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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsLove-Letter-Comp for Valentine's day
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Author Topic: Love-Letter-Comp for Valentine's day  (Read 74352 times)
Natso
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« Reply #140 on: February 21, 2009, 01:24:49 AM »

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I think a short romance compo that ended on valentine's would be pretty .  Something to give to your sig. other or another forum member or your left hand or somesuch.  Or however you wanted to look at it.  Not many romantical games out there.  And it'd be a good time to do one, if we were ever going to do one.

I'd take this rather literally (and it's what I do, actually, when it comes time for birthday & Christmas gifts for online friend(s)).  The creation is what you would give to your significant other, thus not only will the creation be geared towards your other's tastes, it'l also reflect... well... that's getting into relationships, but I think I've explained enough.

Anyways, this is a roundabout way of saying "What?"  I've created a lot worse and given it as a serious gift, this retro talk is just an irrelevant excuse to downplay success.


And to end on a happier note:  I really liked the simplicity of most of the entries, I'm a fan of hidden/implied/etc meanings.

Cheers
 - Natso
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« Reply #141 on: February 21, 2009, 05:42:44 AM »

I didn't mean to downplay its success, I think all the games are successful and I don't even really think there should be a vote, because it's kind of like voting on whose love letter is the best. But at the same time, if anyone thinks that there isn't a retro fetish on this site, and that the voting would be the same regardless of style, they don't know the site very well yet.
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Fuzz
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« Reply #142 on: February 21, 2009, 08:00:24 AM »

I wish some of the more experimental games were getting more votes, like Paul's game and Marmaduke Slam's non-interactive love letter.
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battlerager
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« Reply #143 on: February 21, 2009, 08:25:35 AM »

I wish some of the more experimental games were getting more votes, like Paul's game and Marmaduke Slam's non-interactive love letter.
I'd say both "Lovely" and "Kiss me" are quite experimental, and they are doing great  Wizard
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« Reply #144 on: February 21, 2009, 08:44:58 AM »

Yes, but both of those also have the "low res / large pixel" aesthetic -- experimental gameplay but retro visuals.
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« Reply #145 on: February 21, 2009, 09:06:40 AM »

If you want to engage in a discussions around the prejudices of the tigsource populous as a whole, could you please move it elsewhere?

Please try to keep your comments constructive.  If you have a problem with particular entries, try and suggest ways of dealing with them.  If you like an entry, maybe try put into words why you like it.

For instance: Fuzz, what in particular appealed to you about M.S.'s entry?  I found it, in terms of its visual textures, a little interesting, though the blended neony-textures-on-black aesthetic isn't in and of itself too original (or maybe I'm just not sensitive enough to it to differentiate M.S.'s efforts from those of others?).  For me it was the music that I found pleasantly jarring.  I was really put off-balance, and not sure whether M.S. was trying to be ironic or not.  The overall effect of this was something I was able to appreciate.

(I've still to get around to playing M&M or EHLB2, before which I'm unlikely to say much more about the entries >_< busy trying to get a game out today >_< )
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« Reply #146 on: February 21, 2009, 09:20:53 AM »

I didn't mean to imply that it was a prejudice, it's more of a preference of the audience. If you had a different group voting -- say, mostly girls instead of mostly men who grew up playing NES/SNES games -- the vote would naturally be different (not any more accurate, just different).

As for the non-interactive love letter, one thing I hated about it was that it didn't work on Vista -- it's not that much work to use the Vista converter on your GM6 games before uploading them. Other than that, it did have some interesting special effects, especially for a game made in GM, and I do wonder how they were done. But it didn't elicit any emotions out of me, the music was too distracting for me to watch it for very long. I felt that even white noise or silence would have been preferable. But perhaps "annoyance at the music" was the emotion that was being gone for there. I also noticed that in the "art" subdirectory there are 6 images used; I presume they're somehow blended together to create the effect, and many of them have pictures of people (or a person?) in them. Which is odd because in the game itself I didn't see any people in the effects, whereas I'd have expected to. So perhaps it's subliminal.
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« Reply #147 on: February 21, 2009, 09:25:10 AM »

