[Puzzle/Arcade] Arkab - Alpha Test
Dario ff

Arkab

Alpha Test - Tech Demo

Info:

Hi, I've decided to do a small project aside from my main one, doing a little game I always wanted to do. Arkab is a puzzle game where you must shoot a ball to bounce as many times as possible on the blocks. It's the only way to gather enough energy so the vortex gate will open, sucking the ball and letting you warp to the next stage.

Keep in mind it's only an Alpha test of the game, containing only 8 levels.

Requirements:

For now, it'll be closed source, so there's only a Win32 binary ATM.

(Not that you'd be able to compile it easily on your own anyways, since you'd need to compile some libs I modified myself. :P)

You need a GPU capable of Pixel Shader 2.0 AFAIK, since the game is very pretty with them. :)

Screenshots

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{"name":"screen2cv.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/3\/5\/357b9eecf2ff5a3093ba2b4eaf799585.jpg","w":1280,"h":766,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/3\/5\/357b9eecf2ff5a3093ba2b4eaf799585"}screen2cv.jpg
{"name":"screen3ky.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/9\/e\/9ebd81e4d79c0a2832c0bcbb492ab0f8.jpg","w":1280,"h":769,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/9\/e\/9ebd81e4d79c0a2832c0bcbb492ab0f8"}screen3ky.jpg

Win32 Binary

Download from Mediafire. (CG Dlls included)
Sorry for using a Download site, it's 13MB big, the uploader here doesn't work with it, and none other better download sites worked. So if someone can mirror it for me, I'd really appreciate it. :-/

Or download it from a.cc directly in 2 files:
Download part1.rar from A.cc
Download part2.rar from A.cc

CG Dlls in case you need them.

YouTube Video

video

Questions:

So, the reason I'm releasing this is that I want to test various things.

I want to hear opinions about the gameplay since I'm at the stage of adding whatever I think I could need.

Some of you might have noticed that song really isn't mine(it's from Super Mario Galaxy), so I would like to know if someone wants to make one or two for the game(I know there are various composers here), or direct me to some free songs(which I really doubt). The game will be free of charge, and I can't really pay anyone to compose one, since I have no ways to make a payment online. :(

Other feedback is really appreciated too. Do you like the quality of the visuals? The gameplay? Everything is welcome.

Have fun playing it as I much as I had making it. :)

Oscar Giner

It looks very nice.

But it's asking for a missing dll: cg.dll

Actually, using Dependency Waker there are more missing dll's: cgd3d9.dll and cggl.dll

GullRaDriel

I might provide space if you provide a correct zip with all the dll's inside.
Just a question thought: why don't you use your personal allegro ftp access for bringing a little http page and give your zip ?

Desmond Taylor

I can also provide space if you fix the missing DLL's. I have tried to download them but I keep getting the old releases so it's missing functions that you are calling.

Mark Oates

It looks very nice.

But it's asking for a missing dll: cg.dll

Actually, using Dependency Waker there are more missing dll's: cgd3d9.dll and cggl.dll

same here.

LennyLen

Just a question thought: why don't you use your personal allegro ftp access for bringing a little http page and give your zip ?

I tried uploading it to my A.cc webspace, but received an error about it being too big.

kenmasters1976

I'd like to try it but I have no Pixel Shader 2.0 support. I'll wait for you to provide a download with the missing DLL's; then maybe I can try it on someone else's machine.

Dario ff

Oh damn it, I knew I'd screw up. :P I forgot I added CG as a requirement, so I'll reupload the new version with the dlls. For now, here's the CG dlls, just 2MB.

CG Dlls.

I'm sorry for the problems. :-/

Oscar Giner

Well, the basic idea is nice, but it needs more work so it has much less of trial and error, since right now that's all the game is about.

The graphics effect are very nice :)

The sound gets distorted. There's some high noise when playing some effect.

Dario ff

but it needs more work so it has much less of trial and error, since right now that's all the game is about.

Yes, I'm trying to come up with some more ideas. I look forward to playing more with game scripts like in the 7th level. Movable bars, rotating bars. Maybe I should play with some kind of door mechanic, or some free movement objects(Boxes, etc.).

Thanks for testing. :) BTW, did the ALLEGRO_FULLSCREEN_WINDOW mode worked well? What was your resolution? I'm trying to do the game based around a 4:3 aspect ratio, so I don't know if I'll include 16:9 levels. That, or I would need to add the ability to move the camera.

