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Messages - Robson

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« on: June 06, 2010, 03:37:23 pm »
I can't figure out if you want suggestions, so I'll just post a small number:

  • Intro sequence - Would be nice to have skip option, for replaying.
  • Intro sequence - Putting the character names before their messages would make it easier to understand.
  • I accidentally dismissed most of the first messages when entering rooms, because I wasn't sure when to expect them and they are dismissed via left/right/etc.
  • There's a pause between messages, which often led me to accidentally dismiss messages, because I assumed the conversation was over.
  • There's no way to skip sets of messages?
  • The timer isn't paused during messages or the intro sequence.
  • The messages seem to be hard-coded?
  • Sometimes the game thinks left/right is being held down, but it's not. Only seems to happen when I enter a room with messages. This causes the player to rush off uncontrollably in one direction.
  • The messages on the screen "Deaths: 0 (119)" "Time..." constantly flicker.
  • There's a very large amount of unfair deaths in the game. e.g. Places where you do nothing wrong, but can't avoid dying. Places where you must die to get a rhombus. Unsafe entrances to rooms. Many checkpoints aren't safe. Places where you can't possibly predict the location of objects in the next room.
  • If I go down into a conveyer belt, Viridian goes in the direction before touching the belt. This can be a bit surprising, especially if I wanted something in that space.
  • You can often pass through X's by moving into them. This is especially easy to see on "Corner Cut Again".
  • If you're on the left edge of a platform and the platform hits a wall, you get pushed to the right. That doesn't really seem to make sense. A similar issue occurs if you're on the right side of a platform, except that you get thrown off.
  • Map?
  • For me the game runs very quickly (probably I'm getting old). Any chance the game could have configurable speed?
  • The file size is rather massive (over 30mb) and 99% of that is music. I think it would be worth providing a version without the music. This would be useful for dialup users and people with older computers. The massive file size could put a lot of people off downloading. People could always upgrade to the music version at a later date.
  • In the level files the walls are saved as various characters (+-|). You could save time by using one character, then write some code that determines the correct wall character at run-time. You can do the same thing with spikes.
  • Is there a way to turn off the music? The music is excellent, but I often like to play my own music instead.
  • It's difficult to see the player character when they're on a tile with a green background.
  • If you invert gravity in a tunnel you often hit the ground and then go up again. Cuidado is a good example of this.
  • I think it would be good to change the appearance of the checkpoint tile when it's activated, so the player knows which checkpoint is active.
  • Rhombus's seem to be fixed at 10? That seems odd. When YYYYYY opens a campaign it looks through all the maps and counts the number of souvenirs. That way the player can be told how many there are and it's possible to have any amount in a campaign. Perhaps it would be good to do that here as well?
  • Your campaign links to other campaigns, but there doesn't seem to be a way for us to do that?
  • I completed a bunch of campaigns, then quit the game and came back later, but the game didn't remember my progress. So now I have to start all over again.

« on: June 06, 2010, 02:53:31 pm »
New version is available in the first post. This is just a small update:

* Removed the teleporter room from the Jailbreak campaign.
* Map exporter now has a progress bar.
* Super Cellulatron score is based on the amount of lines reached, rather than whole sections.
* Changed some stuff in the Credits.

The first version of the game is done, but several people have expressed interest in making campaigns, so I'm waiting a little bit to give people time to do that.

Go to the room "The Untouchables" and look at the B. No, don't look, STARE AT IT!
Ah I see it now! Sure, that would be possible to implement. I'll get that written into a future version.

VVVVVV / Re: Spike-counting contest
« on: June 05, 2010, 10:07:56 pm »
Congrats guys :viridian:

I'm interested to know what the strategies people used to count the spikes were, especially you SoulEye.
I grabbed some maps of the game and converted them to black and white. Then I wrote some code that scans the images and counts all the spikes. Here's the tower.

However, that wasn't in the spirit of the competition and I didn't have maps for the intermission levels, so I didn't do any other areas.

« on: June 04, 2010, 12:04:40 pm »
Go to the room "The Untouchables" and look at the B. No, don't look, STARE AT IT! Some others in the last level do it too. You'll see what I mean
Okie dokies - I'll give that a try on the weekend.

The teleporter fork removal is a good idea. Random room. RAGEQUIT would be fine without movement, because you enter it through a teleporter. I've got homework, so you can fix that if you want, or leave it to me and give me MORE campaign work to do. :(
Excellent :viridian: I'm happy to change the teleporter fork - another task for the weekend! I'm not sure what you mean by "random room" and the ragequit sentence?

« on: June 02, 2010, 10:52:59 pm »
Excellent! I'll probably do that on the weekend, although I've been ill since Friday, so not entirely sure I'll be well enough to do any programming :victoria:

Also, you didn't say you wanted any suggestions, so I've started burning the twelve-hundred pages of suggestions that I scribbled down. This is going to keep us warm for the next few years!! :viridian: Oooo now I set fire to a hoop and the cat is jumping through it...


