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Introducing Retroformer!

Discussion in 'Works In Progress - Archive' started by Paradigm-SW, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

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    Can you explain what this level viewing mode would be?

    Doesn't this imply that we load a level we made to see it in-game? (like a browse button and locate a PNG file on the harddrive or online)
    or
    Is it some kind of in-game level editor?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  2. Paradigm-SW

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    The basic concept is that you can zoom in and out and move through the level freely to check that it works and has imported properly. Lots of features will be thought about closer to the time.
     
  3. MoonQuake

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    Great. That's gonna be a welcome feature. :)
    Also, the ability to drop the player anywhere in the level would also speed up the testing and iteration process a lot.

    You guys have any plans to port the game to Android and iOS?
     
  4. Paradigm-SW

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    That's the eventual goal; the tricky bit here is getting the pictures imported properly. As you can imagine it can be hard enough getting it right on a computer much less getting it right on the much more regimented environment of a mobile device. We want to polish out the PC/web version first and get that working and generating publicity and income, then pull a Notch and start implementing it on mobile. (Compare our post game dev cycle to roughly that of Minecraft's, in that he's basically done then starts from almost the ground up to port it.)
     
  5. MoonQuake

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    The question that comes to my mind (and I'm sure you asked yourself that question and went the PNG way for a good reason) is:

    Why not just make an in-game level editor and just put aside the idea of importing a PNG and dealing with colors and mobiles devices restrictions?

    I know it's not that easy but, with the navigational, zooming features of the level viewer and the ability to place blocks in the world, you'd have a solution for these problems: in-game level editor compatible with all OSes and devices.
     
  6. Paradigm-SW

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    It's something worth considering, but it has it's own limitations:

    -You can't share a map as easily (you need your own file type and more complicated loading options)
    -You must be able to access the game to work on a map (not every computer has Unity Webplayer Plugin, but damn near every one has Paint/Gimp/PS/Paint.net etc.

    We're at the stage where a lot of possibilities can be considered. We're getting our website designed at the moment, we may have a section of that set up to handle created maps.
     
  7. MoonQuake

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    You could continue to use a PNG file as an editor file. Those who create levels in Paint/PS have their levels auto-generated by the game.
    Those who design from within the game have their levels auto-generated as a PNG file in the background that can be shared to anyone.
    It would be two birds with one stone! :)

    Thing is, except if you're one of the devs on the game, you can't realistically create a complete level without playing it so you need to have access to the game to create levels anyways. If you want to simply modify an existing levels, the PNG solution above would make it possible without having the game at hand but proper testing of any level is done during runtime! :)

    Would be awesome.
    You could even use the PNGs to generate a quick level preview image for people to look at on your website.

    MQ
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  8. Paradigm-SW

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    It's a good idea, but the webplayer doesn't support file I/O, so we'd need to find an alternative solution, possibly using HTML5 (I don't know if this is possible, so if there are any experienced programmers, mods or UT devs here, speak up). At any rate we're having the site designed at the moment, so if it comes to it we can add that functionality.
     
  9. Paradigm-SW

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    After some testing, it'd appear that the spawn point colour on the reference sheet was wrong. We've updated it with a fixed version. Images uploaded from Imgur and Photobucket should now work. As for TinyPic, we're still investigating as to why the game doesn't load them.
     
  10. MoonQuake

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    Good! I already started a level... will update the start point's color.
    Btw I read on the forum that it seems like it's possible to access external files. If you do a search with "file i/o external" in the help section, you'll find info about it. Some threads talk about that.
     
  11. Paradigm-SW

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    Do you have a link? The search function for the forums (I think you're referring to the forums) is frankly terrible. And the scripting API came up with nothing.
     
  12. MoonQuake

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    I remember seeing that people are suggesting using WWW with unity. Seems like it handles PNG and JPGs.
    I'll investigate further.

    Update 1: http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/13...untime...Yet-another-topic?highlight=file+i/o

    Update 2: http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/140845/how-to-load-a-local-texture-file-to-webplayer.html

    Update 3: http://unity3d.qatohost.com/questions/231932/a-good-way-to-save-an-image-in-unity-webplayer-and.html


    Hope that helps.

