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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMournway Mansion [1st person voxel adventure] (formerly known as "Darkness")
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« Reply #560 on: April 15, 2022, 03:49:37 AM »

Okay, I've finally gotten around to playing through the demo! ^_^

(I tried the Linux version, but it fairly-consistently stopped, showing only a black screen, just after the title. On one occasion it eventually proceeded--funnily enough, just as I was preparing to post here about it, if I recall correctly. But not again. :/

Today, however, I booted into Windows and played the game there, under which OS it did indeed work! ^_^)

Overall, I rather enjoyed the game! The aesthetics are pleasant, the puzzles are fun, and the experience is engaging. I like it! ^_^

A few specific thoughts and critiques:

While I like the immersive nature of clicking-and-dragging to operating things, I do also find it clunky at times. (In particular, I think, when I have to drag towards myself, as in opening doors. That can feel awkward, I find.) If feasible, it might be nice to have an option to instead have such things be operated with a simple click.

When rotating examined objects, I found the use of the WASD keys or a modifier with the mouse to be a little bit unintuitive. I might suggest instead having examined objects be rotated via clicking and dragging--I think that that might feel more natural, especially given the use of the mechanic elsewhere. (Perhaps using the right-mouse button, specifically: that would leave left-click dragging available for the movement of elements within close-ups, and would correlate with the use of right-clicking to examine things.)

Conversely, I did enjoy rotating examined objects for clues and interactive elements--that was fun! ^_^

The little mini-game in the hand-held device was a nice inclusion, as was the presence of an online score-board!

That said, I will confess that I found the controls within that mini-game a little "slippery", frustrating my attempts at the platforming that it asked of me. Which is a pity, because I wanted to keep playing--it's a neat little game!

As to bugs, I did encounter a few: I had a handful of cases of the game apparently freezing, and a few cases of the mouse-cursor not responding to items in the world (not even changing to indicate that it had detected them). I think that the latter tended to happen after continuing a saved game.

That said, the auto-save feature seems to be pretty solid, and allowed me to continue with very little loss after those freezes! ^_^

But for all that critique, let me reiterate that I enjoyed my time with the demo--and indeed, I daresay that I would have enjoyed having more of it! I think that this is coming along well, overall. ^_^
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« Reply #561 on: April 24, 2022, 11:20:03 AM »

Hi! Thanks a lot for playing and the detailed feedback! Smiley
 
Operating stuff with a click is an absolute no go, unless it is a button. This is a part that brings lots of immersion and is important to me and gets lots of good feedback. When I play games where I open drawers with a click, I'm always disappointed. ^^
There are parts where I plan to add more ways to interact, e.g. the code wheels will be operated using the mouse wheel.
Some interactions might be a bit weird to operate from all positions, but in real life you would not pull a door open while standing right in front of it either. I did not get other feedback like this or saw much of it in gameplays, but I will keep an eye on it.
 
The thing with the rotation of closeups is that the closeup object is fully interactive and you can click and drag to operate some of them. To keep controls consistent and clear, right click is always examine (or cancel). WASD or the CTRL modifier might not be the first thing the player attempts to do, but it is the very first thing that you learn in the tutorial and there is a hint for it. Smiley
 
I'm unsure what you mean with "slippery" in the minigame. It needs some pretty precise timing at times, but it has all the magic like input buffer and such things (IIRC). Maybe it is caused by a low framerate?
 
There haven't been bug reports in the current version. Is there something that can be reproduced? If not, might you be able to send me the savegames and log files (in folder "%appdata%\..\LocalLow\ScaniX\MournwayMansion").
 
Thanks again for the feedback!
 
PS: Sorry for the late reply, I've been away for two weeks.
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« Reply #562 on: April 24, 2022, 01:30:39 PM »

I do have to admit that there were a few moments where the dragging didn't result in motion quite like I expected, and then it kind of feels like trying to grab something and that it slips through my fingers instead.