EDIT: Curious fact, the game is using the exact same engine as my main project. Developing with a shared library is a nice way to force some good coding.

Just a question thought: why don't you use your personal allegro ftp access for bringing a little http page and give your zip ?

I don't have one AFAIK. I applied for one in the past, and never got an answer. :-/

Also, there's a 10 MB file size limit, as LennyLen pointed out.

Mark Oates
Dario ff said:

Developing with a shared library is a nice way to force some good coding.

True dat!

I see you're using Futura. Well played.

Dario ff

Yeah, Futura is a really nice font. It fitted the style perfectly IMO.

Felix-The-Ghost

I don't think my computer would handle that although it looks cool.
I have only an Intel integrated graphics card.

Edit:

The (R)etry looks really weird.
And that First menu looks like Temporal's menu.

Mark Oates

I just curious, how long did it take you to make this game, once you had the idea (not including framework)?

Oh, and I also wanted to say that the Arkab title logo looks nice, too.

Dario ff

I just curious, how long did it take you to make this game, once you had the idea (not including framework)?

Monday to Wednesday. I had Monday and Tuesday free because in 25th May, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Argentina, so a long weekend was done for celebrations.

Quote:

Oh, and I also wanted to say that the Arkab title logo looks nice, too.

Thanks, I'm not really convinced on the underline though. It needs some decorations IMO.

And that First menu looks like Temporal's menu.

True, I also did that for Elven Revolution. The main difference is that the menu is handled by moving the mouse instead of arrow keys. I think it works very well.

EDIT: Ah, came with a good idea now. I was thinking in some Forcefields gameplay. Depending on some conditions, or just by passing by, forcefields will appear that won't let the ball go through some places. That'd be an interesting way to do ordering puzzles and how to take advantage of the remaining balls.

Desmond Taylor

Ohh wellz, It dont work on my Laptop. Looks good tho on the video.

Dario ff

Desmond, would you mind telling the error shown(if there's a message at all) and the specs of your laptop?

GullRaDriel

Dario, PM if you need me to host it.

Desmond Taylor

Sure, I will edit this post with a screenie of what happens. along with the spec.

EDIT:
Here you go, a screenie of my specifications and the error.

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Dario ff

Dario, PM if you need me to host it.

Don't worry, I've putted two .partx.rar attached to the first post. It's just a Tech Demo, if I finish this game, maybe I'll consider it for doing a final flawless release! :)

Desmond: Seems like Allegro has failed creating the display, and I stupidly added an al_get_display_width() before the real check if the display was created. :P So go to Settings.ini, and change the Windowed=2 value to anything you prefer. Be it Windowed(1), or Fullscreen(0). Be sure to change these as well to suit your display:

#Width and Height of The Screen. Everything will be scaled accordingly.

Width=1280
Height=768

My guess is that ALLEGRO_FULLSCREN_WINDOW isn't working on your system, which I guess is expected since it was added recently.

Trent Gamblin

Agree with Mark, that's a nice logo. I like the shaders too, looks nice.

Desmond Taylor
#SelectExpand
1[Display] 2 3#Width and Height of The Screen. Everything will be scaled accordingly. 4 5Width=800 6Height=600 7 8# Whether to run Fullscreen Window(2), Windowed(1) or Fullscreen(0) 9# Fullscreen Window mode will use the current desktop resolution, and a window without decoration, simulating fullscreen. 10Windowed=1

Nope, I know that a Window will work at 800x600 on my laptop as I play FlyFF in windowed mode and that resolution.

Edit:
I've tried your Dune Buggy game and that works on my System perfectly ;D

Dario ff

Agree with Mark, that's a nice logo.

Thanks, I didn't really thought it was going to be so well received. :)

Desmond:
I'm out of ideas then. :-/ I guess all that remains is changing the driver from D3D to OGL:

Driver=OGL

AFAIK, the CG shaders work in the OpenGL driver as well. You could also give VSync a try.

Desmond Taylor

I've tried changing everything line by line and putting the old values back to normal too. I think it's just my Windows 7 Laptop not good for allegro because even when I try to make games with it I get the same sort of problem now and again.

I switched to learning OpenGL on NeHe's site instead of Allegro. I am still using Allegro for now but that's because me learning OpenGL is gonna be slow ;D.

