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1074069 Posts in 44032 Topics- by 36036 Members - Latest Member: Radlabgaming

December 21, 2014, 09:36:43 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsFinishedThe Scorpion Box - RELEASED!
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Author Topic: The Scorpion Box - RELEASED!  (Read 7604 times)
Tumetsu
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« on: February 12, 2013, 03:14:06 PM »


Go and play the game here
Your friend "Luc" offered you suspiciously many beers yesterday evening, even though you thought he hated you. You wake next morning to find out that he left you gift, a very deadly scorpion (aka "manhater scorpion"). If this wasn't bad enough, the scorpion is in the same box as your friend's turtle you had promised to take care of during his vacation. He is returning in few days so you gotta get that turtle out of there without killing it or yourself.

A "micro devlog" can be found here
First video

The game will be a short one puzzle point & click game with few different solutions for problem mentioned above. I'm developing this alone trying to get hour per day or so in addition of my fulltime job and studies so it is progressing bit slowly. However, at the moment I have moved into programming part so soon there should be something playable.

Developed with Starling.


« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 01:34:40 PM by Tumetsu » Logged

Tumetsu
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 02:29:11 PM »

Day 3
I fine tuned the background image. It isn't really the greatest quality I have done, but suits me fine for this project at least for now.

Most of the time I used today to set up Starling properly and porting typewriter-style textbox engine from my Flashpunk class. I encountered few problems with it but ultimately prevailed. Tomorrow I'm going to add xml-support for it and an interface to define all kinds of settings for it.

Initial thoughts about Starling framework
I finished free O'Reilly book "Introducing Starling" . It was quite good quick start to some of the Starling's features, though a bit lacking on some parts. On the actual Starling:

I don't like how all Starling classes are named after their native Flash alternatives. Forces you to always doublecheck you are importing the right class. Also, not a good thing with Flash builder's poor prediction either (compared to Flashdevelop).  Another thing is that coming from Flashpunk background Starling feels a bit spartan at the times. I had to make my own Rectangle class and other such a basic classes which FP provides by default. Though that may be a bit unfair criticism, since Starling is really meant to abstract stage3d away rather than provide all-in-one game library.

One thing which concerns me a bit is how events are handled and how to properly code them without getting into real mess. I have some c++ background and most of my AS3 coding has been done with FP, so I haven't learned all good event based practices yet. There is still few vague things in Starling which I haven't really grasped yet, like animations, jugglers and how I should structure my application. I'm sure I'll learn them when I actually get far enough though.

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thersus
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 08:03:53 AM »

Your first paragraph got my attention, sir. Very nice motivation for learning a framework, and for the players of your game as well.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 01:42:32 PM »

Haha, glad to hear that :D

Day 4
I had lots of things to do today so I couldn't do much for my game. I finished the textbox class and now it has all nice settings and can read dialogues from xml-file. I also learned more about Starling.

I had thought that Starling was a game library, while in reality it just abstracts stage3d away. This means that I have to code things I didn't really expect to code! Fortunately my project won't need too much complicated code since point & click games tend to be rather static ones. Something I would like  to have in Starling is a proper camera class. I can do without it at the moment, but I'm not sure what I'll do with my later possible Starling projects. I found some 3rd party camera classes, but still I'd like to have classes and functions like that to speed up my development. Well, Flashpunk 2 is coming so perhaps I move on to that.

The next challenge is to figure out how to draw backgrounds and make clickable object there. I probably set up Ogmo Editor 2 for this. I'm a bit worried with how this whole thing turns out since atm my time is rather limited and Starling seems to require much more work than for example Flashpunk.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 01:41:38 PM »

An accident
I couldn't do anything for my game yesterday. I was really busy. Also, I slipped, fell and dislocated my right kneecap. It took few hours to get it fixed. Now I have to limp few days/weeks :S

Day 5
Anyway, I had lot of things to do today but I managed to squeeze a bit time for Scorpion box. I made some changes to my UML-class graph and made some decisions how to architecture the code. Problem with this is that I still don't have much knowledge how to work effectively with Starling. But I'm learning Smiley

I also set up Ogmo editor for my project and now game can show one background:


Next I should plan a bit more how I'm going to set different scenes into game. I'm not yet sure how I should do it with Starling so I have to make some more research. I should also add all clickable objects into Ogmo level and then import the XML to the game. After that I can actually place them on the stage and make them clickable.
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makerimages
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 02:13:34 PM »

Your first paragraph got my attention, sir. Very nice motivation for learning a framework, and for the players of your game as well.
Same thing here!
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Makerimages-Its in the pixel
Tumetsu
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 02:09:58 PM »

Haha, glad I got you interested  Durr...?

