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16  Aquaria / Modding / Re: Concerning Sprites and greetings on: January 07, 2008, 03:36:48 PM
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Is support for switching images on existing limbs or body parts possible when animating?
For example a character blinking his eyes or changing the limbs to be from behind instead of the front so a character can turn his back to the viewer.
Head Animation is kind of already in for emoting (happy face, sad face etc) and I think it's done by calling

avatar_setHeadTexture(string name)

However I think you have to call that constantly.  Alec also offers another untested solution for all-purpose-limb changing in the form of:

Create a Node Script and put it somewhere in the level

function init(me)
end

function update(me, dt)
  head = entity_getBoneByName(getNaija(), "Head")
  bone_setTexture(head, "TextureName")
end

Where "Head" is the name of the bone you want to modify and "TextureName" is the graphic to use. Hasn't been tested yet I don't think so feel free to try it out.

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Is it possible to squash and stretch limbs as well in the animations and what about bending them? I saw some nice bending on the Squid boss arms and was curious how this was pulled off.

This I believe is done with "Hair" - A System used for creating a kind of "Trail" using a basic graphic - It's used for things like tentacles, capes, eels etc. 
An Example of this can be found in the Nauplius entity, whos code you'll find in the Mods Folder (If you've downloaded it) / Guert_Mod / Tempo / Nauplius.lua.  YOu'll see something like
- entity_initHair(me, 40, 5, 30, "nauplius-tentacles")
In the Init function.  and
- entity_setHairHeadPosition(me, entity_x(me), entity_y(me))
- entity_updateHair(me, dt)
In the Update function.  There's other functions to do with excerting force on Hair but this should get you started...

As for frame by frame animation? You'll have to script that manually using the system above unless the developers put it in.  Currently the animation/graphical style of the game is primarily done with Tweening... Unless there's something I'm missing :p
17  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Aquarian Runes *spoilers* on: January 07, 2008, 03:10:40 PM
I wish that we had more information on the races of Aquaria. All we got in-game was roughly "They were all peaceful, with the exception of the Krotites, and were all promptly destroyed by a jealous god." I'd kill for some more extensive backstory or something.

That's hopefully where the promise of modding comes in. There's a lot of grey space to fill in reguards to Aquaria Backstory that may or may not be covered in any sequal/prequals planned or unplanned, so it's up to the creative community to do it.  Mithala obviously has merit for exploration being one of the most prominant areas of exploration, while Krotite and such less so (The Krotite war that decimated several civillisations, for example, could be a possibly mod storyline)

Of course, there's always... What was in the water before the Creator turned up...?
18  Aquaria / General / Re: Extract Music? on: January 07, 2008, 02:18:05 PM
Yep, good ol' ZLib Compression, you'll see it on a few games

http://www.zlib.net/

What you'd probably have to do is write a program that uses the zlib.library to extract all the files from data.000
I suspect there may be some out there to be honest, but I've not used zlib before so I'm not sure if there's special encryption or what not involved...

Also, somebody asked what Alec uses for making the music in the game.  If I'm not mistaken it's  FL Studio (http://www.flstudio.com/) - I'd recognise FL Slayer anywhere... Cheesy

Reguards the Soundtrack: While I'd love a nice little booklet with a nice little CD and all that, I wouldn't be heartbroken if all I got were mp3s/oggs since at the end of the day that's what I'll rip'em too anyway.  You *could* sell 'em this is true (via iTunes or whathaveyou), or just upload 'em and people could pick and choose - It's pretty much up to the guy who created them, since you're the one with the copyright Tongue
19  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Expansion pack... on: January 07, 2008, 10:29:48 AM
I used Beast primarily for the Speed and the Chomping, switching to Nature Form to avoid damage and Energy Form during boss fights.
20  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Spoiler: Need help with abyss on: January 07, 2008, 10:26:03 AM
1: The Frozen Veil is optional, but there's a tough boss with a Health Upgrade in it.

