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Sik_the_hedgehog

Member Since 31 Jan 2009
Offline Last Active Private

Topics I've Started

Looking for a good sound card

07 April 2015 - 08:03 PM

A friend asked me information about good sound cards since he wants to build a computer for composing (actually he plans to build a recording room). He has a Korg PA600 keyboard and plans to use that keyboard with it. I don't really know anything about sound cards so I'm wondering: what suggestions do you have? (suggestions on the other parts of the computer are welcome too)


Results from an improvised playtesting session

02 April 2015 - 09:14 PM

I was showing my game to some people and there was a 9 years old girl who demanded playing it so I decided to just go ahead and let her play until she got tired and see what would happen (not like it'd help me much since the game is practically finished anyway). Quick reminder, the game in question doesn't have any tutorial of any sort, it just throws you in straight into the first level (and hopes the level design makes up for it).

 

Skill: gonna be blunt, she didn't seem even remotely accustomed at platformers at all, at least traditional ones (maybe endless runners on mobile?), at the beginning she didn't even dare to move left (!?), and that lasted much longer than I could have ever expected. She improved rather quickly though, by the time she reached the first checkpoint she had a rather rough control of Sol (still reacting somewhat slowly, but obviously enough to get that far). By the end she had even figured out that crouching can help dodge some attacks, and that one of the power-ups is used to break some floors and allows access to some rooms with items.

 

Frustration: she didn't take very long to complain that it was very hard =P It still didn't stop her and she got to the first proper checkpoint some minutes later. I swear I keep getting this reaction from people, they complain like it was impossible then they make some serious progress some minutes later anyway (rather than just giving up). Having infinite lives probably helps though (but you still only respawn at checkpoints).

 

Controls: she figured out the basic controls in like a couple of seconds =P When she found a power-up the first thing she tried was press ↓ (this crouches), then press ↑ (this makes Sol looks up). She got it right in the third try (double jumping). Again, she didn't seem to even consider the possibility of other keys... like basically everybody else who tried the game except for one guy (quick conclusion: players won't bother trying more than beyond the original control set, at least unless you tell them otherwise)

 

Miscellaneous: when she found a breakable platform and she missed it (she overshot the jump and kept running after landing) she realized that the platform would most likely respawn and waited for it. Huh.

 

Also for posterity, when she left the computer the game was in this state:

 

kAACfYg.png

 

That wait animation was so worth it XD

 

EDIT:

 

Addenum: girl took over the computer again and spent like a whole hour playing the game o.O; (and got to level four now, albeit not without cursing a lot at me first =P) I don't think I need to say more at this point...


First handheld with sleep mode?

01 December 2014 - 01:35 PM

Today the topic of Brick Game came up again. For those that don't know, it's basically a cheap knock-off of the Game Boy with a 10×20 screen (as well as some dedicated HUD) and several games in it (which ones depends on the model). Just look it up. One interesting thing about the Brick Game is that it included sleep mode: if you turned off the system while the game was paused, when turning on it'd be back in the same exact state as when it was paused instead of resetting. Every game. Not bad for what's supposed to be a cheap knock-off.

 

But that's the issue. While I don't know the exact release date of the first model it's safe to say that at least in the mid-'90s it was already out there (and possibly earlier), but I can't think of any other handheld predating it that had sleep mode as well. The Game Boy line acquired the ability with the GBA, which was 2001. As far as I know Lynx didn't have it, and Game Gear definitely didn't either. The WonderSwan had Dicing Knight, but that one did it since it already had to save the state of the entire dungeon in the first place (so it was more like hybernation than sleeping). No idea about the Neo Geo Pocket, but it doesn't matter since Brick Game still predates all of them.

 

So huh, does anybody here know if there's any earlier handheld that had sleep mode that I may be missing? Because the idea that a cheap knock-off was the first handheld ever to include sleep mode seems ridiculous, but what I know so far seems to hint at that.


Checking which Windows systems have sapi.dll

12 November 2014 - 08:08 PM

Just a quick survey for those who have Windows (if you have computers with old Windows versions, check those too as long as they aren't older than XP). Do you have the file sapi.dll? Please say so (both if present or missing) as well as which Windows version it is in each case.

 

Somebody told me the file was in C:\Windows\System32\Speech\Common\ (or whatever drive it is) if you want to start by looking there, although if it isn't there and you want to make sure you're welcome to scan the entire Windows folder.


When you realize how dumb a bug is...

17 October 2014 - 01:00 AM

Since some months ago we have been trying to hunt down some bug in my game. Basically, the invincibility theme got cut off early in gameplay, which hinted at a timing issue. The game was obviously taking up 1200 frames (20 seconds) as usual, so I wondered if the framerate system was failing on his (the musician's) system. First I reworked the framerate system so it literally stayed in sync with the timer instead of trying to count on its own, but that didn't work. I went as far as looking up hardware bugs (which I had assumed would be dead by now but I wanted to make sure) and trying to set the thread's affinity to avoid them. Nope.

 

...then I look at the OGG file again, just in case. It's 0.4 seconds longer than it should. Nobody noticed for months. *headdesk*


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