Anyhow, back to the subject... I will give the game a shot on my other Laptop and also on my PC too see what happens. I will post the results here sometime tomorrow as it's getting late and I must sleep due to work.

Dario ff

I don't really know, you mentioned Dune Smasher is working right. Which is in this case, Allegro 5, but it was an old revision. Maybe the newer revisions have broken something for your card?

I haven't got around to compiling 4.9.20 though, I used an SVN between .19 and .20. If you're willing to do some more tests tomorrow, I'll see if I can send you some updated binaries.

Thanks for testing this.

Desmond Taylor

It's no problem at all. I've only used upto Allegro 4.9.19 binary release. But yea I'll give it a shot tommorow for you as I work from home so I can spare time easily :)

kenmasters1976

Can you get a backtrace, Desmond?. Dario ff might find it useful.

Desmond Taylor

Kinda new, What's a backtrace?

Sorry man, I got took by some friends to go out clubbing and only just got back home. I will send a Backtrace tho if I know what it is and see if that helps. I have tried it on my other computers and it works fine.

GullRaDriel

A backtrace is the output of a debugger after a crash occurs and someone use the command backtrace to rewind the stack and get some informations.

Desmond Taylor

Ahh, Then I should compile the code in debug and display the results on here?

EDIT: Or not as there isn't source available ;D

Dario ff

Or not as there isn't source available

I might do a Debug build once I sort out this primitives problem, but for now, attach the gamelog.txt file just for having a clue.

BTW, I just found out setting the driver via the Settings.ini file was a false function after all(a stupid mistake of mine), so try updating your drivers for you card. You might be lacking some support for OpenGL. That's what it's using ATM. I must sort out some problems with the D3D driver.

Desmond Taylor

I cant download drivers for the Advent Roma 2000, It dont even come with a disk so the drivers are the same ones that came pre installed. I have attached the game log

http://www.allegro.cc/files/attachment/601430

Dario ff

Advent Roma 2000 has an Intel 4 series integrated graphics card, so I guess you can search for them here.

And the gamelog.txt seems to be cut in the middle of a sentence? ??? Are you sure it's uploaded ok?

kenmasters1976

I have tried it on my other computers and it works fine.

Then I guess the cause is indeed outdated video drivers. I had problems with Allegro 4.9.x when I started using it because of that.

Dario ff

Oops, didn't notice the part that Ken pointed out. I'd bet the problem indeed is outdated video drivers. The problem might not appear if you use the D3D driver, but as I said before, it isn't working on the version I released, and it isn't working correctly on the one I'm working on actually. I certainly need to get a working D3D driver, since some people might not bother updating their drivers at all so OpenGL apps work.

EDIT: Still, I think Dune Smasher used OpenGL. So... ???

Desmond Taylor

ok, im gonna look arround for updated drivers and give it a bash

Edit:
Annoying as your dune buggy game works perfectly on here ;D

Edit 2:
Downloading the latest drivers from here
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18901&ProdId=2991&lang=eng

I will post the results afterwords

Edit 3:
Now the game works perfectly. I must also point out... It's very fun, Can't even get past the second level ;D

Dario ff

It's very fun, Can't even get past the second level

Oh, just shoot here:
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Now I'm working on a Door Mechanic gameplay. Hitting the buttons will open the gates, so you must learn to use the balls efficiently to open the doors in the correct order, and then you can get to the warp gate. It was kind of fun that I did it just by adding scripts. :D
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Desmond Taylor

Yea, My mate just completed your Alpha release and it looks really good. He can't wait till you have added more levels to it as it was fun :)

The door idea sounds good man, You'll have to add that for sure.

kenmasters1976

Dario ff, I can't download part2.rar from a.cc. Just letting you know.

Dario ff

Ok, I'm playing around with some more gameplay ideas:

video

Here you must press the buttons with the mouse to keep them activated. It's really fun for avoiding just being observant of how the ball goes. :P

Desmond Taylor
Dario ff said:

Ok, I'm playing around with some more gameplay ideas:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoI9bCplEXA
Here you must press the buttons with the mouse to keep them activated. It's really fun for avoiding just being observant of how the ball goes. :P

I really like the door part, Looks good... I'm also glad you sorted my laptop problem out too. (a BIG thank you for that)

Dario ff

So I've been playing a lot around with more interactive Map Design, and luckily, the scripting engine gives me a lot of freedom for that.
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I decided to pay homage to some gameplay classics for people to recognize while solving the levels. The screen looks familiar, doesn't it?

