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January 28, 2022, 04:26:52 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Webmaster - A 2.5D horror adventure game
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Author Topic: The Webmaster - A 2.5D horror adventure game  (Read 14561 times)
propapanda
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« Reply #140 on: December 11, 2021, 10:01:24 AM »

Working on the buildup to the big showdown:




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propapanda
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« Reply #141 on: December 15, 2021, 12:29:31 PM »

The original DOOM has that famous screen melting effect when transitioning between scenes. Obviously entirely trivial to do with a modern shader, but a very different beast when it comes to plain ol' C in DOS.

I challenged myself to figure it out on my own without referencing the DOOM source code. After some miserable failures (ahem... turns out running putpixel() in a loop is not a good idea!), I finally ended up with a version that performs surprisingly well. Assuming DOSBox's performance can be trusted, the effect should run quick enough on a 486:

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #142 on: December 16, 2021, 02:40:22 AM »

The transitioning to eye-opening looks good too, how did you do that one? Random flips?
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propapanda
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« Reply #143 on: December 16, 2021, 10:30:49 AM »

The transitioning to eye-opening looks good too, how did you do that one? Random flips?

Yep, pretty much: A small blue-noise texture combined with an animated threshold value that's used as a mask while blitting. Nice thing about this approach is that I can easily replace the texture with another style, e.g. ordered-dithering (Bayer or whatever) to create different looking transitions.
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« Reply #144 on: December 19, 2021, 10:30:36 PM »

Quote
I have a confession to make: I’ve been secretly maintaining an MS-DOS port of the game

Bwahaha

For shame. :D


No, that is awesome, and this whole project looks really nice. I like the idea of spending huge amounts of compute power on generating static images, and then having the runtime be just 2d effects...
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propapanda
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« Reply #145 on: December 28, 2021, 12:31:11 PM »

No, that is awesome, and this whole project looks really nice. I like the idea of spending huge amounts of compute power on generating static images, and then having the runtime be just 2d effects...
Kind of ironic, isn't it? In fact, one of the reasons I originally started going with the lo-fi style was that I absolutely hate it when modern games make my PC fans flare up. So I figured I'd go for a style that would run without munching away on the CPU. And yet here we are, running the game in DOSBox of all things... which makes my fans run like crazy. We've come full circle indeed.

Anyway, over the holidays I found some time to work on a couple more shots:



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JobLeonard
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« Reply #146 on: December 28, 2021, 12:35:31 PM »

Those look amazing.

Also, I just realized that still have no real idea how the story plays out despite each of these screenshots feeling like they could be spoilers. That's kind of impressive too
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propapanda
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« Reply #147 on: December 28, 2021, 01:29:45 PM »

still have no real idea how the story plays

You and me both Tongue

The story's gone through more rewrites than I care to remember. At this point I'm confident I got the major characters and plot points down, but things still keep expanding or going off on tangents in unexpected ways.
I'm terrible at writing elevator pitches, but this might be a good opportunity, for my own sake, too. I'll get back to you on that.

To me, the most difficult part is finding a suitable ending; it's no secret that the game is inspired in more ways than one by Stephen King's IT, and while I do admire the book and (both!) films for the most part, its ending is just kinda WTF in all sorts of ways... doing my best to come up with something half decent there.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #148 on: December 28, 2021, 04:57:27 PM »

Landing the ending of an adventure game is always the hardest part, if you ask me. At least for me a *lot* of adventure games were great all the way through and then kind of have a mediocre ending. So it's not weird if that's something you're struggling with.
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propapanda
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« Reply #149 on: December 29, 2021, 06:25:24 AM »

Indeed, a good ending is a rare treat. Games, books, movies... all too often they'll go for a big final battle, which to me just feels like false tension when in 99 out of 100 times the hero is going to save the day in one way or another. Whoop-de-doo, might as well stop watching right there.

I figured I'd jot down a little plot summary, hopefully without spoiling too much. Apparently in marketing there’s a defined format for novel summaries and I'm just going to completely ignore that... we’re all adults here, after all. I’ll just go ahead and summarize without trying to make it sound like more than it is.

Obligatory Spoiler Alert!

Quote
When a group of friends embark on their first foray into the world wide web, they come across a website containing images that are said to have lasting effects on anyone who views them. Of course, boys being boys, they make it a challenge to stare at every single one of them.
That night they each have horrific nightmares involving a frumpy redhead they’d never seen before. Things take a turn for the worse the next morning when they realize the family dog’s gone missing.

