Ren’Py

I saw my supervisor Adam today, told him how Twine wasn’t working for me and how I was planning to use Flash instead. He though Flash was the long way of doing things and told me about Ren’Py, a program for interactive visual novels (aka dating sim games). It uses python, which is a programming language I’m somewhat alright at. I also have a number of friends I can ask for help in python.

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 9.19.11 PMI’m currently making my way though it’s inbuilt tutorial. I’ll report back once I understand a little more of it.

 

ActionScript is like a bicycle

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 9.21.44 PMI haven’t used Flash or ActionScript 2.0 for a long long time. I’ve pretty much forgotten it but the nice thing is once I get back into the swing of it comes back pretty quickly.

Also I must thank my younger self for having so many test files. It makes it easy if I need to go and find how to do something.

Back to basics

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 10.13.22 PM

Given up on twine, it was a pretty awesome program but too unstable for a major project. So I’m going back to good old flash and actionscript 2.0 however… how do I do anything again?

Tomorrow I’m going to have to go though some old games of mine and look though the code. While using flash is going to take longer than twine the nice thing is, once I get the story in place I can always add art work and have more control over things.

I hate you twine

twine

After having twine crash once me, I took about a day to get it back to where it was before. And then it crashed again. Thanks to my lack of spelling the script is saved in google docs, which I copy past into Twine. However setting up all the links and making it not look a spider’s web is the annoying part. Twine is just too unstable. After it crashed I reopen the program and it won’t let me load the file I was working on before. For some reason the crash cause the file to become unreadable.

So I’m done with twine. I’ll look for something else now, something that will run on mac, maybe I should re-learn python and use that.

The Research Diary

Meet the new tag, “the research dairy”. It’s apart of the assessment for semester 2.

Here I am to record, document, collect, curate, keep ideas, observations, snippets, quotes, asides and so on about your research.

Apparently it’s not the same as a research journal.

So here’s my first entry in the Research Dairy. How is the diary and journal different? Shall I write about my feelings? I’m already lying on my stomach in bed, legs swinging in the air.

Yesterday I was to send in my research question, which we are trying to finalize. I never got around to it. I’m still trying to finish it. Currently I’m worried what my research question has become is not something my supervisor will agree on.

I see Adam next week, see what will happen then.

PAX 2013 Weekend

I’ll talk about Saturday and Sunday in the one post since today is Tuesday and I need to get back into uni mode.

So Saturday JB and I took it easy, in the morning I got dressed into my Cosplay I had spent weeks making. We ended up catching the 10am train to the showgrounds. We had kept the black wrist bands we were given on the friday over night, thinking we’d be able to skip the line ride. Nope. Turns out the entrance to PAX was like 2 double doors. At lest this time we were inside, I did think about taking a photo but there wouldn’t have been much to see other than a sea of people.

Once we got in we ducked into the main theatre to see Penny Arcade – Make a Strip! the only seats were second back row, even with my glasses I couldn’t see the screen. I told JB I might walk around and we’d catch up after. So I went to the expo hall.

SONY DSC

Walking around alone is somewhat different than walking around with JB. For starters JB often carries my things, however it is easier to do things. While walking though crowds I find it easier on my own. My smallness lets me squish past people easily. While on my own I tried out Just Dance 4 and made 2 other guys dance to “I will survive”. It was fun. I did a loop around the expo hall and bumped into Austin and Bt.

It was approaching 12, bt hadn’t been to the big tent yet so we headed over there. Did a loop around when we decided we should break for lunch. There was so many people at PAX the internet was so slow. I couldn’t get an imessage though to JB and ended up sending a text from bt’s phone. In the end JB grouped up with us.

After lunch, since JB hadn’t been in the expo hall yet we went back there. We stopped at the nintendo booth and saw a Pokémon battle on the big screen. JB and I parted ways from Austin and Bt, who shortly went home.

At 4:30pm there was a animal crossing video being showed in one of the theatre, at 3:30 we went to the theatre and found out the place was already full. There was a line, to get into the line. We signed and went back to the nintendo booth so watch more Pokémon battles until 6. JB and I weren’t impressed with Saturday PAX.

On Sunday I wanted to see the Videogames are Good For You talk, JB and I caught the 9:40 train and bumped into Vince. Once again at the showgrounds there was the line to get into PAX. We stood in line playing our 3DSs while Vince had his iPad. As soon as got though the doors we rushed to skippy theatre. Luckily we were part of the inside room line. However the theatre was very small. After 30mins we were seated. I think we were about 4 seats back row? I couldn’t see much so I played 3DS while I listened to the talk.

SONY DSC

After the talk it was 12, we headed to the big top for some lunch and we met up with Jesse. After lunch we showed Jesse around. Had a walk around the big tent, JB and I stopped to play some old school games.

SONY DSC

After we regrouped again we headed to the expo hall. There I had a go at Framed, a pretty neat game for the iPad. We did more walking around, gave up on see any talks and just enjoyed what we could. At some stage we went back to the big top to play some board games. We stood around looking for a table to empty and once we saw one I dashed to it.

SONY DSC

We had a go at this game called “dungeon run”. While it took use a while to learn the rules it got pretty damn fun, sadly we didn’t get time to finish the game. We’d have to buy a copy of it for ourselves.

I found I had more fun on Sunday than on Saturday, most likely since Saturday we were so upset about missing the Nintendo thing.  While on Sunday we walked around and tried demos and enjoyed the little things.

So that’s PAX, overall, too many people, too small area. They need to rent out more rooms next time. Btw, turns out PAX will also be back next year. I’l still go.

PAX 2013 Friday

I’ve been asked to report about PAX.

For anyone who doesn’t know PAX stands for Penny Arcade Expo, Penny Arcade being the gaming webcomic. PAX has run for a few years over in the US but this is it’s first time in Australia and lucky for me it’s being hosted in Melbourne. As much as I’d want to if it was hosted else where in Australia I wouldn’t have been able to make it.

So today I woke up today at 7:30, took a shower, got JB to take his shower, got dressed and managed to get some coffee before having to head out to meet people at Flinders Street station. My friends, Austin and Vince were running a little late so instead of catching the 9:20 train to the showgrounds we ended up getting the 9:38, which actually left the station around 10, gg metro.

By the time we finally got to the showgrounds, gosh the line ride.

SONY DSC Here’s where we stood. The building to the left is the entrance, might not seem so bad but behind the trees there was a long snake form of a line which did a U turn and began to leek into the parking lot.

SONY DSCAnd then the second train arrived and the line grew and grew and grew to the point it reached the white building and began wrapping around the parking lot.

So after a while the line began to move. Once we entered they did a badge check and an age check, gave us a black wrist band and we were on our way. Honesty, I don’t understand why the line ride was so long if it was just age checking.

Sadly due to the length of the line ride we missed Story time with Ron Gilbert which was at 10:30am. However we did make it into a line for the Penny Arcade Q & A! Which was another line ride.

  SONY DSC SONY DSC

Some cosplayers we saw while in the line ride waiting for the Penny Arcade Q & A, we stood in this tunnel for most of the wait, it got windy and cold.

The Penny Arcade Q & A was funny and pretty damn cool. However it did run over time and I ended up missing the “We Study Games Without Having to Make Them: Musings from PhD research students” panel. Very sad :(

Once the Q & A was over we headed over to the Expo hall, pretty much a mix of shopping stalls and like demo stalls.

SONY DSC

The expo hall was crazy busy, mostly since everyone else also had just came from the Q & A.

JB and I spent some time at the Nintendo booth. Had a go at the new sonic game, checked out street passes (so many street passes)

After a loop around we left the showgrounds and had some lunch at a fish and chip shop. Came back to the showgrounds in hopes to catch the Games Can Be Anything – Are We Seeing Enough Innovation or Not, and Why? panel but nope. By the time we got there the room was already full and we weren’t allowed in.

SONY DSC

So we headed to the big top and had a look around, lots of board games and some PC and random stalls. There was also the main PAX shop which had a huge ass check out line, JB and I made our way to the handheld area and found a bean bag and camped while we waited for Vince to do some shopping and Austin went on short walks.

At this stage we had kinda given up seeing anything we waited to see, most of the things we wanted to see we had missed and huge lines formed before all theatre doors.

