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Free game: Tower (latest version 1.6)


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#41 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 11:53 PM

If you only see auto for the refresh rate in Win98, then the drivers don''t enumerate the refresh rate in the display modes. This makes it extremely difficult for me to fix the problem. I cannot just choose an arbitrary refresh rate, since I wouldn''t know if the card/monitor supported it. In windowed mode you cannot choose neither bit depth nor refresh rate, since it takes what the desktop is using.

I didn''t change the mouse, could be that you were getting stuttering framerates due to another application running in the background.

Say, reana1? Does the DirectX samples that come with the SDK work in fullscreen mode for Win98 on your machine? What version of the SDK do you have installed?



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#42 nonpop   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 01:47 AM

Yeah! It''s working now! A great game! Just one thing... how about customizable controls? The current rotation/cycling controls are not so intuitive for me. Of course I could get used to them after a while, but...

I checked the caps and here they are:

D3DFMT_D16_LOCKABLE
D3DFMT_D32
D3DFMT_D24S8
D3DFMT_D24X8
D3DFMT_D16

So, D32 is indeed supported -- this is really ODD!
BTW, in the code you sent the checking method isn''t quite the same that the one I posted. You do only a CheckDepthStencilMatch() while my sample does also a CheckDeviceFormat() for the depth formats. But apparently that wouldn''t help since my card actually supports the format; it''s just that it doesn''t work!


#43 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 02:19 AM

Excellent! One bug down, one to go.

You''re right, I didn''t pay attention to the exact function name. The same function exist in DX8, for a future version of Tower I will include that test when choosing depth buffer.

Though, in this case I suspect that the result would be the same, that the validation would pass but not the creation. It is indeed a strange problem, it should work but doesn''t. Oh, well, I guess that is what makes game development so interesting

I wanted to do customizable controls from the beginning, but then I ran out of time and inspiration to work on the game so I decided to release it with fixed controls. Now that I have found the inspiration again (although the time is still short) I may take the many suggestions that I received here and implement (customizable controls included).

I first want to fix the Win98 lockup problem though. But it seems that I will need help to do that, since I can''t test it myself.

Regards,
Andreas


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#44 reana1   Members   -  Reputation: 277

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 02:56 AM

quote:
Original post by WitchLord
If you only see auto for the refresh rate in Win98, then the drivers don''t enumerate the refresh rate in the display modes. This makes it extremely difficult for me to fix the problem. I cannot just choose an arbitrary refresh rate, since I wouldn''t know if the card/monitor supported it. In windowed mode you cannot choose neither bit depth nor refresh rate, since it takes what the desktop is using.

Do I need to update my display drivers? Are these old?
gfx.Description: NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200
gfx.Version: 4.13.1.2832
I generally only use Win98 for my old games. So it''s may have been a while since I updated, but I don''t think those are real old.

quote:

I didn''t change the mouse, could be that you were getting stuttering framerates due to another application running in the background.

That''s probably the case then.

quote:

Say, reana1? Does the DirectX samples that come with the SDK work in fullscreen mode for Win98 on your machine? What version of the SDK do you have installed?

I haven''t done any developing on Win98. So the SDK isn''t installed there, but I should be able to run some of the samples there. I have the DX Summer Update 2003 installed in Win2K. Then just the latest enduser DX for Win98.

Tadd
- WarbleWare

#45 Jolle   Members   -  Reputation: 178

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 06:28 AM

reana1: Those drivers aren't very old, but the lastest ones are 53.04 I think. Edit: I read wrong, so actually, those drivers are quite old.

WitchLord: Answered your e-mail, but a short summary: New versionen didn't work in fullscreen. 0 is always given as refresh rate in win98 when enumerating screen modes. The DX9 SDK examples works fine in fullscreen. (Don't have DX8 SDK).

Another thing, not mentioned in the e-mail: I tried to force a specific refresh rate (one that's supported, of course) by editing the config, and that was even worse then before (the computer restarted). So giving anything but 0 when setting the screen mode in Win98 seems to be A Bad IdeaTM. I don't think it's the refresh rate that's the problem. Don't know what it is though

[edited by - Jolle on March 16, 2004 2:26:52 PM]

#46 reana1   Members   -  Reputation: 277

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 02:53 PM

Jolle: Thanks for checking. I could try updating the drivers, but I''m guessing that isn''t be the problem (since yours are up-to-date).

WitchLord: I was able to run some of the SDK samples, but not all of them. Many just exited saying something like "unsupported device or adapter". The ones that worked (in Samples/C++) include:
Demos/Donuts4
Direct3D/HLSLWithoutEffects
Direct3D/VolumeTexture
Direct3D/Cull

These (among several others) didn''t work:
Direct3D/FishEye
Direct3D/DolphinVS
Direct3D/Water

I looked at some of the source code. Donuts4 doesn''t appear to do anything with RefreshRate. The other samples in Direct3D use some common files in Samples/C++/Common/ to enumerate and change modes. So looking there might give you some help I guess. I couldn''t find anything, but I''m still a DX noob. Have you asked in the DX forum? Seems like if this is common problem someone would know there (or be able to look over your code).

Tadd
- WarbleWare

#47 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 11:51 PM

Thanks for giving the demos a try.

Win98 simply doesn''t enumerate the refresh rates so that can''t be my problem I think.

I''m starting to think that the problem lies elsewhere in the code, but I don''t know. I think I''ll write a stripped down demo that only creates a fullscreen device, shows it a few seconds and then goes back to windowed mode and close down. That way I''ll be able to isolate the problem better, and even let you guys see the source code if needed.

I have asked in the DX forum, but it seems it is not a very common problem. I''ll keep trying, I''m sure I''ll find the cause soon enough.


Andreas

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#48 DirectXXX   Members   -  Reputation: 151

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 12:26 AM

Few direct3d games come out. Great work.

Can you give a review about your engine.

#49 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 04:40 AM

Review? You mean like a list of features?


  • Skinned animation with up to three bone matrices per triangle
  • Multiple shader effects using pixel shaders, or reverting to multipass if PS isn''t available
  • Complex dynamic music adapting to situation
  • Dolby Surround Sound 5.1
  • Per pixel lighting with soft shadows using shadow volumes and penumbra wedges
  • Endless terrain, rough terrain data loaded from data, with noise laid over it to add detail
  • Vegetation randomly placed based on terrain type and level
  • A lot more...


Oh, these are the features that the engine doesn''t have

Actually the game pretty much shows everything the engine is capable of at the moment. But it is a starting point that I will expand upon with each new game I write. I''m very happy I decided to do it this way, already with this small engine I''m discovering bugs (because of differences between drivers and cards, and operative system) that would be much, much more difficult to fix if I had a complex engine of modern level. With this engine the next game I make it will be much easier since all the boring stuff is already made, such as file loading, menu management, setting up the device, input, sound, etc.

I just need to find this bug that makes the game lock up on Win98.

Regards,
Andreas



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#50 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 01:04 PM

I decided that to release the 1.5 version to the public. After all, I did manage to squash on of the bugs that you helped me find.

I still have to verify the bug in Win98. There is a chance that I managed to get rid of it, as I''ve rewritten parts of the code for setting up the device and window. So if anyway could be so kind as to test it for me I would be very thankful?

The complete list of changes made since version 1.4 is:

- Changed the way the graphics device is created at the start of the game
- The game is now visible in the task bar even when switching to another application in fullscreen mode
- When pressing ALT+TAB the application is minimized if in fullscreen mode
- The config.cfg file is created at initialization if not already available
- The tower rotates towards the moving blocks a little faster
- The user can now select refresh rate, which may help on some systems
- The depth buffer format D24X8 is chosen before D32
- It is now possible to chose fullscreen resolutions that do not have 4:3 ratio
- At first run the game tries to start in windowed mode, and if that fails reverts to 640x480 fullscreen mode
- The mouse now follows the windows cursor
- The game correctly pauses if the window looses focus

A big thanks to everyone, and especially Reana1, Jolle, and nonpop for being so patient with me and trying the various beta versions. Anytime you need help, just drop me a line and I''ll do what I can.

Regards,
Andreas

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#51 reana1   Members   -  Reputation: 277

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 03:04 PM

quote:
Original post by WitchLord
I still have to verify the bug in Win98. There is a chance that I managed to get rid of it, as I've rewritten parts of the code for setting up the device and window. So if anyway could be so kind as to test it for me I would be very thankful?

Still locks up in Win98, fullscreen. The only thing different I noticed was that the log file is now empty. A new one is created, but nothing is logged. The log file is created (EDIT: and data is logged) when it doesn't lock up though.

quote:
A big thanks to everyone, and especially Reana1, Jolle, and nonpop for being so patient with me and trying the various beta versions. Anytime you need help, just drop me a line and I'll do what I can.

Glad to help, and I hope you can track it down eventually.

Tadd
- WarbleWare

[edited by - reana1 on March 17, 2004 10:29:31 PM]

#52 Haytil   Members   -  Reputation: 418

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 03:28 PM

An impressive game. I like the concept, it is very original. Much more than tetris. It also looks nice too.

-Gauvir_Mucca

#53 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 03:29 PM

With the exception of fullscreen mode the game runs just fine on my old P3 450Mhz,
196MB PC100 SDRAM,
MSI 6119 440BX
Hercules Dynamite TNT AGP video card
running Windows 98SE with DirectX 9b.

#54 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 01:14 AM

Reana1:

The log file is probably empty because it wasn''t flushed to disk before you reset the machine. Windows caches disk writing so that it can write in larger bursts instead of byte by byte. I could of course add a call to fflush() after each addition to the log.

I think the only way I''m going to figure out this bug is if I install Win98 so that I can debug the game on it. I hope I can get the time to do that soon enough.

Gauvir_Mucca:

Thanks. When I came up with the idea, I just knew I had to make it. It feels good that others appreciate it as well.

AP:

Thanks for the info. Yes, Win98 is a big problem. There are still plenty of people who have Win98 so the game has to work with it.

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#55 nonpop   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 01:33 AM

If you decide to implement custom controls, it would be nice to be able to use key combinations, for example:

up/down = cycle
ctrl+up/down = rotate

or something...


#56 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 01:14 PM

I've finally managed to squash the mean little bug that made Win98 systems hang when going fullscreen. You'll not believe what the error was. No, it was not something I did when creating the Direct3D device, or any other DirectX call either. And it was not a windows message I've handled incorrectly. It was the declared calling convention for the windows procedure. I had forgotten to declare it with WINAPI, so it was using the default cdecl convention. The strange thing was that this error only manifested itself in this special case. I would have thought using the wrong calling convention would have given an error the first time the method was called, but no. Anyway, after installing Win98 and countless of resets after each minimal code change I finally found the error.

The complete list of changes since 1.5:

- It is now possible to navigate the menu using the arrow keys again
- You can now quit the game by pressing ESC repeatedly
- The color quality in the graphics options can now be set to auto in which case the best available format is chosen
- The game no longer says it can render in windowed mode if it is not possible in current desktop resolution
- Textures are converted to 16bit if the card doesn't support 32bit textures
- Fixed bug on Win98 that made the computer freeze when going fullscreen
- Removed memory leaks when closing the game

Thanks everyone for the great feedback and patience testing the changes. It's because of you that the game is now almost bug free.

The next release I make will be because of new features, and not for bug fixing.


nonpop:

When I implement customizable action keys I will allow key modifiers as well. Thanks for the input.

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[edited by - WitchLord on April 4, 2004 8:17:55 PM]

#57 EddHead   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 10:06 PM

Hi
Quite Addictive game I must say. Managed to score 700 on my first shot. Worked fine on my config |FX5600/WinXPProSP1/AthlonXP2400+/nForce2/1G RAM| . but the game could use some more spicing up like background textures and music i didnt like the fact that bricks keep floating even though i expected them to fall. apart from that a classic. must speed up the adrenaline in it though. needs a racy feel like the marbles game in Plus! or Zuma. How about adding special bricks like those that can explode or those that can be moved about or those that can change color?

Cheers

Jayanth.K
Raptor Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
http://www.raptorentertainment.com

[edited by - EddHead on April 5, 2004 5:09:31 AM]

#58 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 01:56 AM

700? You''ll have to practice some more I''ve managed a little over 4000 on the small tower. Although any proof would only be possible when I''ve implemented the online highscore list.

Yes, the game could use a lot of spicing up. Graphics and music are not my strong point though so I opted for a cleaner user interface. But I have plans to write a second version of Tower that will be much more rich in both graphics and music. I will add graphics to give better visual feedback to what the player does, for example pretty particle effects when removing blocks etc. The music would increase in speed as the level increases adding a more urging feel to the player.

I could add special blocks like the ones you mentioned to another mode. I rather like this "classic" mode where the rules are much simpler.

The blocks don''t fall down as they are "glued" together, they will only fall down if you remove support on all sides.

Thanks for the feedback. And I''m happy you liked the game even though it is rather simple.

Regards,
Andreas



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#59 QzarBaron   Members   -  Reputation: 370

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 02:13 AM

Worked fine on my PC:

Win XP, P4 2.66, 1 GB RAM, Radeon 9000 64 MB

there you go great game by the way very creative.

#60 Andreas Jonsson   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3446

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 03:55 AM

Thanks for those kind words. And thanks for the system info.

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