(20 Oct 2003 at 16:22)
| With the TODO list dwindling, I decided to put out an alpha version of my game "Escape" for friends to play with. That includes anybody who visits my radar page!|
To try it, get escape-alpha.zip (windows) or escape-alpha.tar.gz (x86 linux).
Read the alpha release notes to know how to use it. I'm sorry that the documentation is so sparse, so, if you have any questions post them here and I will help. However, I think the game is pretty straightforward, and it comes with tutorial levels to explain how to play without any boring reading.
Despite being an alpha release, I think you'll find the game quite stable and featureful. The main thing that's missing is the online level browser and rating system, which, when completed, will constitute the 1.0 release of the game. In the meantime I'm looking for more clever puzzles to go into the "official" collection, so, if you're up to it, send me your creations!
|Hi! I'm Jonathan Pearce. You might know me from such things as "that one party at Neal Martin's house in 2002" and "infrequent appearances in the CS lounge, usually with Jason Reed or Martin Hock." When the game can't connect to spacebar.org, it does timeout correctly. However, there is no progress bar or indication that anything is happening if you hit 3 from the main menu. You need feedback that the game is attempting to contact spacebar.org before you release 1.0.
Also, the Tutorial levels are alphabetically ordered, along with the rest of the levels. The Escape newbie will have trouble finding them, especially if many new levels are created. The Tutorial levels should either be a separate menu option or should appear first in the level list.
|Thanks, I know about both of these.
A progress meter during connecting (well, at least indicitation that it is trying to connect--SDL_net doesn't give me any other feedback) and a progress meter during download are planned.
I also plan to separate the huge list of levels into collections, one of which will be the tutorials. The order of the levels is determined by the order that the file system returns them on a diropen, and I also intend to allow sorting by different criteria. Putting the tutorial on the main menu would probably be a good idea, at least for newly created players.
Thanks for the feedback!
|Hi, I'm the aforementioned "Martin Hock." I recommend that you add some animation to this game as I find it rather jarring, even if it is merely translation of the single frames (which would probably be fine for everything aside from buddy-boy anyway). If you don't want to do this, I might get around to doing it at some point.
Also I notice that you implement some kind of scrolling thing when you resize the window to be too small, which is good. But it seems somewhat conservative about where it wants to cut things off. It should let me size the window pretty damn close to the edge of the board, instead of what appears to be half a tile away. A "shrink wrap" option like the Gimp has could be useful; is it ever useful to have a window which is bigger than the level? And you might as well show the partial tile when the window is too small instead of just showing darkness... if this is too hard, perhaps you can resize the window after the user resizes it to be the next smallest multiple.
Oh, and I'm going to be in Pittsburgh this weekend...
|Yeah, animation is coming, but not for a while. I plan to spice up the graphics a bit, but the actual game mechanics come first.
For the window resizing stuff, there is a built in margin that prevents you from getting right up against the edge. That's why it seems conservative. I was thinking that perhaps I will draw the partial tiles, but "faded" to the background color. This kind of graphical polish stuff is also, of course, for later. What's shrink wrap? Shrinks the screen to the size of its content?
When are you arriving? I hope to be part of Hock Events. There is a Google Chocolate TG on Friday, for instance, that should coincide with a Hock Event.
|The game looks fun so far - I've beaten all the supplied levels except for 3 levels by Funtik. I don't think I've run into any bugs yet.
Features that might be good to add eventually:
Sound effects & animation wouldn't hurt.
Maybe an AAD soundtrack to go with it.
Additional tile sets - give different themes to levels; jungle maze, space station, warehouse, abstract blobs, etc.
Levels of different sizes, to test out how well they work.
|Tadbot, cool...! Those Funtiks make some pretty rough puzzles indeed...
As I mentioned, sound effects and animations are coming, but not soon. Also on the to-do list is tilesets ("skins") for doing exactly the kind of stuff you mention. And, if you want to make some different-sized levels, I'd love to have them!
Thanks for playing!
|Huzzah, I finally beat those 3 remaining levels.
I also noticed a couple buggish things while starting to level-edit:
I changed the size to larger than the screen, and when I tried to randomize the map with randomize mode 3, it seemed to freeze. Maybe this randomizing method just takes longer depending on the size of the map, and I was impatient.
Also, randomize mode 6 gives me a "randtype not implemented" error, but maybe that's because you just haven't implemented that yet.
|Tadbot, yes, #6 is not implemented yet. Unless the map is *really* big, that is indeed a bug (the algorithms are designed to run pretty quickly), and in fact, I have a "XXX once this didn't terminate for me" for randtype 3. I recommend only using types 0 and 1.|
|It took me a while, but I beat the "I Love Gold!" level, so I took a few minutes to fool around with level editing again and found a bug:
You make a larger-than-the-screen level, and scroll the level right and/or down, so that you're looking at a region that is outside of the initially visible upper left section of the level.
Then, when you try to add a tile (so that you're adding it outside of the initial upper left screen), it puts the tile in the incorrect position - you can only put tiles in the initial upper left screen area.
It's probably due to the cursor position relative to the current screen being used for where the user clicks, but the placed tile is placed in that position relative to the upper left/initial screen area. In the case of a smaller-than-screen level, these 2 are the same location, but they're different when you're looking at an area outside of the usual 18x20 (or whatever it is) map.
|Tadbot: confirmed, thanks. I'm sure it's some small math problem like you said, since I hardly finished the large-level editing stuff before taking a break from Escape to work on nanowrimo this month. I'll fix this as soon as I get back to working on it.
I look forward to your levels!