(Topic ID: 257309)

P3 Game: So You Want to Be a Hero? Quest For Glory Pinball


By bingopodcast

67 days ago



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    #51 52 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Final tally: 30-34 voice actors (depending on how I want to handle the fairies), with 21 pages in narrator script alone!

    Holy cow! I don't think I know that many people... or at least know that many I want to work with

    I can't wait to see this. I've never played the base game, but this looks fun.

    #52 48 days ago

    Whew! All the voice actors are either cast or have returned their lines. Really amazing work and I managed to pick people with very similar equipment for recording, which will save on a lot of post-processing I need to do. Most of the returned lines are exactly what I imagined or better. Really pleased with the result.

    I still have to split the lines apart and handle orchestration in Unity, but having the assets is a big deal.

    This week, I plan to work on music, I have dozens of musicians I need to contract for various songs within the game (I only have variations on the main theme thus far), and that's going to be pretty time-consuming. Once I have that done, I should be good to work with the artist, who will be returning from vacation next week!

    And zimjoe, of course you've gotta help me playtest. The base game series is easily my favorite series of all time.

    #53 47 days ago

    I was talking with my wife last night about having real instruments record the soundtrack where possible. She asked a valid question, "Why?"

    I already have a MIDI version of each of the songs, so theoretically, the sound produced is as good as any synth I have hooked up.

    Then I played her a sample of the MIDI version of the main theme, followed by one of the instruments playing the same. She understood after that.

    So these are MIDI type 0, which means that everything is merged into a single 'track'. Multiple instruments can share one of the 16 channels used, which further complicates things. Some of the songs I will likely need to leave as synth just for convenience's sake (so it doesn't take me 100 years to make this thing), but for the main songs, especially ones where I will be repeating the audio for some time, I want variation and the fun of hearing a 'live' performance.

    So! The problem with MIDI type 0 is that every channel is one track, and the simple audio editors like Audacity can't export that single channel/instrument. I am taking that one channel's notes and then converting them to sheet music, which really helps the session musicians quite a bit (and makes it cheaper). Looking around, there are some DAW solutions, including Ardour, which I might have to dive into again, but I did find a Perl script that can export each channel to a separate .mid - that's exactly what I need. From there I can import into Audacity and do my simple cuts, export that result to MIDI, then do a sheet music conversion. That should give me the expected result.

    I do have to check the sheet music to make sure there's nothing super crazy in there. As MIDI can allow for 'bending' of tones, I need to make sure, for instance, that the sheet music representation doesn't change key signatures for 1/16 of a measure or something silly. Knowing how to read music helps with this step. It is making me want to pick up a couple of instruments I used to play and attempt, which is foolhardy at best.

    I should also look into good software synths - I haven't messed with one of those for a while. At the end of the day, I may have to have 90% of the thing synthesized, but I'd like to make the attempt to do something cool, if I can.

    #54 47 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    I still have to split the lines apart and handle orchestration in Unity, but having the assets is a big deal.

    Let us know when you're ready to implement dialogue. We have some example help methods, and we've talked through a number of additional ways to handle conversations.

    - Gerry
    https://www.multimorphic.com

    #55 47 days ago
    Quoted from gstellenberg:

    We have some example help methods, and we've talked through a number of additional ways to handle conversations.

    Ooh, excellent! I'll let you all know.

    The MIDI splitting worked like a charm. I've split out the parts for several key songs and farmed them to some of the same musicians that have produced some great work for me on another track.

    I'm inching towards the more complex songs now - in particular, I'm having trouble finding a session musician with access to a pipe organ (imagine that!) - but I might be able to talk my wife's Aunt into recording the part for me. She's a fantastic musician with access to a great pipe organ. If that fails, I used to work at a movie palace from the 1920s that has one of the few remaining Wurlitzer organs installed and in working condition (it's played at least weekly). Unlike these other session gigs, I'd want to have all the sheet music in place and notate the instruments the organ needs to control as well. A bit more of a challenge. For either of those, I'd have to call in favors with the venues that host the organs as well, but I think the audio I'd capture would be well worth it.

    I could always go the Hammond Organ route, but that's a specific sound and not nearly as powerful. A lot easier to find session folks for that.

    #56 47 days ago

    You said pipe organ and I kept thinking pan flute. Couldn't figure out why it would be so hard to source one as they are quite inexpensive as far as instruments go!

    #57 46 days ago

    I have found several pan flute session musicians. Sounds like that'll be an Easter egg.

    #58 46 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    I have found several pan flute session musicians. Sounds like that'll be an Easter egg.