Other than that, it did have some interesting special effects, especially for a game made in GM, and I do wonder how they were done.
I guess you're very experienced in making these sorts of effects in gamemaker, from ID, so evidently it is an issue of insensitivity on my part. (to me they looked like rotating images overlayed, drawn with additive blending)

Quote
I presume they're somehow blended together to create the effect, and many of them have pictures of people (or a person?) in them. Which is odd because in the game itself I didn't see any people in the effects, whereas I'd have expected to. So perhaps it's subliminal.
Oh, weird; I didn't notice that.
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« Reply #148 on: February 21, 2009, 09:31:57 AM »

Hm, that's possibly how it was done. It's still a nice effect though.

Although looking at the images in the art directory I almost feel as if there's more artistic value in those images than in the merging of them. Kind of how if you mix 6 different perfumes you don't get a better perfume.
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« Reply #149 on: February 21, 2009, 09:33:47 AM »

Looking at it again there is some motion blurring going on too, so perhaps it's rotating images with motion blur? Some of the effects look too much like a spiral for just that, though.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #150 on: February 21, 2009, 09:59:34 AM »

Each community has its own biases. It happens that people who visit this forum look through the "retro filter". If it were was hosted by someone else, the results would be totally different.

Also, there's that problem that not all entries can qualify as "game". Non-interactive letter is not a game. My game is not really a game. Paul's entry is not really a game. They all seem to be "bad retro games" when viewed from the "retro filter". Smiley

I didn't like non-interactive letter. I guess this has to do with me being unable to understand interactive art of that type.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 10:51:37 AM by Miroslav Malešević » Logged
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« Reply #151 on: February 21, 2009, 10:12:22 AM »

I do think mine is a game. There is a goal, even if the program itself doesn't detect that goal or inform you when you've achieved it. And there are strategies to reach that goal, even if a lot of it is outside of your control (much like Peggle, although that's a horrible game to compare any game to). So even in the strict sense of having a goal and strategies, it's a game. Of course, people can choose to play it non-interactively, so it can be played as if it weren't a game.
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« Reply #152 on: February 21, 2009, 10:19:18 AM »

Also, there's that problem that not all entries can qualify as "game". Non-interactive letter is not a game. My game is not really a game. Paul's entry is not really a game. They all seem to be "bad retro games" when viewed from the "retro filter". Smiley

I didn't like non-interactive letter. I guess this has to do with me being unable to understand interactive art of that type.

Actually, I consider your game and Paul's interactive enough to constitute as a game. Sure, you can't lose, but there's some level of interactivity (i.e.- the cursor affects the 'clusters' in Paul's Valentine, and I Love You wouldn't get anywhere if you kept falling into the nothingness. Additionally, people can be misled when you get to the low-wall and you're, well, too tall- and may quit due to impatience).

Non-interactive letter's problem is probably the fact that it's true to its namesake. Though games don't really need you to win or lose, it comes to question if a game is a game at all if your only actions are "Run Executable, Watch Psychodelic Colors and Listen to Scratchy Music, Press ESC when Done/Bored". It's a lovely and interesting test of GameMaker's effects, but it's not much of a game per sé, I guess?

I don't know.

I do think mine is a game. There is a goal, even if the program itself doesn't detect that goal or inform you when you've achieved it. And there are strategies to reach that goal, even if a lot of it is outside of your control (much like Peggle, although that's a horrible game to compare any game to). So even in the strict sense of having a goal and strategies, it's a game. Of course, people can choose to play it non-interactively, so it can be played as if it weren't a game.

I consider Valentine a game for entirely different reasons. Maybe it's because I can think of several non-entertainment programs that have goals, and thus wouldn't decide whether they are games or not on a 'has goal, then game' basis. (i.e.- Calculator does math, MS Paint can perform art, a ReadMe file is made to inform you of something- each of these is a goal. Are these games?)

I'm sorry if I'm out of line, but I'm just tossing my two-cents out there like nobody's business.

