Demo 0.2.1 -- Beta Test

A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

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Roots
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Postby Roots » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:47 am

gorzuate wrote:You already made another thread somewhere about this and I've already done it...


I thought that I did. But I don't think that anyone ever uploaded the Windows DLLs, and it was a real pain for me trying to get it compiled on my Windows machine at work because of that.

I'm not talking just DLLs. Headers, .libs, -everything- that is needed to compile a clean checkout of Allacrost from SVN should be up there. It will make it much easier for new people to experiment with the code if there's a low barrier to compile and run it.
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Postby ChopperDave » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:02 am

Alright, I've put zips for includes, libs, and dlls in http://www.allacrost.org/staff/libs/win/.
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Postby Jetryl » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:06 am

Roots wrote:
gorzuate wrote:You already made another thread somewhere about this and I've already done it...


I thought that I did. But I don't think that anyone ever uploaded the Windows DLLs, and it was a real pain for me trying to get it compiled on my Windows machine at work because of that.

I'm not talking just DLLs. Headers, .libs, -everything- that is needed to compile a clean checkout of Allacrost from SVN should be up there. It will make it much easier for new people to experiment with the code if there's a low barrier to compile and run it.


This would rock in ways I can't describe. :bow: Please do work on this - I can serve as your test platform, since I haven't done anything to set up compilation on my 10.5 drive. I would prefer to set it up this way - to have to compile nothing through fink, instead, just being able to download a zip file of all the required files, dump them in the some directory near the project file, and be good to go.
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Postby gorzuate » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:12 am

Jetryl wrote:
Roots wrote:
gorzuate wrote:You already made another thread somewhere about this and I've already done it...


I thought that I did. But I don't think that anyone ever uploaded the Windows DLLs, and it was a real pain for me trying to get it compiled on my Windows machine at work because of that.

I'm not talking just DLLs. Headers, .libs, -everything- that is needed to compile a clean checkout of Allacrost from SVN should be up there. It will make it much easier for new people to experiment with the code if there's a low barrier to compile and run it.


This would rock in ways I can't describe. :bow: Please do work on this - I can serve as your test platform, since I haven't done anything to set up compilation on my 10.5 drive. I would prefer to set it up this way - to have to compile nothing through fink, instead, just being able to download a zip file of all the required files, dump them in the some directory near the project file, and be good to go.


Ok... come to think of it, I believe I forgot to put up the boost stuff >_<
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Postby Ragwortshire » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:37 pm

You weren't kidding about it not being balanced. I seemed to be getting more and more levels per battle as the game progressed.

Also, there was an artifact near the bottom right of my screen - a horizontal dark green bar.

Further, when I tried to 'View Details' on some drunes in a chest, most of the screen blanked out apart from a medium square section in the right-hand half of the screen. I couldn't get this to go away except by restarting the game.

Other than that, looked really good. :)

EDIT: Oh, one more thing. In several of the boxes, e.g., the character detail boxes when you press 's', half of the bottom row of text was cut off.
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Postby Jetryl » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:06 pm

Ragwortshire wrote:Also, there was an artifact near the bottom right of my screen - a horizontal dark green bar.


Haha, oh wow. :heh:

That's actually a feature; although we haven't ginned it up enough to look professional (I must admit that when I first encountered it, I had a strong case of "huh?"). What it displays is your stamina for running - this operates pretty much exactly like Diablo 2; it's infinite in town, meaning you never get tired there, however it depletes as you run while outside of town. When it runs out, you're unable to run until it replenishes itself (which it will automatically when you're either standing or walking).



As for making that better, I should probably superimpose an image behind it. I believe some sort of pictorial solution (such as a "running man" icon next to it) would be in order, since that eliminates any issues with localization. Using text would take up a lot of screen space if we had it rendered on the fly - if we abbreviate it, it's no more clearly interpretable than an icon (possibly less so). As text, it would have to be internationalized; as an image, we'd open up the rat's nest of having to internationalize image resources (for an interesting note, even to this date, wesnoth has no internationalized images. It's not code support that's the problem, so much as generating all the internationalized images and keeping them up-to-date). I should also enhance the drawing of the filled/non-filled areas so it looks fancier than a flat grey rectangle.