I have that in other games with a similar interface too though. I wonder if that's a fundamental limitation of translating 2D input into a 3D space
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« Reply #563 on: April 25, 2022, 12:30:40 AM »

Hi! I know this type of movement is a problem in some perspectives. The thing is that you can only move the mouse in the 2d screen plane and need to get some useful 3d movement out of it. I do this by adding a plane and using the raycast hitpoint through the mouse pointer for movement. This interaction was changed from time to time to improve it and I can set the normal for the plane and other things for each RotatingObject (doors, wheels).
The small door in the compartment in the wardrobe got a small "magnet" that would fully open the door and keep it open, because this one was really tricky.
I might have some more ideas for this in the future, but repositioning yourself and dragging from another angle is still a lot superior to a "click to open/close" for me (and my target audience, I hope). Smiley
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« Reply #564 on: April 25, 2022, 02:33:38 AM »

Hi! Thanks a lot for playing and the detailed feedback! Smiley

It's my pleasure!

Operating stuff with a click is an absolute no go, unless it is a button. This is a part that brings lots of immersion and is important to me and gets lots of good feedback. When I play games where I open drawers with a click, I'm always disappointed. ^^

That's fair! My own experience is somewhat the opposite: I'm more likely to be disappointed that a game uses this sort of simulated physical operation, at least for things like opening doors, as I find the awkwardness of it counter-immersive, personally.

(I do like it for some purposes, admittedly, perhaps especially for movements that are more or less in the plane of the screen--think of sliding a bolt across a door.)

However, different people will feel differently, and if you're largely getting positive feedback on it then I may simply be an outlier for your game!

Some interactions might be a bit weird to operate from all positions, but in real life you would not pull a door open while standing right in front of it either.

Sure, but I also have rather greater and finer control of the movements of my physical body. For example, I can move my arm independent of my torso and legs, allowing things like easily stepping around a door even as I pull it open.

The thing with the rotation of closeups is that the closeup object is fully interactive and you can click and drag to operate some of them. To keep controls consistent and clear, right click is always examine (or cancel).

My thinking is that rotating such objects is a form of examining; I think that to my mind it's natural to connect the two.

And it needn't interfere (overmuch) with ordinary examining: that can be done when the player right-clicks without dragging, with rotation occurring when the player right-clicks and drags.

As to interaction, you still have left-click dragging for operation of elements of the close-up; right-click-dragging shouldn't interfere with that, I would imagine.

WASD or the CTRL modifier might not be the first thing the player attempts to do, but it is the very first thing that you learn in the tutorial and there is a hint for it. Smiley

Indeed, I saw that hint--but I still found that it didn't quite feel natural to me.

I'm unsure what you mean with "slippery" in the minigame. It needs some pretty precise timing at times, but it has all the magic like input buffer and such things (IIRC). Maybe it is caused by a low framerate?

I don't think that it was a matter of frame-rate. At least not in the sense of lag.

Simply put, it felt like there was too little friction, both on the ground and in the air. As a result, my character tended to move as responsively as I wanted, making attempts at precision quite frustrating.

There haven't been bug reports in the current version. Is there something that can be reproduced? If not, might you be able to send me the savegames and log files (in folder "%appdata%\..\LocalLow\ScaniX\MournwayMansion").

I can try, I intend! Give me a little time to get around to booting back into Windows in order to test!
 
Thanks again for the feedback!

It is again my pleasure! ^_^
 
PS: Sorry for the late reply, I've been away for two weeks.