After a while of lazing around in the handheld area we packed up camp and went back to the expo hall to do another loop around. Austin went home and Vince went off to see stuff while JB and I mooched around the Nintendo booth again. JB had a go at the new Super Mario 3D world on Wii U and played some The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds while I sat on some bean bags watching the Mario Kart 3DS tournament and checking my street passes.

Once Vince was done with his walking around we packed up our things and headed out before stopping at one more booth. Where JB and I bought some Pokémon gym pins. As we left the expo hall we were hit with a rush of bad weather.

We got home around 7, soaking wet. Tomorrow I’ll bring an umbrella.

Over all feels about PAX so far, while there were more rooms opened up there really was too many people. However unlike supernova or Manifest PAX actually had tents set up between buildings, which was nice but at times created traffic jams.

It was fun bumping into friends but so easy to get separated from friends and at time we’d see someone and just ever see them again, there was just so many people.

I think with some tweaking PAX could run a lot smoother however I’m worried it might not get another chance. I feel like other people also were sick of the line rides and not being able to get into the things they want. The weekend pass cost $115 (we bought ours pretty early). It’s so far the most expensive convention pass I’ve paid for which is upsetting to think I and others miss out on panels and talks simply because it’s already filled up.

Hopefully tomorrow is better since we still have our age wrist bag on.

Code name Escape

Ideally I want to make a game, most likely I’m going to end up with a choose your own adventure story. However I am not the strongest writer there is.

Escape is slowly coming a long. It’s still in that bizarre stage where it’s more crazy ideas than anything real. I’ll be using Twine for the time being. I really hope Escape has a puzzle game feel rather than a choose your own adventure. But there are a lot of choices to be made, and twine seems like the perfect tool.

Most of my puzzles are basic ideas, what the key elements are and solutions to the puzzle. But things in the middle are missing. I’m also trying to make sure that all NPCs have a reason to be there, have it so the player needs this item and it turns out a NPCs has that item. Make them feel part of the world. The thing I learnt from BioShock Infinite is that if the NPCs is helpful there’s a deeper connection.

I also like what Liar Game does, where everyone has a nickname rather than their real name, say there is a smoker among the NPCs, he could be addressed as “smokey” by the player and the other NPCs. Nicknames like these are easier to come up with then real names.

The big thing I really want in escape is to have it that your “team” carries on. Say you start off with a group of 10 including yourself and you only manage to escape with only 7 people. In the next room you end up in, I want it so you are in that room with those 7 people and not new ones. I’ll have to have a deeper look into Twine.

I’m trying to keep Escape as small as I can, maybe I should work on one room at a time, but ideas keep coming so I write them down.

We are back to school next week, but first PAX. I’m so excited.

Game Idea

Codename: Escape

For honours I wish to create a game that looks at  non-heroic actions we are allowed in games and basically see if at any point the player stops and thinks “Am I still playing as a hero?”. This post is going to be a little all over the place since I’m still thinking all this out.

The game is going to be puzzle base, the player is locked in a room with a number of NPCs. The idea is to escape the room (which leads into another room). There’s a few ways to escape the rooms, the easy way is to save yourself, leaving the NPCs behind and the harder way is to save everyone. There will also be some solutions that setting between the two.

There are a few key elements I want to include into my game, I want to try and include the player going though a number of non-heroic actions, such as stealing and murder. I also want to include something I’m calling game taboos, things that don’t appear in games often. Currently the one game taboo I can think of is murdering children.

Currently I’m designing the game around the Great Eight traits of heroism.

  1. Caring: compassionate, empathetic, kind;
  2. Charismatic: dedicated, eloquent, passionate;
  3. Inspiring: admirable, amazing, great, inspirational;
  4. Reliable: loyal, true;
  5. Resilient: accomplished, determined, persevering;
  6. Selfless: altruistic, honest, humble, moral;
  7. Smart: intelligent, wise;
  8. Strong: courageous, dominating, gallant, leader.

For example, Selfless.
The player and 5 NPCs are trapped in a room with the only exit being a lift that can hold 5 people. Does the player let the NPCs take the lift and stay behind or does the player rush to the lift leaving everyone behind?

 

Stage 1 of the game I’m just going to write as many puzzles and solutions I can.
Stage 2 turn the puzzles into a text adventure
Stage 3 if there’s time make one perfect click adventure puzzle.

And if I have heaps of time make the whole game. But I don’t think that will happen.