In fact, I'll see if I can't take care of this before the upcoming release.
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Postby rujasu » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:10 pm

Ragwortshire wrote:Also, there was an artifact near the bottom right of my screen - a horizontal dark green bar.


That's supposed to be there. In the cave, you can hold down "d" to run, but if the meter runs out, you slow down. That bar is supposed to be the meter, but it's only useful in areas where you would be running from enemies (you get unlimited run in towns.)

Further, when I tried to 'View Details' on some drunes in a chest, most of the screen blanked out apart from a medium square section in the right-hand half of the screen. I couldn't get this to go away except by restarting the game.

Other than that, looked really good. :)

EDIT: Oh, one more thing. In several of the boxes, e.g., the character detail boxes when you press 's', half of the bottom row of text was cut off.


Hmm.

Are you running on a screen resolution lower than 1024x768, perhaps? We have a tendency to be lax about testing that 640x480 resolution, I know. Also, what type of platform (OS, system specs, etc.) are you running?
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Postby Roots » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:32 pm

I had always assumed that we'd have an image to use with the stamina bar to indicate that it is a stamina bar, but that no one was getting around to it. I think a white outline for the stamina bar with a white running man icon on the right end would do well.


Maybe we should also either partially (make semi-transparent) or fully hide the stamina bar for maps that have "infinite run" on. Yeah, I think I'll do this. That way if a map suddenly goes from one mode to the other (ie in a town that suddenly falls under attack), its intuitive to the player that stamina limitations have changed.
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Postby Jetryl » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:00 am

Roots wrote:I had always assumed that we'd have an image to use with the stamina bar to indicate that it is a stamina bar, but that no one was getting around to it. I think a white outline for the stamina bar with a white running man icon on the right end would do well.


Done. :approve: (e.g. already in SVN).

Roots wrote:Maybe we should also either partially (make semi-transparent) or fully hide the stamina bar for maps that have "infinite run" on. Yeah, I think I'll do this. That way if a map suddenly goes from one mode to the other (ie in a town that suddenly falls under attack), its intuitive to the player that stamina limitations have changed.


I think, here, that we can use the infinity symbol, overlaid as an image. It's a universal mathematical symbol, so everyone on the planet should know it; thus it doesn't have to be internationalized. Also, it's one of the few indicators that is self-explanatory; "hey, you have an infinite amount of whatever this bar represents".

I'll code this up tomorrow.
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Postby Jetryl » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:29 am

Jetryl wrote:I'll code this up tomorrow.


Or, maybe I just beat myself to the punch. Done. :cool:

I might want to do a color change or some other jazz in addition to this, but that can wait.
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Postby Viliam » Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:40 pm

Hi!

I tried version 0.2.1 on Windows, and it is really unbalanced. At the beginning, I kill the scorpions easily, and my level increases fast... I mean as fast as gaining 10 levels for killing a pair of scorpions. So it takes only a few fights and both my heroes are lvl 40+. But the higher level I have, the more difficult it seems to hit a scorpion. When I hit him, I do him damage 300+, but almost always I miss. The scorpion seems unable to hit me. So the fight at this level just becomes infinite... forever slashing, nobody able to do his opponent any harm.

I would send you a saved game, but I cannot find the location of saved file. Can you please help me?
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Postby Roots » Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:47 pm

Viliam: we didn't do any balancing for this internal release because it takes a long time to get it just right. What you are experiencing is a problem for everyone else as well right now because character and enemy stats are really random right now. The final release will definitely not have these problems.


On Windows I think the saved game file is in My Documents/Allacrost? We should probably write a wiki article with a mini-manual explaining where the Allacrost user directories are located...
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Postby Steu » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:49 pm

Actually the problem with not being able to hit at high lvls has very little to do with our characters stats, the problem is really the calculation to determine whether a hit has scored or not. It does not take into account the attacking characters stats at all, only the defending characters stats which keep growing so by the time your lvl 40, your evade is insanely high, so the chance to hit is incredibly minimal, I will be committing a fix for this to SVN later today.