Not at all, that's perfectly fair! ^_^
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« Reply #565 on: April 25, 2022, 03:56:12 AM »

Yes, I guess we are - in some parts at least - different types of players. I think this came up back in the good old days when I feedbacked (this is now a word) your demo. ^_^
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« Reply #566 on: April 25, 2022, 04:39:30 AM »

AaAaaa, haven't been able to find the time yet but I've been aware of this release for a while now, I'm excited to play when I can!! Addicted
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« Reply #567 on: April 25, 2022, 07:27:18 AM »

Hey, I've been away for some weeks as well. Thanks for being excited, though. :D

I, myself owe people playthroughs. Ah, this evasive thing called time... ^^
« Last Edit: April 25, 2022, 07:42:21 AM by RealScaniX » Logged

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« Reply #568 on: April 25, 2022, 11:46:48 AM »

Yes, I guess we are - in some parts at least - different types of players. I think this came up back in the good old days when I feedbacked (this is now a word) your demo. ^_^

Indeed, we two do have different sensibilities and tastes in some things! Which is fair enough! ^_^
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« Reply #569 on: April 26, 2022, 01:05:11 PM »

Just played through the demo! Didn't realise it was so short since you've been showing so much more content here than was actually in it, or I wouldn't have worried about setting aside a whole evening for it and waiting forever to play Cheesy

Really liked what was in it so far! Only thing, and it might be specific to Mac or the performance of my computer in particular, is mouse movement felt a bit sluggish and slippery and it was tough to interact with the precision required sometimes. Like I'd move the cursor towards that little thing I wanted to pull and it'd accelerate kind of slowly, but then when I stopped moving the mouse it'd still have momentum and keep going past the thing? Is that just on my end? Sad

I also got stuff like this sometimes:





For reference I was playing in full screen on the lowest resolution on a 2015 MacBook Pro with Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB.

Anyway, back to the "review"! Grin

It started off really well even before it got to the game itself with the whole sequence about how it's best played in the dark with headphones. Nice touch.

I've told you before that I love how the game looks and sounds from what I've picked up on through this thread, but actually getting immersed in there, lights off, phones on, full screen, that was great. I was already tense when I got back into my room, having scrambled to turn on the light, and then I realised I could open the window too, and it remained open until I found what I needed to go outside. And that dog or whatever as I did... Waaagh!

And so much stuff to examine and start piecing the story together just in that one little room! Can't wait to see where it goes when there's more for me to play. I'm liking the mechanics and being able to do all sorts of things, moving, pushing, pulling, inspecting, taking.

Great job so far, excited for more!!
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« Reply #570 on: April 27, 2022, 12:13:46 AM »

Oh, damn! Yes, that seems to be a Mac thing. I only have a minimac to test, which usually works, but with a low framerate. I've never seen this effect. A buddy of mine also played on a mac, which worked fine.
I think it is one of the third party post effects. Can you try disabling them in the settings or reduce the quality to disable them?
I might need to look for a better way to test the "alien" systems. Xd
 
Thanks a lot for checking it out, though. Sorry that it was so short. It is a bit difficult to cut off parts from the main game for a demo. At the moment, I don't even have a full gameplay flow there. All the shown parts are in there, but it is like having some "islands" of gameplay in an otherwise still empty house. ^^
 
About the movement: I'm pretty sure that this depends on the performance. You can try to disable "mouse smoothing" (I think that's what it's called in the settings). I like this effect, but it really only works well with a high framerate.
I should probably auto disable it. Thanks for bringing this up.
 
And thanks for all the nice words, I'm glad that you liked it although it behaved more scary than it was supposed to. Smiley
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« Reply #571 on: April 27, 2022, 01:54:47 AM »

Ahh, will try those options out later, hope they work Smiley As for shortness I didn't mean it as a negative just to be clear~ And yes, I did like it very much Grin
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« Reply #572 on: April 29, 2022, 08:41:14 AM »

Okay, I've managed to reproduce the bugs that I encountered, I believe. Specifically:

I started a new game, and finished the tutorial. At this point--before the character wakes, I think it was--something, whether on my system or in the game, caused me to be tabbed out of the game to the desktop.

Tabbing back in, Windows informed me that the game wasn't responding. I closed the game, found what I think are the save-game and some logs, and stored them in a zip-file.

That done, I restarted the game, selected "continue"--and found myself back at the start of the tutorial. And indeed, I then found that the "no interaction" bug was in effect: when approaching things, the cursor remained unchanged, and clicking had no effect.