Climbing walls is tricky, but done by 'grabbing' on to a wall by jumping at it, then immediatly jumping off again to a higher point.  It's tricky, but there's various food items that make it a bit easier (Swim faster = Jump Higher)

2: The Giant Whale needs to be sung to in order to do anything with.  You'll need to find a whale song in order to do this ( There's a Map of the Game somewhere on this forum with the location...)

3: The Purple thing guards the entrance to the final location of the game, while the Strange Symbol Door is the entrance to the 2nd last location in the game.  If you've already been everywhere else, you might want to try and find some help opening the door, and your best bet is to check the surface (The Veil) for any signs of life that isn't a turtle or a dolphin...
21  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Not Buying and Here's Why on: January 07, 2008, 10:20:32 AM
It's Ecco meets Metroidvania, with elements such as cooking/combining...

The biggest complaints have been some of the puzzles (Too vague), the combat (Too Hard) and the sense of where you're supposed to be going, but in making the game a more linear "Now Go Here!" (As Metroid will often do), you lower frustration but you kill the exploration element of the game.

I like Aquaria because it's something that hasn't been done to death: The 2D Undersea Exploration deal, and I was a big fan (Still am really) of the Ecco series.  While it retains some elements of the Shoot-em-up and a bit of platforming on top of that, it's got a good selection of clever puzzles and scenery, and at the end of the day it was primarily done by two guys in their spare time, not a professional company.

Reguarding the comment about the gameplay being a glorified version of "Get Key and Open Door", you'll find that *EVERY* game follows this mechanic :p It's the simple 'Gate' principle of having to achieve something to proceed (If you've listened to the commentry on Half Life 2: Lost Coast there's a nice example of this - Defeat squad of badguys, Helicopter crashes into obstacle clearing it for you etc.), and you'll find Aquaria is one of the less linear examples - Whole areas of the game are optional, and several areas can be done in any order, the whole Food/Cooking thing is optional (but handy), optional bosses etc etc.

Also, your comment on the Gesture v HotKeys example from Darwinia? Aquaria already has examples of that.  Obviously there's a few tweaks the game can still have to make things a little smoother but for the most part the only things I can fault are fairly minor (And mostly put down to the fact I never used the handy cooking system so just made things harder for myself until I stuffed Naija full of spicy food and decimated the final boss)

It's odd because one of the hugest complaints about Oblivion was the game constantly tells you where to go with a nice big arrow.  Mods instantly appeared to kill everything on the map and have a true "Lost in the Wilderness" experience. 

And yes, despite perhaps some loose influences with the art style, Aquaria has about as much in common with JRPGs than I do with Captain Pugwash. 
22  Bit Blot / Games / Re: Making my own video game: Where to start? on: December 25, 2007, 05:15:15 PM
C to C++ is a good jump, but since working with C# I've realised how incredibly chaotic C++ is :p

Reguards to another aspect of game programming, there's often a lot of maths/geometry involved for things like Movement/Collision Detection.  Granted Clickteam hides all this away but if you're interested it's worth brushing up on your Vector Math (Metanet's N has some good tutorials bit they may be a tad advanced, failing that there's sure to be plenty of that on the web)

http://oos.moxiecode.com/ also links to some decent tutorials on tile based flash games if you know a little actionscript

http://www.clickteam.com/eng/tgf2.php For the Games Factory 2. Not too dissimilar to Torque's 2D Game Engine, but possibly a little easier to use (Never used Toque myself, but I'd recommend downloading as many demos of these things as you can and trying each out)
23  Aquaria / Support / Re: Bugs in the animation editor on: December 24, 2007, 03:03:42 PM
From what I've found out, Naija gets scaled down in game.  If you're creating an entity the same scale as her you can try this in the entity code

n = getNaija()
entity_setScale(me, entity_getScale(n))

Sets the entity to the same scale as Naija. Don't have the exact value on myself...