You need to get to the red button, but the little fella is willing to protect it. ;)

EDIT: The Pieslice primitive for the Vortex isn't working anymore, so I decided to replace it with a Pix. Shader.
Oh, I didn't update the game, so don't try to download it and find this level. :P

Neil Walker

That looks really good. Port it to the iPhone or Xbox and you'd make money :)

Dario ff

You know, I thought of the possibility that polishing this game enough and making it more entertaining would be good enough for a commercial game. I mean, PopCap really doesn't do marvelous games and sell it via Steam, they're pretty simple 2D games most of the time, with nice visuals to accompany it.

But there's certainly many troubles I might find. First, I don't think I could do any kind of business without being able to make payments via Internet. Second, I'm not even of legal age(At least for 2 years), and I suppose that someone older in my family would've to take all the responsibilities of something like that.

I don't know, I prefer to make this game free of charge, just to add one more to my portfolio in case I need to show off my work someday.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Dario ff said:

I'm not even of legal age(At least for 2 years)

Really? :o Astonishing! I was assuming you were 28 or so based on your posts! You're BAF ver 2.0!

Dario ff

I don't want to be like BAF. :P

Arthur Kalliokoski

I meant when he was 16 his posts seemed quite intellectual, when most teenagers are just getting into JeffK mode.

Dario ff

Oh, thank you for that then. :)

Well, it's up to teenagers to know how to take advantage of the most productive years of their lives IMO. Hopefully, by the time I'm going to the uni, I'll have a nice array of games done to show off my work. I dream of Indie game development, but I won't be giving up a career because of that.

While other people decide to waste their computer time on Facebook and keeping their social status, I enjoy much more making this stuff. You should've seen how some of my friends immediately loved this game. :)

Desmond Taylor

I was already amazed by Dario ff's age as I checked his/hers profile

Quote:

“I'm 16 years old, and developing games is my favourite hobby. My favourite inspiration games are the one from the Genesis/Snes era, and the best CRPG years ever(1997-2003), the time while Black Isle was alive.”

A really good game designer and programmer. I'm 25 and don't know half the stuff kids do these days as they learn rather early. I've had my website hacked by an 11 year old about 2 years ago due to me not securing it enough. Now I have them on MSN and get them to try hack my code so I know it's secure ;D.

Back on topic: I really like the progress of this game already and can't wait till it has been done. It's really addictive :)

Dario ff

Thanks for the comments but,

as I checked his/hers profile

I thought Dario was clearly a male name? :-/

Desmond Taylor

sorry I'm from England and never heard the name dario before. I thought it was just a nickname to be honest. But now I know your a male I can make my posts sound abit better so I can use "his" instead of thier or summets :)

Matthew Leverton

Women don't make games. ::)

Disclaimer: there are one or two FBI agents pretending to be women here, but they don't count.

Desmond Taylor

:o you wanna bet, My best mate is a female coder. You can't be sexest over who can and who can't. It's a matter of learning it.

GullRaDriel

Pics or she do not exist. ;D

Desmond Taylor

Yea a picture will really make her exist. Pictures can be fake so I can't prove to you that there are female coders without going behind her back so instead I will point out a list of female coders instead.

Sordie - http://sordie.com/ (Makes EO stuff in C++)
Rachel J Morris - http://www.moosader.com/ (Makes games using Allegro and Applications in C++)

Now tell me that a female cannot program. My ex could at least make websites.

Matthew Leverton

Now tell me that a female cannot program

I said they "don't make games."

Congratulations on linking to two FBI agents. ::)

Desmond Taylor

Rachel makes games, I just pointed that out.

Edit, I speak to Sordie on IRC now and again and used to have her on facebook. She's not an FBI agent so grow up and face the fact that you are a sexist pig with no female friends at all.

Edit 2, If you wanna carry on arguing that there are no female game programmers out there please take it to another thread as this is way off topic and it's not fair on Dario.

Matthew Leverton

And I speak to Elvis on Skype now and then. You have failed to disprove that they are both clearly FBI agents. :o

Dario ff

If you wanna carry on arguing that there are no female game programmers out there please take it to another thread as this is way off topic and it's not fair on Dario.

Don't worry about it, ML's just teasing you, and I hope you're not taking it seriously. Heck, even one of the moderators here is a woman, though not really active AFAIK.