EDIT: Yes the save location on windows is My Documents/Allacrost, I can update the wiki later today with this info as well.
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Postby Ragwortshire » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:37 pm

I'm running Windows XP on i386, and my screen resolution is 1400x1050.
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Postby Roots » Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:42 am

We're releasing the final 0.2.1 demo in about an hour now, and the website will be updated when its available. Thank you to everyone who pointed out their issues. I think we got most of them fixed now. The final demo will have a few important additions that weren't yet available in this beta, so give the real deal a shot. :approve: Thanks!
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Postby wayfarer » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:13 am

Played the demo a bit one thing why to hell can I navigate with arrow key but couldn't confirm with enter. :mad:
I'm probably beating the really dead horse here but this game is mostly for PC Users and we are learning resistant.


No bugs found but stumbled over some internal issues.
The first encounters were no problem but later I stumpled upon this tree. I couldn't hit him he couldn't hit me after 5 min I gave up. I couldn't run away or do anything else. Which leads me to the combat controls basically the fasted click decide if you can do something or do I misunderstand something. :huh:

I hope this doesn't sound to negative, the game made nice progress but this stuff is slightly annoying.
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Postby AMDmi3 » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:35 am

Well, I've compiled 0.2.1 on FreeBSD.

What's for build:
No major problems, but I really don't like hardcoded /usr/include/{SDL,AL} in Makefile.{am,in}. Those should be detected by configure.

What's for testing foci:

> Make sure the music plays back nicely (this demo uses a brand new audio engine). On one machine (an Ubuntu laptop) playback was been very harsh and choppy and we haven't figured out why

Same here :(
Just a guess: the game takes 100% CPU, so maybe sound thread doesn't get enough ticks? I've seen it before in other games with OpenAL..

> Report any unexpected behavior and try your best to find "corner cases" that you think might screw up or crash the game

During the fight in the cave, I've got a hang when not giving any orders to characters. Not quite a hang though - it reacted on keypresses, but it seemed like it's one frame update in 10 seconds or so. Maybe integer wrap and very long loop each frame?

> Keep an eye out for visual glitches with images or text. A very large portion of our video engine was re-written for this release

There are :(
Seems like there is a great amount of off-by-one errors in texture coords of sprites.

See http://www.amdmi3.ru/allacrost/

- Font is blurred (everywhere on 1.png, differs from label to label on other scrots)
- Some letters are wrapped (most visible on letter 'i')
- Sprites are teared (look at letters O and C (herO allaCrost) on main menu logo, look at guys' cape and sword on the background, look at the healing potion on 2.png).
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Postby gorzuate » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:04 am

We just made a public release of this demo, and it contains a lot of fixes that have been mentioned in this thread, so be sure to grab it from http://www.sf.net/projects/allacrost!
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Postby gorzuate » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:18 am

AMDmi3 wrote:What's for build:
No major problems, but I really don't like hardcoded /usr/include/{SDL,AL} in Makefile.{am,in}. Those should be detected by configure.


I agree. How the heck did those get in there? :huh:
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Postby Roots » Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:15 pm

I have unstickied this thread and removed the links to the internal release, since the final release is now available.


gorzuate wrote:
AMDmi3 wrote:What's for build:
No major problems, but I really don't like hardcoded /usr/include/{SDL,AL} in Makefile.{am,in}. Those should be detected by configure.


I agree. How the heck did those get in there? :huh:


If I did it, I had no idea that I had done it. But I don't see how I could have done it since I have no clue how you would do something like that in the first place.

AMDmi3 wrote:> Make sure the music plays back nicely (this demo uses a brand new audio engine). On one machine (an Ubuntu laptop) playback was been very harsh and choppy and we haven't figured out why

Same here :(
Just a guess: the game takes 100% CPU, so maybe sound thread doesn't get enough ticks? I've seen it before in other games with OpenAL..


The solution to that is to modify your ~/.openalrc file. The game takes 100% CPU no matter what, so its not like your system is being stressed to run the game.

AMDmi3 wrote:> Keep an eye out for visual glitches with images or text. A very large portion of our video engine was re-written for this release

There are :(
Seems like there is a great amount of off-by-one errors in texture coords of sprites.

See http://www.amdmi3.ru/allacrost/

- Font is blurred (everywhere on 1.png, differs from label to label on other scrots)
- Some letters are wrapped (most visible on letter 'i')
- Sprites are teared (look at letters O and C (herO allaCrost) on main menu logo, look at guys' cape and sword on the background, look at the healing potion on 2.png).


Text rendering still has a few issues that need to be worked out, but I think it would have been unwise to hold off the release for another 2-4 weeks just to get our text rendering to be pixel perfect.
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