Been poking around and discovered loads more awesome stuff! Is it possible for us to make campaigns link to other campaigns, like yours? I see you have letters as teleports, but how does the game know that "a" relates to a certain file?

I'm *so* making a campaign for this, once I've figured out how it all works :viridian:

« on: June 02, 2010, 10:49:37 pm »
5 day weekend, so I'm probably gonna get some work done on Gauntlet. Also, it would be nice if we could make room names that shift like in VVVVVV. Like I could make the room Testing change to Testyng and back again.
I must have missed that in VVVVVV - which room does that? Do you mean the room name changes all the time while you are in that room? Or maybe the room name changes when you return to the room?

Cellulatron: I'd have preferred more points, like one point per a row of chatacters. Just like the gravitron, where every hundreth of a second counts.

Music doesn't loop until I get a souvenir?

Map exportation requires a progress indicator
Hey The Brass! I was worried that you'd vanished. Did you get my private message with the campaign?

First and third suggestions sound good to me - I'll get them sorted. For the second suggestion, the music is being removed, so that's no longer an issue.


Explanation: the blue teleporter is hard to see from the blue ground.
This one is really for me, because the room colour is decided randomly by the game. I'll try to figure something out, like making the game check for teleports, then ensuring the wall colour doesn't conflict.

Hater. I don't have problems with these things.
I agree with The Brass's points, so I'll try to explain them in my own way (spoiler: that means longer!)


I like that it's optional and that the name clearly shows it's optional. I also like the natural progression from the canteen to the detour, because these are similar puzzles, with the difficulty increasing as the game progresses. However, I agree with The Brass, that it's much too difficult for the campaign, because it's exponentially more difficult than the second hardest room. It's a difficulty spike. The player isn't given enough opportunity to build up their skills to a point where they can tackle this level of difficulty. Dying seems unavoidable and random.

I'd suggest making it like my version from a few pages ago, with reduced difficulty, more checkpoints, and a much higher room allowing the lines to go up higher. This maintains the waving, whilst making the challenge realistic and fair.

Partial side wrap:

This is an issue that I also encountered in my test levels. There's no way to tell if an edge wraps or leads somewhere else (maybe I should change that in the game?). So if part of the edge wraps and a part doesn't, that's going to be confusing for the player. They will naturally assume that the entire edge wraps or doesn't wrap, depending on their first encounter with the edge.

I assume The Brass is talking about the first room. I like to make the first room as easy as possible, because it's people's first experience with the game. If they're overwhelmed with objects and danger and confusion, they're probably going to quit and play something else. In my opinion, the first room should be completely safe, allowing the player to learn the movement controls. The first level of VVVVVV is an excellent example of this. If Terry does something, we can be sure it's right :viridian:


I disliked the original teleporter fork as well, which is the reason why I changed it with all my edits. If it was my level I'd have removed it entirely, but I wanted to keep your idea intact. Taking the teleporter moves you past the gate, so the player misses the feeling of freedom from escaping through the gate. They then see a souvenir above them, so would flip back up, returning to the prison just seconds after they've escaped. It seems counter-ummm... whatever the appropriate word is.

Perhaps the solution is to remove the room with the teleporter, then move all the other rooms up by one. So that 'Lost in space station' links with the main gate. The horizontally flip the main gate.

« on: June 02, 2010, 09:57:03 pm »
Wow this is awesome! :viridian:

Would you like suggestions? (warning: I like to talk!)

I could probably modify the YYYYYY level editor to handle these levels, which would be more user-friendly than a text editor. For example, I quickly hacked in support and here's me editing the tutorial. With a few hours work I could make it handle your levels a lot better. Would you like that?

« on: May 28, 2010, 11:23:36 am »
Just played it and Super Cellulatron was real fun.

Are you going to keep the sounds as is, or are you going to make new sounds?
Thanks allen :viridian:

Definitely keeping the sounds - I like them a lot!

« on: May 23, 2010, 12:47:21 pm »
New development version has been released!

Most of these changes were suggested by Terry and Shasharala. Thanks guys!


* Super Cellulatron now has occassional sparse sections.
* Game speed changed from 85 milliseconds to 80 milliseconds. Also added a setting to the settings.ini file, which allows you to change the game speed (faster or slower).
* If the campaign is too big to be saved as a picture, the game will show an error message and allow you to continue, instead of crashing.
* The game no longer says "Your progress has been saved" when you exit a video.
* Now possible to modify the ending message on a campaign. Instead of "You have rescued [name]!" you can have whatever you want. This is done by writing #END=Your ending message into the layout.txt file.
* The player will be displayed as pqdb instead of @, because it's easier to understand.
* Decided not to include any music. Instead I've provided music recommendations: Souleye and Josiah Tobin. Several reasons for this:
   * There's only one music track, so it would get very repetitive.
   * The music takes up 55% of the total file size, so removing it will make downloading a lot easier.
   * I'm not sure if I could include the music on SourceForge, because it's not open source.
* Summary map detail is reduced when there's 64+ rooms. This significantly speeds up map drawing and there's no need to have it super-detailed when there's so many rooms.
* Combined the readme and videos text files into a html readme file.