Also, am I the only one that finds it WEIRD that we're talking about these sorts of things on a Valentine-themed compo, of all things?
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« Reply #153 on: February 21, 2009, 10:28:35 AM »

Well, you can use a calculator or ms paint as if it were a game too, most just don't use it that way, they use it more as a tool. Whereas these entries to this contest can't really be used as tools. But I owned a (physical) calculator when I was younger, just a normal solar powered non-scientific calculator, and used to make up games to play with it all the time, like I kept doubling 2 until it reached a number too high for the calculator to handle and crashed. Or I kept adding 1 and tried to get as high as I could before I got bored. Similarly, I used to play games in MS Paint where you create boxes and fill them with different colors and see how many boxes you could create and fill.

But one issue is that if you supply your own goal, it's different than if the program implies what the goal is. The goal in my game is to get all the different particles together in one clump for each of the 14 modes. Unfortunately I couldn't figure out a way to get the program to reliably detect when that happened, so I chose to leave it up to the player to know when it has happened (because what's kind of obvious to a human viewer isn't obvious to the program). I'm sure I could have figured out a way eventually, but I didn't really have enough time.
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« Reply #154 on: February 21, 2009, 10:40:03 AM »

But I owned a (physical) calculator when I was younger, just a normal solar powered non-scientific calculator, and used to make up games to play with it all the time, like I kept doubling 2 until it reached a number too high for the calculator to handle and crashed. Or I kept adding 1 and tried to get as high as I could before I got bored. Similarly, I used to play games in MS Paint where you create boxes and fill them with different colors and see how many boxes you could create and fill.

I am reminded that my childhood was not very childish. I'm almost entirely sure that the last time I held my TI-83, I tried to program a text-game on it.

I still consider your game... well, a game- due to its interactivity- but I do feel that the lack of stating a goal is a two-sided sword. I interpreted the game's goal as simply to express what love would be like if we could see it- perhaps at a microscopic level- and tinker with it with something as thin as a needle (i.e.- the cursor). While I did try to make them all into a single cluster, I wasn't aware that that was the goal you intended (I suspected it, since Level 1 was named "Hopefully clusters will form", but as I read the rest of the levels I started to interpret it differently).

A lack of a clearly defined goal can lead some of the less imaginative amongst us to disappointment. Simultaneously, too clear a goal can be a turn off for people that try to over-analyze things, maybe?

... I'm not even sure where I'm going with this anymore. I'm hungry and a bit sleep deprived at the moment, and hoping that somebody will look at my thread in the Cockpit Compo and offer "oh hey I don't have an artist/concept yet, want to work with me?" or something.

Perhaps now is not the best time for me to ponder this sort of stuff- but I guess a game is what we each make of it. ... Just like pretty much everything else in life.
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« Reply #155 on: February 21, 2009, 10:42:53 AM »

Paul, here are some additional thoughts I have on the newest version of you game:

I'm just typing this with the chimes in the background, and a plate is rattling on the table as I type; the combination of the quietly rattling plate and the chimes is not unpleasant.  One remark about them, is that they sound quite piercing and...unsettling to my ear, very percussive, when my inclination is to relax into the game.  I don't know if this sort of conflict was intentional on your part.

The positioning of 'To: Carrie B' seems odd to my eyes.  In some sense, it's quite striking, but to some sense it makes it feel as if the window was originally much shorter, and you extended it to make it higher.  Similarly, what would you think of the idea of having the buttons have the same vertical distance from the top of the screen as the "love letter competition entry"?

Interface-wise, it's weird having the tooltip display at pretty much the furthest point away from the buttons possible: I found coordination and browsing to be quite difficult; had you considered having the text display directly to the left of the button highlighted?  Had you considered doing mouse-over image-changes on the buttons?

As for the metaphor: it seems to me a bit easy, a bit systematic, a bit sentimental, a bit too straightforward.  The metaphorical constructions (the links between the interactions and the text) feel like a sort of enumration, rather than sincere exploration.  I am uncomfortable resting any judgement on the metaphorical content, so instead I'm sort of experiencing it suspended uneasily in mid-air.  I think I read you say elsewhere that you were thinking of removing the 'explanatory' texts yourself.  This would maybe have worked better for me, but if it was a conscious decision you made, you evidently had your reasons.

Given that I first saw this some time ago when it was still a prototype (and have expressed appreciation of the visual aesthetic already), the Ways that make an impression on me as I go through them again today are the fifth one (distance is great), and the final one.  there was something tantalising about the quality of the incoherence on the fifth, and of the delicacy of movement in the last one.

"this kind of love can be splitting up by trauma" <- is this as you intended to type it?  it's an interesting one if it is, but my initial impression was that it was unintentional.

I personally found the introduction of the 'explosions' into the metaphor to be a bit off-putting.  It seems to signal the beginning of an imbalance in power between the 'love' part of the metaphor and the 'mechanics' aspect.  The statement of the next one, 'does moving at the same speed help', seems similar contrived to my mind.

One other comment: it seems a bit sluggish, or to slow down sometimes.  Am I the only one experiencing this?

One other thing, though it might be somewhat annoying to program in, but screenfades between the title screen and the 'game' screen might have worked well.

I enjoyed waiting for the things to fade out; even when I wanted to immediately skip to another one.

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ElTipejoLoco
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« Reply #156 on: February 21, 2009, 10:50:54 AM »

One other comment: it seems a bit sluggish, or to slow down sometimes.  Am I the only one experiencing this?

For all of the Flash games except The Magic Catflap, I lowered the Quality to Low in order to see it at a 'real' speed, after playing through it the first time. If Valentine was the last of the Flash games you played (after Catflap and Tuxedo), then your browser's Flash Player cache was probably not handling all the info. very well (this tends to happen a lot when I peruse Youtube and similar Flash-based-video-streaming sites over several videos).

Emptying your cache and running the game again should help as well.

Most of the slowdown, if at all, occurs if the particles are being interacted with (i.e.- touching or touched the cursor recently, or another particle) at the same time as the fade-out is occurring. This is probably more of an action script based lag thing than not.

... That aside, the sluggishness didn't bother me when it occurred. I don't recommend lowering the quality the first time around, either- it makes the text harder to read.
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« Reply #157 on: February 21, 2009, 10:59:57 AM »

I didn't get any slowdown, but I've a fairly good computer (core 2 duo 3.0 ghz etc.). I did notice that it's faster in chrome than in firefox though.

I agree that the UI of the title screen is pretty bad (I still need to study UI design). The original intention was to have the title screen look like a letter, with the positions you'd expect on a letter, with the modes as the "stamp". However, the modes were too many to all fit as the stamp as I increased their number.

I do think that part is a typo, yes.

The chimes are a bit loud too, but it was one of the only few public domain tracks I found that fit it. I could have tried a few Audacity filters to soften it, though.

I think you're right about the descriptions gradually moving away from the metaphor and more into the mechanics as it went on, that's a good observation. And some of the relations were just puns rather than actual metaphorical relations.

A fade out would be a good idea but I've no idea how to do that in Flash yet. There are a lot of things that were very simple in GM but nearly impossible for me to figure out in Flash, and vice versa.
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« Reply #158 on: February 21, 2009, 01:29:40 PM »

I think you're right about the descriptions gradually moving away from the metaphor and more into the mechanics as it went on,
I was just thinking there that, from a dramatic standpoint, it might have been quite interesting to reverse the order of the metaphors; to start off as a technical enumeration, gradually slipping into an amorous reveries.
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Fuzz
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« Reply #159 on: February 21, 2009, 01:47:01 PM »

The chimes are a bit loud too, but it was one of the only few public domain tracks I found that fit it. I could have tried a few Audacity filters to soften it, though.
The chimes really worked for me. They were soothing, in the odd kind of way I find Nirvana soothing (I'm weird, okay). As for the actual game, it was my favourite of the compo entries. I really felt for those little clouds. It was heartbreaking to see them not be able to come together. I didn't particularly like having the descriptions, but they were okay.
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