And Matthew, you've failed at the rules of the internet. Men are Men, Women are men, and children are FBI Agents. :P

Desmond Taylor

Sorry but I do take offence to it due to having a mate that is female and makes games She uses OpenGL tho :( She keeps telling me to look it up on NeHe's site? I don't know the moderators on here so would'nt know there was a female one. I know there is plenty of female coders on the net but because of people doubting them all the time they choose to show as a male instead. They should just be open about it and the world would see that there are millions of them ready to put quite a few males to shame.

Yea I'm bad at coding but it's always a learning curve.

Ohh, Yea the joke is definatly Male = Male, Female = Male and kids = FBI agents :) I always loved that saying as it's not being sexist it is mostly true.

LennyLen

What is it around here today with people not being able to take a joke?

Arthur Kalliokoski

They're all new, and statistics tells us that we'll get a stream of serious types occasionally, think of the sudden silence that befalls a party now and then.

Desmond Taylor

No joke should be like that ever it's still sexist either way. It's like saying to a Jamacian "Sub Blood" when you are white, they will more likly attack you over it.

No I wasn't being rasist, was simply using it as an example. If I was a female and read that I would have took offence to it. I'm easy to offend and since this is a public forum where anyone can be here then it's not really acceptable.

Dario ff

Well, new people certainly don't take too kindly jokes as we do because of the unfamiliarity[1]. We should also introduce them to the arts of a.cc thread derailing. ;)

References

  1. I don't know if this word is right, spellchecker didn't complain.
Arthur Kalliokoski

Desmond Taylor: You're getting upset over the trollish humor of the Supreme Loser, after all.

Quote:

Matthew Leverton

Supreme Loser

January 1999

Desmond Taylor

Most forums have rules of trollish behaivour but like hell can I see the rules. I cant even find a link. Dont tell me where it is in this thread tho as I have started one for it.

LennyLen

No joke should be like that ever it's still sexist either way.

Sexism: The belief that people of one sex or gender are inherently superior to people of the other sex or gender

The fact that it was a joke removes the belief, so no, it's not sexism. And you can't claim the 'but it's only offensive to females' line either, since it's clearly offensive to you.

Quote:

I'm easy to offend and since this is a public forum where anyone can be here then it's not really acceptable.

This is not a public forum. Matthew wrote the software and pays for the hosting. He can say whatever he damn well pleases.

Matthew Leverton

No joke should be like that ever it's still sexist either way

Before you reach such illogical conclusions, perhaps you should learn about the difference between a) not wanting to do something and b) not being able to do something.

But don't worry. Your personal attacks against me are easily deflected by my "over 9000" thick skin level. 8-)

Dario ff

Sexism is...
{"name":"601442","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/b\/9\/b97d08bff1e0f6d825053d85b56046a6.jpg","w":1280,"h":764,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/b\/9\/b97d08bff1e0f6d825053d85b56046a6"}601442
;)

Seriously Desmond, don't get too riled up because of this. Women jokes have been on this site for years, it's kind of an inside joke, to pretend that they don't exist.

Arthur Kalliokoski

<asbestos suit>
Women don't program, not because they're not smart enough, but because they might break a nail.
</asbestos suit>

Desmond Taylor
Quote:

I will only post content that contains value; I won't post just to post.
I will not spam, proselytize, flame, insult, or stir up trouble. I promise
not to relentlessly argue when people do not care to hear.

So saying "Women don't make games. :)" was no value to this conversation at all. (Break your own rules and be sure that others will follow knowing that you can't really tell them off for it as you do it yourself)

and we are now all breaking the last part of that by carrying on with this argumen so I'm stopping right now and going to get back normal chit chat and leaving this thread to Dario ff as it's 100% off topic and that should really be a rule in my opinion. That doesnt mean you have to add it was just an opinion.

Dario ff

You kidding me? I got an awesome idea for map design above thanks to this. It's bound to provoke some smiles for the people that play that level. :)

Arthur Kalliokoski

I can dredge up some old posts that "stir up trouble" if you want to see some examples. I'll be away to the convenience store for the next 20 minutes though.

LennyLen

and we are now all breaking the last part of that by carrying on with this argumen so I'm stopping right now and going to get back normal chit chat and leaving this thread to Dario ff as it's 100% off topic and that should really be a rule in my opinion. That doesnt mean you have to add it was just an opinion.

