Posts posted by Noyb
Yeah, the real thread is here:
Been listening to these great mixtapes of "strange video game music" assembled by composer and game developer Liz Ryerson:
Obligatory link to Olde English's Breakfast at Tiffany's sketch, which engages with the titular work to a stronger degree than the original song.
1 hour ago, Twig said:
Also if anyone can remember the name of a massive database website, it was specifically devoted to Clickteam products, I think, so Klik'n'Play, The Games Factory, Multimedia Fusion... It also definitely had "click" or "klik" in the url somewhere. I'm hoping the website still exists. I'm assuming it doesn't, but... just maybe?? Even in the internet archives?? It'd be cool to revisit that website in some fashion.
The Daily Click or its predecessor Click Cafe? (The Daily Click has a timeline to dig through of other prominent sites if it's neither of those.)
Side note: I can't believe The Daily Click is still running! The newest game was uploaded twenty days ago. There's a frontpage post from one of the same old mods dated yesterday!
Really enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy 2, but I'm bailing on this postgame. After beating the game and getting all 120 power stars you're asked to collect 120 green stars scattered across every level in the game to unlock a final challenge. Some are hard to collect, asking the player to chain together moves to reach heights or distances not required in the main game, while others are hard to find, hidden behind walls or otherwise invisible to the normal camera angles, and some are both.
It's fun at first to do a triple jump into a spin jump to collect a star high above the level, but not enough to sustain 120 extra challenges or to deal with all the cruft around it. Replaying parts of levels for third and fourth and fifth times just to reach the planetoids with the star, being unable to skip repeated cinematics the first time you re-encounter them for new stars in the same old levels, combing every inch of a level looking for tiny light rays, stars positioned where failure means instant death, missing a star floating in the middle of nowhere because it doesn't cast a shadow to help depth perception.
I keep trying to figure out why there are two ropes dangling near where you found the backpack, one shorter than the other. Did Ned encourage Brian to dangle off that terrifying cliff from those ropes, leading to him dropping his backpack? Are these the first steps of his never-finished Goldbergian contraption to retrieve his backpack?
Yeah me too, it only seems like 3 letters were exchanged (4?) and I have this feeling there is more in the game I somehow missed.
There's another letter behind a thick brush to the northeast right near where you find the dead deer, which (along with some commentary from Delilah) sheds light on why Dave initially left home, with a fantastic Chris Remo-sung track giving closure to his arc. (I know this is a spoiler thread, but it's a really nice moment that might be better to experience yourself?)
Two letters (Black Spectre + nightmare multiball) away from wizard mode!
I realize I've never once activated Nightmare Multiball, which apparently happens when the on-table clock strikes midnight?
I keep getting timeouts in Black Spectre, resetting which lanes are available, and I think putting me in walking dead states where I don't have enough time to finish the mode? Is how fast the lane lights flash the only vague indicator of how much time I have left to take a shot? Is there a global timer which limits how long the mode runs or just a relative timer that resets or refills after shooting an active lane? Far cry from the visual clarity of Morpheus' tentacles or the blunt hovering numbers in that one car chase mission.
(Two villains + a fairly productive copter multiball.)
This table is both narratively and mechanically overwhelming! The taxi-driving, day-trading, politician-brawling vigilante possessed by an Egyptian god -- as portrayed by snarky banter and a table which changes modes with nearly every ramp you shoot -- almost feels like a spoof of both superheroes and pinball tables.
Knowing nothing of the lore, it's interesting what hints of characterization filters through to the pinball design. Marlene, known only through a kidnapping mission and a line about why Moon Knight wants to continue living. Frenchie, seemingly named after his ridiculous accent. The uncomfortable racial undertones of a violent black man wearing facepaint being named Bushman. The back-and-forth between Moon Knight and Khonshu works well as a backbone framing. The dialogue already feels denser than Sorcerer's Lair, often spending multiple lines of dialogue establishing new modes and characters, I wonder just how much is lost in the adaptation process, or if the original work also trades heavily in old archetypes and 90s irreverence. It feels like the dialogue assumes the player doesn't know anything about this world, so it needs to introduce everything, but all this never really forms a coherent picture in my mind.
Reading through these comments and the table guide (and watching Clyde and Chrissy's videos!) helped to make some sense of the table's chaos, but I'm still finding myself reacting to the current board layout more than making active plans. It also feels relatively tough to active the kickbacks. I'm having a lot of trouble hitting the crime scene even by accident, and like everything on the table you need to repeat the shot multiple times to have any effect. (Maybe activating kickbacks by manipulating the Crawly reward with the right orbit spinner might be easier? Oh man Crawly, what even is his deal? Got a Baker Street Irregular vibe from him, maybe.)
The stock market scene is a lot less complicated than it feels. The stock prices seem to go up until it hits the maximum, then down until it hits the minimum, then back up to the maximum, etc. No erratic fluctuation. So it doesn't seem too difficult to cradle the ball until the price drops to ~15, switch to buy mode, make a few ramp shots, cradle the ball again, wait for the price to get high, make some more shots. You also automatically sell everything when you hit the center hole, so I think a quick way to finish the mode with a profit is just to end it early when the price is near 100.
