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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsNoughts - Puzzle Quest Platformer
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Author Topic: Noughts - Puzzle Quest Platformer  (Read 3759 times)
chegr
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« on: April 08, 2012, 08:04:41 AM »

Hello everyone!

“Noughts” is a game in progress where you solve puzzles playing as small reasonable pieces of nothingness. They are curious but bored because of their inert omnipotence. The only thing in the world that dilutes this aridness is the world itself as Mother Nature, who abhors a vacuum according to Aristotle. This game is about their inane struggle, enigmatic Singularity, and raison d'etre. Aristotle also said “Nature does nothing in vain” — may be he was wrong?









It's going to be released when it's done, in two languages (native Russian and English), for Windows.
The game is developed since 2005 on GameMaker platform. Graphics is made with Adobe Illustrator.

It would be 50 levels long at least, about 20 is done for now.
There is some extra stuff, not included yet in public demo.
I should write here about my progress more often if feedback would worth it.

Links (updated):
Fresh demo (0.0.7.3): https://yadi.sk/d/yjS331bumaYpa
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 09:43:02 AM by chegr » Logged

laxwolf
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 09:58:01 AM »

Nice idea with a really clean art style. Great work. Grin
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chegr
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 11:27:13 PM »

Nice idea with a really clean art style. Great work. Grin
Thanks, pal. I've tried to make it clean. Not everything is near as clear as art, like menu, but I'm working on it. Crazy
Have you tried to play it?
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chegr
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 03:57:05 PM »

I think I'll get rid of last level from this demo. It's too difficult for now, too huge and gets low FPS. There's no way I can distinguish nought with names (they can't have names) and it's very hard to remember them only by numbers at such a scope this level has. I'm thinking about dividing it to smaller levels.

Things to be included:
  • Antialiasing at curved blocks.
  • More emotions to everyone.
  • Free camera for distant exploring (not sure it's necessary when large levels are to be missed).
  • Stars as particles. I hope it will boost performance a bit.
  • Icons for menu and talk icon.
  • Mother Nature, her actions and speech.
  • New scenery object for timed puzzles instead of hour-glasses.

Bugs to be fixed:
  • Selector fades immediately after switch.
  • Moving blocks stuck within nought very rarely.

Some dialogue changes, new levels, context bonuses, mechanics' expansion, more plot issues.
Also two guys volunteered to help me with SFX. There is slightly hope some would be presented in next demo.
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chegr
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 04:48:14 PM »

It's been a while.
Project is not dead but it still floats in shallow water.
I have some problems with transferring it into Game Maker Studio and some issues with the engine I wrote so it keeps me from making actual content. I'll get over it, with or without help. I also have low FPS in some moments and looking for a way to solve it.
Two guys, who promised help with SFX, vanished.
Four guys, who promised help with music, vanished.
Everyone becomes a nought Lips Sealed
Almost everything I promised in previous post is done.
But I will not post new demo until I could breath.
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laxwolf
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 06:19:04 PM »

I haven't vanished.
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chegr
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 06:28:25 PM »

Nice! Grin
I'll post this one for you.
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chegr
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 07:29:59 PM »

I had my screenshots back.
Since Dropbox doesn't allow hotlinking anymore, I'll keep them in other place.
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chegr
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 11:06:05 PM »

I started my game when Game Maker 6 was the last option. Then I quickly moved to GM7 and used it until Game Maker Studio has been released and even further. Almost everyone who played demo said that my style and gameplay is perfect for tablets and phones and I should really think about moving there. Finally I decided to port everything.

I had to remake A LOT of stuff:
  • Copy/paste every dialogue line in Russian by hand from every trigger, because it turned to garbage. Bug was reported, but who cares about importing Russian from GM7?
  • Delete everything with particles, because there is no meaningful support for them now. I'll have to make my own system or use sprites or just forget about attractors.
  • Wipe out 'execute_string', which I used only for addressing resources, so it was simply enough.
  • Set 'draw_set_alpha' and 'draw_set_color' in the beginning of every Draw event, because GM now glues up every similar events into one and then executes, so end of one event with certain parameters could affect completely another event of any object.
  • Rethink and test and try everything that was based on strict event order that was figured out for GM7 by it's users. I have very complex collision system which involves several layers of solidity and mechanics for dynamic switching them. A lot of it relied on checks in specific time. Now everything could happen in ANY order. Still doing it.
  • Deal with changed order of Create event and Creation code. My speech triggers can have a lot of variables set, and it was convenient to set only one of them and then compare only those that are set with same attributes of player who activates trigger. Now I have to set ALL of my variables in EVERY trigger to maintain it. Still doing it.
  • One of the core mechanics, written years ago, is glitching. GMS seems to address players whose instances was correctly wiped out from every list and then destroyed. So when one th players leaves level, game tries to address it and all goes to hell. Still doing it. This one is pretty bad and I hope I will crack it.
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chegr
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 04:28:20 PM »

