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1043997 Posts in 42299 Topics- by 33977 Members - Latest Member: OblitiaDev

September 19, 2014, 05:52:39 PM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityCompetitionsSportsScreaming Snakeball [FINISHED] (now for Linux too)
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Author Topic: Screaming Snakeball [FINISHED] (now for Linux too)  (Read 8094 times)
NiallM
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« on: November 03, 2012, 03:19:51 AM »

A local multiplayer game; snake crossed with football, where players can power themselves up by screaming into their microphones.


There's three variants:

  • Screaming Snakeball: Both players have a mic, and can power themselves up (move faster, longer tail, break through their opponent's tail) by screaming into it. Ideally this would be played with a large group of people so the spectators can do the cheering; the fans literally powering up their players.
  • Shouting Snakeball: There's a single mic which will momentarily power up the ball (moves faster, can break through players' tails) when a player shouts into it.
  • Whispering Snakeball: No mic. Player tails shrink when they score a goal, grow when their opponent scores a goal.

Downloads:
Windows 1.03 (3.18MB)
Linux 1.03 (1.38MB)
OSX 1.03 (4.70MB)

Windows 1.02 (3.04MB)
OSX 1.02 (4.24MB)
Windows 1.01 (2.82MB)
OSX 1.01 (4.26MB)
Windows 1.00 (1.72MB)
OSX 1.00 (3.08MB)


(Whispering Snakeball variant)


[original post]
Posting my idea to try and ensure I don't flake out, even though I suspect the nature of the game means I'll struggle to get anyone to play it...

This is going to be a local multiplayer game, with two players each trying to get the ball into the other's net while at the same time obstructing the other player with their snake tail. The unique part is that there'll be an audio input element: each player gets a microphone, and has to scream to get more powerful (faster movement, longer tail, the ability to smash the ball through the opponent's tail). Ideally it would be played at an event, with an audience split into two and doing all the screaming, literally powering-up their players in the process.

I can't afford to spend a huge amount of time on it, so I'm going to re-use some of the graphics from Tank You!.

Sadly, a quick google suggests I'm not the first person to think of the name snakeball, so I'll probably have to change that Sad
[/original post]
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 04:07:32 AM by NiallM » Logged

Pierrec
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 07:38:20 AM »

I'm ready to shout, sir.
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NiallM
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 01:37:14 PM »

Made a start on this. The mechanics aren't in yet, but I'm pretty happy with how it's looking (other than the ball; that could use a little more work).

The slightly different shape of the snake tails is down to the blue player being played with the keyboard and the red player with an xbox pad. I love the kind of graffiti scrawl effect you get with the pad Grin
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NiallM
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 03:16:59 AM »

Put together a spiffy minimalist title screen/menu:

I figured I should include a game mode that doesn't require audio input since I'm guessing there aren't too many people with 2 mics and a soundcard with 2 mic inputs. In Whispering Snakeball scoring a goal causes your opponent's tail to grow, and your tail to shrink. That'll hopefully balance things so that one player doesn't get too far ahead of the other.
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whtrbt
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 05:32:19 PM »

This is an ingeniously simple and clever combination. Smiley
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Inanimate
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 08:59:52 PM »

Wow, this sounds really nice. I love crazy local multiplayer games, and this is right up my alley. I hope to see this refined to perfection!
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NiallM
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 08:42:24 AM »

Just uploaded a video of the whispering variant. Make sure you watch till the end Shocked :


It's feeling pretty good Smiley . I reckon I'm almost done; just need to fiddle with the screaming variant a bit more, and maybe reduce the starting size of the tails. I'll post downloads by the end of the week.
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TobiasW
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 08:49:38 AM »

That looks incredibly silly and whimsical. In other words, I'm in love! Please post a prototype!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 06:32:47 PM by TobiasW » Logged

whilefun
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Ah, that's what this field is for...


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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 06:31:11 PM »

This is looking fun! Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 12:54:11 PM »

Wow, what beautiful graphics. And it looks fun, to boot!
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NiallM
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2012, 06:10:26 AM »

I've uploaded an initial build for Windows and OSX (links in OP). There's still some rough edges so I'm not calling it done just yet, but it's pretty close. There's instructions in the readme, but the key things to note are:

  • There's two variants included; Screaming Snakeball is where each player has a microphone, and screaming* into that microphone will charge up their power bar. The more power a player has, the faster they move, and the longer their tail is. When their power reaches the flat part of the power bar, their opponent's tail will no longer collide with anything.
  • Whispering Snakeball doesn't use an audio input. Instead, scoring a goal grows your opponent's tail and shrinks yours.
  • The audio inputs the game uses are set in the options screen. There's a couple of VU meters at the top of the screen to help you set the mics' gains. As you would when recording audio, you probably want the levels to peak a bit before the full scale of the bar.
  • If your soundcard only has one mic input, there's nothing to stop you using that mic for both players. I have a suspicion that approach may not be as much fun, but I haven't actually tested it myself yet.

Following a suggestion from draknek, I think I'm going to add in a third variant specifically for the single-mic scenario, where screaming powers up the ball instead of the players. Rather than having the slowly-charging power bars of the Screaming Snakeball variant, the idea would be that you can shout suddenly to make the ball speed forward (and maybe break through snake tails?). I can see that leading to people fighting to keep the other player away from the mic at key points Evil


Anyway, let me know what you think. I'll release source code and a Linux version once the game's done.


