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October 31, 2014, 10:53:44 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingOpera Omnia [Release]
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Author Topic: Opera Omnia [Release]  (Read 34544 times)
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« on: February 21, 2009, 04:12:37 PM »



I made a mediumish-sized but still rather experimental game over the past couple of weeks.

Windows (6.4MB)
OSX 10.5+ (6.4MB)
Source (114KB)

Feedback would be very much appreciated; I'm still open to changing things about.

EDIT: oops download was borked (level 3 was broken Sad  ); just reuploading fixed

EDIT: RELEASE BUILD UP
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 09:16:30 AM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 04:41:55 PM »

"so what did cause it?" and it crashed or was that the end?  once i clicked the third episode it closed.  i'm running on vista, btw.

this is an extremely original work.  of course it was confusing at first, but the first episode cleared everything up.  then after i completed the second thesis, i sensed something creepy, as if the historians new what had created these awful events.

the graphics fit well.  if i had to nitpick i'd say i didn't like the blue streaks of the menu's background.  and rather have that more formal and minimalist like the rest of the gui.  the storyline i didn't get enough of (only 2 episodes) but it was well written (i.e. no engrish/minor punctuation errors).

nice work Grin Hand Thumbs Up Right

[edit] ah, lemme try again.

also, at one point in time i accidentally exited the episode and had to restart.  might there be a way to skip the dialogue?
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 08:20:11 PM »

This is fascinating. The way one has to use backward reasoning to deduce which dynamics might have produced the current state from some "desired" initial state I find completely unique and requires some serious adapting from our usual pattern of forward "action-reaction" reasoning.

I enjoy both the setting in academia (which is something I'm just getting involved with IRL now) and the Orwellian overtones of rewriting history.

I'm stuck at the Gypsy level right now (6 I think) and really have to get some sleep, but I'll be sure to return to this.

EDIT: Interface may be slightly clunky, though I should try with a real mouse instead of a touchpad first I guess.
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 08:53:25 PM »

EDIT: Interface may be slightly clunky, though I should try with a real mouse instead of a touchpad first I guess.
I have never played it with anything other than a touchpad, heh.  What do you mean by 'clunky', exactly? (even one particular example of an interface mechanic you think could be unclunkified).

I figure I should probably add some interface sounds at some point. (button clicky sounds, for instance).

Prof Dead, does the '[edit]' mean that you downloaded the updated version and level 3 worked?

Also, you can press escape to skip the dialogues.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 08:58:40 PM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 08:58:27 PM »

Prof Dead, does the '[edit]' mean that you downloaded the updated version and level 3 worked?

Also, you can press escape to skip the dialogue.

yes, it's working.  ah, escape key, thanks  Beer! i didn't look at the readme  Embarrassed
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 08:59:06 PM »

ah, escape key, thanks  Beer! i didn't look at the readme  Embarrassed
I don't think I said anything about it in the readme  :D
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 09:03:02 PM »

ah, escape key, thanks  Beer! i didn't look at the readme  Embarrassed
I don't think I said anything about it in the readme  :D

...
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 12:36:41 AM »

I really like the concept, especially how all the levels are based towards proving only one of many possible interpretations given solely the present state. This goal based method lends itself really well to the puzzles.

Got up to Level 17 before calling it a night. (The one where you have to spoiler)

My favorite so far was level 13, where you had to spoiler.

The only things I could think of to improve it would be the UI. It feels backwards at first to select migration routes by choosing the destination first and then the source. Restarting by quitting the level is fairly clunky. It would be nice to see an undo/redo button for more complicated levels. It'd also be helpful if there was a counter of the total number of members of a group at any one point in history, since a good number of the objectives use this statistic.
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 03:53:28 AM »

Got up to Level 17 before calling it a night.
ouch!

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The only things I could think of to improve it would be the UI. It feels backwards at first to select migration routes by choosing the destination first and then the source.
That's probably not going to change.  It's sort of part of the backwardsness.

Quote
Restarting by quitting the level is fairly clunky.
Yeah.  I'll include a restart button in the menu, along with a "review briefing" button.

Quote
It would be nice to see an undo/redo button for more complicated levels.
I'll add an undo at least.

Quote
It'd also be helpful if there was a counter of the total number of members of a group at any one point in history, since a good number of the objectives use this statistic.
Yeah; I'll add that.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 03:59:51 AM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 04:15:17 AM »

EDIT: Interface may be slightly clunky, though I should try with a real mouse instead of a touchpad first I guess.
I have never played it with anything other than a touchpad, heh.  What do you mean by 'clunky', exactly? (even one particular example of an interface mechanic you think could be unclunkified).

I've been playing it and thinking about it some more, here are some suggestions:
  • Using the left mouse button for both setting start time and deleting routes (by dragging) is confusing. Use right mouse button for deleting routes (since it's unused anyway).
  • Once you have set the start time for a route, it's impossible to set its start to an earlier point in time. Perhaps make the routes more like bars on the time line and make their start/end points draggable?
  • Use Home/End keys to go to time 0 and end time. In general, some keyboard shortcuts would be appreciated.
  • Have some statistic which always shows you the total populations at t=0, wherever you are on the time line. Right now this information isn't available in any other way but going to t=0 and manually summing up (as far as I can tell).
  • The scaling of the little squares representing population seems a bit disproportionate at times, 100,000 seems almost indistinguishable from zero...?
  • Use a thousands separator. Mentally parsing a number like 1000000 is quite annoying.

