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Zep's Dreamland Demo 3
23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Nah; that's just how it ended up on that particular picture (Violence Man, for whoever cares). Heh; my avatar kinda matches yours now :P

On-topic: the space level idea is a good one! Ultio; you writing this stuff down? ;)

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

I still have my spacey levels. I have those scrolling multi-colored stars. Remember the first demo!? That scrolling background is still there. I just didn't use it in any of the test levels yet ;)

I also updated the demo version to 3.1 from 3. Big update, huh? Well, it just adds a nice little options menu for everyone to play around with. It lets you set the volumes for sound and music. I also made a big fix to the teleporting system, but that won't be noticeable until I make some more levels available to the public. :)

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Inphernic
Member #1,111
March 2001

45fps is OK, but 100 is nicer.

I get 107. It's not nice. It starts to chop. :)

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

Chopping? When are you chopping? :(

I might convert over to 8bit, if it's really easy. We'll see what happens. I'll have to go over it with jp.

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Zaphos
Member #1,468
August 2001

Although I can see going to 8-bit ... why bother doing it now? Why not just wait until the project's done, and you know for sure that you aren't going to use the high-col? I mean, seems kinda pointless to limit yourself midway through development.

That is, unless you plan to use palette fx to do the sunrise stuff ... in that case just ignore me, and go 8bit!

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

Again, like I said. Converting can only be done after I've talked to Johan. I'm pretty sure he's been doing everything straight from a nice pallete, but I don't know if he's strayed from that on any of the new tiles. ;)

As for doing it right now, that probably won't happen. More important is getting the core gameplay elements finished and flesh out some more levels. Converting to 8-bit can be done later on, since if everything is already nice and ready to be used with a pallete (again, assuming that Johan is still doing it this way) it wouldn't be too tough. Just some changes of code - I hope :)

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Kloks
Member #943
February 2001
avatar

Hi Ultio.
Good work, but is it natural to restart the whole game when I want to start a new game (clear ? :-/)

| K-nion | Weed | Rebound | Web site |

Each One Teach One

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

Kloks, you know, I have never really thought of this. I figured since it's a puzzle game, most likely users wouldn't want to just start the entire game over while in the middle of a current game, so I just had the "Resume" option take the place of the "New Game" option. Maybe I should create a system where it allows for both New Game AND resume?

I'm pretty sure this is what you're asking. Let me know what you think (not just you, everyone in general.) Would you like to see both options after you have started a game: New Game + Resume, or just Resume after a game has been started?

Thought never crossed my mind actually... ;D

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

miran
Member #2,407
June 2002

You could encrypt the savegame file. With the format you have now it's just too easy to cheat :)

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sig used to be here

paranoima
Member #1,380
June 2001
avatar

Wow.. I like the big change from Demo 2 to Demo 3 :) Johan is doing a fantastic job with the graphics. :D I only had a chance to play the first 3-4 levels, but I plan on copying this to a disk and finishing the demo at home.. This is another project I'm going to keep a closer eye on. :D

Keep up the great job on this nice puzzler.

[Edit]
Hey, is there a way to play it in a windowed mode? At work I have a multimonitor display, and it causes problems playing anything in Allegro fullscreen.

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

Quote:

You could encrypt the savegame file. With the format you have now it's just too easy to cheat

This is something I will probably look into in the future, ie. when the game is finished.

I know right now it's very easy to cheat, heh. I didn't want to complicate the whole saving/loading process by using encryption when starting. It's something I can add in later. And you shouldn't cheat. You're only cheating yourself out of the delight of knowing you've beaten a hard level! :)

Quote:

Hey, is there a way to play it in a windowed mode? At work I have a multimonitor display, and it causes problems playing anything in Allegro fullscreen.

Paranoima, I'll definitely take this into consideration for the next demo release. As of right now, demo 3/3.1 do not allow the option to use a windowed mode. I'll most likely add this into the options menu for the release of the next demo! If it's not added into the options menu I'll just make a editable config file, or something of the sort!

And Johan is doing an awesome job on the graphics. I wish I was as skilled at the style he uses in his tiles and backgrounds. I'm sure practice would help me get there, but I don't have that much time to practice stuff like art. Hopefully I can make time sooner or later.

Thanks for the comments, and keep checking. I've been working on some new levels that present the teleporting! :)

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Kloks
Member #943
February 2001
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In fact, I think rather begin a stage at his beginning, if I completely block Zep in this stage for example.

| K-nion | Weed | Rebound | Web site |

Each One Teach One

An Ly
Member #185
April 2000
avatar

Very nice!!! A few positives which were forgotten by the forum goers:

1) No lives. Woohoo! Good move. You don't need lives in a puzzler.
2) Simple non clutter gfx. The worst thing is to not see how a level is done due to clutter.
3) Simple theme/idea... complicated levels.
4) Save game! Plus who would cheat? Really?

Negatives:

1) Control. Stiff, unresponsive. But still playable.
2) Poor learning curve, esp near end (but hey its a demo right?)
3) Is there an undo?

Keep going! I haven't seen a really good puzzler here in yonks :) Oh, and if you need help with level design, I think I may be able to help you out.

Cheers.

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
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Good job! I played it to the end and it was much harder than last time. Nice graphics too.

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Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

Quote:

In fact, I think rather begin a stage at his beginning, if I completely block Zep in this stage for example.

Kloks, there is an option to restart the level from the beginning, if you mess up. Hit 'r', which stands for restart. This is stated in the readme under the controls section.

An Ly, thanks for the nice comments, and also for the "negatives". It is from these negatives that I get feedback on that I can make the game better and more fun overall for everyone.

As for the control being stiff, there isn't much in terms of allowing you to move "not-on-the-grid". It would be too much hassle to determine exacly what tile Zep would be on if he wasn't "snapped" to the grid. Also, it would be a big problem using the creation/deletion of blocks. This is why zep moves tile by tile. I've tried to make the controls as best as possible, but some things are just hard to do. Please, expand on this if you can. I'd like to know what you would like to see for better player control. Any ideas are helpful. A tip I received in an earlier thread was to allow the option to turn Zep around with the tap of a direction and not force the player to hold up/down while hitting the opposite direction. This has been taken care of - as you probably have noticed.

As for the learning curve, you're right. It is just a demo. I realize that level 8, which seems to give many people difficulty, is much harder in difficulty than the last level, level 10. Some reordering needs to be done, obviously. :) Look for that in the final version!

As for the undo, there isn't one. I know it is such a pain to have to restart the level and build your way across this big gap after you've accidentally fallen into a hole. I'm still thinking about implementing an undo, and just how many levels of "undo" you should be able to perform. It wouldn't be extremely hard to do - I've just not visited it yet.

Also, as for your level design offer - save them for building your own levels. I am going to release the level editor with the game. I am hoping to implement a feature where you can play level "packs" - level sets created by other users. If I can get it implemented and working nice and neat, I would love to have anyone who thinks they can make some intuitive levels create a level pack. I would love to release multiple packs with the final version. I still have to see whether I can create such a system, however. (How many times can one person say "as for" ;D)

AnLy - if you would like to get more in touch with me about level design and such, just send me an email and we can talk about it. The address is in the readme, or on the site :)

amarillion, I'm glad to see you like this version, too! I'm also glad to see you think the difficulty has increased. It gets tough making hard levels using only the single element that is available in the demo so far. Look forward to cooler features!

Thanks for the interest/comments/suggestions. All your replies really help in making this game better! ;D

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

Regarding an undo function ... I think the game is better without one. Unless, it's limited (ie, you cannot undo 3000 moves).

The reason why, is part of a puzzle game is the frustration factor. :) If you can just rumble along and then undo stupid moves, you may be more apt to solve by brute force. Not allowing the user to undo all his moves makes him think a little bit more before just doing something.

This is really a personal preference ... and obviously a user isn't forced to undo turns - but we don't always have self control. ;)

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

This is true, and I lean more towards this preference. As for making tons of undo moves, I probably would not allow that. I was thinking more along the lines of one or two.

It's just highly aggrivating, frustrating, and annoying when you accidentally hit left when you mean to press up, and fall in a hole and have to re-do the whole level over again. And by this time, you've already forgotten how to complete the level!

I belive an undo would be perfect in this situation, but then again, it's still up for debate. I probably won't get working on an undo until most levels have been completed, and the game is almost ready to be labeled as "finished".