Finally, I returned to the game's save-folder and added one more log-file to the aforementioned archive.

I'll PM you a link to said archive presently, I intend.

[edit] And done, I believe!

In addition, let me note my system specs quickly:

Machine: Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series
CPU: Core i7 2.4GHz (4-core)
Memory: 8GB
Graphics: GeForce 840M, 2GB (+Intel integrated)
OS: Windows 8
« Last Edit: April 29, 2022, 08:47:20 AM by Thaumaturge » Logged


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« Reply #573 on: April 29, 2022, 09:31:03 AM »

Hi, thanks a lot! I will check out the data this weekend. Smiley
It seems that this is a very peculiar effect on your system. Tabbing out and in has no effect here. And there is nothing in a savegame that would put you into a special mode... Well, will probably know more when loading your saves.
Thanks again and have a nice weekend!
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« Reply #574 on: April 30, 2022, 02:36:25 AM »

Thanks for the reports, everyone!
 
I was able to improve the version a bit and will upload a new version now:
- mouse smoothing auto disables at low framerates (like before, you can also turn it off completely in the menu)
- there was a bug in the symbol wall that added 5 more symbols every time you changed the difficulty :D
- there was a bug when restarting the game and selecting "continue" that would prevent you from interacting until you opened and closed the menu once again. This was caused by a recent hotfix, so that version didn't exist for long enough for it to get noticed. Thanks Thaumaturge!
 
@Thaumaturge: I wasn't able to notice any problems when switching between windows. It's not using exclusive fullscreen mode, so there isn't happening much. I've seen that you are still using Win 8. Maybe that could be a problem, but I don't have such a system ready for testing.
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« Reply #575 on: April 30, 2022, 03:17:21 AM »

Ello again!

I tried the stuff you said Smiley I think mouse smoothing off helped but even at max mouse speed it felt slow so would be great to just be able to crank that up even higher just in case you're on a weird system like mine (it was fine with the built-in mouse pad but I was playing with a regular external mouse and even at max OS speed setting for that, it was much slower, which is not the case outside the game).

I think I also managed to put my finger on why it felt weird last time! Gomez When you're pulling things, like the platforms you pull out of the wall in the beginning, you commonly reach the edge of the screen and can't pull any more so you have to move your character back physically. But if you move too far, you can't interact anymore and so you lose your grip, so it felt slippery. Would be great if the game straight up prevented you from walking too far while you're still interacting with something with your mouse so that doesn't happen, I think. It would also be cool if maybe the mouse wrapped around the screen if you reach the edge, like in Blender, so you wouldn't have to move at all to keep pulling something all the way.

I also forgot, but something that happened last time too, and again this time, was that I wasn't able to interact with anything at the beginning of the game (no hover icons, no click response) before going into the pause menu and back again. I reloaded the game multiple times now and it happened every time.

Finally, the graphics for this icon don't quite match up between the hint thing and the actual wall:



It was all criticism and bug reporting this time so just want to throw it in there once again that I really like the game and hope that this is helpful Grin
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« Reply #576 on: April 30, 2022, 04:48:00 AM »

Hi! Thanks again!
 
The "not able to interact" bug fix is part of the most recent fix. Smiley
 
I guess I can increase the mouse speed max setting a bit.
 
When dragging, the cursor (if possible) sticks to a point on the object, so it follows the movement. "Wrapping" the cursor would be weird here. It is not like moving a slider or something where you move a value up/down, but rather really attach the cursor to the thing and move it. There is an option to switch to the (old) behaviour where you would not detach the cursor from the center and rotate the whole camera instead. I think it is called "drag with cursor" in the gameplay options.
 
Not being able to move out of the interaction region is an interesting idea. Not sure if I've tried that before.
 
And about that Icon... lol... I can't believe that no one (including myself) has ever noticed that. Will fix that right away. XD
 
Thank you again! Smiley
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« Reply #577 on: April 30, 2022, 06:54:15 AM »

Thanks for the reports, everyone!