Anyway, the more I play this game, the cleverer I find it. It may just be one of your best works so far (or at least it appeals very much to me personally). May I ask where inspiration for this came from?

Also, out of technical curiosity, did you use ODEs to model the populations?


EDIT: I'm wondering.... should "homogenious" be "homogenous"?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 04:31:39 AM by muku » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2009, 04:31:59 AM »

  • Using the left mouse button for both setting start time and deleting routes (by dragging) is confusing. Use right mouse button for deleting routes (since it's unused anyway).
  • Use Home/End keys to go to time 0 and end time. In general, some keyboard shortcuts would be appreciated.
Macbook doesn't have home/end keys, nor a (convenient) right mouse button, fwiw.  I'll make a note about having home/end be shortcut.  Though, once i start introducing shortcuts, where do I stop?  Maybe I should just work on getting the mouse-interface working well.

Quote
  • Once you have set the start time for a route, it's impossible to set its start to an earlier point in time.
It is possible, just awkward.  What you do is go to the exact cutoff time, relay the line, and place a new endpoint.  Not exactly convenient, though.

Quote
  • Have some statistic which always shows you the total populations at t=0, wherever you are on the time line. Right now this information isn't available in any other way but going to t=0 and manually summing up (as far as I can tell).
I won't do this, but I will have it show the total population at the time you're currently looking at.

Quote
  • The scaling of the little squares representing population seems a bit disproportionate at times, 100,000 seems almost indistinguishable from zero...?
I scale the side-lengths instead of the areas, which might contribute to that effect.

Quote
  • Use a thousands separator. Mentally parsing a number like 1000000 is quite annoying.
I thought about this a couple of times, but for whatever reason haven't gotten around to it.  I'll make a note to add it.

Quote
May I ask where inspiration for this came from?
I have a friend who works on ww2 musicology; he pointed out to me a couple of times the way musicologists under the nazi regime focused to some extent on showing how, say, french music was really just a derivitive, inferior version of german music.  And this research was directly used in propaganda efforts.  (This is based on a rough recollection; I haven't done too much reading in this field myself).  I thought it might prove an interesting starting-point.

Quote
Also, out of technical curiosity, did you use ODEs to model the populations?
finite difference.  It works okay, producing a very slight amount of slowdown occasionally.  Integrating analytically would probably work just as well, but it was pretty much an unnecessary headache.[/list]
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 04:37:13 AM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 06:44:27 PM »

Okay, proper release done now


DOWNLOAD

Windows (6.4MB)
OSX 10.5+ (6.4MB)
Source (114KB)

Changes:
undo button
shows overall population
'reset' button on briefing menu
right-click a migration route to delete the 'starting point' directly before it, if there is one.
population scales with square area instead of side-length
fixed a typo


hope I didn't introduce any new bugs...any problems, lemme know.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:48:40 PM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2009, 03:51:15 AM »

Can't figure out what this game is about. Will try it later.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2009, 08:00:10 AM »

Tried it again. Can't make sense out of it. I guess I'm tired.

Care to describe it in a little bit more detail?
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2009, 09:33:31 AM »

NOTICE:  OOPS THE 'RELEASE' BUILD WAS BORKED, I'VE FIXED IT NOW THOUGH (ALSO LEVEL 17 MIGHT HAVE BEEN, IN FACT, UNFINISHABLE, SO I CHANGED IT)


Care to describe it in a little bit more detail?
I don't know if it's a very appealing prospect, but as you asked, I'll give a go at summarizing the mechanic:

The idea is that you are some sort of historian/demographer.  You have control over migration routes between cities.  You work backwards though.  In each level you have access to the current demographics of the region, and you have to set up migration routes in such a way that certain goals are met at a particular time in the past.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:48:29 AM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 12:05:39 PM »

I think this is your best game so far...

Congratulations!
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 01:20:30 PM »

I've just updated this with a statically linked version of lua.  I think it should work for xp 64 users now.  It would be...enormously helpful...if i could get some confirmation either way Smiley

(direct link)

and: cheers daniel Smiley
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 05:25:59 PM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2009, 01:51:57 PM »

Let me have a go at describing it more appealingly, if you don't mind. Let me know if this is too much of a spoiler, but there's a balance to be struck between making a description spoilerish and making it too dull.


The state has hired you to be the official government historian. You are given the demographics for present-day cities, and it is your job to come up with hypotheses for how those demographics came to be. Did your government indeed exterminate the other racial group, or did they just migrate away to another town where they starved to death? Your boss tells you the 'facts', and it's your job to come up with 'proof' of those facts - or at least a plausible account of how the present demographic reality arose from past migrations.


Hmm, I still haven't quite done it justice.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2009, 04:11:03 PM »

CAN'T BEAT LVL 18 I NEED TIPS

I managed to get the others down to 1, but can't figure out how to get them down to 0. I tried splitting up the 1 but it still stays as 1.
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2009, 04:12:51 PM »

Oh, also:

Only 1 exists, but it says "2" in the totals (I'm assuming cause partial others exist as fractions of a person).

Also also:

The game crashed for me once. Not sure why, perhaps something to do with video incompatibility. I wasn't doing anything special, it just crashed while I was looking at it and told me my video driver had crashed. But it restarted fine.
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