main character's quest, and, with that, his inner state; it should make itself heard after the main character was idle for a while, outside of challenges.

I close by expressing the wish that you'll have a good time discovering Sleeping Beauty, and that it will succeed in becoming a pleasant memory.


My admiration for Heatwave continues to grow. I have recently remembered the game and realized more about it. This realization may not have come when I played the game. In part because the exterior of things is often very distracting. In part because the concern for harmony of expression was not yet crystallized in my awareness. I am currently working at a project, the idea of which is akin to the idea of Heatwave, although mine is much simpler, almost one-sided. The relationship idea-story is also similar with that in Heatwave and I think that the study of Heatwave can be very instructive for all makers of games based on a profound idea. Mind you, I am Not implying that making games just for fun is bad or inferior - I'm just marking the difference between having and not having a profound idea because the approach to making the game is different and because, in the case of a game made for fun, the player doesn't have to dig in understanding deeper than the surface of things. I will write a few words here about harmony, understanding and the relationship idea-story. Since Heatwave inspired me I think it is a more proper place than a blog post or a forum thread about my future game. Besides, I don't know yet if my game will achieve the same as Heatwave (in terms of what I am about to say) :)

Heatwave allows 3 levels of understanding. The first level, obvious when you play the game, is that of the main character in the game world. You follow the main character as he goes through a series of events and this constitutes your adventure. The first level of understanding is possible because the story is coherent and told gradually; that second quality is (also) responsible for allowing the player to connect to the main character. You don't even need to realize that the game has an idea in order to enjoy it: the story and the idea are independent. And yet connected! The second level of understanding is that of the player's inside vs. the exterior of the game world; my first post on this thread was based on the second level. This level is made possible by the fact that the elements of the game world and the events of the story are also symbols for the relationship between a human being's self and the exterior world. You may reach this level by taking a step back and wondering what is it all about. The third level of understanding is that of matters which can only be realized by the self in awareness, separated from exterior things. At this level the game world and story are an allegory, the assembly of interconnected symbols; in alchemical terms the metaphors are the life that the human soul connects through to the symbols. I think you can only reach this level some time after having played the game, when the impression it made on you has matured. The only "problem", generally, with this level, regardless of the player and the author's capacity for comprehension, is that the player can only guess what the author hints to. For example, the Nephilim and Death (ending) may point to the weaknesses of the body and mind (beyond the bad habits) that are to be overcome in spirit? Anyway, once you reach the light you don't much care for shape anymore :)

You may have noticed that the recipe I proposed for achieving a game like Heatwave became less clear as the level of understanding spoke of increased. Like someone said on this forum (and this post is also meant to deal with some loose ends from our discussion, at least from the public's point of view), once you are aware that more is possible you have to do something about it. And that is to demand more of yourself. We cannot compose a profound idea as we do with the story or the graphics. All we can do is dedicate ourselves and work. The rest is given to us, if we are ready and suitable. Sometimes it takes going through some serious life hardships to prepare. It is the way of this world, to be at most with a foot on Earth and one in Heaven; the way imposed by the animal body and animal socializing (hints about some characters in Heatwave). Games like Heatwave may be necessary in order to inspire in players the enthusiasm for reaching for more in spirit; my titles so far were rather about the pains on the path. I also see in games the reminder of a possible different, better world. This would be the world of spirit that each of us can reach individually; and subsequently share in the physical world the influences of the former world, thus causing real and solid good changes (as opposed to patching up done so that we can somehow stand each other). Heatwave describes realistic interaction with a realistic world and this is why it can relate to us on all 3 levels of understanding. The contrast between the virtual world where the protagonist plays and the outside world where he deals with the ice cream truck is similar to the contrast between the spirit world and the physical world. The more we grow, the greater the distance between Heaven and Earth is and the more we are able to materialize. It's a life long journey and, I mention them again for a closer to complete picture, we can only be thankful for those other games, the games made just for fun (within limits of decency, of course), the smaller joys of life that we can indulge in, now and then, for refreshments :)