    BTW, did a test level and loaded it from imgur... works perfect!

    Edit 1: I just used PS and saved my image as a png, Interlace:none.
    Edit 2: opened the PNG in Paint and resaved it as PNG. Imgur upload = works 100% in-game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  13. Paradigm-SW

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    Awesome! ^^
    Did you use our program to strip the gamma or photoshop (or equivalent)?
    It'd be useful for us to be able to test and confirm certain methods and software.
     
  14. MoonQuake

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    I updated my previous post with more info.

    Note about the game's wall jumping ability:
    You can pretty much scale any wall. Just wall jump on a tall wall, then walljump back on it and climb up and up. I think it would be a good idea to limit wall jumping on the same wall to a single jump. This way, one can try to escape death from a large hole or deathpit with one jump, but wouldn't be able to climb up walls and restrict the possibilities in term of design.

    Walljumping left and right and left and right in a narrow pit wouldn't count as you don't walljump off the same wall twice in a row.

    What do you think?

    Edit: another suggestion! The blocks that push the player are solid. You can't pass through them. It would be nice if we could pass through them from the back only. This way it would be possible to use them in one-way secret rooms, or no-turning-back situations. Originally, I thought of simply removing the collider, but I wonder what would happen if the player can just be influenced by the push physics, but still pass thought the block. I don't know could be a fun mechanic too.

    MQ
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  15. Paradigm-SW

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    I'll reply to your other comment in a minute, bit busy at the moment. However, I just want to query - are you sure that every block was correct? We need to define the limits of different saving styles of PNG.
     
  16. Paradigm-SW

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    I'll look at the mechanics, the double walljump thing isn't hard to solve. Blocks that push the player? Which ones? Pistons?
     
  17. MoonQuake

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    Image import: yes all the blocks that I used worked properly.

    Blocks that push: grey ones with the arrows. They act like fans that blow air and push in a direction....what if we could pass through them from the back?
    So If we put 1 inside a 1 block tick wall the player would be able to get from 1 room to the other by going through this one way pusher block. Could also be used traditionally like in the levels you guys made except the player would not be able to pass through them from the front.

    If you were to put 1 in the middle of a room only the physics would be affecting the player... you would not collide with the block.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  18. Paradigm-SW

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    Awesome, that's good news. Can you send the file over? I'd like to put it into TweakPNG to see what layers are on it.

    You mean the fans? We could add a one way block, that'd make puzzle levels more diverse. *adds to shortlist*
     
  19. Paradigm-SW

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    I've created a level here: http://i.imgur.com/mWDhr.png



    It hasn't had gamma removed, and has been saved straight out of Windows XP's version of paint. I'd be grateful if someone could test that level as it comes then test one of our .exe files to remove the gamma, then test it again. Thanks
     
  20. DavidDebnar

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  21. Paradigm-SW

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    Works properly only without gamma - as expected. I must admit I thought the fall speed was faster.
     
  22. DavidDebnar

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    The fall speed, along with other things, is fixed now.
     
  23. MoonQuake

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    Speaking of which...

    I think the fall speed should accelerate much faster and reach a fast enough speed so that if you were to fall in a level like above, it would be harder to land on a chosen platform, but not impossible.

    Also, even after quite a lot of time playing the game, I still think the sliding is a bit much.
    It makes things like aligning yourself underneath a 1 block hole very hard. While it's still part of the fun factor and adds some tension in the player's movement, when you go fast, you slide quite a lot which is not so bad.
    When you just tap a direction on the ground, I think the player should decelerate much faster.

    BTW, did you test my incomplete level? I send it to Paradigm via PM. Everything should be fine, but that's what testing is for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  24. Paradigm-SW

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    Ok, we'll look into ground friction and accelerating fall speed.

    As for testing it, we've been messing with the wall jump, so I'll test it in a minute once we've put it back to normal.
     
  25. MoonQuake

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    Just want to make sure... the webplayer hasn't changed for the last 2 days, right? :)

    Edit: just had a brain fart... how hard would it be to make the open space texture scroll a tiny bit as the player moves? By just adding a few 20% grey pixels on the open space texture and make it move a bit in the opposite direction the player is moving to would add a lot of visual depth to the game. Would be a nice "nice to have" in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  26. Paradigm-SW

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    It hasn't changed too much, we're messing with the walljump a bit to try and balance it; at the start of your level the walljump made it ridiculously easy. The background texture is a nice idea, and we will implement it when we've rewritten the texture rendering system.
     