It's my pleasure for my part! ^_^

- there was a bug when restarting the game and selecting "continue" that would prevent you from interacting until you opened and closed the menu once again. This was caused by a recent hotfix, so that version didn't exist for long enough for it to get noticed. Thanks Thaumaturge!

Ah, I'm glad that you found and fixed the problem! Well done! ^_^
 
@Thaumaturge: I wasn't able to notice any problems when switching between windows. It's not using exclusive fullscreen mode, so there isn't happening much. I've seen that you are still using Win 8. Maybe that could be a problem, but I don't have such a system ready for testing.

Bear in mind that it's entirely possible that the tabbing was unrelated--it may just be that some other application happened to decide to steal focus at that point.

As to Windows 8, it is indeed possible that it's part of my problem; I haven't heard good things about it, confessedly! (Alas, I'm afraid that I'm unlikely to upgrade any time soon, I imagine: I primarily use Linux, only booting into Windows for things that refuse to work under Ubuntu.)

Would be great if the game straight up prevented you from walking too far while you're still interacting with something with your mouse so that doesn't happen, I think.

It would also contribute to the sense of physicality, come to think of it.

It would also be cool if maybe the mouse wrapped around the screen if you reach the edge, like in Blender, so you wouldn't have to move at all to keep pulling something all the way.

This is also a rather good idea, I do think! It feels really natural in Blender, and so it--or something like it--might perhaps work here!

It is not like moving a slider or something where you move a value up/down, but rather really attach the cursor to the thing and move it.

However, this is true of some interactions in Blender, too, I believe (at least in 2.78; I don't know about more-recent versions). For example, if I start drag-moving a 3D object to one side, and keep going when the cursor passes the side of the panel, the cursor wraps around and the object keeps moving. It works really well, overall, I find.

On a separate note, an idea occurred to me:

Have you tried having physical dragging produce an exaggerated effect? That is, having a movement of the mouse across half the screen be enough to fully open a door or pull out a drawer? I wonder whether that might not result in it feeling a little more natural, as there would be less call for the player to move while dragging...

It might not work, but it seems worth suggesting in case it does!
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« Reply #578 on: April 30, 2022, 07:34:50 AM »

Hi, again! Smiley
 
I intend to have it feel as natural as possible. Imagine the cursor being a hand and you grad the object. I have some objects where the cursor is actually pinned and does not move away from the point you have touched at all, which is the optimal case. When rotating things, this is almost impossible to do.
This is the reason why making the cursor exit on the left and reenter on the right would feel totally wrong. The same can be said if the object moves further than the cursor/mouse.
A lot of puzzles are based on the correct and natural movement of things. Making it act in an unnatural way like Blender or something would take away too much from it and would make them feel like a click puzzle in the end. Sad
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« Reply #579 on: April 30, 2022, 08:32:02 AM »

I intend to have it feel as natural as possible. Imagine the cursor being a hand and you grad the object. I have some objects where the cursor is actually pinned and does not move away from the point you have touched at all, which is the optimal case. When rotating things, this is almost impossible to do.
This is the reason why making the cursor exit on the left and reenter on the right would feel totally wrong. The same can be said if the object moves further than the cursor/mouse.
A lot of puzzles are based on the correct and natural movement of things. Making it act in an unnatural way like Blender or something would take away too much from it and would make them feel like a click puzzle in the end. Sad

For myself, I'm not convinced that it would feel all that unnatural. However! It comes down not to what I find natural, but what you find natural, and if you don't find that behaviour natural, then fair enough!

However, there may be a third option: Instead of either the current behaviour or cursor-wrapping, allow the in-game cursor to move beyond the view, moving with the object. That way there's still a sense of the player's "hand" being "connected" to the object, and of that "natural" movement--but without one of the restrictions of the current system.

After all, it's not exactly natural that one's hand gets stuck at the edge of one's vision... ;P

(Come to think of it, this might help with things like doors, too, as it would mean that the player wouldn't have to reposition in order to keep moving the cursor "towards" themselves...)
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