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Beals Software

Treasure House dies, Project Warehouse is born

Posted by , in Project Warehouse, Treasure House 26 August 2012 - - - - - - · 4,807 views

A couple nights ago I sat down with my wife, Cierra, to figure out how we wanted to do the demo. Up until that point she hadn't really been involved much, so all of the ideas had come from me. This is a problem because I am a very logical thinker; if things don't add up right or don't seem to make sense, I rewrite/get rid of stuff. Thus why I pretty much never advance past the point of prototyping; I throw things together and I am fine until I start getting into the actual game and things don't add up for me. So, I start rewriting things/changing things so that they do and then they start getting boring or just plain aren't fun.

Enter Treasure House. The backstory was just plain depressing for anyone who isn't living their dream. Aaron is your typical every day person; he's a little bit further than some (he's actually started his business and has an office), but his dreams are crashing as he isn't making any money, can't pay his bills, and he's lonely.

Anyway, Cierra and I sat down, brainstormed and came up with a great storyline that we're both excited about. We have the story for the demo completely written out (I still have to work in a few puzzles), but I just can't handle the art and sound, so I'm currently trying to acquire some funds to hire an artist and pay for some tunes. Once I have that I'll be able to really start production, until then I'm going to work on finishing off and polishing up the editor.

I'm Back!

Posted by , in Treasure House 27 July 2012 - - - - - - · 236 views

Hello all! I decided to take an extra week away from game development, just to give myself a little bit of a break. I've been playing a bunch of games; mainly Fallout: New Vegas on the PC, my new Kinect, and some Rage on the PC.

I did a tiny bit of work while I was on my honeymoon; I was able to get content building from the editor via MSBuild. So I will be focusing a little more energy on that this coming week so that I can actually use it to develop some assets.

I have to do a little bit of re-working on the engine first so that I can make a more friendly development environment. Currently objects are created in the map's OnLoad() function. Unless I do some script parsing, this will make things a little difficult to do a WYSIWYG editor. I want to keep object creation in the script file though as it allows me a lot more freedom than I can with an XML file (unless I make it a very complex system.) I think I'm just going to have to break it down into multiple functions or I may even end up having to do an XML file.

Shortly after I released the demo (that night actually), I realized that it was very boring (no puzzles), it didn't really draw you in, and it didn't have any backstory (the whole point of not doing it as a cut-down version of the full game.) I'm trying to keep a tight lid on the storyline and whatnot, making this very hard to explain, but it boils down to the fact that there's not much of a back story; you're one of four people selected to compete to win a rich man's most prized possession and that's it. There is no connection between the four people and, honestly, the other characters are not important; they could not exist at all. I'm going to continue working on this, but I have a few ideas.

Now, I'm off to get a little bit of work done before I have to head to bed.

Notification System

Posted by , in Treasure House 12 July 2012 - - - - - - · 680 views

[Notification System]
I've added a nice little notification system to my UI library. Here's a shot of it in action:
Attached Image

Here's a better shot, taken with the Window's Snipping Tool; an actual screenshot doesn't contain the notification. The notification you can see at the bottom of the image in the notification is one like in the original image.
Attached Image

I also updated the Notification class to include:
- Icon size; I didn't want to force a specific size, but if I just draw the whole image it can really throw things off.
- Tag data so that it can be used for processing on the OnNotification method of the game engine class.

So now I can show notifications via UIEnvironment.ShowNotification(Notification). Notification has a few options:
- Message
- Icon (texture and region)
- Alignment
- Position/Offset
- Display duration

I was originally adding this as a replacement for the 'tutorial' popups, but it's not really that good of an idea as there would be a large, annoying, non-user-controlled popup somewhere on the screen. Which, in my opinion, is worse than a game-stopping popup.

[Treasure House Demo]
I realized today that I designed the entire demo without any sort of a puzzle; it's basically "just get these items and read some dialog." Definitely need to fix that.

For anyone that missed it: Treasure House Demo Beta

Sadly, nothing else to report today; I slept most of the night away and now I need to get ready for bed so I can get up and go to work tomorrow.

Dialogue can be skipped now

Posted by , in SAGE, Treasure House 11 July 2012 - - - - - - · 573 views

Dialogue Skipping and Bug # 1

So, I finally sat down and worked through why I couldn't get dialogue skipping working. It was being caused by the fact that there is a disconnect in data; the "time remaining" value is stored in both the task and the dialogue UI control. So, even though I was killing the task, the time remaining for the control remained the same and thus the control stayed visible (and the script works based on the control's time remaining.)

Bug # 2

I corrected that and was able to skip the text...but then no text after it would appear. Thus enters bug #2, which was caused by the fact that I'm kind of dumb. The system is setup so that when a character says something, it creates a SpeechBubble and adds it to a SpeechBubbleCollection. The collection searches all of the current ones and replaces any entry that is already active for that character. This way, only a single speech bubble is active for any character at one time. I achieved this by copying the contents of the new item over the old item (dumb). The task was added at a later point (the first time I tried making it so you can skip dialogue) and I never updated the code that copied the values over. So, I've switched the system to just replace the entry rather than copy the data over (not sure why I didn't do that in the first place.)

New Issue

This led to yet another issue. Originally the text was just displayed one after another. However, I wasn't a big fan as it made it very hard to keep up. So, in script I went through and added a 0.5 second delay in between each dialogue call. The issue being that there is no way for me to skip that when skipping dialogue; so there was an extended delay before showing the next dialogue line. So, I've decided to add that half a second directly to the task for the dialogue line. So now, if you skip that line of dialogue, the half a second is skipped as well.

Tutorial Popups

I've added some popup messages at the beginning of the tutorial, but I'm not really sure about them. It's only 3 popups for you to click OK on, but I hate being intrusive. I'm thinking of possibly something that just pops up in the corner or something. Here's a shot of what I have set up now:

Attached Image

I'll have to see about implementing something different. The problem with using on-screen text is that I have to display it for a long time and as a character isn't saying it (and thus input is not locked) it can't be skipped.


I'm working on implementing a difficulty system similar to that of The Curse of Monkey Island. Basically, from the options menu you select Normal or Hard. This setting is available from the scripting engine and thus scenes can be load objects based on the difficulty. For those that haven't played The Curse of Monkey Island, there was normal mode and a "Mega Monkey" mode which had more puzzles. So, depending on the difficulty setting, there may be more puzzles or some puzzle steps may have already been completed.

Demo Download

For those that missed it, there is a "beta" of the demo available for download here. For those that have already tried it, there has been no change to the demo yet; I still need to figure out how to actually update via an installer rather than just installing a new version of the product.

Anyway, back to work!

Treasure House Demo...Beta

Posted by , in Treasure House 08 July 2012 - - - - - - · 1,086 views

Treasure House Demo

I finally have a demo done...sort of. I'm calling it a demo beta as the only the first scene for it is finished. I'll be adding more content (at least two more scenes), but I really want to show it off and get some feedback. Here is the download link: Download Treasure House Demo Beta.

If you have any issues/suggestions/comments/whatever whatsoever, please either post them here or via the site's contact form.