  27. Paradigm-SW

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    Please be aware that at the moment, we know that the webplayer is a bit glitchy, we're trying something with the UI.
     
  28. Paradigm-SW

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    I've uploaded our most recent build. I'm curious to see if anyone else is getting any kind of flickering in the menus.
     
  29. MoonQuake

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    Tried the new build:

    - You didn't change the version 0.0.0b to whatever version the build is at. :)

    - No flickering here.

    - New menu: I like the fact that you keep the level in the background, however, the text color you use when loading a level is pale grey and black. We can't read one or the other when it's against a similar color in the background. I suggest you use bright colors only for text and that the level in the background is much darker, or vice-versa, when this menu is displayed.

    - Also, what is the changelog for this version? Apart from the menus.

    Thanks
     
  30. Paradigm-SW

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    I'll edit the version number as soon as we've tested it and improved it some more - at the moment I'll keep it at v0.0.2c. Absolutely no flickering whatsoever? It may be my computer then - hard to distinguish when your computer is against you -.-
     
  31. DavidDebnar

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    Changelog (I may miss some stuff):
    - fixed falling issues, not entirely finished though
    - the jump mechanics has been tweaked
    - the wall jumps have been tweaked
    - added the new GUI system, still needs a background behind the little float menu
    - the whole core of the program was recoded, supporting a layer based texturing system
    - new basic textures, made by Charlie Samways
    - fixed some bugs with loading
    - fixed the flickering when loading - there still is an error on some computers/os/browsers

    - David
     
  32. Paradigm-SW

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    v0.0.3 is live! Although there aren't a huge amount of visual changes made, we've recoded the entire base of the game to make the addition of options much easier. We've fixed bugs for the new GUI we're adding in (just needs a little polish, and there's a couple of small glitches we need to pin down) and started to add a new style of texture for the level blocks (there will be several different styles in the final product).
     
  33. MoonQuake

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    Awesome thanks!


    - I just found out that it's now really hard to jump through a 1 block hole that is 1 block above ground level, like in the first test level you guys made. Maybe because we don't*float as much now? I'm thinking why not go with the Mario Bros approach and just make the player jump higher the longer he presses the jump button. This way, if you just do a quick tap, you jump1 block high, if you hold it you reach the max height. What d'you guys think?

    - About a new style of blocks, I would be more than happy to make a new batch myself. I've got a few cool ideas. Let me know if you're interested and where I can DL the spirtes.

    Good job on 0.0.3!

    MQ
     
  34. Paradigm-SW

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    The tap/hold thing is a good idea. To get though that hole you need to wall jump off the opposite wall and launch yourself left.

    At the moment we're working on implementing sprite atlases, after which we'd be more than happy for you to design a style.
     
  35. Paradigm-SW

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    We're encountering difficulty finding a simple system that will mean you can use wither an image editor or an in game editor to make the levels, due to File I/O restrictions. If only there was a way to remove the restrictions, but then the exported PNG file would have the gamma information. In short, it isn't going to work. We're going to look at exporting to our website and see what that entails, but first we need to get the site designed.

    If anyone offers free / cheap web design, I'm open to offers.
     
  36. Paradigm-SW

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    Updated to v0.0.3b. We've added some camera effects when you move and want some feedback on them!
     
  37. Paradigm-SW

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    Further update: After doing some research, we have changed the name to Retroformer, to avoid clashes with a pixel based bitmap editor by the name of Pixelformer.
     
  38. Paradigm-SW

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    Oooooh boy. Y'all need to keep an eye out for v0.0.4, because it is AWESOME! Most of the awesome will be concentrated in a standalone version, but there you go.
     
  39. MoonQuake

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    Yeah, that's a pretty damn tricky move to execute. I would see this move be required in a level but through a 2 block opening, then maybe much further down the singleplayer campaign, through a 1 block hole. But for now, to refrain from discouraging and frustrating people, I'd not use 2 block holes for that unless you guys implemented the different jump heights in 0.0.4?

