Ghost Song (back on Stencyl -- Warning, big GIFs ahead!)

squeeb

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WOW!! looks amazing!  i just watched the gameplay video!  any way this will make it to mobile?

Jon

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Shared on Facebook. Congrats!

(ugh, I left the link in the post, but it happens...)

twotimingpete

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thanks all. :)

WOW!! looks amazing!  i just watched the gameplay video!  any way this will make it to mobile?

thank you. it's not really a mobile type of game, and I predict headaches if I attempted to get this to work on many devices anyway -- long story short, I hate to say never, but I also wouldn't hold my breathe. It's meant first and foremost as a game you play at your monitor or television.

dripple

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Wow, amazing.  But this is an amazing piece of art!

/dripple
Sure, my games won't get better with all the new features of Stencyl.
But I do have more fun creating bad ones.


MayazCastle Keeper

Tobben2111

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Congratulation well deserved :)

MadManAdam

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Fantastic news!  Couple other questions for you Matt… in your Stencyl file what screen size is your project?  My other question is any chance we could get a peek at a level design document in Photoshop or some advice on how you lay out your levels or break up your scenes?  Thanks again for sharing all this information, I'm taking it in like a sponge.

Fair Share

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This is very awesome indeed, and thanks so much for sharing your story, and congratulations on the steam green light! I had to tweet this one out. This is inspiring to me, and I think to all of us stencylers especially. Your helping to legitimize the software and push it to new levels. Thanks for having the guts to really put stencyl to the test and see what it can be capable of!

TwistedIdentity

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I want an Android port of this game when it's all said and done after Steam. Even if you have to tone down a few things.. :)
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twotimingpete

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thanks guys. :)  @madman initially it was 1920x1080, and, believe it or not, it seemed to run smoothly with that large of assets. I was having some particular issues in my tests with crashes/stability, though, with that large a screen and that many assets, and rather than wait for all of us to figure it out I made a 1280x720 experiment and the issues went away. I still think full 1080p would be doable, I'm not sure yet what it would take to make it totally stable, but it never seemed like the sort of thing that couldn't be fixed. Most things can be fixed, either by us as creators or the Stencyl folks in charge of the toolset, if effort is put in and the issue is isolated.  I stayed with 720p because it looked great to me full screened, upressed with the AA turned off -- it's a tad "pixelly" looking but it suits the game.

If you're going to develop an ambitious title mostly by yourself, you may occasionally need to make a compromise, and I felt more comfortable going forward with 720p when there were so many unknowns and using software that wasn't originally built for what you're doing (as far as I know stencyl was originally conceived more for flash/mobile), especially since it looks quite good full screened. This choice increases stability and makes it easier to deal with memory management since the graphics are smaller and take less memory, which is important in my case since I use a lot of different graphics.

I think most people will be very pleased when they see how it looks on a full screen, it's not ugly or blurry. I run it on my 42 inch TV all the time, and I think it looks really great there.

re. map planning, I lay out the maps on a grid where each rectangle on the grid represents a screensize. Start by envisioning in your head what the game would be like to play, and lay out rooms of the map, on the grid, accordingly. And then start implementing those as individual scenes in Stencyl. It's an organic process, and, in my opinion, once you figure out the basics, making a metroidvania is really not that hard -- at least, it's not any harder than most other types of games (making any game is pretty hard).

« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 08:58:19 am by twotimingpete »

MadManAdam

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Thank you so much for both the information on the screen size and  level/scene planning.  For your art assets are you importing those at 1x or 4x since Ghost Song is developed for desktop?

twotimingpete

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1x only, I don't use any duplicates or anything of any image, I can't imagine how much that'd explode the memory budget.  when you full screen the game it just upscales it to fit. as I mentioned before, I disabled AA, which keeps it looking sharp, and the slight pixelation suits the style of the game.

I *think* disabling AA also gives me some slight performance savings, but I haven't fully confirmed this yet. performance savings and memory management are constant concerns for me.

ManManAdam

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I *think* disabling AA also gives me some slight performance savings, but I haven't fully confirmed this yet. performance savings and memory management are constant concerns for me.
I can imagine!  I'll stop asking questions for now so you can work on the game. :)

I'd really like to know more about using actors as foregrounds. I'm trying to implement a solution for that in my own project with one foreground (the exact size of the screen) which scrolls left according to a Game Attribute. Basically it's supposed to  draw a copy just to the right of the scene as soon as the x value hits 0 and kill itself when completely off screen. However, I'm having trouble with gaps in between (especially when the speed attribute is increased) or the actors being drawn over each other, breaking the game. If any of your experience relates and you had a second I'd love to know more about how you accomplished the seemingly seamless scrolling for your foregrounds.

twotimingpete

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Using actors for parallax scrolling may be possible in different ways, but the easiest way is to set entire layers in the scene editor to have a scroll factor, which is currently only possible with a code block. It requires some guesswork and trial and error to get right, but good results come to the patient. I am very hopeful that sometime in the future we'll have a scrollfactor setting within the scene editor that is reflected visually as you scroll the scene around. That'd make life easier. :D

This is how you do it:



The first number in each line is the layer ID, the second number is the scroll factor. Again, it's going to take trial and error to get the placement of the actors and the scrollfactor both to work together and get the result you want. In my opinion, it's worth it.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate you responding so quickly to my question. I do have a follow up, though, since I'm pretty worthless with code. Is there a way to set the scroll factor to a Number Game Attribute? Or is that asking too much?