* - You don't actually have to scream; you could sing, or rap, or make any kind of noise you like...
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NiallM
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 03:55:18 AM »

Okay, I think I'm calling this done. I've added in draknek's suggestion for a single-mic variant and fixed a couple of bugs and issues.

From playtesting, the single-mic 'Shouting Snakeball' variant is a lot of fun. Really pleased how it turned out. The main Screaming Snakeball variant is kind of exhausting when it's just the two of you playing; having to scream into the mic constantly for 5 minutes is just too much. But again, it's meant to be played with a crowd of people doing the screaming/cheering the players on.

Btw, if anyone knows of any upcoming UK games conferences/gatherings I could pitch this to, I'm all ears...
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Pierrec
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 11:42:20 PM »

It doesn't work on my computer, and I tried the two versions :/
The snakes just don't get out! And I tried screaming. Am I doing something wrong ?
Windows Seven 64bit
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NiallM
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 03:53:35 AM »

It doesn't work on my computer, and I tried the two versions :/
The snakes just don't get out! And I tried screaming. Am I doing something wrong ?
Windows Seven 64bit
Oh, sorry Embarrassed To be clear though, is the problem that the game won't run, it's not recognising your microphone, or just that the players don't move?


If the game won't run full stop, there's a couple of things you could try. The game will accept various options on the command line. If you run
Code:
ScreamingSnakeball-sdl2.0.exe --debug
the game will output a log file (NiallDebugFile-<some long number>.txt) to your home directory which might indicate where the problem lies. You could also try using the alternative renderer, which might be more compatible. To do that, run
Code:
ScreamingSnakeball-sdl2.0.exe -d GLImmediateDrawer


If the game's not recognising your microphone all I can suggest is to fiddle with the audio settings on the options screen. You should see the VU meters at the top of the screen reacting to the mic input if it's working.


If the players just don't move it's possible there's something funny with my keymapping code. Are you playing with the keyboard or a gamepad?
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Fromage de Soja
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 09:22:07 AM »

I'm also having some issues on windows 7 64bit. When I run the game, I'm greeted with some nice colored squares that spiral out. After this there is only ever a grey screen. I can move the mouse around, but the cursor only appears within a rectangle about 1/4 the screen size in the center. I can click around in here a few times, but some locations seem to crash the game. Pressing Enter or Escape also seem to crash the game. Notable error lines in the debug file read:

Code:
PortAudioDevice Error: Could not open stream.
(..\NiallsAVLib\sound\PortAudioDevice.cpp  line:311)

Invalid number of channels
(..\NiallsAVLib\sound\PortAudioDevice.cpp  line:315)

SnakeballApplication: Could not start audio device.
(src\SnakeballApplication.cpp  line:262)
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johnki
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 11:26:38 PM »

Downloaded. I'm so trying this out later tonight. Probably the most interesting version of Pong I've seen in a while.
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NiallM
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 02:46:06 AM »

I'm also having some issues on windows 7 64bit. When I run the game, I'm greeted with some nice colored squares that spiral out. After this there is only ever a grey screen. I can move the mouse around, but the cursor only appears within a rectangle about 1/4 the screen size in the center. I can click around in here a few times, but some locations seem to crash the game. Pressing Enter or Escape also seem to crash the game.
Thanks for the debug text. I think it indicates the game was crashing because it was trying to select the wrong default audio device. I've uploaded a new version that should make a more sensible choice (and also not crash if it does pick the wrong device). Could you tell me if that fixes the problem?

This version also writes more debug info about the audio device setup, which will hopefully help me narrow down the problem if it does persist despite these changes.
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Pierrec
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 09:46:51 AM »

I tried the newest version, and it still doesn't work.
The game runs, I got an intro animation (pink squares..) then black screen until I press something, then what seems to be the playfield but no snakes on it. (I tried to do a screenshot, but weirdly, it screenshoot the intro screen instead o_O) I tried shooting, nothing. Il tried playing with the arrow keys and WASD and it "seems" to do something, because sometimes, I hear some whispering sounds and some flickering lights like in your gameplay video, and sometimes, I hear the countdown again (like if the party was won or lost).
I think my computer got some graphic card problem but I never faced this kind of problem before.
To put it in a nutshell : it seems the game works correctly, except that the snakes are invisible.:/

I got no error messahe to report since the game doesn't crash.
I hope it helps.

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NiallM
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 01:21:13 PM »

To put it in a nutshell : it seems the game works correctly, except that the snakes are invisible.:/

I got no error messahe to report since the game doesn't crash.
I hope it helps.
Huh. That's a new one for me. It suggests your computer is maybe having trouble with some of the opengl extensions the default renderer is using. Did you try passing it -d GLImmediateDrawer on the command line? It would really help if you could post the log file that gets generated with the --debug flag.
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Pierrec
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2012, 09:58:00 AM »

I eventually got what you wanted me to do! At last!
So I tried the debug mode but couldn't find any debug log file :/ (maybe I did this wrong)
BUT : with ScreamingSnakeball-sdl2.0.exe -d GLImmediateDrawer, it worked just fine! The game seems really fun! Now I just have to find another player and a supporting crowd! Thank you!
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