added on 26-04: OK, the way I could say things is an obvious mess. Bad structure! Also, I wrote about more than I announced in the first paragraph... I tried to justify some confusing points about the 3rd level of understanding by explaining that it cannot be handled with the intellect, at least not entirely that intellect adapted to dealing with the exterior world. But I drifted towards other matters. The main point is that a harmonious game can help you reach inside yourself up to that 3rd level of understanding. After that, whatever meanings were implied by the author through the game have achieved their real purpose and don't matter anymore. Harmony is achieved through care for proportion and interconnection - the latter not only between different elements of the game, but also between the game and the player. In addition, the author must work with an idea connected through symbols to a story (the events that take place in the game world). The idea generally is about the relationship between the self-intellect pair and things from above, relationship established entirely on the inside of the human being; some choose to think in terms of the left-brain-right-brain pair but important is that inspiration can be more than the effect of brain activity. Absolute harmony could perhaps never be achieved. We can only strive to have as few missing links as possible and keep trying to improve our expression :)


After advancing as slow as lazily possible (while maintaining the appearance of working at a project) I managed to complete the prototypes of all Rooms (all is a big word in this case... you'll see). By the time I announced that the game concept is developed enough, it was already greatly different from what I initially had in mind (idea and story remaining the same) and the consequent demands for more complex animations, game mechanics and interface indicated quite a long period of labor. But I didn't know how comfortable you people are about MAGS being a place where projects are only started? Anyway, now it's sure that Sleeping Beauty is not going to be ready by the end of April. The new plan is to have in the first half of May one of the two screenshots required by a GIP thread. A second screenshot would demonstrate more complex aspects of the game than walking and talking to npcs and so it will come some weeks later. Working at the same pace I expect to finish by the end of Summer (2015!). A rather long time for what will be a very short game, albeit with some replay value. I feel like saying more about it but it's probably better to wait until the GIP thread is up. Some parting words now, as this is probably my last return to MAGS-April. Thank you Hobo! The idea that started it all came in response to the challenge launched by your topic. Thank you Atelier for hosting me at MAGS, again! And thanks to all participants and to all that expressed an interest in this MAGS - the workshop I'm growing fond of is here also because of you!

Thanks for the explanations! So there was structure :) I wasn't very satisfied with my comment, with not being able to understand more at the time when I played the game. I think I failed by looking for the idea inside the story. If this was the intention of the authors then I must resume my conclusion that this game (as a vehicle for an idea) was something rather personal, aimed only at those people who already know what the idea is. In my view it simply isn't discernible from the game because of all the non-connecting. And your explanations don't give it away either :) My earlier stories were more or less guilty of the same approach. But at some point (marked by a rather long review made on this forum) I realized that the harmony between us and the higher things available for us - that we may attempt to express through a game - can only be reflected and inspired through a harmony in the whole of the game (connection required :)). In other words, we should help the player that is willing to understand (but is not ready to go as far as wondering why he or she failed) - even more so if it is expected that what we say is perceived as new. Because important is not our particular relation with the said higher things, but the relationship of the player (beyond the particular form taken), that we can only remind of; so the game ultimately must get out of the way. I think that this approach through harmony is preferable to Zen (I think they are called) riddles like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?". Of course, the short interval available to make BlindToSiberia may rather be suitable for a Zen riddle :) I stop here knowing that you will receive my opinion, or rather this look into a future beyond our past stories, in the same spirit of working side-by-side that the workshop MAGS inspires.

While trying to figure out what it was all about, as a whole, it occurred to me that this might be a collage of ideas. It seems to say: I was born into this world and I feel that something is amiss, but there's also something equally good to strive for - but it does it in a rather confusing way, scattered behind fragments of storytelling. Perhaps the overall effect of keeping the player disconnected from what happens in the game world was your intention. The contrast between the block-like surface of things and emotions (here as unclear as they can be) thus works in an opposite way to that in IAMJASON: you're not allowed to feel. Also, here the main character is the only one moving, passing over the surface of the game world rather than through it. The idea might be that the protagonist is disconnected, a seeker where the other people only conform, but the player isn't allowed to connect to the protagonist either! (at least not until the ending...) Perhaps this is meant to express the fact that the protagonist isn't in good terms with his worldly self. In any case, it was rather daring of you to test your audience's willingness to take part in something less clear and limiting :) "It's bad", a player of my TheDreamJob felt "compelled" to say - the usual player doesn't like to get hurt, to share your pains! (even if there is some light beyond that...) BlindToSiberia will perhaps remain an isolated peak, next to the more accessible, broad ridge that was IAMJASON, something harder to climb - only to obtain the same view? For those out there that feel the need to project their inner struggle with the unknown onto a great effort, it can now be done in xil's style :) Making the easier trip to IAMJASON may be recommended first, though...