Day 6
Today I added code to read Ogmo generated xml and place most of the objects into their correct places. It involved few problems, like how to create instance of class from xml-string using class' name but with help of Stack Overflow I managed to pull it off. I also added some minor things here and there.

Next job is to actually start defining my clickable object types. I'll probably start by adding hover text feature and after that clicking behavior. Game will have simple action wheel, which has different action options like "open", "look", "take". The challenge here is how I'll implement this behavior and save them into xml-structure.

I'm getting more comfortable with Starling thought there is still some big question marks I have to tackle, like how I should handle all room data and moving between them, how to pause things (juggler is apparently handy with this somehow) etc. I'll also have three job interviews next week which need some preparations so I have a lot of things on my plate right now!
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 03:11:02 PM »

Looks and sounds really interesting! Being a big fan of point and click games i'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out Smiley
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mono
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 05:05:03 PM »

Good luck! I like the concept.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 02:49:55 PM »

Thanks people Smiley

Day 7
I had little time to do this project today. I started to make feature to show the name of the object player is hovering on with their mouse. However, I encountered a very strange bug. Basically if you move your mouse in certain ways, the text will flicker. I already know the critical zone of the code where this happens, but why it happens is complete mystery to me and so far no one has been able to help. Perhaps tomorrow I can get this sorted out. If you are interested in problem, check this:
http://forum.starling-framework.org/topic/mouse-hover-and-hover-end
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 02:49:05 PM »

Just dropped here to say few things about the project.

I have been really busy with other stuff this week so I really didn't have much time to do anything. However, I did all in my power to find solution for the problem I mentioned before and even with help of Starling community I couldn't solve it, since it is a thing which shouldn't even happen and I'm still confused why it happens.

Problem is that without solving that issue I really can't use Starling for this project (though I could design around the problem) and learning Starling was one of the main reasons for making this game. However, I still want to make this game so I have to think about what I'm going to do (design around it, move back to Flashpunk...). I'll dedicate some more time to the issue next week and see if I can fix it.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 02:15:01 PM »

Day 8
I managed to fix the strange bug few days ago with help of Starling community. Other than that I have been really busy with my university course work and an another game project, which have drained a lot of my time and energy.

Today I gathered some willpower and started to make "action wheel" for the game. When you click an object, there appears few fields of possible actions the player can do with the object. There are few things I have to check how to make with Starling, mostly about ho to deactivate things underneath the action fields. I have a solution in my mind but I have to check if it is best way to do it.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 01:36:06 AM »

Day 9
Yesterday I worked a bit on the project. Currently I'm still working on the action wheel. At the moment when an object has only one action, it is executed straight away. So at the moment if an object has only "Look" action, game opens textbox which shows protagonist's description of the item.

Next part is to create a more complex actions and create the structure of the wheel. I already built part of the structure but there is still some things to do before it works like intended. After that I have to think about how certain features will work, like inventory and carrying items etc.

I e-mailed to my old friend to ask if he wants to make graphics to the game (he told me some time ago that he would be interested in drawing some game graphics). If he agrees, it would reduce my workload considerably and enable me to concentrate on programming and design.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 03:39:20 PM »

day 10
Today I finished the functionality of the action wheel. Now when player clicks an object, there pops up menu of doable actions or verbs to choose from. I also made several small improvements to the existing features. However I probably have to extend some functions a bit to ease the development (for example dialogue xml format). I'm getting more and more familiar with Starling and even though I miss Flashpunk's quickness I don't need to fight against Starling to get things done.

