Hello everybody! We’re all excited over Chasm, and they’re having a stream over here for the next few hours! They’ve asked us to do a bit, so there’s a conversation you probably won’t want to miss. Link is: http://www.twitch.tv/discordgames. This is the last day of their kickstarter, over at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/discordgames/chasm.
 Event’s over, now. It was good. It was funny! Luckily, you can now watch the whole four and a half hour video at http://www.twitch.tv/discordgames/b/402407399. The bit where they play Frogatto is near the beginning, after some Castlevania. The show features an extended interview with our very own artist Jetrel; and our musician Ryan drops by about half-way through the game.
In this Art Asset Overview, I demonstrate some experiments with 2D/3D art: assets that are painted by hand, but have some 3D structure to support layering and parallax effects. We were thinking this might be an appropriate style for the Overgrowth “metagame”, where the player makes higher-level decisions, compared to the concrete moment-to-moment decisions of stealth and combat.
I’m experimenting with bringing some hand-painted assets into the background of the arena scenes, to visually distinguish important gameplay areas from cosmetic background elements, and to bridge the gap between the metagame and the combat. You can judge for yourself how well the idea is working by checking out the video:document.getElementById('hs-youtube-b461IZwi0B4').outerHTML = "\x3Ciframe width='520' height='381' allowtransparency scrolling='no' frameBorder='0' style='border:none;' src='http://www.humblebundle.com/store/video/overgrowth?youtubeid=b461IZwi0B4'\x3E\x3C/iframe\x3E"
Be sure to watch it in HD!
Next time I will show more work on the metagame UI screens! Follow our Twitter feed at @wolfire for realtime updates!
From now until 3:00 PM PDT on May 20th, 2013, you'll earn a FREE Banana Box for every $9.95 you spend on doubloons or every month of subscription time you purchase! That's 5 Banana Boxes for purchasing a $49.95 package, 12 Banana Boxes for purchasing an annual subscription, or even more!
Each Banana Box features a prize in the seasonal color of Banana, including a new Banana Octopus with Hat familiar, a Banana Snake Familiar, and a slew of Banana furniture and ships. If you live to collect trinkets, there's also an array of 12 old and new Banana trinkets. I promise the old ones don't have brown spots.
Good luck and don't slip on your way to the login screen! For a full list of available prizes and other more detailed info, the official rules can be found right here.
today the following changes to game content have been activated on our server:
Particularly cool additions are left-handed mode, and real portrait orientation support! Some options like “color-blind mode” and “multi-touch mode” are listed in the Controls, but they aren’t implemented yet. Please check out the Settings / Controls and try out settings and find your favorite!
Funny dev bug:
This build largely fixes a ton of iOS related issues and overhauls the in-game user interface. I tried to fix most of the issues reported! Please give it a whirl, I’ll be online for a bit on the server if anyone wants to hang out! Please post on the forums if you have any comments.
Also, the magnet sets are all pretty much packaged and shipping will begin to all the $25 backers next week! I’m holding off on higher tiers because we’re going to try and combine shipping with the box sets. Thanks for your patience!
Version: 1.0 Spring Maps Freeware
A beta map, made by Shongjen
Up to 28 Players (14 versus 14 Players)
- name changed (from bigmap to red)
- new textures
We were recently asked by James Harriman how we handled movement physics in Nikki and the Robots.
I wondered how you handled the movement of Nikki in your game. Did you make him/her a kinematic body and allow her to be pushed by certain objects? Or is she a dynamic rigid body with enough constraints to keep her from bouncing around?
Sönke, main programmer of Nikki and the Robots:
Well, I am kind of an autodidact when it comes to physics engines so I am not to sure about the terminology. What's the difference between a kinematic and a dynamic rigid body?
But to give some overview: Nikki is just a normal physics object in the scene and interacts with the other objects much like every other object.
The Nikki object does not change its shape. To ensure that Nikki does not rotate, the rotational mass is set to infinity. Controlling of Nikki works through applying forces (or -- in case of jumping -- a momentum) on the object. We consciously refrained from manipulating the velocity or position directly. We hope that Nikki's movements integrate better with the physics and feel much more natural that way. Also, it helps to prevent weird behavior in the physics scene. The downside of this is that you don't have full control over Nikki's movements, i. e. you cannot work with traditional animations.