Casual and sophisticated... What kept everything so well together for me was your use of words: clean, well balanced, well timed and in tune with the flow of the game. I think it's exemplary! What I wasn't comfortable with was the music and I felt that an introductory cut-scene would have been helpful in moving the player quicker pass the familiarizing with the environment over to the action part. Thank you for Power Nap and please take into consideration the possibility of translating its style to a long game made from such intense, short interconnected episodes :)

It make take a while to arrive at an actual screenshot, but here is something just as good - this is how one of the 'Rooms' will look like, full view and possible in-game-like view:

The wind brushing her hair, the snoring boulders, the dripping wall, the spider hiding behind the rock and the stars playing with their rays look back at you and say hi!

I think we all agree (at least, considering what has already been said) that not everything is worth planning. To know what is may be a matter of experience and self-determination (if I'm lazy, I do more mistakes). I think that lack of planning or bad planning hurts more when you have to work against a time limit (e.g. for MAGS) and you only have available a few hours each day. You can only set something like a weekly goal based on your assessment of what has to be done. It really isn't nice to happily want to start something only to find out, for example, that you did not take in consideration one minor detail in the story that required you to change the way all backgrounds look (e.g. ...on second thought, it's rather embarrassing to give the example from my current project :)). About the means used to manage my work: when you write, more ideas come and I think this is the main advantage over holding everything in the mind - you "work" with the ideas; but if you don't hold a lot in your mind you find it harder to motivate yourself (you feel estranged from the project).

Actually, the wizard is Leonardo Da Vinci.
Thanks :) I don't think I understood any word in french back then! Anyway, it would be nice to see those characters in a game...

Nice characters
Thanks, again :) But there's only one character! The man and the woman will not be apart throughout the game. And she'll be asleep. Obviously, he won't be able to use his hands :) The idea behind the game is one interpretation of the well known tale, but besides that and the character there won't be much else in common.

My project advances really, really slow. The game concept is sufficiently developed to allow me to start drawing, but that isn't one of my strengths... According to my finish-in-time-for-MAGS scenario, I would finish the static components of all rooms, the interface and the walking frames of the main character by the end of this week and I would have a screenshot for you. But I can't promise anything...

A few things that I'm certain of: the action will take place in a forest; there will be fantasy elements, but the theme is somewhere between Fantasy and Contemporary; there will be more action and less talk than in my previous creations. I'm attempting to get even closer to the adventure genre this time :)

counted st twice
I'm sorry if I let my fans down but I don't plan on entering 2 games this MAGS, sorry... Actually I'd be happy if, at the end of April, I'd have enough to start a GIP thread. But there is hope: I recently managed to convince myself to resize a big game world to something extendable (in case of success(not MAGS success, game making success(well, something I won't be ashamed of...))) :) Oh and for something to tag my project's third day photo with: Brewing over an idea-story-game_world triangle (no more concept art yet; but there's a rumor that I finally made a tree drawing that I was able to like! Yes, there will be trees.)

@Stupot+: this reminds me of a french comic strip from my youth featuring a wizard's apprentice that kept wanting to go back to sleep while the wizard kept playing jokes on him...Disciplus Simplex or something like that...

tantalizing? For me MAGS is workshop rather than contest :) I hope this has to do with what you meant.

Anyway, for your interest you get some concept art :)
This is the main character, a man figure carrying a woman figure in his arms.

On the lines of 'how is the project coming along?', I already made a few steps in the directions of the story and the game world; I also decided on the interface :)

I'd like to do something too. So far I have the idea, the title and maybe the music. By the way, the title will be "Sleeping Beauty"; I hope that doesn't upset anyone's plans. March has been a time of starting projects, none I could be excited about though. Now I finally had an idea that is good enough :) I know I'll definitely make the game, although it may not be ready in time for the contest. I decided to get it done without pushing myself as hard as in the case of TFS. Ideally I'd have enough time available to add rather than cut parts. I look forward to doing other things differently also, like using less overwhelming speech :) Ultimately I'd like to achieve something that more of us can think back to with pleasure.

An April of blossoming to all!

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