I decided to remake speech system.
Historically I had two different triggers for speech.
One is 'cause, for user manual activation, for signs on the obelisks, themed chat and so on, the other, 'cue', if for self-launching dialogues. They share some code but have completely different usage. And when I made dialogues (there were non at the time), I decided to use and keep existing code and save some time (I was wrong) — and when I need to have a dialogue for 'cause' situation — I just made it to create a copy of all parameters of the cause-trigger but as cue-object.
But now Creation code happens after Create event, and not before. So copy of all scripted lines original trigger had vanishes when it's copied.
So now I create 1 general trigger and make him behave as I need to — it could launch once and self-destroy then, pause game, have several speech-lines, launch only if player has some defined options and so on. Everything I already had before The Great Port.
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chegr
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 09:32:53 PM »

My speech engine consists of two main parts: trigger I wrote about in previous post and the scr_talk, who deals with data provided by trigger. First one contains conditions, speech and emotions data, second one manages speech queue.
I was almost sure that I have to rewrite trigger to have changes I described earlier work.
I've spent several hours cutting and sewing, looking into scr_talk, planning what will interact with what, and finally got code almost identical to what I had before Shocked
Only then I've realised I had to apply surgery to script rather then trigger code.
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chegr
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 09:50:46 PM »

Links updated! Shame on me.
Please add your impressions about gameplay and everything related below.
Hand Any Key
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chegr
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2014, 04:19:13 PM »

Almost done with triggers. It seems that volume of changes I had to make to make everything work has been greatly overrated. But it took me to rework everything related to it to understand it.
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chegr
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 04:48:40 AM »

Done with triggers, only three major bugs left: noughts absorption, awakening and things destruction. Alos I have huge FPS drop in one almost empty test level and I can't figure out what gives such a leak. I've managed to turn off almost everything and literally have kept only player and ground, but it's still too slow. Keep looking.
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chegr
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 08:11:50 AM »

Porting is done.
Here is the last build for testing (0.0.6.0) http://goo.gl/5Y5xfX
Known issues:
  • Selector and camera drop behing player's motion.
  • Exit particles for big noughts don't shrink correct yet.
  • Engines in moving objects have light color instead of dark for inverted noughts.
Now I want to fix couple of levels, speech and work with new levels.
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chegr
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2014, 06:54:46 AM »

I've spent a weekend to get some things done.
The last version is 0.0.6.1 — http://goo.gl/S4Twwn.
Things that were fixed:
  • Selector and camera now stick proper to player.
    Not the easiest way to be done, but it works.
  • Exit effects now works fine.
    I've managed to bypass GMS particles' circumcision in this certain case.
  • Engines now properly colored.
    It was easier than I thought.
  • Intro is redone slightly.
    The sharp contrast is a bit too strong, but it grabs the vision.
  • "Stowaways" and "Flow of time" puzzles have being changed.
    Now you should not hurry that much and have time to think. Speech lines are still the same, I will rewrite them after testing. Please do.
  • Engines now behave good when blocked.
    They did it eralier, but only when being blocked by uncollapsing void, which is rare case. So the blocking by blocks was wrong because of engines trembling. Now it's smooth.
  • Selector fades in time.
    I used to not redirect it to the last nought available and hide it just after previous nought exited, but now I think that more indication is good. I even think I should make selector be there for collapsing voids too. So selector will fade off only when nought actually start moving, and picking up right nought will be easier.
  • Pause at the end of level is shorter, exit animation a bit better.
What is still wrong:
  • If you start jumping under block moving down, it will surely hit you into the ground or you will stuck in it.
    Undoable case in current levels so far, but is rela for Testin room.
    It haunts me since GM7, I know what the problem is, but I still don't know how to solve it.
  • Berable items don't go with nought warping through voids, but jumps to destination.
    Almost unnoticable, I will fix that as soon I will get to inventory coding.
  • Level icons in menu are not faithful.
    Of course they are, I still work on levels.
  • The game is't done yet.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 09:59:18 PM by chegr » Logged

chegr
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2015, 01:04:06 AM »

I've done many things since last post.