    Can't wait to play 0.0.4!

    Keep it up!

    MQ
     
  40. Paradigm-SW

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    Absolutely GIGANTIC update today, with the addition of a level editor and 2 standalone applications! Get stuck in, and see the OP for a bit more info!

    Hint: Right click to place blocks and LMB to the sides of the screen to move in the editor mode!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  41. Paradigm-SW

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    The webplayer is now v0.0.4b. We've added dragging to place blocks in the editor. I'll update the standalones tomorrow.
     
  42. MoonQuake

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    Awesome job guys!!

    Played around with the editor a bit and it's well done! This is going to attract a lot more people and comments to your game!!!!!

    Again, I just toyed with it for a minute or two, but I couldn't load a png I generated from the editor. Copy-paste the local path and clicking load did nothing.

    I'll play with it some more tonight. Until then...

    Editor's controls suggestion + ideas:

    - Left click: select block, click on the level places a block.
    - Shift + Left click: erase a block. (or just place a blank block hehe)
    - Right click: hold to move level around, click to center level on cursor.
    - Mouse wheel: zoom (just nice to have, for huge levels)
    - Enter: play level from where cursor is right away (would be awesome)

    Also, the blocks on the left could be smaller and allow for more to be displayed at a time.
    Currently selected block displayed is a great idea!

    Can't wait to get some sort of jump height control if you guys decided to go for it.

    MQ
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  43. DavidDebnar

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    Retroformer V0.0.5 with better editor UI and new features is almost ready for release!
     
  44. Paradigm-SW

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    Alright, we're debugging v0.0.5 right now and hope to release it tonight.
     
  45. MoonQuake

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    Can't wait! :)
     
  46. Paradigm-SW

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    The web version of v0.0.5 is now live, with the standalone versions following soon! We've greatly improved the editor, and the full control scheme can be seen in the OP.
     
  47. Paradigm-SW

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    The standalone versions of v0.0.5 are now all live!
     
  48. MoonQuake

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    Wow awesome work guys!

    I like the little flag icon for the start point. I especially like the fact that we can just hit Enter and we can play the level right away!
    This is a great advancement. You're gonna start getting a lot of custom levels from people when the game's mechanics are final! It's easy and fun to make levels.

    Quick note: I would ditch the left click drag to the outside of the game screen for moving around the level.

    2 reasons:
    1) ASDW works much better (with some bugs fixed like scrolling speed that changes sometimes) a quick scroll acceleration would fix the problem) or click drag would work even better. :)
    2) In webplayer, as soon as you left click to place a block, anytime you want to go click any other part of the screen (windows bar, browser tabs..etc..) the level scrolls too. Even when you're in the menus of the game you scroll the level in the background.

    Just need to test the webplayer version a bit more! :)
    That's what I always use BTW. Much simpler. You can check your emails, music, other stuff while editing a level. That's why most 3D apps and editors aren't fullscreen.

    Note: Still don't know if you want to implement jump height based on button press time, or stick to a static jump height? Option #1 is still my vote! :)


    I'm still going to wait until the game's mechanics are close to 100% decided before making my first complete level.
    Like previously discussed, I think there's room for more types of blocks and more gameplay mechanics that will make the game much more original and appealing.

    Again, I'll be more than glad to help in that regard.

    GJ!

    Edit: I will come up with a list of ideas for new block types/mechanics. See what you guys think.

    MQ
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  49. DavidDebnar

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    The speed of the camera panning is not changing randomly, but boosts when Shift key is held down (I am not sure if this is what you are experiencing). Yes, we need to sort out the Left click + drag camera pan. We are not sure if we even should implement the jump height.

    We are open to new ideas regarding block types or gameplay elements!

    Edit: One little trick if you want to edit a level, you can place blocks in play mode when in editor too so you can just carve out a level and test it right away.

    - David for Paradigm Softworks.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  50. TehWut

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    Really love this concept! nice enjoyable platformer!

    imhobtw, I think that using an image editor + .png upload is more unique (maybe even more intuitive) than using a level editor as stated somewhere along this thread...
     
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