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Messages - merrak

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1
Since the next one will be a bigger project I want to make another change, and I know you can relate to that as a writer, is finishing the game, let it rest for a while and play it with fresh eyes. The first draft of anything is shit, as Hemingway said (I looked it up because I always suspected it to be a false quote, but turns out it's genuine). It will be freaking hard to restrain myself from publishing, but I'll remind myself how much better that will be for my career.

I think that's pretty solid advice for anyone. I run into the same problems myself, especially for longer projects when I'm just ready to be done and move on to something else.

2
I'd hate to say this because I know you put a lot of work into the game, and it shows, but I've played the second version for a while now and come to the conclusion I liked the original game better.

I do like the new version, though. For one, the UI changes make it easier to play. And while losing every upgrade when resetting the original game didn't bother me, I do like keeping upgrades to the master nest.

But the original game seemed to have more character. The art and idea was fresh, and it had more humorous touches (like the drumpf nests). The little touches suggest you had more enthusiasm when working on the original game. The balance in the original game felt better (except for the last room). The complexity also seemed better. For example, the different attack types in the new version is a neat idea, but they don't seem to matter at all... so it's an unnecessary complication.

I also keep running into bugs, most of which have been pointed out in the Kongregate comments. Overall I enjoyed the game... but I think you tried to take on too many ideas without exploring any particular one to enough depth. As a result, the balance feels way off and the game feels incomplete.

3
Dialogue system looks good so far!

4
4. ALWAYS make back-ups!
- I actually make a new back-up every single day. Go to file > export and save each back-up with a prefix like "game b001", and put them all in a folder in a safe spot. I also make a back-up of that folder each month just to be sure I will never loose a lot of work.

Definitely--On more than one occasion I was glad I did this. I'd also suggest having an offsite backup (I use both Google Drive and a USB thumb drive)

There's some skill in managing a large project, which is another reason to stick to smaller ones. That said, I tend to prefer bouncing between larger projects. After some time you'll figure out how you prefer to work and what is most effective for you.

One thing that helped me--keep good notes. This includes documenting your code (use the comment blocks). I also keep a folder in my bookmarks for sites people leave that have useful information for research.

5
Journals / Re: Merrak's Isometric Adventures -- Inventory
« on: March 19, 2017, 11:07:22 pm »
A couple of new additions--

The core functionality of the inventory system is complete, and I'm slowly adding object actions. One of the first items I made is an oil lamp you can use to look around in dark areas. Of course, you'll have to find oil. Here's a short video showing it all in action.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/edXXuo9v4lg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/edXXuo9v4lg</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edXXuo9v4lg

One thing I'd like to do is give the player the option to use objects in ways they weren't intended, such as throwing the (lit) oil lamp at a monster. The fireball would deliver a lot of damage--but destroy the lamp.

So this brings up the possibility of the player rendering the game unbeatable. I had the idea of determining the latest save point at which the game was still winnable, and resetting the player to that point (instead of the last save point) when they die.

One way to do that would be to make a graph of all the elements that are required to beat the game, and which ones depend on others. (e.g. you need the red key to open the door that hides the blue key). I can then run A* to determine if a "path" to the game's goal still exists.

For "Temple of Idosra", I can create this graph by hand. For a game using random dungeon generation, algorithms that use graphs (such as lock and keys) provide the necessities to figure out how far back the player will need to be sent.

6
Here's an example of what I mean. That last cell started as open, even though the ones before it haven't been defeated yet. This time it is in Room 7

7
Getting the enemy to navigate around obstacles will require some kind of pathfinding implementation--A* being a common one. I have an extension you can use for this purpose (http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,45313.0.html)

Detecting obstacles between the enemy and its target will necessitate raycasting. There was an extension for this, but it's old. I think this is it: http://community.stencyl.com/index.php?topic=16734.0

Neither of these are simple to implement. Since you said you're new to this stuff, there'll be a lot to read and experiment with. I'd suggest implementing other parts of your game first as a way to gain more experience with Stencyl.

8
New version is pretty cool :)

I ran into a bug in room 6, though. It wouldn't let me into the next room ("You must defeat all the cells first"), but I did defeat them all. The last cell in the room started out empty, though, so I never had the chance to fight it.

9
Ask a Question / Re: does stencyl have an affiliate program?
« on: March 19, 2017, 11:31:55 am »
There was a long discussion about it a couple of years ago (http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,41587.0.html). I don't know if anything has changed since then.

10
Journals / Re: Merrak's Isometric Adventures -- Inventory
« on: March 15, 2017, 09:12:22 pm »
Levels are coming along nicely :)

Tiled is a useful tool, but I'm still thinking that I'll need to make my own in-game editor in order to set up switches, doors, chests, and other interactive elements in the levels.

Attached are a couple of levels as they look in the editor and in-game. I'm also working on making some new tiles so that the rooms have more variety. I'm taking some inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright's --A Fireproof House for $5,000--

11
Ask a Question / Re: Line of sight without using Box2D?
« on: March 12, 2017, 09:48:59 pm »
Now that I'm back at my regular computer, I took another look at what I did two years ago and realized it wouldn't really solve your problem. What I did was use a 2D array to store raycasting results, but I still used raycasting.

I might end up having to work this out myself in the near future (unless someone else contributes a solution)--but I definitely wouldn't use blocks. Raycasting needs to be as fast as possible, and the trade-off for the ease and flexibility of blocks is extra overhead that isn't necessary for this application.

12
Ask a Question / Re: Line of sight without using Box2D?
« on: March 12, 2017, 09:31:39 am »
If I weren't on a phone browser I'd pull the link for you, but if you look through my isometric adventures thread in the journal forum, I go through the math involved. It's not on the first page though. I don't remember exactly how far into the thread you need to go, but it is a post in 2015.  If that's what you're looking for, I can get you the blocks I used when I land... since that older script did use design mode.

13
Ask a Question / Re: Sound Effect Continuously Playing
« on: March 09, 2017, 06:42:41 pm »
I built a standard SFX manager behavior to handle this sort of thing. It's simple to put together. Make a custom block "play sound (SFX) once". The code should add the sound to a list and remove it after a short delay (you can also make this delay a second argument). If the sound is in the list, don't play it. Otherwise, play it and add it to the list.

14
Ask a Question / Re: sending id file along with http post request
« on: March 08, 2017, 11:15:25 pm »
What I did was write a PHP program that accepted the incoming data as an argument. For example, use the HTTP block to send "http://www.yoursite.com/highscore.php?score=5000". The PHP script handles the database connection.

Keep in mind that my particular application had no need for real security. Securing the site so that, say, nobody could post a fake high score (or worse) is another matter.

15
Ask a Question / Re: sending id file along with http post request
« on: March 08, 2017, 10:15:48 pm »
This is the reference I used when working with mysql and Stencyl: http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/php/php13p1.html. It will walk you through the steps to set up the connection to the database.

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