Generally, this was one of the more challenging things that we programmed for our game. Working on this also really changed my perception of other platformers. In most other platformers, the movements of the protagonist are animated and don't feel really physically natural. Well, at least if you spent some months trying to do it differently. ;)
Please feel free to let us know about what implementations of movement physics you have worked with and which you prefer!
While this release is mostly about fixing papercuts there is some progress about the next evolutionary step of the OpenRA engine going on in the background.
Hi again! The last update was some time ago now, too long in fact! This is not a post to announce a new update, but to give some insight into what is going on.
Hit the jump for the full read.
After the last update we got a bunch of bug reports, and they are still coming in. The most troubling ones were related to random crashes and other equally bad stuff. We have gone through a series of fixes now on our side, but one of the bugs took longer than expected and have held us back from having a stable executable for a while. We have also received some feedback that a weekly or bi-weekly update tempo would be great, and we can only agree. We enjoy development in that tempo and we should be getting back to that after the coming update.
In the meantime we have been building the Adventure component of the game. This includes work on the editors as well as the content of it and the implementation of running it.
An example shop setup in the adventure editor
We are looking forward to see what people will be able to do with these editors!
As of this week things seem to be on track again and we are basically in release preparation mode trying to make sure that all the things that we have worked on since the last update gets packaged and presented in the best way possible. I’m currently sitting on a train, the weekend will largely be occupied by a wedding, and next week the Mojangstas and Kinten are away and I’m in Denmark. So as of right now, we cannot say a date, but I will be working today and the next week to make this happen as soon as possible.
Also, here is a flying brain:
Version: 9.728 Games Freeware
your favorite game with the funny commanders.
version: XTA 9.728
XTA 9.728 —————— by Deadnight Warrior, Jools and Noruas
* Fix landboat transition from land to water
* Improve commander selection widget (remembers selection from last game, better countdown text)
* Bugfixes for minelayer and buildspeed gadgets (probable cause for error: builder died)
* New sounds for D-Gun, Arm Penetrator and Core Doomsday machine. Sounds by Noruas. Should be less disturbing.
* Update cursor out of range gadget. It now gets range from engine. Cursor will still show bad attack cursor if attack is blocked, but attack order is only dropped if it is outside of range (only for turrets).
* New splash sound for lava maps.
* Builders can now again fight.
* Fix hitsoundwet sound for Arm Bulldog
* Optimise MinimapX gadget to use less fps
* Force some gadgets that wouldn’t unload to really do so (gadgets that have synced and unsynced parts).
As I mentioned yesterday we are officially announcing a new version of Foldit for use with Leap Motion! One of our devs working on the project, Dun-Yu, answered some questions about the release.
How close are we to releasing Foldit for Leap?
We plan to release it in the next month or so.
What's different about Foldit for Leap?
It provides an opportunity to get closer to the true hand folding experience. You can manipulate the 3d geometry of the protein with your fingers and drag it to a true 3d position. You can essentially twist and move the protein as if you were manipulating it with your own hands. Like a real world object.
How long has the team been working on this?
Since last Fall.
What types of players might be interested in this?
People who like hand folding for example. It gives you better control when playing. For example, you don’t need to do so many camera rotations to position the protein. It's all pretty intuitive.
What’s the difference between Foldit for Leap and Foldit for Kinect?
Kinect allows multiple people to play the same protein but Leap caters to a one player experience. It's more precise and to top if off, you don’t need a big workspace. You are working very close to the screen (and your protein structure physically). You're using your hands instead of your whole body. With the Kinect you have to play at a distance of 2-3 meters from the protein itself, but with Leap you can get right up close to the protein. I have a video of some Leap gameplay from last year when we first started working on it that people might be interested in seeing.
What's also cool is that you can point your finger at the screen to make mouse clicks. Just another cool gesture for controlling the game.
What's required for the Leap version?
You'd just need to purchase the Leap camera, install their drivers, and run the Leap version of Foldit which will be coming out soon.
What has been the most difficult part of designing this new version?
It’s all about working through human interaction. For example, if I'm thinking about working in a pinch gesture, everyone pinches in slightly different ways. We are using a vision based method to track human gestures, and it’s a big task to accommodate all kinds of human gestures. Optimizing detection for everyone is never easy, but getting it to work is really rewarding.
Any last features that you think players will be excited to hear about?
We have some cool extra tools for Leap like the pin tool. It lets you pin part of the protein structure to the workspace and move the rest of the structure around it. Kind of like freezing sections but more handy when using your fingers to manipulate the structures.
