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November 28, 2014, 11:14:28 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingWelcome to Eden! (1.1.0.0 - 05/03/09)
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Author Topic: Welcome to Eden! (1.1.0.0 - 05/03/09)  (Read 4125 times)
Skirvir
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« on: April 29, 2009, 04:05:21 PM »

Latest Version - 1.1.0.0 (05/03/09)

Hello, I'm a software developer who enjoys creating little games in my spare time, most of these nobody knows about because I've never really released them. However a couple days ago I released the first version of a game I've been building for about the past year in my spare time.

The game is called Eden, it's still early in development and could probably be considered more of an interactive toy or sandbox more than a game at this point, but the very basic premise is to survive. It is a work in progress and if people are interested, I fully intend to continue pursuing the development of the game, so let me know what you think!

You can read more about the game and download a copy to play at the following address: http://www.justingattuso.com/Eden



I'd love to hear back on what anyone thinks about it drop me an email or leave a comment or two in this thread. Also, please pass the link around to your friends and family who might be interested as well, I do appreciate it.

Also, this is a completely free game, so go ahead and grab yourself a copy!

I want to stress that it is more of a throwback to older PC gaming, I'm a programmer not an artist so my artistic skills are lackluster, but for those who appreciate the look of older games, I think it certaintly works.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 02:52:22 PM by Skirvir » Logged

William Laub
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 04:10:05 PM »

Zero
One
Three
Two
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 04:54:14 PM by Gold Cray » Logged
mirosurabu
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 04:32:41 PM »

I think the three should be before two.
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CK
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 06:14:09 PM »

i like you, Skirvir.  i like your stuff.  i like your name.  your smell.

tell us more about yourself Beer! and welcome to tigs Gentleman
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Skirvir
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 07:16:18 PM »

Thanks for welcoming me professordead! Great to have met ya!  Beer!

I'm sorry I clearly didn't follow the etiquette of this forum, I'm notoriously bad for not following directions, forgive me, certainly wasn't my intention.

Okay then! About me, my name is Justin Gattuso, I'm a software engineer by day and dabble in a variety of things by night, most of which is gaming related. I live in Florida with my wife and I work outta the house which is awfully convenient, I know some people have told me they couldn't possibly do it (due to kids or being sidetracked with laundry or cleaning or whatever) but I love it. My wife works as a NASA engineer out of the Kennedy Space Center.

I've got a pair of dogs, Trajan and Nero (they are real brothers too), good guys, mixed breeds, we saved em from a shelter and one has a snaggle tooth  Durr...?, its pretty hilarious and it's just the way he is, he's a clown. Nero is a black lab/doberman mix (we think) and Trajan is a black-lab/rottweiler mix. Nero is insane like his namesake and Trajan is the nicest dog I've ever met.

Lately I've been focusing my game playing activities to the Xbox 360 as well as the Playstation for good measure. I'm not playing PC games as much anymore except for older games cause honestly, anything I'm really interested in seems to already be available for the Xbox and the things just works and doesn't require a ton of my time (my time is scarce as it is). However, I'm excited about Armed Assault 2 coming out for PC later this year (I hope), and was a little bummed about hearing Witcher might not make it to consoles cause  haven't played it yet so I may just have to pick that up for the PC after all!

Originally, as a young kid I was very much into PC gaming and learning the PC in general, but I always had a console around as well.

Being into computers from an early age it was only natural for me to follow that up with learning programming in high school and then moving onto college to learn a ton more about computer science in general. While I don't make games for a living, I fulfill the craving with a bunch of homebrew projects and experiments for the fun of it. As I said most of them never see the light of day, but I always learn something new while dabbling.

I also like P&P gaming, primarily D&D but also Warhammer, I think I actually like painting miniatures as much as going to war with them! I'm actually not to bad of a painter I just take FOREVER, so it's a slow process Smiley

I have played a lot of the early MMORPG's but I'm really not a very big fan of them anymore and I think it's because of the time they require out of a person. I do have a lifetime subscription to LOTRO because my wife really likes that game so we play that occasionally. My favorite to this day was the original Ultima Online, for about the first year, before it got completley screwed up with the balancing changes they made, then it kinda fell apart Sad

I can't think of anything else without boring everyone to tears so I'll leave it at that for now! Smiley
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CK
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 08:00:06 PM »

you sir, are badass Beer!
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Skirvir
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 08:13:03 PM »

:D thanks for that, I don't at all feel like it, I've completely botched my introduction to this site I'm pretty sure in every way possible, ah well, live and learn Smiley
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mark
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 11:03:58 PM »

Hey welcome.
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Alex May
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 12:59:42 AM »

Welcome!

I tried to play your game, here's how it went:

- Loaded the game and was presented with the menu (why is there a resume option? I haven't started a game yet!)
- Selected "New game", presented with "Generating World..." - might be good to have some kind of update on this screen to show that it's actually doing something. A long static screen with no input can make people uneasy and think your program has crashed.
- OK I can see the world... arrow keys seem to do nothing, clicking... nothing, wsad... nothing? Try a bit more and suddenly see the little man moving in the top left corner, okay.
- Move down the riverbank and off the screen. Move back on the screen. That's odd, you'd think the camera would follow me. Oh well, I'll just stay on the screen.
- Walk into the river and get swept off-screen. Try to get back on the screen by randomly walking up and right. No joy. Hit escape, select new game.
- No "Generating world..." screen this time, just a frozen main menu. It's probably generating the world anyway and this is a menu screen bug or something. Wait a while. Game starts presently.
- Cross the river at the top of the screen so I don't get swept off the screen. Walk around a bit, nothing seems to happen. Space bar seems to pause the game. No other keys seem to do anything. No problem, there must be more to this, I'll look it up. Patience is a virtue.
- Consult web site, where I find the manual, which consists of an instruction telling me to press F1.
- F1 opens the help screen which tells me I can (H)it things; (P)ick things up; (U)se items, etc.
- I notice my hydration is dropping, so I try to drink from the river. Standing next to it and pressing the drink key pauses the game and informs me that the location is invalid. Surely you don't want me to actually swim in the river to drink it... nope - location is still invalid. Am swept offscreen, but this time I can scroll the camera down using the number pad. I can also move the view up and down the Z axis, but this seems to be pointless as I cannot seem to move my man up or down. The play area seems to be small, and I cannot apparently travel from this location to another.
-(H)itting moose and goblins informs me that the location is invalid, whether next to or on the same square as a moose or a goblin. Additionally, it is extremely difficult to land on the same square as a goblin or moose and then hit it, as the game is played in real time and the entities move around randomly. Most frustrating. At least allow the player to hit adjacent squares!
- Finding nothing to pick up, use, drink, hit, or eat, I parch to death by banks of the river, surrounded by food and fresh water.


So, a few things:
- Give the player at least an information screen at the start or a message to tell them that F1 will let them know how to play the game.
- Include more information about how the controls work in relation to the game mechanics e.g. how do you hit something, how do you drink water. Exploration and mystery is fine, but you need to give us something.
- Stick the camera to the player! Moving the player and camera separately is too much to ask of the player. If you want them to be able to survey then let them do it while the game is paused, I mean I wouldn't want to leave my man sitting around alone while I go off surveying the land with my distance sight.
- Consider that complex roguelike controls and the tile-based world might lend themselves better to a turn-based game than a real-time one.

Hope that helps! Looking forward to updates. More survival games!
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 01:10:59 AM »

trying to install the game slowed my computer, i could also not exit the install program without going to the task manager. if there's an actual way to install the game, i think it should be more clear. there were three files on the download page (two in the zip, one stand-alone) and it wasn't clear to me which i needed to run and in which order. i've never heard of sdl or the .net framework so i assumed i'd need to run those first, but i wasn't sure which, so i just ran both, and then tried to run the game's install file itself (which still didn't install despite running both of the other installs first).
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Alex May
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 01:20:54 AM »

Yeah, the setup.exe should have the .msi bundled inside it instead of providing two files that could potentially both install the game.
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Skirvir
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 04:40:04 AM »

Alex >> Outstanding input Alex, great breakdown of your first foray into the game that helps out a ton. I will set aside some time today or tomorrow to put some more information on the website and probably to tweak some game settings. I think your definitly right, I'm leaving just a little too much to be guessed on it's own cause I can tell your missing some of the key things I put into the game, my bad, classic programmer mistake, focus on functionality and then don't tell people how to use it hehe.

Seriously, thank you! Keep them coming if you have anything more.

Also, about the installer, your right that is a little confusing to say the least, I'll try to explore that a little more and come up with something a little better.

Paul >> The reason the installer probably seemed to slow your computer down and I'm guessing was taking a while is that it was probalby automatically installing .NET 3.5 Runtime from the internet, the game is dependant on that framework to run and you probalby didn't have it. That download is kinda big so it takes a little while. I'm not an expert installer writer so I'm not sure how to let the user know that's what it's doing. Anyway once that is installed, subsequent installs of my game are pretty fast. I'll try to streamline this a little with proper instructions on my website. Again thank you as well for the feedback.
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2009, 01:56:08 PM »

People would appreciate it more if they were first asked whether or not they wanted .net to be installed.  It would also be simpler to add a simple .zip file with everything in it ready to go as an alternative to the installers if that would be possible.
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Skirvir
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2009, 02:44:53 PM »

New version is up, 1.1.0.0 it's mainly a user interface/experience improvement, this addresses many of the things that Alex suggested as well as cleaned up the installation, there's just one file instead of two, and I've added some additional information to the website to help explain how to install and play the game, overall these changes significantly increase the user experience I think, thanks again Alex for your suggestions as well as some ones I've received offline as well. (I'll try to just update new versions at the top of the thread going forward so as not to clutter the thread up).

Unfortunately, I'm not an expert in creating installers, I've put some information on the downloads page of my site the explains that it will install .NET 3.5 runtime if it doesn't exist and that it is a sizeable download. The game requires the framework or it won't run, so if people do not want the .NET framework on their machine, then they simply shouldn't download the application.

As for a zip version, I've thought about doing that as well but the reliance on the .NET framework gets in my way, I don't want to deliver a zip mainly because people unzip and play it and the game crashes because .NET runtime isn't on the machine, hence the installer takes care of that issue. Granted if enough people would like a zip version then maybe I'll offer both or something.
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Fuzz
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2009, 04:24:36 PM »

Lots of people already have .NET, though, so a zip file would be nice.
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Skirvir
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2009, 05:54:51 PM »

Alrighty, I've thought about it and I concur, zip files for releases makes plenty of sense, then it's up to the user to grab the .NET 3.5 runtime and SDL.NET and if they have issues with either of those, at least its up to them. I've also updated the download/installation instructions, 3 easy steps now.

I've updated the downloads so they are just straight zip files of the game, this will make installation quick and easy for those who have the other two requirements met and it also (ironically) makes it easier for me to deploy Smiley

Again thanks for the suggestions!
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Skirvir
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2009, 06:14:47 PM »

For those who are interested I've started keeping a development log for the project at: http://www.justingattuso.com/Eden/Home/DevelopmentLog
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