So the boys set out to get their dog back and end up entangled in a vast conspiracy they have absolutely no business being in: Hackers, human experiments, three-letter agencies, the whole lot. All the while being h(a)unted by the redhead that’s been after them ever since they glanced at the strange images on the internet that very first night...
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #150 on: December 29, 2021, 06:32:51 AM »

Yeah, the "big final battle" is kinda boring. Please please don't do the "it was all meta-commentary on genre tropes" ending either, that one is also really overdone

I'm sure you'll manage to find a satisfying conclusion though!
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propapanda
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« Reply #151 on: December 29, 2021, 07:26:21 AM »

Don't get me started... the whole meta thing was fun in "Cabin in the Woods", but by now it's really jumped the shark. The first half of Matrix Resurrections was just WTF

My ending is pretty solid in that regard. Actually serves to round off the story without leaving too many loose ends. Though I don't want to spoil the ending just yet Smiley
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #152 on: December 29, 2021, 08:40:28 AM »

Please don't, I'm planning to buy/play your game! Cheesy
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propapanda
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« Reply #153 on: December 30, 2021, 10:55:20 AM »

Hooray! More background renders!

In this scene, the game presents a tough moral dilemma: You will need to decide whether it's OK to hit your dog to save your friend...  Concerned

Tough one, I know. Wouldn't want to be confronted with that decision Sad




Fun fact: This scene is based on a true occurrence. As a kid my friends and I would always play in the forest behind our house. Deep in the woods was a little creek and this huge, dark culvert. We'd challenge each other to go in there, but I don't think anyone ever made it past the curve where the view of the entrance is obscured.
So we were playing in the mud in this little ravine right where the culvert was. Somehow we managed to set off an avalanche, which caused a piece of the ravine wall to come down.

And behind that wall was... I'm honestly not sure what it was. About a foot tall, looked vaguely insect-ish. Like a gigantic fly. We were about six years old, so we didn't stick around to introduce ourselves. Just ran home screaming.

Of course, nobody believed us, but to this day I swear it happened. Still have no idea what the heck that was. Crawfish perhaps?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2021, 11:17:56 AM by propapanda » Logged

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #154 on: December 31, 2021, 01:50:54 AM »

Oh wow, that's a tough one.

Everything looks bigger when you're small, a crawfish could be it. Where did you grow up? Knowing what kind of nature environment we're talking about would help Wink
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propapanda
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« Reply #155 on: December 31, 2021, 05:21:13 AM »

Everything looks bigger when you're small, a crawfish could be it. Where did you grow up? Knowing what kind of nature environment we're talking about would help Wink
Good point. That was back in Virginia, near D.C. -- same place the game's story takes place, in fact. We didn't come across a lot of wildlife in those woods. Tadpoles and frogs. Friend swore he saw a naked girl there once. That's about it.

Googling for crawfish, that certainly could be what we encountered that day... would probably shock anyone to see one them unexpectedly, don't even have to be six years old. Do they come in mutant lobster size, too? Cheesy
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #156 on: December 31, 2021, 06:00:29 AM »

If they're a bit muddy and gross I can imagine a young child mistaking them for a mutated horror-animal, tbh  Cheesy

Or maybe it was an escaped lobster from a restaurant or something?

Or a self-cloning marbled crayfish taking over the ecosystem

https://www.treehugger.com/marbled-crayfish-self-cloning-invasion-4862393
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Alain
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« Reply #157 on: January 04, 2022, 12:34:37 AM »

Friend swore he saw a naked girl there once. That's about it.

That made my day. I spent a lot of my childhood playing in the woods with friends. Telling stories of what we saw while the others were not there was a big part of the fun.
I could imagine the possible crawfish you encountered also became bigger in your memories after telling the story to each other again and again Wink
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propapanda
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« Reply #158 on: January 13, 2022, 01:58:32 PM »

A while ago I was playing around with that "Deep Canvas" effect that produced an interesting faux 3D-look when moving the mouse. Figured I'd give it a go in DOS, not really expecting much due to the complete lack of programmable shaders that made the original effect possible in Unity.

The outcome is surprising. Honestly did not expect it to run this smoothly. Sure, the 256-color palette and lack of filtering take their toll, but overall it does look pretty sweet when applied in a subtle manner.



And I cannot think of any other DOS game featuring a similar effect... who'd have thought that there's still room for innovation in DOS gaming after all these years? Hand Metal Left

That made my day. I spent a lot of my childhood playing in the woods with friends. Telling stories of what we saw while the others were not there was a big part of the fun.
I could imagine the possible crawfish you encountered also became bigger in your memories after telling the story to each other again and again Wink
Sadly, my family moved away from there shortly after that incident and I haven't been in touch with the guys since. I should probably look them up, maybe they figured out the mystery in the meantime Tongue
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #159 on: January 14, 2022, 01:26:41 AM »

 Kiss
You imported technology from the future to DOS! This is such an amazing clash of aesthetics from different eras, wow!
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