Thanks, everyone! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments.
Focus this week has been on developing the official company website, and filling in the blanks for client<->server functionality. The website won't be done until it's done, but it's coming along nicely! Regarding the game, here's progress for the week:Server / Client Features Controlling a Magician and Warrior at the same time.
You can play with multiple characters at a time now! For the time being, you can switch between players manually using the 'character' command. I have some sketches at home for a new UI component that shows all your characters so you can click through them, or select them by left-clicking on the map.
The server now sends over ALL the entity/object data to the client, which includes Max HP/MP, current condition, terrain costs, and a million other things. The irrelevant stuff has yet to be filtered out (we don't need Max MP for items), but it's still relatively cheap on bandwidth. Now that the client has this info, it can show us loads of useful information, which means another round of UI improvements should be coming up.Key Bindings
Now that key bindings work, we need a proper key configuration window. Until that's ready, keys are stored in a "keys.txt" file which looks like this:f fly ` character space use_map enter attack 1 skill_1 2 skill_2 3 skill_3 4 skill_4 ...etc
Creating the key configuration window implies a big change to the way options are stored, so this will be a ways off ;) There's plenty of more exciting work to do right now.More User-Interface Tools
This game won't be only keyboard-driven. Now that the client can send every command to the server, it's time to make a few windows and tools to make those commands more intuitive and mouse-driven.
For example, to attack a target, right now you have to enter the command 'attack <target_hotkey>' manually. Eventually, you'll have these options available:
- Right-click and hold on a target and release over the 'attack' icon. This is a standard 'move to our target and attack' command.
- Hit 'a' and left-click the target. This will also move to the target and attack.
- Right-click and hold on a map location, release over the 'attack' icon, then left-click your target. This will make your character hold position at the location and attack the target whenever possible.
The other big UI project will be for a fancy inventory screen to handle the 'use', 'give', 'equip', 'drop', 'remove', and 'put' commands. And then... well, everything else :( That will take a while.
These updates still use the old 0.9 branch of Solarus because I haven’t finished to convert both games yet to Solarus 1.0. And you have waited long enough for the German release and for important bug fixes, especially the bug of blocks that only made half moves.
Solarus 0.9.3 changes:
- The game screen size can now be set at compilation time.
- Change the savegames directory on Mac OS X.
- Improve the support of Mac OS X, Android, Pandora, Caanoo and other platforms.
- Fix the compilation with Visual C++.
- Fix blocks making sometimes only a half move (#33).
- Fix pixel-precise collisions not always correct (#53).
- Fix the end of target movement on slow machines (#34).
- Fix the hero being freezed when using the hookshot on bomb flowers (#119).
This should be the last release in the Solarus 0.9 branch. Our games are currently being converted to the 1.0 format.
ZSDX 1.5.2 changes:
- German dialogs available.
- Castle 1F: fix NPCs possibly overlapping the hero.
- West mountains cave: fix a chest possibly overlapping the hero.
- Fix various issues in French, English and Spanish dialogs.
- Fix the CMake script that creates the zip archive (#1).
ZSXD 1.5.3 changes:
- Dungeon 2: the piece of heart could be obtained very easily with the sword.
- Change the English website url in the credits dialogs.
- Fix missing lines in dialogs.
- Fix the CMake script that creates the zip archive.
- Make creepers appear earlier in the game (#1). Because creepers are fun. I like creepers.
Reprisal's new Linux version is ready to try out. This is a new completely stand alone version of Reprisal for Linux!
Ryan, our music guy, is also working on another project right now, called Seyken: Crystal Kingdom. I’m going to do a post about this project sometime soon, because it’s awesome, but I’d rather not rush it and fail to do it justice.
One thing Ryan’s struggled with for the past few years is a lack of decent orchestral sound libraries to work with – he did amazing stuff, IMO, with the tools he had, but he always complained about the limitations of what he was working with (in terms of expressiveness and flexibility), and a substantial part of “doing good work with lousy tools” came from carefully avoiding the weaker instruments in the libraries he had. Which is fine some of the time, but sometimes you really want to do an epic string section, and without the right tools, you can write the best sheet music for it, but crummy midi-sounding samples just won’t do it justice. Buying better ones is tough when you’re on a shoestring budget.
So with the support of this new project, he’s doing a fundraiser to get some better orchestra samples. If you like frogatto’s music – please support him in doing this, by donating to this fundraiser!