I see you also decided to ignore the bit about writing in good English. I'd expect someone from England to know how the language works.

edit:

I'll be away to the convenience store for the next 20 minutes though.

You left the IRC channel before I got to say 'you're welcome.'

Desmond Taylor
LennyLen said:

I see you also decided to ignore the bit about writing in good English. I'd expect someone from England to know how the language works.

I've only had 5 hours sleep, and it is now 1:10am. I can't be bothered to read my punctuation and edit everything I wrote, like I did with this post. You must have been able to read it in order to quote me :)

P.S, I wasn't arguing. I was simply replying to that quote as I think it was funny.

Dario ff

So, trying to think of new gameplay ideas, I'm thinking on some kind of shooter teleporter technic. That is, shoot the ball and insert it into some device, and the shooter will transport there for the actual/next shot(Haven't decided if it should waste a ball with it).

That's going to give a lot of freedom for sure. I was also thinking of scripting something like an "enemy" shooter, which will try to deflect the balls that come to its range by shooting its own projectiles to it.

BTW, if anyone has a fun idea or just want to propose a drawing for one of the levels, I'll consider it and add it to the 'bonus' levels. :)

EDIT: The concept of the game is to add as much different puzzles as possible to the levels, not to perfect their prediction and shooting skills.

Dizzy Egg

Dario: Looks amazing!

Now I want to hear more from Desmond, unless he's stopped being a whining little girl bitch who cant throw because girls cant throw and he is one.

Desmond Taylor

I am still here you know ;D.

And by the way, I'm not "whining" as you say. I was debating and that debate ended a few days ago so no need to start it again is there.

Anywho, I am a girl? Ok, I must see the doctor quickly as I have a lump in my trowsers and it could be contagious :) ;D

No seriously now, I cannot be bothered to debate with you as it's a nice sunny day and I'm just browsing the net in the sun.

Dario ff

Desmond, stop it. He just said that to get you to reply, just like when somebody says "I'm leaving!" and everyone starts teasing him so he answers back. ::)

Desmond Taylor

Ok, Sorry it took me so long to reply I fell asleep ;D.

Dario ff

Sorry for the lack of updates on Arkab. I'm still working on some mechanics for the levels, as well as polishing the editor for my needs. I must admit it's been a choir to work with scripts to do the game mechanics, and reaching something as simple as modify the level, reload the scripts, and try again.

Hopefully, I'll have a full free week in some time, and I'll get on working on the levels full time. I've mostly been lazy and entertained with Alpha Protocol lately. :D

I'm actually working on the technique of warping the shooter by putting the ball in certain spots. I worked on a neat teleporting shader effect for the shooter as well.

spellcaster

Not on a windows box, so I can't play test it. But it really looks amazing.

Dario ff

You're on a Mac right? I don't really know if there's any way I could distribute a Mac version other than distributing the source and letting the user compile it. But that would require, a particular Allegro 5 revision(in case there are any changes), a modified version of Box2D, NVidia CG, and I don't really know if it would compile in anything else than GCC.

I suppose there really isn't something like cross compiling from Linux to Mac right? And I don't think I could test out with Sun Virtual Box or something, since I don't really think it would be legal to get an OS X build if I don't actually own a Mac. :P

spellcaster

Don't worry, I do have a windows box as well, I am just too lazy to walk into that other room, boot the box and try it :)
But I will do so tomorrow.

Neil Walker

Not wanting to read the whole thread again, have you implemented rotating blocks, e.g. 1-way gates, spinning after you hit it, etc. bonuses, e.g. multi-ball, etc.

Desmond Taylor

Not wanting to read the whole thread again, have you implemented rotating blocks, e.g. 1-way gates, spinning after you hit it, etc. bonuses, e.g. multi-ball, etc.

That was be awsome features to have.

spellcaster

The sound is a bit noisy (as in, I hear a white noise kind of sound after hitting a pad).
I am also not sure if it's meant to be ok to hit the same pads several times and be able to advance to the next stage anyway.
Another possible bug is that the "color" of the pads does seem to reset in a way I cannot predict. Sometimes they stay in their color (I think most of the time if it was a brighter green), sometimes they revert to the default color if the ball goes to the off.
Also, if I beat a stage once, I'd like to advance to the next stage whenever I want, right now I can only advance if I beat the stage in the last game.

Cool game!