24  Bit Blot / Games / Re: Making my own video game: Where to start? on: December 24, 2007, 02:55:23 PM
EDIT: Gah, just noticed you were interested in Sonic the Hedgehog style games.  If that's the case, I'd heartily reccommend:

http://sfghq.emulationzone.org/

Sonic Fangames HQ - Basically a big load of sprites, games, tutorials etc all making use of Clickteam (And other) game creation methods based around Sonic the Hedgehog.  T'was where I started Cheesy (THat and STOS Text Adventures but that hardly counts)

Depends on how complicated you want to go:

If you're up for making 2D games with a kind of Drag-and-Drop sort of deal, various things I can recommend are anything from Clickteam (There's plenty of sites with various templates, examples etc available), you could try progging simple games in Flash (Like half the internet :p Occasionally a decent attempt does show up), Dark Basic and Torque are possibilities, but if you want to release anything with Torque you'll be handing over monies.

Failing that, You can go the coding route - C/C#/C++ and what have you.  Ideally? I'd recommend a book (Which are often pricey).  Failing a book, the Internet is a close second if you know where to find tutorials.  GameDev's a good site for all round articles on game making, though many of them are a bit advanced.

There''s thousands of engines out there, many are free to use with limited licensing, one I've used is OGRE, which is geared towards 3D but can also manage 2D with no problems... Failing that you could just mess around in OpenGL until everything works (nehe.gamedev.com is a good place to start with that)

I second Clickteam's stuff is great for PIxel Art & Animation.  Simplest editor ever but works fine and allows sprite animation to easily be classified (Stopped, Walking, Running, Jumping etc). Coding is done by scripting simple conditions with simple menus (if Bullet collides with Man, Destroy Man, Create Explosion, add 500 points etc.)

With Story? Sure you can read through various sites and what not on how to right a good story but often the best tract is simply to read lots of books, comics, stories, short or otherwise.  Play games, see how the story progresses, how characters are introduced, how dialogue is written etc.) Also, try writing your own Smiley THe tricky part is avoid directly copying anything that comes before, but make no mistake chances are you'll probably subconsciously borrow from your favourite stories and that's more or less ok - Just make sure your version still comes across as fresh.

Gameplay comes into a thousand and one different categories.  Obviously, don't make a FPS :p Aquaria takes the best elements from Castlevania/Metroid and Ecco the Dolphin and blends them expertly, and that's often where the best games shine.  Take elements you loved from your favourite games and combine them, but don't go insane.  If you *do* want to come up with something truely original you're in for a harder time (We're talking a "define your own genre"  here) - My advice is to do what many games in the Indie field do: Go back to retro concepts that made gaming simple, fun and addictive and try your own hand at it. 2d PLatformers and Scrolling Shoot-em-ups are quite popular these days Cheesy

If all else fails, go back even further and do what everyone's doing these days and remake Snake, Asteroids or Pong Tongue
25  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Naija memories and new ending on: December 24, 2007, 02:33:18 PM
Yep, basically after the credits instead of jumping back to the main menu you're treated to something new Smiley

Doesn't affect the original ending at all
26  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Why I like this game but de-installed it (**spoilers**) on: December 24, 2007, 02:30:11 PM
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But yeah, I guess that's the nice thing about working at a big company. They can test everything with 100s of people so everyone can play it, all the bumps are smoothed out. Its kinda stupid to try to make a game with 2 people and think that people could actually enjoy it all the way through.
There'll always be bugs and things wrong with *Any* game - None are perfect, and none should ever claim to be.  Everyone wants something different and bigger companies are more or less often limited to pleasing the majority: With indie games you can please whoever you want with the game, ideally starting with yourself

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The other nice thing about a big company is the angry screaming and shit-flinging gets directed at the company itself and not its employees. So you can just work a 9-5 and head home and forget about it. You don't have to deal with people wanting to destroy you on a daily basis.
I dunno, I'm sure Peter Molyneux, Will Wright and that lot get their fair share of "Zomg! Teh Sims is lawlgeh!", but granted when you put names to a company suddenly there becomes some unshielded entity to attack and blame for things they don't like.