There's also a "Decorate with Badges" button in the menu you get when tapping the top-left icon on your home screen, the one with a house icon and a wrench.
(I also thought I was the only one it was loading slow for. And I totally didn't spend $2 to get a few Rhythm Tengoku Badges in a fit of weakness I'm choosing to now interpret as a microincentive for them to localize the latest one.)
Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of Hanako Games' latest offering, Black Closet? The Steam reviews are universally positive and I figure that "quasi-procedurally generated intrigue simulator as the student council president of an all-girls school" is a slam dunk, but there's been almost no critical reaction since its release in mid-September and one of the hosts on TMA mentioned it as a charmingly crap game in their episode on Thea: The Awakening, so... I don't know.
Emily Short just wrote a positive piece on it, largely praising the character work and narrative structure: https://emshort.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/black-closet-hanako-games/
This game. This fucking game.
I never played a commercial console game -- a game funded, manufactured, and shipped to stores -- that so actively despises the player the way Flower, Sun, and Rain does. Rubbing your face in constant failure. Stretching out fetch quests to their breaking point.
Mid-game, when you finally leave the hotel, the roads of the island start opening up, but the game forbids you from driving your car. So you run. The same run that felt so slow in the confined space of the hotel, now even worse as you're trudging back and forth along these massive highways while entire movements of Gymnopedes play out. Your eight directional movement rarely aligns with the camera, so you have to constantly course-correct as you run back and forth, a design choice which strongly evokes Desert Bus.
(Oh,and only cheat the step counter if you want to subvert the designer's full masochistic intent, Davey Wreden.)
If you finish a level making at most one mistake, then the level icon will turn shiny! Positive reinforcement!
The challenge is always identifying the one data point you're missing that resolves or unravels a bunch of stuff on the board in a very satisfying way. You can stare at a board for hours (I literally have) without seeing a way forward, and then come back the next day with a fresh mind, glance at it and go «well obviously that cell has to go» and it's more satisfying than most AAA video game endings.
Hexcells is great! What Toblix didn't say is that all of the main puzzles are hand-designed, generally with a design ethos which emphasizes this linchpin structure. The random levels in Hexcells Infinite's endgame feel so sloppy and inelegant in comparison, large swathes of redundant clues, so many possible ways forward at any one time that it feels less like a guided tour of the board and more like an uncontrolled fungal growth.
Pokemon Picross is a weird beast. Capping the amount you can spend on a kid-marketed F2P game is an important step towards shaking common exploitative practices, and the puzzles are still fun, but everything surrounding it still leaves me sour. The game follows the now-standard design of constant timers and energy and grind and upsell. One Gamefaqs poster calculated that to unlock all the puzzles and upgrades without buying soft currency would require over a year of playing the daily training levels.
Early on I fell into what appears to be an intentionally designed trap of wasting soft currency on an upgrade during a time when it had no value to me. Finishing a puzzle gives you a Pokemon. Equipping a Pokemon while entering a puzzle lets you use that Pokemon's ability, generally a hint (which columns or rows can you make progress on) or a cheat (reveal random tiles, slow down the timer). One of the few ways to earn soft currency is by completing missions on puzzles, which involve solving that puzzle under a time limit, bringing in specific numbers or types of Pokemon, and using specific cheats, with a small bonus if you complete every mission in one go. One of the first 15x15 puzzles includes a mission asking you to equip 3 Pokemon. The maximum party size at the end of the tutorial is two, upgrading the party size costs soft currency, and until that point all of the missions were possible to complete. So I upgraded the party size. And only then did I learn that Pokemon can only be brought into puzzles when the width of the puzzle you used to catch it is at least as wide as the current puzzle. Convoluted garbage.
Edit - Oh wait, not seeing the naming of accounts... wonder why my old friend is saying that. However, they are signal boosting GG.
Three people tweeted at Play Asia asking how to delete their accounts. A gator replied to this tweetchain with a shitty meme image calling them "triggered." Play Asia retweeted this harassing tweet, which also includes the twitter usernames of those three customers, opening them up to further harassment.
I also was thinking about what this game would look like if someone tried to realize its equivalent in another medium, and was having a difficult time
Closest I can think of is Italo Calvino's novel If on a winter's night a traveler, which mostly tracks a second-person protagonist (who grows increasingly distinct as a character separate from you the actual reader) as he tries to hunt down a copy of a book he never finished reading. The novel is structured around lengthy chapters describing the books he reads, recreating not the exact text of these fictional works, but the subjective experience of reading them.
Right, the game set an expectation in Act I that Act II later subverted in a way that left many players confused or (temporarily) stuck. In retrospect, I see what they were going for thematically, but the shift felt clumsy and could have been supported more strongly in the writing or puzzle structure.
