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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsFrog Days
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Author Topic: Frog Days  (Read 23464 times)
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« on: July 22, 2015, 07:59:17 pm »

The year is 1995. Computer technology is advancing at a rapid pace and the demand for personal computers has never been higher. Leading computers into the living spaces of millions is FlamingOS, the latest version of the number one graphical user interface that both businesses and home users choose as their computer's operating system. Even your computer is running FlamingOS! However, your computer is special. Mysterious functionality allows you to explore virtual worlds hidden within the operating system and within each world you find, every new piece of data you discover, there lies clues to one of the best kept secrets of human-kind... That's right, an ancient alien conspiracy.

Gameplay Video

Please keep in mind that there are still many changes to come. What's shown in the video is a small cave test section that might not even be in the final game, but it was used to demonstrate gameplay. Don't get it twisted though, as all the exploration gameplay systems such as navigation, inventory management, extra systems like a fancy cheat code input, an inventory combining system, a very simple item creation system and many more things are either done or need some tender love and care to be considered finished.

A Glimpse Into the Virtual Universe
As mentioned before, environments will be changed and improved, right now a lot of environment content needs to be made, locations need to be more fleshed out and general polish is needed, but even so there is a great amount of stuff that is already done.

FlamingOS Operating System

FlamingOS, presented by Yours Inc., is the top of line, state of the art, defacto standard in the modern world of graphical user interfaces. Featuring an unseen level of intuitive features, user customization options, and the Work-and-PlayTM design language you've come to know and love, FlamingOS is the
perfect desktop environment for finishing a workload the size of Mt. Everest in record time, with time left over to play a couple games of Go Fish!

*A user-friendly work and play environment!*

*Manage your e-mail, FlamingOS makes it easy to touch base with your contacts!*

*A convenient place to throw your trash away!*

*Unleash your inner artist!*

A sampling of sounds

The soundtrack for Frog Days will vary from atmospheric ambient tunes to upbeat exploring tunes to contemplative puzzle tunes, not to mention all the tunes featured outside of gameplay, such as those used for the in game music player! There is also a lot of music. Over the years I've been working on Frog Days, I've composed over 90 songs for the first person exploration part of the game and so far about a dozen for music outside of exploration.

What tools are you using to make this game?
A fantastic variety of free and commercial software:
-Frog Days is running on the fantastic Adventure Game Studio Engine by Chris Jones and everyone else who helped make it a great piece of software.
-All 3d graphics are created in the incredible, open-source 3d modeling juggernaut Blender, using the internal renderer.
-Textures and other imagery created using Adobe Photoshop.
-Textures derived from a combination of my own photos, stock photos, and from the amazing public domain picture source http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/
-Music created in FL Studio 10.

Where the game is at now

Right now, I've been finishing up the operating system part of the game It's taken quite some time, but at this point I'm mostly replacing placeholder graphics with final ones and polishing things up. Basically all the features that I wanted are in and functional. While there is still a sizeable chunk of things left to do for FlamingOS, the end is in site, like a jpeg island on the horizon of an endless ocean skybox, which means moving on to phase 2 in which the main focus is on creating the rest of the environments and inventory item models. And, well, actually putting in the first person gameplay part of the game, which I have taken MANY steps to ensure that it will be pretty easy for me to build it all when the time comes...(fingers crossed)

Questions? Comments? Spam? Send it to [email protected]
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 07:42:56 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 03:57:14 pm »

Intriguing premise. There need to be more exploration games!

I really like that you're going with a lot of optional content: it has the advantage of letting the player beat the game but still wonder if there are secrets left behind they missed, possibly whole worlds.

Will the 'worlds' be interconnected in any way, or have worlds that only become available after you've explored others? One disappointing part of an exploration game is when you've seen everything there is to see, but still have to retread old ground to solve puzzles that won't reveal anything new.
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 07:29:12 pm »

Thank you! There are entire secret worlds, yes... and some are hidden good heheh. I feel like if the content is interesting enough, then players will want to explore all they can, or look hard for the secrets, you know? Then it's not really optional content... it's discovered content. And, at least for me, the feeling of discovering things in games is the best type of feeling!