The next part I have to figure out is how to handle different rooms and moving between them. I already have an idea and structure for that but I'm not sure if it is good solution. Another thing I have to think is how an inventory will be implemented and items are used.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 02:30:49 PM »

Day Huh?
I have been rather busy with the other things and managed to make only small progress. So I lost the track of days.

However, today I allocated time for the project to finish off the moving part of the engine. Today I programmed the system to move between rooms. I also designed datastructures and xml-files to save the rooms. Most of the things were quite small but there were many of them. I didn't finish the door objects though (for example they can't be locked yet) and there isn't any transitions between rooms.

Working with Starling is at the same time interesting and a bit frustrating. Making simple things take far more time than they would with FP which sometimes discourages me a bit. I'm not even sure if I need Starling for this kind of game, since FP would probably run well enough on mobile for this kind of game to be playable.

On the other hand learning a new framework is interesting and to be honest part of the time goes to my stricter programming. I have actually designed my class hierarchy to be mostly clever and not resort to any hacks.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 02:40:00 PM »

I think I have reached a minor milestone with the game-engine. Now with basic actions and moving between rooms working I have to make plans for the next steps.

First I have to pull my puzzle designs, polish their required "steps" and decide the locations of different items etc. Basically this is pure game/puzzle design phase.

Second part is to create a working inventory system. It might end up easy task depending on the direction I decide to go with it. The biggest design choice at the moment is whether to use always visible hud (or hiding "dock") or a popup window approach. I think that the deciding factor will be the amount of different items the game will include. Scorpionbox involves more different items than most of my adventure games in past.

The most challenging part of the design is to write everything as reusable as possible for later similar games, especially because I'm using unfamiliar framework. However, I think it has gone well so far.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2013, 10:44:18 AM »

Bad news. I realized today that only few portals support stage3d (wmode setting as "direct") and so the Scorpionbox would be unable to be submitted to most of them.

Thing is that I'd like to make an engine which I could use to develop games both for browser and mobiles but AFAIK Stage3d isn't really viable for web-games because of wmode=direct requirement. Then Scorpionbox most likely don't need Starling's speedboost since it is simple point & click game even on mobile devices.

Currently I'm thinking what I'll do with this problem. On the other hand Flashpunk probably would let me develop the game more easily than Starling and it would be fit for portal distribution and possible FGL license if things get fancy enough. Then again I have had some input lag problems with FP on my Android phone (Nexus S) in past, so the portability might suffer a bit.

Decisions decisions!!!

Positive thing is that I didn't develop the game very far and I can catch up the progress quickly in FP when I get time to program.
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2013, 02:33:21 PM »

I have been very busy lately. However, I have made some progress with Scorpionbox! FIrst of all I decided to stay with Starling. I think that learning the framework and building good engine for it will benefit me in future more than restarting with Flashpunk. I have already learnt a lot about Flash which I didn't know before.

I also started a new logging method where I log in hours I have worked on the game and short descriptions of the things I made. I have to do this kind of thing for one other project and found out that it boosted my motivation and helped to keep me in track.

Today I started creating an inventory system. I made some plans about how the item data structures will work and coded "hiding dock" style inventory thing. Tomorrow I intend to start coding the actual item management into it.

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Tumetsu
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2013, 06:52:57 AM »

Decided to drop in to say that the project is still active though progressing slowly Smiley

At the moment the basics of the inventory system are done and the framework for item interactions is mostly done. This means that pretty soon I should be able to move into content creation phase, since most of the stuff missing from the engine is probably easiest to program in that phase (like locked doors, "box objects" which give items etc.).

Content creation phase should also mean that I can share more pictures, talk about the design and hopefully write a bit more interesting stuff than I have done so far Smiley

And because I tend to post here rather irregularly, here is a link to a Google docs spreadsheet where I list my "workhours" and small descriptions of stuff I have done. I have found it boosts my motivation and you can think it as a micro-devlog :D
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AicM7eg4hQYQdGl6cERiV0xCbmQ1ZTlHdEY4elBIV1E&usp=sharing
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Tumetsu
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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2013, 12:15:06 PM »

Did some minor stuff. Added tweens everywhere to make the message boxes etc look more interesting. Here is the very first short video which shows the progress so far:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGo72FNFqQ8&feature=youtu.be
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