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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsBootleg DemakesS.T.A.C.K.E.R. [FINISHED] [v1.1]
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Author Topic: S.T.A.C.K.E.R. [FINISHED] [v1.1]  (Read 138954 times)
Andersonger
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« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2008, 04:03:49 PM »

Love:

+The wonderful use of the STALKER thematic. The name is also genius.

+The TV effect! Maybe make it an option?

+Strategy Tetris! *guitar coming up* "Hm... Too much vodka in there, gonna get really wasted if I clear this mass now. I'll just stash the guitar to help me recover, and make a four-line clear with that piece of wood instead. Oh shi- GRENADE!" Never thought I'd play Tetris like this :D

+Difficulty. Really like how the target score forces you to, as you said, focus not only on surviving but on clearing multiple lines as well.

+Artifacts. I've played a few Tetris variants where you have "diamond bricks" or whatnot that gives you a bonus when you clear them. It's never made sense until now. Also love how the effects they have forces you to choose whether you want to save them so you can clear them whole for the score bonus, or just clear them quickly to get rid of them.


Plz fix:


-Might just be me, but the controls still feel a bit finicky. Of course, I've always preferred my Tetris a bit sluggish. Maybe this could also be an option, "Sensitivity" or something?

-I sometimes get swarmed by radioactive blocks, making it almost impossible to survive. Thinking it might be on purpose, to simulate walking into a heavily radioactive area or something?

-There's no level 2 and 3! Wink


Going to play some more and see if I can think of any good feedback. Must say that what I really love here is how the gameplay and theme works so well together. It's what kept me playing and loving the game, despite the controls turning me off a bit. Really looking forward to seeing the final game, so keep it up!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 04:16:59 PM by Andersonger » Logged
mrfredman
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« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2008, 04:18:25 PM »

Oh man! This is very clever! I'm totally impressed. The changing colors are a great effect that somehow makes it feel like the original, but I can't even put my finger on why. The attack dogs kept attacking and stressing me out, I really got into it. I certainly hope we get a lot of votes when judging time comes, because one of mine is definitely going here!
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2008, 06:56:57 PM »

I really love the old-tv look. I say keep it. It really helps the atmosphere. Atmospheric Block Stacker. Never thought I'd say that.

And, in review, the sizeable difficulty IS a good thing. Really requires you to get skilled and learn the game well.


Aside: I think this is going to be the Zic Zac of the competition. In my eyes. Genius puzzle game, from a new member, and an entirely new take on something. Also fun and very, very catchy. You've got my vote.


EDIT: Downloaded new version. Broken? Extremely unresponsive. Keys occasionally work. Sometimes seconds after holding them down. What happened?

In other news, dig new presentation. Story, maps. Very nice!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 11:05:19 PM by Gainsworthy » Logged
Pishtaco
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« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2008, 10:55:46 PM »

Thanks to everyone for the kind words!

-Might just be me, but the controls still feel a bit finicky. Of course, I've always preferred my Tetris a bit sluggish. Maybe this could also be an option, "Sensitivity" or something?

-I sometimes get swarmed by radioactive blocks, making it almost impossible to survive. Thinking it might be on purpose, to simulate walking into a heavily radioactive area or something?

-There's no level 2 and 3! Wink
I'll put in a delay between the first time an object moves and when it repeats. Maybe that will fix it. Or I could just slow down sideways movement more.

The last area is meant to pile on the radiation, but you can prepare for it by stashing anti-radiation objects. Otherwise, you just got unlucky.
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2008, 11:23:12 AM »

I've updated the download in the first post. Level 2 is now in, but not balanced etc. You can unlock it by typing "strugatsky" at any time in the front end. Hopefully I can put something together for level 3 tonight, and then do polishing etc. tomorrow. The competition finishes midnight on Sunday, in some American time zone, right? So early Monday morning in Europe?

One thing I should ask - I tried this on the computer at work last week, and noticed that game maker seemed to be drawing primitives differently. In particular the health bars were a pixel too wide. Now I've made them half a pixel smaller, but I don't know if that has made a difference. Let me know if you see anything odd like that, especially for the water in level 2 (which is draw with primitives).

I put in an extra delay for the controls. It feels more precise now, but... uneven.

Edit: I just realized that the version I posted has player death turned off. I've left it like that for now.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 11:30:17 AM by Pishtaco » Logged

Gainsworthy
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« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2008, 12:19:42 AM »

Still impossibly laggy.

Is this all to do with the new old-TV effect? (As opposed to the old old-TV effect)
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2008, 02:29:50 AM »

Level 3 is in, except for some sounds.