Some locations are literally connected- for example, let's say there is a picture of a coral reef on the desktop(there will be an oceanic world, but it's one of the few I haven't started production on yet). You can enter the coral reef world by opening the picture and clicking on the picture once more, like all image-file worlds. However- there are other parts to this world you can only access by entering via a different file.

Some locations might only be accessible if you do something in the game's computer.

Some locations you have to solve a puzzle in another world to explore it fully.

Everywhere, except the end-game place, is available to explore technically, but it's more about how much you can explore. Without spoiling too much, I'll say I'm taking all the steps I can to prevent a boring exploring game because there's nothing worse in a game than having to backtrack without anything new happening because the developer expected to do a pixel hunt and pick up an item, or there's a machine missing a cog at the end of a long tunnel or something...

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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2015, 06:48:00 am »

The first update! If nothing disastrous happens, I should be updating at least every 2 days.

Not much in the ways of visuals to show. This was a weird time to start the devlog because I'm coming off of about a month of heavy duty crunching to get promotional material done. Now, it's heavy duty crunching on completing the functionality of the game's operating system, FlamingOS!

It's been about 8 months since I've touched the actual game. Within those 8 months, I've become a competent 3d modeler. But have I forgotten how to program? Thankfully, not really. The one class at community college I enjoyed and learned A LOT from was Progamming Logic, and I still remember most of it. And my organizational skills have gotten much better. I'm not going to lie- what I wrote long ago is a bit messy. Thankfully, not bad enough to start over. Just touch up as I go along.

Before, I only had dragging icons and right click menus done. But, over the last couple of days, I've completed a working clock, dragging application menus, screen saver code, and I wrote code for custom scroll bars.

Very ugly! Scrolling needs refining. I need to finish the code to get the scroll bar handle's Y position as a value, and then calculate a percentage based on that value. Then, the scrolling elements will move across it's boundaries based on the scroll bar handle's Y position(you know, like a real scroll bar!)

So you interact with it exactly like you'd expect a scroll bar in your browser or OS of choice to work.

Beside that, I lopped off some old code, simplified some things, some other behind-the-scenes kind of stuff.

I wrote some music after all of that, here's a couple new songs:

Old Structures


Btw, I'm posting the album versions here. In the game, the music will sound more era-appropriate. So muffled, fuzzy, and degraded heheh!

I'll have more visual content to show soon!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 07:27:59 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 11:07:39 pm »

Unfortunately I got a little tied up yesterday and couldn't work on anything, but I do have a some stuff to show! While programming is can be tedious, and somewhat stressful aspect of game making, it's also one of the most satisfying. Scroll bars have are 99% done(I say 99% done because A. there might be a way I haven't scrolled on them yet, but I've spent hours testing the scroll bar to make sure it reacts fine with all kinds of clicks and such. (I'll show those when I've replaced the ugly placeholder stuff)

I've also redone the old FlamingOS windows style:

I originally wanted to do something that didn't look too much like Win95/98, but the original look doesn't have the same feel. It feels too much like it's own thing, which is fine, but I want to recreate a more true-to-life operating system environment. So I took more inspiration from Windows 98, and Mac OS 7 and 8. I only used a Mac a couple times when I was in elementary school(my family had always been Windows powered), but I know a fair share of people grew up using Macintosh desktops(and to be honest, it pops a lot more than Microsoft's look(and it brings back some very blurry memories of 4th or 5th grade)

Windows 95

Mac OS 8

Thanks to guidebookgallery for the pictures.

I don't think one looks better than the other, it's like comparing Apples and Oranges.


Besides window styles, I've been working on the more visual content of FlamingOS. Such as the game's image viewing program:

It's missing a lot of stuff, such a file browser window and tabs at the top, but it's beginning to come together. To stay true to the design of many 90s/early 2000 applications that I recall from my childhood, I made sure the buttons are in complete contrast and color and style to other elements of the program.