Usually they're called PR people Cheesy
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Also, big companies have teams that actually show up to work. They don't decide to take 3 days off when a game is released and not tell you about it and leave you having to deal with all the work.
Always remember big companies consist of human beings too y'know :p WIth their own needs and personalities.  Granted they're expected to act within a bit of proffessionalism but nobody is perfect.

Getting back to the topic, Often a game does many things wrong but at least get's 1 or 2 things right.  While I don't agree with Aquaria's often vague puzzles/boss battles (Heck, I've gone through the Myst series sans any walkthrough and i still had trouble here Tongue), I had the same problem with some of the puzzles from the Monkey Island series and that didn't stop me loving the games (Except Monkey Kombat. It can go to hell...)

Point is: while there are a few flaws with Aquaria, there are flaws with every game.  The only thing I could recommend for some of the more complex bosses is a few hints from Naija - If the player hasn't done any damage what-so-ever, you could throw out a "This isn't working... Maybe I should try..." after a few minutes.  A couple've points I'm noticing are quite popular for confusion are the Eye-Monsters in the Cathedral, Mithala, The Final Boss's 5th form, Li, and a bit of navigation.  But again this is up to you: If you want more people to enjoy your game, a hint system'll help.

Ahh Outcast. It to had a hidden dance track featuring voice samples from the game :p I'd almost say that's mandatory in games now...
27  Aquaria / Modding / Re: Naija sprites on: December 24, 2007, 12:14:58 PM
One possible idea I can think of regarding the cape (Until a better solution presents itself) is:

- Make the cape invisible (avatar_setCape(false) or whatnot :p )
- Attach a simple entity, latch it onto Naija (As you would in Character Replacement) but it's pretty much invisible except...
- Initialise some Hair on this entity, and use whatever graphics you want for the cape (Check a good example for the Naupilous (sp) entity in Guert's Mod)

I *may* be right in assuming Naija is rendered in front of other entities, so automatically the 'hair' is rendered behind her.

Technically you could do this with multiply entities, so you could in theory have both a cape and some long, flowing hair, or perhaps some kind of long flowing garment as well (Kimono?)

Downside of this is that Naija's cape already has built in (I'm assuming) movement to represent currents/swaying (Noticed when you sit still), while hair by standard (unless you script it otherwise) just follows along behind you.

As for faces, I recall reading that the setFace command had to be called constantly because Naija's face graphic was constantly set to something in the base code.  You'd probably at least have to make replacements for *all* the head frames for Naija to be on the safe side... Failing that, I've no idea Tongue

28  Aquaria / Modding / Re: Naija sprites on: December 21, 2007, 05:21:50 PM
Le Awesome

Hopefully by the time I come back after Christmas I'll have the beginnings of me mod idea (Figured I'd leave Naija alone for now and come up with something new in the same Universe Cheesy ) now that I've got the Character Replacing thing working to a degree I'm happy with (Hair, Scale, Forms, etc)
29  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: How do I get into the body or the sunken city? on: December 21, 2007, 04:20:32 PM
Li isn't (or shouldn't be anyway) in The Body.  If you've yet to "Get" Li (Have him follow you about, the whole cutscene involving him) you'll need to track him down in the Veil, corner him and well... Convince him to come with you

If you've already done that, try singing Li's Song or returning to Li's cave and right clicking on the helmet (I think that's about right). This should get him to follow you

You'll be able to get into Sunken City with his help
30  Aquaria / Gameplay / Re: Stuck - dont know where to go! on: December 21, 2007, 04:17:41 PM
There's a way within the Temple to light the darkness, it'll involve raising and lowering the water level

Once you've figured that out, you'll need to find a blue crystal, just above the water suface, somewhere in the new areas you can access after raising the water

What you have to do now is figure out a way to brighten it up (IE. Move it to somewhere with Sunlight within the Temple) and take it with you
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