Dario ff

Not wanting to read the whole thread again, have you implemented rotating blocks, e.g. 1-way gates, spinning after you hit it, etc. bonuses, e.g. multi-ball, etc.

It can all be scripted. Gates are working, I should only need to add some more conditions. I was thinking about power ups or bonuses, but I'll explain some part of the basic gameplay below, since I didn't really give any description.

One of the features I'm really happy with now, is the ability to press some buttons with the mouse. The Pong stage is also very funny for sure, you want to shoot to the particular button, but suddenly the bar starts moving and defending it!

I'm sorry for not giving any explanations before, but this is useful feedback, I must do the game so the user just picks it up and gets introduced to its mechanics easily.

The sound is a bit noisy (as in, I hear a white noise kind of sound after hitting a pad).

I exceeded the values of volume with A5's sound routines. My speakers don't have any kind of noise really, but it seems that other comps don't play well with that. I'll have to limit them.

Quote:

Another possible bug is that the "color" of the pads does seem to reset in a way I cannot predict. Sometimes they stay in their color (I think most of the time if it was a brighter green), sometimes they revert to the default color if the ball goes to the off.

I don't think it was a bug, I just didn't explain the gameplay.

In the lower part of the GUI, you have a certain amount of remaining balls. Once you run out of them, the stage will reset, and color all blocks back to blue. It's kind of a preset puzzle game, say some stages need you to use 3 balls to pass through them, so you'll need to learn how to use them well in order to reach the target score.

The only way for now to reach the target score is to bounce the ball against the blocks. When it bounces off, its color will increase. The more the block moves up in the color palette, the higher the points it gives by hitting it. So that means if you can stuck a ball in a certain little space, you'll be able to score a lot of points.

In the actual version, there's a limit for how many times can the ball hit the same block. If it's hit many times, it will run out of points, so players don't cheese and start scoring over millions of points.

Quote:

Also, if I beat a stage once, I'd like to advance to the next stage whenever I want, right now I can only advance if I beat the stage in the last game.

You mean like a level select? The savefile is actually coded in that demo, I just never implemented a menu for that. I added the option to the actual version though.

Thanks for the feedback!

Slartibartfast

I guess the game just automatically quits once you finished all of the levels?

I was surprised it worked on my lame laptop intel graphics card.

My gripe with this game is that it seems more like a trial and error game than one where you are requested to employ strategy or intelligence :X

Dario ff

I guess the game just automatically quits once you finished all of the levels?

Yes.

Quote:

My gripe with this game is that it seems more like a trial and error game than one where you are requested to employ strategy or intelligence

Yes, I already experimented with much better mechanics for levels now. I did now some kind elevator mechanic too, where you can press some buttons with the mouse to move some of the blocks in different axis. Putting them in the right positions will let you finish the level. It's not like organizing them to get enough score though, it's more about actually finding the way to get to the vortex, since it can be a bit complicated later.

spellcaster
Dario ff said:

You mean like a level select?

Not really.
But I'd like to to see the "Warp to next level" after each game if I've already beaten the level.

Here's the use-case
Player beats level. He think he can do better, so he selects retry.
He then manages to neither beat his old score, or to complete the level at all. He's now basically stuck here until he solves the level again. Which is not "that bad", but still a source for frustration.

I figured that you wanted the game to be a fun time waster, targeting the casual audience. So I thought that you might want to take this into account.

Mark Oates

I gotta be honest. The player launcher thing is kinda weird looking. At first I thought it was a birds-eye view of a kid with a striped shirt and his arms extended. The bump between the arms being his nose. Except instead of arms, it's like weird tentacle things.

Every once in awhile when I see a screenshot, I see that image at first glance.

Dario ff

I figured that you wanted the game to be a fun time waster, targeting the casual audience. So I thought that you might want to take this into account.

Noted, thanks for the advice. This can be done actually, since the level is considered beaten once the ball gets on the warp vortex. If the level is considered beaten, you can go to the Level Select and take it from there... but your option sounds much more comfortable.

Mark: I don't know what the launcher is supposed to be either. I just putted the main canvas, flipped it, and I liked the shape, so I decided to draw upon that. If you have any tips for making it more eye-friendly or more intuitive, I'm all ears(eyes actually :P).

Dustin Dettmer

Get it on the iPhone, I could see it getting onto the Top App Charts. A5 nearly works on the iPhone anyway.

A comparable game that has made millions is Doodle Jump.

