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Messages - TomEllard

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1
News / Re: Are you an educator?
« on: May 10, 2012, 06:02:51 am »
I'm really sorry to have taken so long to get back here. (As well as running the games class I'm primarily responsible for video production teaching and a heap of administration tasks that I wouldn't bore you with.)

In fact one of the students told me about the Newgrounds competition, a few of them are going to enter, and it reminded me to report back.

The 'pinball/physics' challenge went really well and I think everyone came up with something clever for their 'first ever computer game made in 3 weeks'. Most of them started by looking at the kits for advice and then trying a variation of an existing idea but then putting a spin on it (e.g. Asteroids but with poisonous spiders). Some of them looked really gorgeous as well. If they give permission I'll make a page with some of the better outcomes.

The 'adventure' challenge was more mixed. Stencyl is really good at tiles and play fields made up of small elements in arrays - but it's not great for large images. The guys that made side scrolling adventures did OK, but the Myst flip screen games hit memory limits very fast. This was partly my fault for providing a Myst style example that had run OK in GameSalad but I guess doesn't fit into the way the Flixel engine 'thinks'. One girl tried to use the video loader to make up dynamic backgrounds, which wasn't a great success. In general, loading external images as backdrops and then trashing them for gained memory is a procedure that needs more investigation.

Oh yeah, and LOTS of problems with sound that was mostly VBR MP3 files.

So their final challenge is up now and we'll see what they come up with for their own freestyle work.

To answer Rob's questions - I am teaching at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, which is part of the University of New South Wales. I inherited the Games course when another staffer quit and was horrified to find it WAS ALL BORING THEORY!! Being a non programmer I had to find an authoring system I could use, which is now Stencyl. I'm not going to be running Games next year (too much other work), but I've handed over to the Computer Science guys. They have been using code, but that frightens off the artists, so they will now use Stencyl and ActionScript.

I guess the theory part of it is similar to the writings of Jesse Schell and Chris Crawford.

2
Bug Archives / Re: How to Suppress the 90% Memory Usage Warnings
« on: April 04, 2012, 08:36:20 pm »
Thank you. Missed that!

3
Bug Archives / Re: How to Suppress the 90% Memory Usage Warnings
« on: April 03, 2012, 08:26:10 pm »
I'm pretty desperate for a Mac OSX version of this.
My class is making an adventure game and it's graphics heavy. We're using 4Gb Macs.
I'm trying to figure a way to load/unload assets on the fly but even in the builder the memory is draining fast.

Cheers.

P.S. First class ever that the students haven't dissed the software. A world first.

4
News / Re: Are you an educator?
« on: March 13, 2012, 10:31:05 pm »
Hi there just checking in. Not saying much because term is on and I'm really busy!  :)

Week three of Game Design is on. We're running the Stencyl 2.0. betas. They store all their stuff in their home directory, bring it over to their lab machine to work on the tutorials, then put it away at the end of the class. Not elegant, but we didn't have time to get the software into the Standard Operating Environment.

Even the CompSci kids are OK with the software once I flash the ActionScript at them. (You wanna code? Code!) Everybody is using blocks.

Weeks 1 + 2 we went through a top down game with a very nimble bug versus a very fast fly. (Triangulation, balance of power, screen framing, re-using objects for levels etc.) Tonight it will be a pinball game, which I have to say has been a pest to set up (damn flippers just don't catch the ball) but it'll be OK for tonight (using regions, landscape, physics settings, attaching scene behaviours, designing from a PhotoShop template.)

You'll hear if there's any disasters!

5
A later build seems to have solved something.

6
In the second image the window is scrolled so that the background image is partly above the visible area. The actors for ball and flipper, which are located on the background in the first shot are now below the visible area.

Put another way; when using the zoom tool I see the highlight showing where the zoom will take place. I click with that highlight on the area where the ball and flipper actors are located. When it zooms, the ball and flipper are correctly on screen - but the background is raised up above them, leaving white.