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Marcello
Member #1,860
January 2002
avatar

I agree, 1 or 2 undos would really be very nice... it so pisses me off when I restart a level in a puzzle game about 6 times due to speeding up cause I'm getting frusterated...

Quote:

I wish I was as skilled

grr it's "were" not "was"! I'm dumb!

Marcello

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Quote:

As for the undo, there isn't one.

There is to an extent. If you create a block and change your mind, you can "uncreate" it easily. I always liked Lolo; if you screwed up, there was a suicide button so you could start over ;D ZD is fine as is; forget about formal undo functionality IMO.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

Marcello, sorry. Let me go get my grammar book. heh. ::)

Hm. So begins the debate about undo, or no undo. I guess this is going to be one of those things where I can't make everyone happy. Shucks. ;D

Thanks for the input, guys, even though you contradict eachother. It's alright. :) As usual, comment and suggetsions are always welcome!

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Paul Pridham
Member #250
April 2000
avatar

Well... if the levels took half an hour to complete, then I could see how some might want undos, or checkpoints, etc... but, I don't think Zep's needs it, personally. Practice makes perfect. ;)

An Ly
Member #185
April 2000
avatar

As for the undo. A puzzler is about the thinking aspect. An undo function (or any function in a puzzler) should be there to either:

1) Make it more brainy (rather than action-y)
2) Make it less frustrating

Unlimited undos would make it less brainy. Not a good idea IMHO. However, an undo of some sort would help number 2.

Movement. Yup, "on the grid" movement is a good idea and well implemented, making the game structured and neat. What I meant by "stiff controls" is that when you quickly tap a direction, Zep wouldn't move. But if you hold it down for a touch longer, then he goes. Which is a little strange, esp when you want to move one step over, you'd have to time it just right. Just a tweak on the controls so that you could tap and go would help.

Also, if you move a bit then decide "nonono!!" and want to go back, you'd have to wait for zep to get to the next cell in the grid before he/she can walk back. Perhaps a way to make Zep more responsive in this situation would help the accidental suicides over the cliff problem.

Keep going, I konw this game will be great.

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

As for the turning like you mentioned: you'd be disappointed if there was no "quick-tap" turn-around-in-place.

This was a major problem in the first demos, as people were falling off of everything. There was a big overall consensus that this problem really needed to be fixed: hence the quick tap which turns you around.

As for creating some kind of way to stop him mid tile, I'm not really sure if it's totally possible. Since the game fully depends on Zep starting/ending on a grid tile before being allowed to do another move it might be really hard to code this in. It doesn't seem like something too terribly annoying, though.

If you play the game enough, like I have, you really get used to the controls and hardly, if ever, fall off of anything unintentionally. I mean, you have to think about it. In most games control schemes can be kind of wacky - but after playing for a while you become a pro at it. ;)

I'm a pro because of all the debugging! And if you really want to see what it's like to have Zep move, even with a quick-tap, download the first test demo from my website. It doesn't contain the quick-tapping feature. You will notice how much more annoying it really is :)

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

Paul Pridham
Member #250
April 2000
avatar

I think that An Ly's point is that if you decide to move in the direction that Zep is already facing, then the quick-tap should be disabled... he should move automatically. Quick-tap should only be used for turning around.

I also agree that being able to change your movement in between tiles would make the control feel much more responsive and fluid... Zep can can still be made to come to rest on the grid when he stops moving.

Ultio
Member #1,336
April 2001

This is true, Zep can be made to stop on the grid - but it would take a lot of work on my part. I kind of put the system together in a slightly hackish way to allow for Zep to keep moving even if you let go of the keys, and to also keep showing the animation. I might be able to get it to work. I just need to reverse the timing process and have it determine what point it was already at before you hit the walk back button. This brings me to forsee a problem though: walking back and fourth over and over in between tiles might get kind of wacky. I don't know. I'll have to try that out. Again, like it was being said - if you're careful and don't go mashing buttons you should be fine. And like I have said - I don't have that many problems falling off ledges. And, I did fix the problem where a movement would be carried over to the next map possibly causing some havoc.

I see what you mean about the quick-tap being disabled when you're already facing the direction you want to go. I'll see what I can do about that. It's a possibility.

---
"It's nice knowing that someday, the software I write will just be pirated by millions of people." :-/
http://loomsoft.net | Zep's Dreamland | Allegro Newbie Tutorials

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