Also, FlamingOS' Wallpaper manager. It's very rough right now, and I think needs more garish orange to go with the horrible dark blue and sky blue. A lot of the built in applications in FlamingOS are made to look and feel relaxing in comparison to the dull-grey work oriented interface you see most of the time. The theory would be that changing your wallpaper or system settings would be like taking a break, and be calming and straight forward. There will also be very terribly compressed music to go in the background(cupoftea.exe optional!)

Other system applications will have similar piano music, or new-agey synth pads and stuff...

Oh I almost forgot! The OS will also have plenty of other music that it comes with, like those horrible midis Windows 95 came with.

*just pretend the computer has a great, Yamaha XG-like soundcard on the computer!*
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 07:33:28 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2015, 06:34:17 am »

20% chance of being frog fractions 2?

These web letters will take your internet hole to my ear-paintings!! http://www.trevorblackmusic.com/
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 07:15:56 am »

haha those are some very 90s graphics. I like it.

By the way, where else did you post those watermelons image? I've seen them before but I don't know where from.

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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2015, 03:40:04 am »

20% chance of being frog fractions 2?

No Unfortunately this has nothing to do with Frog Fractions 2, I swear! I think if your looking to satisfy your craving for 64 color virtual amphibians, Frog Days will do just fine.

haha those are some very 90s graphics. I like it.

By the way, where else did you post those watermelons image? I've seen them before but I don't know where from.

Thank you! The only place I've posted my melons is in the 3d thread here on tigsource that I know of! Anyone else posting my melons is a phony, swordofkings128 is the only forum name I use. I just did a reverse google image search of the melon image, and luckly no results on google... Though it would have been nice if my topic showed up! XD

Quick update, yesterday I wrote the dragging/double clicking room objects code for the wallpaper changer screen. I could have copied the code from another room script, but the code is very dirty and references objects by script names rather than ID, and for some reason I gave them text properties and it's just a mess... It works, but it's a mess. So I just decided to try writing something shorter and more organized.

I decided to do a brief write up on this because this kind of stuff was difficult for me at first, and maybe this will help someone else trying to do more operating-system like interfaces in Adventure Game Studio... But it's very boring! Prepare to fall asleep hehe...

Clicking and dragging is kind of like breathing or blink to use. We do it and don't really think about it, or how it works... it just is. But in order to understand how to program dragging or double clicking, it's important to break down the process.

left-click --> is mouse on something? No? Then do nothing.

left-click --> is mouse on something? Is the left mouse button down, and is the mouse moving? Then drag whatever the mouse last clicked on the mouse.

left-click --> is mouse on something? Is the left mouse button down? Oh it's up now? Get me in a couple cycles. Is the mouse clicked again? No? Then do nothing.

left-click --> is mouse on something? Is the left mouse button down? Oh it's up now? Get me in a couple cycles. Is the mouse clicked again? Yes? Then open up a menu, or change a variable, or whatever.

Obviously you'd want to do a more detailed plan, but those are basic conditions you need to think about for clicking and dragging...

Sets the desired object to the mouse's position at an offset, the offset being where on the object's graphic you clicked.

Keeps track of tracker variables. There's no way to tell the game to wait without pausing everything, so you need to set up variables that increment every cycle to keep track of intervals between clicking. Otherwise, double clicking won't work!

All the conditions necessary for double clicking are here. The tracker variable needs to be more than 1, but less than 19. This gives about half a second to click again to register a double click, though the number can be adjusted to taste. Then, it sets the current wallpaper to whatever the object ID is that you clicked on.

This script runs every cycle, so it constantly checks to see if your dragging or clicking, and it also calls the tracker function so that time tracking actually happens. It's important to place some kind of variable to switch on after processing a click at the mouse's position, other wise it screws up the dragging offset. The offset only needs to be calculated once per click, not continuously! After it switches the variable to 1, it will call the dragging function no matter what while the mouse is down, and only drag to the thing you clicked on last.

And finally, the this function is what sets the offset variables. It also calls dragpapers to prime the dragging process, and leftclick_func so that it detects if you double clicked or single clicked.

Then, a function is to be made for every instance of a wallpaper object. There will probably be a total of 15 wallpapers in the game, but I can easily add more. This isn't the ideal way of doing things, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get the game to return the ID of what object it clicked on, so I had to make it so each object tells the game what it's ID is. I made it as simple as possible though by condensing repeated code into the object_anyclick function and using a global variable to tell it what's selected.

I don't know, I just feel like we take the spiffy GUI interactions we have now for granted... I never thought twice about clicking or scrolling or double clicking until working on this kind of stuff. I have a new found appreciation for it.

Next time, I'll post more images of the wallpaper manager. At the moment, it's just the screen shot shown earlier with a bunch of ugly place holder sprites you can click on. Nothing impressive.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 07:40:44 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2015, 06:37:20 am »

Ah, it might have been the 3d thread! I go there frequently. This whole melon talk would look super weird without the context "nice melons! they look familiar though"

I like technical stuff on devlogs. Most people use their threads to showcase progress only, which is fine, but the best ones are actual development logs, with their development problems and solutions exposed. Regardless of their nature, design, artistic, technical etc.

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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 07:39:15 am »

Diegzumillo, tt would be pretty weird!  Wink Be careful who you say it to- some people might take it the wrong way XD. That's good to here, I agree that the most interesting devlogs are the ones that have information on solving problems and such. Return of The Obra Dinn's devlog is a good example of that, imo. I just didn't know if others felts the same way! Thank you for the input Smiley

Once again, I'm looking forward to returning to making real game assets, but this operating system portion needs to get done... The irony is programming special stuff for actually playing the bulk of the game was rather easy. But the operating system(which is basically a menu-ified overworld!) has been quite a challenge thus far.

However, there is good news. I've simplified a lot of code for interfaces, and a lot of the big things are working pretty good. Here's a video:

It's ugly right now, but as I said, the big focus here is getting things working properly. It's still very rough around the edges however! But as you can see, there are multiple scrolling windows on screen at once, and they only effect elements of their own window. One of the problems with modularizing and parameterizing everything is if the engine your working in can't do instancing of objects, you need to be specific about what your trying to do.

Something I discovered, and I'm sure this is a common menu trick, is something I like to call the "Parent-Child Link Scrolling System" or "PCLSS"(pronounced like pickles) for short:

"Koviubi" by Voglia - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koviubi.jpg#/media/File:Koviubi.jpg

Oops! Wrong kind of PCLSS! However, those do look tasty. Thanks to Voglia of Wikimedia commons for supplying us with pickles.

All jokes aside, it consists of a chain of command where the first item(I call it the dragging element) controls the first item, and the next follows that, and the next follows that, and so on. But, perhaps the pickle joke could be a good analogy; In a way, the dragging element is like a jar, and the things that follow it are cucumbers. You could call this process "PCL'ing"(Parent-Child Link'ing) Here's a better way to put it:

So basically Current.y = Previous.y + Current.height. This could work for any number of buttons, labels, whatever, but since the maximum in adventure game studio is 30, and since my system requires controls 0-7 to be specific things, controls 8-30 can be PCL'ed.

Also another song. I was digging around old music and found a midi I made a couple years ago. So I decided to dress it up in a Yamaha xg soundfont:


And why not another one! This one is from a game I wanted to make based on a short cartoon I did for a class I took at the local community college...
Bonne Island

the original for comparison's sake
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 04:56:07 pm by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 01:09:00 am »

MYST meets desktop simulator. I just hope you implement some kind of hugely annoying but inevitably helpful desktop assistant.

What is it you are building the game with? You mentioned Adventure Game Studio but I can't tell if that is a framework you have made or..?

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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2015, 03:00:37 am »

Pretty much, yes! I've never played desktop simulator, however there is indeed a desktop simulation with Mysty gameplay. And it wouldn't be a desktop without the annoying desktop assistant, now would it! XD there will be at least one, though I plan on having multiple annoying assistants for different types of documents or something... that's something I've not really fleshed out yet.

Oh and I didn't make Adventure Game Studio! I take no credit for that, it's all the work of the wonderfully generous and kind Chris Jones and the great AGS community.

I'm merely bending it to do what I want it to heheh! I will update the first post to eliminate confusion.

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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 09:23:21 pm »

Another boring "back-end" update

More features added to FlamingOS! I added easing in right click menus, which is actually quite simple. Here's one of the right click functions:

First, the game gets which menu is expanding, determined by the exception. There are 4 different right click menus now, each for different file types, but there might end up being more.

Once whichMenu is determined, it gets how many buttons(or controls) are in the GUI, which will be the maximum height. The width is taken from one of the control's width. Each one is the same, so the width is simple to get. Now that the height/width is set, it's a matter of using a simple loop that increments a counter and increase the values based on percentage! This way expanding menus is scaleable- meaning I can have a right click menu 10 pixels or 300 pixels high and wide and it'll expande nicely over the course of 4 frames.

Second, the StartQuickies tray displays buttons indicating what is open and not. Clicking on a button brings that window to the front above the others. Close one gets rid of a button. It works similarly to a real OS. Right now the names are place holders, so I can easily distinguish what is what.

I was stumped on how to do this, until I realized something... it's like removing and adding boxes in a stack! Here's what I mean...

*excuse the horrible diagram art!*

Take away one, the rest fill the space between. But sideways! Getting my functions to work correctly wasn't as difficult after figuring out how it works...

Right now, 8 windows is the max but I'm thinking about lowering it to 6... 8 seems like it'll be a bit cumbersome even with the Quickies tray. Also, one draw back is it's impossible to have more than one of the same type of window open- I can't instance windows, it's beyond adventure game studio. it could probably be made capable to do so, but that's beyond my ability...

But don't worry- it'll be lampshaded away ;p

This is another big step towards finishing the operating system stuff. As it stands now, I could just stop here and call this OS stuff done, if I replaced all the placeholders with actual graphics... but the operating system will be a fun aspect of the game, and it needs to be as fleshed out as I can possibly make it with my current skill! The next big thing I'll have to tackle is some kind "file manager" interface(basically a glorified list), I have a few ideas of how that one will work...

Another song, this one is very bad! I wanted to use as many of the "exotic" instruments as I could together. Steel drums, koto and eletric bass! All in one song- backed by a chorused piano(to a generic bluesy chords)

The worst music I've ever created...
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 04:58:49 pm by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 10:11:02 pm »

Sure looks like 1995  Beer!

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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 10:58:19 pm »

This is just too retro.

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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2015, 04:40:51 pm »

Thanks you two! :D I really hope I channel not just a retro feel, but a certain level of authenticity. Like it feels as if this game could really be from 1995(I've been very careful not to use 3d rendering stuff that wasn't invented yet too for the prerendered stuff, but more on that later...)

An update on the Quickies tray- so in the last post the buttons only displayed program names. Now, they do much more!
1. display program names...
2. Abbreviate names depending on how many programs are in the Quickies tray
3. Shows the header icon of each application that's open.

*did I mention everything is placeholders right now?*

Now, you may notice some cutting off of the button farthest to the right- that's just temporary. I originally was going to use different sets of button graphics for smaller sizes, but I might be able to do a little trickery to get around that heheh...!

I also ran into a problem because of me not being able to foresee the program icons being an issue. I was a dummy and thought "I'll just make different window headers for each program!" but that's a bad way of doing things... It would mean doing 3 sets of header graphics for each program(one for normal, one for moused over, and one for mouse clicking on)

Then 3 more for each tray button(normal, pressed, and highlighted)

Which would be even more of a headache if I were to make button graphics for 4 different sizes! That means there would need to be 18 different graphics for one program! Truly that's a nightmare. So I decided to change my window outline:

0- up button for scrollbar
1- down button for scrollbar
2- scrollbar backer
3- scrollbar handle
4- dragging element
5- window header
6- hide window
7- close window
8- program icon
9+++ all other buttons that scroll to the dragging element.