HUGE LIST:
  • "Reclusion" level is added.
    I've designed it mostly for explaining the most ancient feature with white aura to show.
  • "Flow of time" redone again. And it still need works because of huge dialogue at the start.
  • One more level, "Distribution", which breaks one more false obstructive cliche.
  • And one more level about spikes, sizes and auras.
  • I started to show comics between levels.
    Only two for now, but the engine for it is done and tested. The frames are drawn by hand, so I can show you many things that are hard to make within the game's physics.
  • Spring is added to jump on. I could have not add it, it's too 'platforming', but it's quite fun to use it and it could be useful for new puzzles.
  • One way platforms introduced. You can jump from under it, but you can't jump down from above.
    Secret consultant immediately offered to make not only platforms but walls and floors with such a property, but it's too much, I think.
  • You can't take an aura when you already got one before.
    Now you have to find a pickup for doing that.
  • Emotions are drawn now in too parts:
    pupils and eyelids (it's been before) and eyeballs' shape and eyebrows (this's new).
    Now I can make noughts to frown or wonder, feel ironic or sad, just like in comics before the game started. Couple of lines makes a nice visual impact.
  • Speech bubbles now have different fills and strokes, again, like in my old comics. Background coluor fill for Nature, black with white outline for Singularity.
  • Noughts now stamp their foot when they have to say something. Barely visible though.
  • Nought now tremble a bit after finishing their speech and keep sight at next speaker. It looks so alive I don't understand why I never tried to implement it before.
  • When level is done, it sucks whole into the Singularity. I wanted to do it long ago too.
  • Singularity now says how much noughts you have to guide into it to finish level.
    The indicator in menu, that showed the same, is removed. It was nice, but it was not useful.
  • Blocks are now complete opaque or transparent for inverted nought. Ability to see both still exists but only for noughts with undefined spin (yeah it sounds quite abstrusely).
  • More icons for levels in menu added.
    They are not autoresized, I have to draw them by hand, so I do it when I'm almost sure the level is finalized.
  • Noughts numeration now remains the same when one has reached the exit. It's way less confusing.
  • You wake sleeping noughts with more natural radius now.
  • Game doesn't crash when window looses focus when speech bubble are drawn.
  • Selector doesn't fade for collapsing noughts, because it's hard to see it, when nought can't move with arrow keys.
  • Blocking controls for next selected nought after exiting with the previous one is removed, it was rather confusing.
  • Camera doesn't get late after moving nought no more.
  • Camera now stops smoothly when it's frame hits level edges.
  • Sight lines corrected.
  • Night got darker.
  • Many-many-many bug fixes.

I'll show you some pics and give a demo to try later.
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chegr
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2015, 05:50:18 AM »

Noughts jump to Singularity.

I've tried to make spiral mask blurred to avoid strong sharpness when scale gets rather small. Making it via script wasn't very fast. Instead I made 3 different sprites and now switch between them. Rotation and high speed make this transition almost unnoticeable. This GIF was captured before changes have been made.
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chegr
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2015, 05:56:37 AM »

Jumping on spring.

I cheat a bit with this one. I like when I get immediate reaction while playing game. But I also like anticipation in actions, preparations and visual feedback. I wanted spring to launch player instantly but I also wanted spring to react. So I made it squish after nought jumps. Eye almost doesn't see it.
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chegr
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2015, 04:58:31 AM »

There will be no more not-noughts. I've decided to cut this feature.

These were objects that noughts with white aura could destroy and free new noughts from them, loosing their aura. More complex objects would require more 'aured' to be broken. This is one of the oldest features I thought up and it's quite stupid.

Reasons to cut it are:
  • it binds virtual game world to a physical world by scale of objects
  • it messes up with sleeping noughts
  • it gives third already and narrow function to white aura
  • it messes with items
  • it never took me to make real levels with is, which means I don't like it
I had only one level that used to have this feature, and one training level. The last one is already remade, the first one is not so easy to fix.
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