    I like pan flutes a lot, particularly in North and South American folk music.

    #59 46 days ago

    I wonder how much Zamfir charges for a session?

    #60 46 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    I wonder how much Zamfir charges for a session?

    I almost jokingly suggested you contact him!

    My first guess would be : a lot.

    #61 46 days ago
    Quoted from DennisK:

    I almost jokingly suggested you contact him!

    In sync. Great minds. Etc.

    My guess is it would blow my budget. Did a bit of work today and found a song where it would be natural to have a pan flute. Look forward to it!

    #62 45 days ago

    I am working with instruments I have never worked with before - it's been very fun! Some of the larger orchestrations I am saving for a rainy day. I have a few more variations on the main theme I will likely have recorded (just to keep things fresh), but here's a list of some of the instruments used:

    1) Harpsichord
    2) Pan Flute
    3) Sousaphone
    4) Piccolo Trumpet
    5) Harp
    6) Oboe
    7) Bb Trumpet
    Electric Bass
    9) Classical (Nylon) Guitar
    10) Flute
    11) Accordion
    12) Violin

    I will be orchestrating the following pieces:
    1) Hero's March (main theme, played throughout)
    2) Talking with Erasmus
    3) Fairy Circle
    4) Fairy Dance
    5) Dryad's Theme
    6) Erana's Peace
    7) Bar/Thieve's Guild

    Most other songs are complex enough that I fear they will lose some of the subtle notes in translation, or will not be used at all (I'm still debating on the Hero's Tale Inn, for example). I am still thinking about Baba Yaga - I believe that will be the pipe organ piece as it would sound amazing and powerful (like the sorceress herself...).

    My flautist is very competent but is having a hard time with the transcription - I figured out it is because she is importing the MIDI into her own transcription software, and that software is borking it up. Now that I know what the problem is, hopefully she can correct in her system and all will be well. The transcription I sent looked pretty perfect, but I guess there's always room for 'perfecter'. Everyone has been pretty amazing thus far.

    Hopefully I will be all set to put the audio away for a bit and work with the artist again come 1/6.

    #63 43 days ago

    My harpist and an accordion player returned their piece today. Just very excited to put all this together.

    The narrator turned out to be into pinball, and we chatted for a while about the game design and the P3! I directed him to some shows in his area. Hopefully he'll get to play this one day.

    #64 43 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    I purchased my P3 in March of this year and love it to death. In fact, sometimes I have a hard time tearing myself away from Lexy for long enough to work on the game.

    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    I am initially writing using the Lexy Lightspeed playfield, but will eventually cut a new one with separate shots. Lexy will be used to reduce the number of variables and speed up the coding portion even more.

    I'm strictly an end user and anything technical you talk about goes right over my head. But I own a Lexy Lightspeed and am hoping your efforts will be something I'll be able to purchase down the road.
    Just found this thread today and will follow with interest as best I can. Pictures for a guy like me are most helpful.
    Thanks for posting and best wishes.

    #65 41 days ago
    Quoted from Mr68:

    Just found this thread today and will follow with interest as best I can. Pictures for a guy like me are most helpful.
    Thanks for posting and best wishes.

    Thanks for following (to you and everyone else)!

    I am, unfortunately, a pretty technical person and photos have -always- been my weak point. I will do what I can to make the text digestible. I really like making game blog-type threads to look back on once the project is complete and review mistakes and the rare thing I got correct first try, and hope to avoid or repeat as needed for the next one. Hopefully it also serves as inspiration for others to make their own games as well. If I can do it... surely anyone can.

    That said, I will be adding photos of the art and the game running on the simulator once I have more things to photo! Right now I'd be photoing a lot of tedious screens of telling voice actors to enunciate more, act bigger, louder, quieter, etc. But the revision process is pretty much over.

    I am about to start orchestration of the various parts of songs into the greater whole now that I have all parts returned for most songs! That will be a lot of fun (genuinely) - I have not done music mastering/engineering since I played in bands about 15 years ago.

    My artist is back in town and already working on the second piece. Looking forward to seeing a sketch of that tomorrow as well. Hopefully she doesn't get sick of commissions for this game before it's done! Lots of art left to make.

    #66 41 days ago

    Great read Nick and I always enjoy your attention to detail. Speaking of artwork. Are you primarily getting stills created or are you going to request series of stills you can animate?