Still impossibly laggy.

Is this all to do with the new old-TV effect? (As opposed to the old old-TV effect)
Impossibly laggy is bad. By old-TV effect I mean the noise and scanlines when rendering normally, not the psy and radiation stuff. And I haven't changed it; I'm reluctant to, since then it would make sense to change the psy and radiation things as well. And on my old-ish laptop it doesn't seem to be slowing things down.

Can you describe exactly the problem you are having? The change I made to the controls in response to Andersonger was to put in an extra delay after the first time you move an object sideways, since otherwise it was too easy to move something two places by mistake. But for me it's never felt laggy.
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2008, 03:20:00 AM »

If other programs are open, even the menu is unresponsive.

Optimally, with all other programs closed, the delay starts as nothing at all. Plays fine, like the old versions did. But, the controls are tighter, and nicer.

After a few blocks appear on screen, it slows down. At first, there's just the occasional ignorance of a button press. As a few more blocks drop down, the lag increases so that it does not respond initially, and then mimics one's button presses ~ 5 seconds later. After that it stops responding at all. Also, the mouse lags if moved at any time during this.

It has nothing to do with psy or rad effects - I've never gotten that far in this version. I think it must be the new noise you've added, or something else, perhaps?

I've only run it on my oldish (3 years?) computer. I think I might go check out how it works on my newer, fancier one.
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2008, 04:08:51 AM »

If other programs are open, even the menu is unresponsive.

Optimally, with all other programs closed, the delay starts as nothing at all. Plays fine, like the old versions did. But, the controls are tighter, and nicer.

After a few blocks appear on screen, it slows down. At first, there's just the occasional ignorance of a button press. As a few more blocks drop down, the lag increases so that it does not respond initially, and then mimics one's button presses ~ 5 seconds later. After that it stops responding at all. Also, the mouse lags if moved at any time during this.

It has nothing to do with psy or rad effects - I've never gotten that far in this version. I think it must be the new noise you've added, or something else, perhaps?

I've only run it on my oldish (3 years?) computer. I think I might go check out how it works on my newer, fancier one.

Thanks very much! Beer!

Maybe it's because I switched the game to run with high priority -- I don't really know what this does. Here's the latest version with it set back to normal:

I was having trouble before running like this with Firefox going at the same time, but today it's fine.

It could also be the sounds. I've been using audacity, which has a habit of taking tiny, low-bitrate .wav files and padding them out something shocking. I've been trying to catch these, but I'm sure some slipped through.

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Pishtaco
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« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2008, 02:41:31 PM »

Okay. The sound in level 3 is not quite what I would like, and there are ominous signs that some people are going to have technical problems, but I'm going to call it done.  Cool
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2008, 03:24:25 AM »

IT WORKS! I COULD KISS YOU!
 Kiss

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kaputtnik
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« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2008, 07:20:03 AM »

Now, this is a bootleg version that is actually much more than just a good pun with a joke game on top of it. I don't know about other peoples' experience with Tetris style games, but I found this one innovative, atmospheric, challenging and also funny at the same time, and it completely captures the essence of the original.

If this were released under the original license on gameboy color, I'd gladly buy. Yes, I do have a gameboy color!

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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2008, 05:04:02 AM »

Hmm, STACKER: Actual Gameboy Cart Edition? Hecka yes. And I don't even own a Gameboy Colour. I'd just look at it and smile stupidly. Pretend I'm playing.

I'm glad that there were enough games who took demake as "make good game" rather than "make funny joke." Not that I didn't like Little Girl in Underland or Sexy Seaside Beachball, mind you. But the good games are great.
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2008, 04:33:42 AM »

I made it onto Rock Paper ShotgunBeer!

When I released this I was worried that I had made the first level too easy. But it's sounding like it's too hard. Has anyone actually passed it?

And if not, is the problem that you get overburdened, or that you die, or that you don't score enough? I'm worried that it might just be that I'm not communicating well enough how the game works, particularly that you need to keep a weapon and some armour stashed at the bottom of your inventory to keep the attacks manageable.
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increpare
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« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2008, 05:01:54 AM »

I really like this game dude.  Haven't gotten too far yet, but...the idea is great (and, dare I say it, inspirational), and the implementation is gooood.
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2008, 05:02:52 AM »

Hey, well done! You know, it never occured to me that it combines an old classic Russian game with a new one. And that's awesome.