Full game + ending spoilers:
Act I establishes a baseline where each protagonist can succeed by acting independently. The end of Act I reveals that their two worlds are inextricably linked. Act II sets up the idea that Shay and Vella are learning about each other from a distance. Shay through talking with Vella's family and showing the poster around. Vella through seeing where Shay grew up, being quizzed on his childhood, and talking with his mom. This culminates in an endgame that has Shay and Vella work together by trusting in each other's actions in the absence of explicit in-world communication.
Each character hits at least one roadblock in Act II that, as designed, requires breaking the fourth wall and using information from the other character's environment. Shay begins in an open, nonlinear section with multiple short-term goals, only one of which (Hexipal wiring) requires information not found in his section. Vella begins Act II with a relatively linear series of puzzles that only substantially opens up after answering the quiz about Shay's childhood. Vella can find two of the three answers in the museum, but the player cannot know the name of Shay's favorite toy without information found in his area.
Crucially, failing that question takes Vella back to the museum and the game seems to strongly hint in dialogue that the information she needs in found there. And it's partially true -- the museum does establish that Shay had a toy snake, which is necessary for the player to eventually solve the puzzle the "right way" -- but it's entirely possible that the player will just get the name through brute force and not learn the lesson that cross-character collaboration is now necessary. (This doesn't apply as much to the Hexipal wiring puzzles and Vella's later coordinate puzzle, each having magnitudes more wrong answers.)
The player might also have trouble definitively concluding that the name isn't anywhere on the ship, that there isn't just some tiny hotspot in the museum or elsewhere that they're missing. This also holds true for Shay's roadblock, his side starting with even more screens full of unsolved puzzles and untried interactions, any of which could potentially be something that results in learning the proper Hexipal wiring.
This also raises design questions of how to lead the player to understand that the rules have changed and whether the specific narrative beats of "Vella guesses the name of Shay's favorite toy and the coordinates to the beach town" and "Shay and Vella guess wiring configurations that only the other saw" are good or necessary ways to force the player to switch between the characters to demonstrate a growing understanding and bond and dependency between them, but ehhhh.
So the point is to take a random number, and apply logic to it, say if the first two digits are greater than 50, make a large map, or something? I can see that. I'll think of how to use the number in different ways to make sure that I'm not always going to get the same types of map. they can't all rely on the size of the number. I'll let you know how it goes, and I'll keep reading the nature of code for more ideas.
(I'm not entirely sure if you're confused with the general process of turning random numbers into useful values or if you think that a single random value is supposed to determine an entire map, or if I'm misreading your post completely, but I hope this helps.)
There's a good explanation of seeded random number generation in the API, but the gist is that after you set a pseudorandom number generator's seed, it will always generate the same sequence of random numbers. So you would first seed the pseudorandom number generator and then generate as many random numbers as you need to define the world. (e.g. the first number for the map's width, second for the height, third for the palette, etc.)
Note that if you want the same results, you also need to make sure that you use the sequence the same way each time.
An example: Imagine a room with two exits. Both are behind closed doors and the player cannot see into the next rooms. If your code only randomly generates a room at the moment when the player opens a door, then the overall map will be different depending on which door the player enters first. The solution is to generate the entire map beforehand.
Another example: Imagine a level-based platform game like Spelunky. You use a seeded RNG to generate the first level, then call the same RNG in-game to get the enemies to move randomly around. The number of times you call the RNG for enemy movement isn't predictable, because it depends in part on how long the player remains in the level and when they kill each enemy. If you only generate the second level at the moment the player beats the first level, then the second level will be different for most players, since the seeded RNG will be in a different place in its sequence. The solution is to either use a different RNG for level generation than in-game stuff (that you don't need to be as deterministic), or to generate every level beforehand.
things i'm looking at:
GTAV - nice price, but i'm torn about supporting that thing
I DONT KNOW IRGHT NOW
Sunset is the same price ($9.99 USD) on itchio, which includes a Steam key and more than likely gives a greater share to the devs.
The SVU showrunner literally retweeted a message from a gator shitting on a game made by one of their targets.
Did they? Shame, that was quite a cool and original feature. I do have a general reference of all the dialogue (triggered or not) here if it ever interests you:
This is great! I whipped up a bot earlier today that tweets random lines of dialogue using a cleaned up version of the script you posted (lots of weirdly capitalized accents, broken upside-down punctuation, etc.):
Arrays are passed by reference in C#. You only initialize tempPictures_show once, in the line GameObject tempPictures_show=new GameObject, which only runs when StoryData is first instantiated. So your code is passing a reference to the same Gameobject array to the current Page every time you call Say().
Congrats on all the games! Lots of neat stuff to dig through.
Weirdly, all of mine this year were remakes/reinterpretations/parodies of existing works, each playing with agency and what it means to win or lose within broken systems.
#candyjam match3 subversion
remake of my old Assemblee microgame collection designed to throw in as many disparate art assets as possible
The Illogical Journey of the Zambonis
bleak retelling of a 90s edutainment puzzle game I finally finished after leaving it dormant for years
What's the Name of the Game!?
in Video Gaming
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist