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Beals Software

New Update Coming Soon

Posted by , in SAGE, Project Warehouse 28 October 2012 - - - - - - · 475 views

I've spent most of this past week working on rewriting the bar scene. I want to add in some more content and give the players a chance to meet the other characters. More importantly though, I've rewritten the updater system.

Previously it would have been very difficult to update the engine or any of the DLLs as the updater ran from the game's executable. I have moved it to a separate exe and have given it the ability to update itself. So, after the release that is coming up, there shouldn't be anymore installers (I'm not making any promises though; I'm fairly confident, but not 100% sure.)

All in all the process seems to be working smoothly now, so hopefully there aren't any issues.

I was going to release the new update tonight, but I ran out of time. I still need to do some testing of the rewrite and fill in some content; I'll have that finished tomorrow and I'll have the new version up tomorrow evening.

I am off to bed!

You didn't want to save, right?

Posted by , in SAGE, Project Warehouse 21 October 2012 - - - - - - · 588 views

One of these days I'll upload a copy that isn't missing a major features. At the moment, you cannot load save games. I would upload a new version, but I am in the middle of polishing up a bunch of the UI stuff.

Here's a list of the new UI stuff:
1) Add support for more than 4 topics and scrolling. Finished
Attached Image

2) Correct issues with digit / numpad conversation interaction. Finished
Previously I stated that the you could now press the 1-4 digits or numpad keys to select a topic during conversation. This worked, unless you clicked outside the area of the topics (anywhere above the first topic) at which point the conversation display control would lose focus and the key input would be lost.

3) Support for more than 8 items in your inventory and scrolling.

4) Rework the "inventory bar"

Back to work

The Mysterious Life of Aaron James - v1.0.10

Posted by , in SAGE, Project Warehouse 20 October 2012 - - - - - - · 468 views

Alrighty, I think I have everything cleared up. I've uploaded v1.0.10 which should at least run properly now lol. As I stated in my last post, I've completely rewritten the coroutine system and that will have hopefully fixed the lag issue. Beyond that, it was mostly just little backend changes (read that as "I can't remember what the other changes were that I made because I spent 6 hours rewriting and debugging the coroutine system".)

I did try to implement pixel-perfect detection for the mouse, so that instances like David and the bar work better (I've selected the bar far too many times when trying to select David.) The problem is that doesn't work on scaled characters very well and it also doesn't work on small objects very well (i.e. the tree branch.) I'll continue to work on some other choices (stencil buffers, detection maps, etc) but I've removed it for now.

I'm working on redoing the bar scene; the dialogue is still kind of bland and the bar puzzle is giving most everyone (even seasoned adventure gamers) issues. I chose that because I personally will instinctively do that; if I walk by a pool table that is not being used and the cue ball is on the table, I'll roll it in to a pocket. I'll see what else I can come up with though; I don't want the first puzzle to put everyone off lol.

I've also been in contact with a musician, so hopefully the next release won't be so silent.

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I broke it...

Posted by , in SAGE, Project Warehouse 18 October 2012 - - - - - - · 743 views

Well, if anyone downloaded v1.0.7, you'll probably notice quite a few issues. The whole 'not serializing node links' issue that I fixed...wasn't completely implemented. I added the code to load the nodes, but never added the code to save the nodes. So, if you saved and then tried to load it would crash.

I also managed to make it so you can't start a game, save, exit to main menu and start a new game.

Both of these issues have been fixed. I've also located the issue with the lag; it's the same bug that I thought I fixed back in May. Coroutines are getting caught in the system and it is causing XNA to start calling update or draw in fast succession. I'm working on fixing this now.

I'm working on the lag issue now. Once I have that resolved I'll upload a new installer. A big thanks to Raymond Jacobs for trying the game out and helping me identify these new issues.

It looks like the loading of scenes is taking just long enough to screw with XNA, causing it to call multiple update and draws to catch up. I have two options:
1) Disabling the fixed timestep seems to fix the issue.
2) Off-load this some so that it is done asynchronously. If it starts to take too long, I can have a loading message/screen pop up.

The latter seems like the better choice, but honestly it would be more of a nuisance in my opinion. Basically the loading screen would pop up for literally a second at points.

I'll think it over and see what I can come up with.

Ok, I think I have it fixed. I've completely rewritten the coroutine system. I'm not sure if you remember me posting it earlier this year, but it was very very naive. Most of it was handled via runtime script generation and I really just cobbled it together to get it working. I have completely removed the script generation and implemented a nice new class-based implementation that uses variable arguments and unpack. It is still using my CoroutineTable C# class, but I'm thinking tomorrow I can quickly remove that completely since there is no longer any script generation. Then I can just add some extension methods to Lua and I'll be good to go.

I've also figured out a new bug that I've been seeing pop up here and there, but absolutely could not figure out. Every now and then I'd hold down the mouse button to select my verb and I would be selecting a verb for some other object. I do it quite quickly, so I couldn't really catch what the object actually was. Turns out, I'm apparently forgetting to nullify the object that you're hovering over at some point. So, if you hover over an object, move off of it, hold down the mouse button and then move it over a different object, you'll be selecting a verb for the original object.

I'm off to bed now; I'll test some more to see if the lag issue is resolved and I'll post an updated installer once I have the bugs I've found cleaned up.

The Mysterious Life of Aaron James - v1.0.7

Posted by , in SAGE, Project Warehouse, Project Grue 18 October 2012 - - - - - - · 517 views

I've removed this release download as I completely broke most of it.

I've uploaded a version 1.0.7 with a lot of engine fixes:
1) Corrected issue with number keys not selecting dialogue options.
2) Switched SAGE library to Reach profile rather than HiDef.
3) Corrected textbox not being selected on input prompt (when creating a new save).
4) Corrected issue with the textbox not entering characters until they were released.
5) Corrected issue where the game would crash if you saved and then went to the main menu while the notification was still visible.
6) Change menu options to "Exit to Menu" on the in-game menu and "Exit Game" on the main menu.
7) Corrected issue with the "New Save" button not becoming visible after freeing up a space.
8) Implemented new state system to allow updating of old save files.
9) Node link states are now being serialized.
10) Improved pathing algorithm.
11) Installer now includes a shortcut to the game that will skip the update process (as well as internet shortcuts to our Facebook, Twitter, and GameDev.net journal.)

There are also miscellaneous script changes included. I'm still working on a few things with the new state system, so sadly saves are going to be broken. The issue is that there is some serious missing data:
1) When I disabled/enabled links on a map they were not serialized
2) Every object in the game was serialized with a value of false for IsVisible. This wasn't an issue until I fixed the fact that it wasn't used at all.
3) There were a few state variables that I forgot to set and so old saves are simple incompatible with Chapter 1 (this is one that I can't fix as I can't just set state variables and I can't determine if they need to be set.)

The major break is the fact that I can only change the state of an object that is currently loaded (objects in the scene or objects that have been modified); so if you saved on the street scene, I can't update Jon's visibility outside of the warehouse.

The big accomplishment though is fixing the pathing; it no longer starts moving back to the previous node all the time. There are still instances when this happens, but this is because it has found an alternate route. I've only seen this in the main warehouse room, but I'm sure it will pop up now and again; it doesn't happen every time now though.

Working on getting over another milestone as well: getting some music into the game. Cierra has a friend that is in a band, so I'm going to get with him and see what we can come up with.

Beyond that, there isn't much to report; I have finished a lot of code for Project Grue, but it is mostly base code so there isn't anything new to show. Hopefully here in the next few days I'll have shooting finished and will be able to upload some screenshots of mayhem.