    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Thanks for following (to you and everyone else)!
    I am, unfortunately, a pretty technical person and photos have -always- been my weak point. I will do what I can to make the text digestible. I really like making game blog-type threads to look back on once the project is complete and review mistakes and the rare thing I got correct first try, and hope to avoid or repeat as needed for the next one. Hopefully it also serves as inspiration for others to make their own games as well. If I can do it... surely anyone can.
    That said, I will be adding photos of the art and the game running on the simulator once I have more things to photo! Right now I'd be photoing a lot of tedious screens of telling voice actors to enunciate more, act bigger, louder, quieter, etc. But the revision process is pretty much over.
    I am about to start orchestration of the various parts of songs into the greater whole now that I have all parts returned for most songs! That will be a lot of fun (genuinely) - I have not done music mastering/engineering since I played in bands about 15 years ago.
    My artist is back in town and already working on the second piece. Looking forward to seeing a sketch of that tomorrow as well. Hopefully she doesn't get sick of commissions for this game before it's done! Lots of art left to make.

    #67 41 days ago
    Quoted from luvthatapex2:

    Are you primarily getting stills created or are you going to request series of stills you can animate?

    Great question - this will be a sprite-based game. So right now I am focused on getting the backgrounds just right - there will be small animated elements in them (some birds flying across occasionally, a flag flapping in the breeze, etc), but they are primarily stills.

    For the character sprites, I have teensy rips of the game sprites, but I'll have those redrawn in a similar style to the background artist. There are lots of characters in the game (something like 30 voiced, so lots of sprites), but not all need to have traditional 8 direction movement. Some are simple, some more challenging. I'm thinking the Antwerp will be easiest, but I'm no artist... It's like three frames of animation in the original.

    Antwerp (resized).jpg

    #68 41 days ago

    Orchestrated several tracks for the song "Erana's Peace" and for the fairy circle. Very satisfying to get all those notes to play at the right timing, despite the musicians never hearing each other's work...

    That said, I made a huge mistake in exporting the electric bass for Erana's Peace - I thought the same five notes were repeated throughout, but turns out I was wrong. I play the bass myself, and might just record it on my own to save a dollar, rather than go back to the well.

    I am awaiting the very difficult guitar backing part for Erana's Peace. It forms a backbone to the song, and my original guitarist (who was quite excellent) decided he didn't want to do it. I've since auditioned a second and he's in the process with it. We'll see how that goes.

    My harpsichord player was a big fan of dramatically held notes, so I've had to trim and shape his wave forms a little bit to get them to fit within the structure of the song. Nothing terrible, just an example of the work needed to make these disparate parts mesh.

    I sat back and played each song a few times and just basked in how awesome they sounded (to me). Looking forward to getting the rest of the instruments back and finishing these and other songs.

    #69 39 days ago

    I have finished a couple more songs, and am working with a few final voice actors while I await the second piece of artwork (the inks look great so far!).

    I am also speaking with a sprite animator to redraw the character sprites. We'll see how they do. They were recommended by the background artist, but I've found an animator that does stronger work and would fit in with her artwork a bit better.

    Last night I started working on the game again - I pulled the first image in as the background once you start a new game, modified some settings, and refamiliarized myself with some Unity and C#-isms. I was planning to do a bit more at lunch today, but my computer didn't go into sleep mode, so the battery was dead. :-/

    Tonight I am going to work on adding an apron display with placeholder icons, and adding/removing modes to change the lights on various targets when you make a selection (between walk, look, speak, and use).

    I am still thinking about how I want dialog to function - various targets are going to allow you to ask questions - but my thought is either to handle the question you ask via a 'lane change' type of feature activated with the flippers, or to automatically just go down the list. If I just go down the list, then handling the trigger to start speaking could either be rolling over the character (with mouth selected) or hitting a lit target. Target lit would either move based on question to ask or stay the same based on the character's position on the screen.

    I'll likely have shot arrows to tell you what you can ask about if I handle it that way. Leaning heavily that way. Then I can replace options as you delve into dialog trees.

    It would be interesting... to do a different approach depending on what you are doing in the game. For example, I know that I am going to light inserts -only- to indicate where you can walk. For looking, I could either do a similar approach to speaking, or I could just handle it using ball detection on the screen - roll over the sheriff and you get a description from the narrator about him.

    There are only a handful of modes where I will be using ball detection on the screen to manipulate objects rendered there. I don't really want to over-use it, and I like target shooting. But I also don't want the layout to get boring, so I'll need to figure out a way to keep it entertaining.