Level Editor

* Swapped some of the mouse commands:
      Middle-click + Shift: Show menu of level types
      Right-click: Set the drawing square to the clicked square
      Right-click + Shift: Show menu of draw items
* Clicking the "Drawing: [Tile Name]" shows the menu of draw items
* You can press 1 to 5 to select that tool in the toolbar
* Added a Flip menu, which allows you to flip the level horizontally or vertically

« on: May 20, 2010, 12:29:51 pm »
These are awesome! "The Cake is a Y" is an instant winner :viridian: Here's a couple more:

Y me?
If a first you don't succeed, Y, Y again
Y in the sky
Ys guy
Do It Y
I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with Y
The Y Zone
Good Y
Give me a Y
Word to the Ys
Y? Y would you do that?!?

« on: May 17, 2010, 11:15:33 am »
I've started a new campaign. The title is gonna be "The Gauntlet".
Cool :viridian: Looking forward to playing it! Let me know if there's anything I can do to make editing easier.

« on: May 14, 2010, 12:22:21 pm »
At least I know you read it.
Sorry if you found my answer harsh? It wasn't intended to be that way. I thought you'd appreciate me giving reasons, instead of dismissing it without an explanation.

Please do make more suggestions, if you'd like to. The best ideas for game objects would enhance/alter movement in some way, have a direct link to the flipping mechanic, should be easy to understand, and should be usable in many different situations.

« on: May 13, 2010, 12:37:49 pm »
My plan is to finish the first campaign this weekend (all rooms are done and it's fully playable, but I want to make lots of little improvements), then send it to the campaign testers on Monday.

On a completely unrelated note, I've joined a Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying group! Never done that before, but I'm hoping it'll be enjoyable :viridian: First session is on the 26th.

Robson, it would be cool if there were doors, keys, gates, and switches. This would work like keys unlock one door of its color. Switches would unlock all gates of their color. There could be open and closed gates at the same time AND of the same color. Because of this, there could be a switch that would close off the path to the crewmate, but opens another path which leads to a key needed to open the door to the crewmate. Gates could also be used to make bridges that only appear when their switch is pressed. Switches can be used more than once. This could make for some pretty long levels and puzzles.

Interesting idea. I can definitely see how doors/keys/etc would work in a puzzle game, but my immediate reaction is that they aren't quite appropriate for YYYYYY. Two reasons for this:


The objects in YYYYYY do one of two things - they either kill you (spikes, word enemies) or they enhance movement in some way (teleports move you somewhere else, bounce wires move you back where you were, treadmills can move you somewhere very quickly, moving platforms can take you to places, rotation wires allow you to access new exits and travel across objects in new ways, etc)

There's a big focus on freedom, rather than restriction. You can see this in lots of places in VVVVVV. Especially notable examples are the flipping mechanic, allowing you to reach places that other games don't. The other example would be the absence of area barriers, allowing you to play the areas in any order.

I think doors/keys/gates go against that freedom, because they restrict movement.


You can already do a lot of things with clever use of spikes and dissolving tiles. I'm not at home now, so unfortunately can't show you any real examples. Instead I'll scribble a rough example:

 +     @

The player is blocked from accessing the exit on the left, because of the dissolving tiles. To get to the left, the player needs to step on the dissolving tile above them, which will cause a chain reaction along the line of dissolving tiles, unblocking the exit. So, in this example, the dissolving tiles have been made into a door and a key.

One of the levels I made for the first campaign was called "The Machine". It had a tunnel at the beginning with five dissolving tiles acting as "levers". The player needed to work out the effect of the levers and then activate the correct levers to safely manouveur themself through the machine. However, it looked kinda messy and I wasn't happy with the overall design of the room, so I replaced it with someone else.

Finding new uses for existing objects is a lot better than adding new objects. There's many reasons for this, for example - the player already knows how dissolved tiles work, so they don't need to learn anything new. It's also less programming to do, meaning I can get the game finished quicker and there's less potential for bugs. Ideally every object within the game should be usable in multiple ways, to give the game variety and allow for many different level designs.

VVVVVV / Re: Spike-counting contest
« on: May 13, 2010, 12:05:36 pm »
pixels in the Elephant?
Seconded! We should definitely do that!

VVVVVV / Re: Spike-counting contest
« on: May 11, 2010, 08:23:30 pm »
The fun comes when he sends in his number and I disqualify him! ;P
Haha that guy is going to be so upset.



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