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Estimation of total revenue (for Doodle Jump):

Reviews   Price  Comission * Review->Sales Multiplier
70,921  * 0.99  *   .7     *               40         = $1,985,788

spellcaster

You might want to get inspiration from bubble bobble and ballistic here (esp. ballistic, since it uses a similar concept with regards to the launcher).

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Dario ff

Out of curiosity, how is that game called, I always see its gameplay repeated so much? I've seen a LOT of clones(even one from PopCap) just with different themes.

Get it on the iPhone, I could see it getting onto the Top App Charts

I don't think that accepting an app from an underage is allowed in their policy. :P Not that I have money to buy a Mac anyways.

Dustin Dettmer

Get someone else to release it for you. Even the risks associated with trusting someone else with your money are better than just a free game!

Dario ff said:

Out of curiosity, how is that game called, I always see its gameplay repeated so much? I've seen a LOT of clones(even one from PopCap) just with different themes.

Because Luxor is one of the best selling casual games ever. People are emulating a successful game.
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Edit
If you decide to make it a commercial enterprise I got the perfect musician in RL for you.

Dario ff

So Luxor is the original game? I would've guessed it was even before in a more primitive format, something like 16-bit or something. It's damn popular for sure.

Even the risks associated with trusting someone else with your money are better than just a free game!

But doesn't Apple have some weird policy for releasing games only for the iPhone? What I mean is, even if this could be sold on the app store, would there be any problems if an exact free version on PC was available?

spellcaster

Nope. The original is ballistic which is also called puzz-loop.
The next game was Zuma. Then came Luxor.

Dario ff

Ah finally, thanks for that! The first time I played it(surely a clone), I recall it on an Arcade where the shooters were tanks. It was really cool, since it allowed 2 simultaneous players.

Dustin Dettmer

It's only a problem if Apple stops you. It would behoove you to spend a short while thinking about how the App store works.

There are an army of employees of have a list of requirements you must meet. They play your app looking to find any violations they can. They are motivated to find any violations they can do and do a good job. After you App is approved (or rejected) they do the same for the next App. That is the summation of their relationship with your App.

Your App is one among 250,000. The notion that they care to go around the internet looking for free versions of Apps is almost incomprehensible. First off -- who is going to do it? Steve Jobs is too busy running a company. The reviewer employees aren't going to look past the end of their cubicles. Beyond that, why would Apple spend money paying people to go around the internet looking for a free version of 250k Apps? It would just make no sense and Apple isn't that dumb. Beyond that, if Apple decided it was worth wasting all this money, why do they care if there is a free version? It's completely irrelevant to their business. They're busy trying to make the iPhone better.

Dario ff

I'll think about it. That's all I can say, considering that I would have to buy a Mac and probably an iPhone(you can't rely on the emulator only right?).

Thanks for the explanations, I'd still prefer to release it first for free on the PC.

Anyway, I've found that there are people that seem to enjoy this game a little too much. It seems to be actually the casual people who don't really want to think too much for the game. Some of them really like to test their skills with mindless Trial & Error, and seem to be easily addicted to it... Figures.

Dustin Dettmer

Whatever, you should accommodate what your customers want. Very often they want different things than you do.

You can rely on the emulator and test on other people's iPhones. Setup a Hackintosh dual boot. You can get XCode with the Emulator for free. After you're done you can cough up $100 to release it (get your parents to invest) or release it through someone else's account and have them pay you. Once the App gets successful you'll be able to afford whatever you want (ie a Macbook Pro and your own account to re-release it on).

Dario ff

Playing around some more with the levels. I did what could be my first try at the "warpers" or TP(Teleport Point) technique. As explained before, if you manage to position the ball into it, it'll teleport the shooter to that position, and so, you can continue shooting from there.

Now what if I add the fancy lighting system and play a bit with the level?
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A labyrinth. The ball illuminates as well, but it might be hard finding your way around this level. It's still beatable, you just need to memorize and find a good route. Also, it's recommended to shoot in angles such as if it goes wrong, there's the possibility it comes back.

I hope to add some crazy new levels with this technique. Now I must decide when should I stop adding new concepts and get on to making the final amount of levels. I'd like to release another version between the Alpha(barely complete) and the Beta(likely final version without some polishing or optimization). If I decide to do this inbetween release, it'll likely have some new level select menu and possibly some options screen as well.

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