Now, previously, I had it go from 8 and beyond as buttons that scroll around. But, the easiest way to do a change at this point without breaking too much in the process would be switching 8 to the program icon and then 9 and beyond would be scrolling children(park of the PCL'ing system mentioned earlier! ;p)

It seems as if nothing broke in the process... I'm trying things out as you read this, rigorously trying to break the system!

Other features I've added is shrinking and expanding tray buttons and program windows.

I feel as if things are really beginning to come together!

Next on the list:

-Info windows that appear when your mouse is over something for a set amount of time.
-Start work on the settings menu
-Start work on the Mood Manager
-Add helper characters

Oh yes, and one more thing; I made a DOS font:

maybe there is a secret hidden in the blue screen when you play the game...

BSOD hasn't been implemented yet, but it'll probably have a 1/256 chance of happening randomly. Or, you might stumble upon the right set of actions to make it happen...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 10:01:27 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 12:36:37 am »

The idea that BSOD is a feature makes me weep with paranoia and joy.

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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2015, 11:15:06 am »

Don't worry, it won't break the game... maybe!

New things:
-Added mouse helper text. But there's no system to tell the game what text should be displayed yet. But that won't be very hard to implement.
-Icon organize. Makes rows/columns the first time you ever boot the computer(the game will save the icon positions if you drag them around)
-Game saves which menus are minimized or not, so when you from settings manager, wallpaper manager, screensaver, etc... it brings up the saved menus.
-Mouse Satellites! I played around with sin/cosine and found it's pretty easy to program a satellite to basically anything. What better thing to give a satellite than the mouse? You'll be able to change this in the settings manager. (right now there's bird, plate-o-gelatin, but expect spatula, basketball, etc...)

Also created a bunch more icons, but they're all place holders for now. I haven't really 100% decided what file icons will look like yet. And which ones that will be on the desktop aren't 100% final either. However, about half will be accessible via shortcut.

Speaking of that...

FlamingOS Project Manager: "We let our UI intern design this one..."

I've begun working out the colors and stuff for the settings manager. Basically something that's spastic, gaudy and of course, non-aliased text. I think I already mentioned this but once again, the Manager type programs act more like separate screens that let you relax and unwind...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 10:02:26 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2015, 08:30:57 pm »

I've decided to take a break from working on programming the operating system portion of the game, to work on the actual "game" part of Frog Days.

So... who wants a donut?

If you're a fan of donuts like I am, then you probably want a donut as you read this. Well, hopefully these virtual donuts can satiate your new-found craving!

You'll probably want a closer look at them...

*well, a closer 64 color look at them!*

There will be a donut-themed world! It will be replacing one of the other places I planned, but seemed too boring a theme... After spending so long doing just programming, I've reviewed the locations and I'm going to try and make them less Myst-cloney and more 90s surreality imaginative...

Also, figured out how to make highway roads:

The highway will look better, and probably not have reflecto-spheres(maaaybe it will ;p??) but just a quick test of how the computer can curve the road for me instead of modeling it all by hand...

That's basically it for now... I've not made a lot of content, still a bit rusty. But, I'm getting back into it and I think now my vision of how the game's locations should be like has been refreshed. At one point, I lost site of what I wanted to do- create dreamy places to explore(with an underlying connection to the... well, that's a bit of spoiler!) but that dreamy, surreal, mid-90s style CG look kind of became more tame and modern.

Not everything will look beautifully textured and exquisitely modeled- partially because well I'm not an expert on 3d stuff yet! But because it was that imperfect, adolescent fumbling with 3d that gave games a certain charm.

Maybe one more- there haven't been enough frogs lately:
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 10:04:32 am by swordofkings128 » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2015, 08:33:43 pm »

This brings me back to the days of being a little kid fascinated by Windows just in and of itself.

I'm really curious what debussy.pro is.

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