I totally get that hoarding items is needed, and hoard I do. What gets me is overburdening. Either overburdening or score. Either the RNG comes and kicks my arse with a bunch of AK's or squiggly blocks in a row or I get greedy and mess up monumentally. And, inevitably, the PSY effects need to be counter measured (that's a GOOD thing, though. Fun to counter Psych-outs).


Now, all this considered, it's more of a learning curve thing. I now (pretty much) know how to handle a bad deal, how to survive through a psych-out and how to stack effectively. Still, around 40% of the time I get to the end of the level. And my score is somewhere around... 10,000? Originally it was always < 7,000, but now it's around there. Can't manage to increase.

I see this as a challenge more than a problem, but I think that lowering the threshold by 1,000-ish wouldn't be a bad idea by any means. It's really tough, and could scare off the more casual types. Either that, or I'm just crap. That's a distinct possibility.

Of course, the large difficulty and potential casual scaring nature does reflect STALKER quite nicely, when you think about it. Maybe you should keep it this way. Game plays You!
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muku
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« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2008, 06:59:51 AM »

First off, I think this is the most creative and unique entry in the entire competition; I love how it takes the Tetris mechanic, turns it on its head, infuses it with atmosphere and mashes it together with shooter tropes.

Now, unfortunately, I find this game hard as a brick. Maybe you can help me understand it better. As per your last hint, I try to build up a basic "survival kit" consisting of armor, a weapon and health/psi bonuses in the bottom two or three rows of the inventory. The problem is that, depending on the favor of the Random Number God, it can take forever for those items to roll around, so often I find myself forced to fill up some rows with junk, and when I finally have my survival kit items together I'm already so far up in the inventory that it's just a matter of time before I become overburdened. And even if I get my stuff together early, some bandit will shoot some critical piece of equipment to smithereens and I'm boned again.

Also, what I find really frustrating that my skill doesn't seem to improve, or it doesn't have much bearing on the game. My record is something like 5000 points on the first level, but in the next game I could just as well score below 2000 points because the RNG screwed me over royally again. I don't know, maybe I'm missing some tactic to get more reliable scores.
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2008, 09:06:15 AM »

First off, I think this is the most creative and unique entry in the entire competition; I love how it takes the Tetris mechanic, turns it on its head, infuses it with atmosphere and mashes it together with shooter tropes.

Now, unfortunately, I find this game hard as a brick. Maybe you can help me understand it better. As per your last hint, I try to build up a basic "survival kit" consisting of armor, a weapon and health/psi bonuses in the bottom two or three rows of the inventory. The problem is that, depending on the favor of the Random Number God, it can take forever for those items to roll around, so often I find myself forced to fill up some rows with junk, and when I finally have my survival kit items together I'm already so far up in the inventory that it's just a matter of time before I become overburdened. And even if I get my stuff together early, some bandit will shoot some critical piece of equipment to smithereens and I'm boned again.

Also, what I find really frustrating that my skill doesn't seem to improve, or it doesn't have much bearing on the game. My record is something like 5000 points on the first level, but in the next game I could just as well score below 2000 points because the RNG screwed me over royally again. I don't know, maybe I'm missing some tactic to get more reliable scores.

Thanks very much for the detailed feedback. The way I'm playing, which seems to get me through level 1 pretty consistently, is to try to score 5 lines (including some artefacts) in the starting area, where there aren't so many attacks. But while I'm doing this, if a weapon or armour or something else good that I need turns up, I flip the stack upside down so that I can stash it at the bottom and then flip it back immediately. This sounds like what you're doing, except I'm not sure why you would be forced to fill up some rows with junk.

I might make the five lines or I might not, but I usually get a reasonable score and reasonable possessions by around the start of the second area. Then I mostly try to survive, making two or three lines when I can, and keeping an eye out for anti-radiation things for the last area.
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2008, 02:36:12 PM »

Well, I don't know what's changed, but I take it back about being able to get through level 1 consistently.

It's a bit of a hack, but here is an easier version of level 1: http://willhostforfood.com/access.php?fileid=33644 I've slowed it down, lowered the target score and increased the weight of small, friendly items. To use this file, put it in your STACKER directory before running the game. On exit the game deletes it, so you will need to put it there again every time you run it.

If it isn't a problem with the competition rules, I'll put up a rebalanced version of the game in the next day or two.
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Pishtaco
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« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2008, 02:45:04 PM »

@Gainsworthy: One draft of the introductory text hinted at the weirdness in the Zone being connected with a visit from the Soviet Academy of Sciences, where the Tetris guy was working. But I decided it was just too many words.
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