This does not affect the game and when I zoom back to 100% it appears normal. It's only when zoomed in that the effect takes place.

7
This is Nightly Build 9th Feb running on OSX 10.6

* This is a pinball game so it is tall. The scene size is 480 w 960 h
* The play field is a background image, also 480x960
* The background is shown correctly at 100%, but at 200% the bottom half is white.

Images attached.

8
Old Bugs (1.x/2.x) / Re: No Idea what this is.
« on: February 09, 2012, 07:51:50 pm »
If that's a Nightly Build then they're registered to Jon.
Maybe Jon has something on his computer it wants, and you're not called Jon?

9
News / Re: Going Pro - StencylWorks 2.0 and beyond (Updated Feb 4)
« on: February 05, 2012, 03:45:58 pm »
"Duplicating Scene Bugs"

Oh god thanks for that, I thought I was an idiot. Making a adventure game by duplicating a template room and, well, weirdness.

10
News / Re: Are you an educator?
« on: February 03, 2012, 11:30:18 pm »
Those network people are so picky. They think *everything* has a virus.

They *know* that academics are a virus!
I'm going to wing it. I'll see if the manager will let me go ahead with the install then overwrite. If there's a problem I absolve them of blame!

I understand where they are coming from. The other day I wondered why my laptop was running slow. I was smart enough to get up a console to see what was going on. But I hadn't been smart enough to know that just deleting some Adobe trial applications leaves their wretched Akmai updater trying to start an install every ten seconds, failing and trying again.

11
News / Re: Are you an educator?
« on: February 02, 2012, 09:08:01 pm »
Well it's time for me to be a pain in the ass, because my Computing Services people are telling me I have to supply the version of Stencyl that's going on the system sometime next week. So I'm forced to ask if V2.0. is going to make that deadline.

I'm running the nightly builds and that seems OK to me. I guess it comes down to means of installation. If we install the 1.4 download and then overwrite that with a nightly build at the last moment, this is going to be as close as we can get, or should I wait for an installer?

I appreciate how helpful you guys have been, and it's not really your problem!

12
News / Re: Going Pro - StencylWorks 2.0 and beyond
« on: January 23, 2012, 09:47:59 pm »
Although I get to request the software to be included mid February, I have to submit the course outline sooner. Part of that is a weekly run down of each tutorial ... which means I have to work out what's in each tutorial ... which means I have to have a vague idea of how long each bit will take ... which means I have to have a vague mastery of the software!  :D

So I have to lock it in sooner than you'd think.

One thing I cover is State Machines. Obviously Events are better for that, so I reckon it'll be 2.0.

13
News / Re: Going Pro - StencylWorks 2.0 and beyond
« on: January 23, 2012, 03:22:14 pm »
Oh bum. (First World Problem)

Happy as I am, now I have to figure out which version I'm going to put on the teaching machines.
  • Do I go with safe secure 1.4 (which is the only sensible choice).

    or do I put on the more risky but easier to use 2.0.?

I guess it's about timing. It'll have to be on the image by mid February.

14
Resolved Questions / Re: How can I ensure scenes are updated?
« on: January 15, 2012, 12:10:03 am »
Hang on ... think it might be another actor getting in the way somehow. I'll mark this [solved].

15
Resolved Questions / How can I ensure scenes are updated? [solved]
« on: January 15, 2012, 12:04:42 am »
EXAMPLE: I have a scene with one actor. The scene is shown correct in the Scene editor.

STEPS:
  • I save the game - there is no asterisk next to the scene name.
  • I use "Test Scene" : the actor is shown at the wrong angle.
  • I go back to the Scene Editor, adjust and check the rotation of the actor, save the game again.
  • In 'Test Scene' the actor is still at the wrong angle.
  • I go back to the Scene Editor and move the actor, and save.
  • Now the actor is at the right angle.

Some adjustments to the scenery don't seem to be noticed - for example changing Background colour to No Colour doesn't seem to stick. The only slightly unusual thing I am doing is duplicating scenes. How can I ensure that what I am changing will trigger a save?

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