    I've also been thinking about how I want to handle resting and saving. Initially, I planned to use the right scoop shot on Lexy for this - constantly. Hitting it would give you the option to rest/save, otherwise you get the ball back. But instead, add a very high level of skill based element for lane letters. Spell R-E-S-T to rest and save. But then I thought about combat, and how that might work. I have a great idea for the combat screen, and spelling rest would mean your death there. In fact, resting in a lot of areas will mean your death. Handling this will be tricky, and will mean the difference between a fun game, and a game that is pretty annoying. I want the player to have to work to save their progress - and not throwing it in the scoop would be one way to do it. I've really gone back and forth on this. More on rules as I actually code them, but this rule has such a huge impact on the way the game plays that I need to really think the ramifications through.

    Just some design notes for a Wednesday.

    #70 38 days ago

    I decided upon R-E-S-T to rest, added the icons for that, and then started exporting icons from the original game to show things like your inventory and your selection for Walk, Look, Take, Talk, and Use.

    There will be a mode that runs at (almost) all times that allows you to select between these items, and another that allows you to select the inventory item.

    I also enabled the playfield overlay object and resized/moved around some stuff on the screen so that more artwork could be seen and not obscured by the apron.

    Last night I changed some default game settings - 1 ball per game, 1 player per game, no bonus, no soft reset (hold start), no team play, etc.
    I also added the puzzle point display to the apron, modifying the standard score display to only show a centered version (1p) and some text beside it to show the maximum points possible. It was pretty fun to rack up some virtual points and see "[ Score 10,380 of 500 points ]", haha!

    Starting to shape up a bit.

    Colored artwork for the second screen will arrive tomorrow, then I need to decide what's next. Likely the next screen in town with the magic shop, the thief house, and the adventurer's guild.

    In the interim, I need to write those modes and do some more icon work. The original icons look surprisingly good for their size, but I need a small red cage to surround them (so the player knows what is selected), and to write some GUI scripts to move the line of inventory when you have enough to scroll. If I go to that trouble, maybe I will always keep the selected item centered.

    #71 37 days ago

    Received guitar track back from the flamenco guitarist I hired and while he did a very competent job of playing the correct notes, his tempo was allllllllll over the place. After a tremendous amount of editing (I think I still hear one clangy part), I've got the song pretty much fixed. Listened to it in full seven times and it sounds good (to me). This piece only plays on one screen, but the music is fantastic. Can't wait to hear the P3's sound system pump it out!

    Last night I did more icon/apron work. I decided on a small brownish cage to surround them (to match some QFG colors I am using throughout). I have all the icons converted to pngs with transparent backgrounds, and now need to add the 40 or so game objects to allow selective enable/disable in my code. It's pretty neat how rapidly the interface comes together in Unity - throw a canvas in, then you can attach any number of Images... it's really slick.

    This weekend I have some stuff going on, but I plan to work on the game when I can. I received the second screen and hope to have the basics of movement between screens and inventory done before Monday. I've sent over the source image for the third screen. The artist will begin on it on the 20th.

    I also need to figure out how the day/night cycle is going to work (persistent timer written to save db, probably)... I have quite a bit of code to write, but it's really fun to think about how I want to structure these things.

    #72 34 days ago

    Spent a bit of time over the weekend thinking of generic ways to handle things like switching between icons and the day/night cycle.

    Here's a little video of them in action:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/g1WF9EbLdznmGK396

    Big thanks to Multimorphic for answering my silly questions about moving that little box between icons - I spent several hours trying to get this working, wrote it a million different ways, and it still didn't work (it was throwing the box hundreds of pixels off the screen). Multimorphic set me straight as I was using the wrong property of the icon to set it.

    I don't have shot paths hooked up (I am thinking of the best way to handle that... likely with a script tied to the controller that can be swapped for each scene), but you can get a sense of how the day/night cycle will work and swapping the icons at the bottom back and forth.

    I am going to highlight areas of the screen/physical targets that you'll need to hit in order to progress whatever mode you've selected - for example, if you choose to walk, you need to hit either the left or right side or come through the right inlane to move to the next area.

    If you select look, a variety of pre-set shots will be chosen per screen to allow you to look at each thing I have scripted on the screen, etc.

    Some of this I will do with inserts, but I'm thinking I probably want a small overlay for every shot... kind of like the overlays in Lexy to tell you to start the alien mode or start a mode in general.

    So along with this, I am thinking about generic inventory management. I will add a mode that will not be scene-specific to handle this, and it will have to pull from a locally saved stack.

    #73 34 days ago

    Lunchtime! Wrote my hooks to change the selected inventory item - allowing for overflow beyond 5 items (sliding the entire set back and forth). I'm thinking about how to store the list of items... and I have a couple of ideas. Just store a list of gameobjects, then I can easily enable and transform them into appropriate positions based on name... or whatever sorting method I determine.

    This data has to be stored, temporarily, for each session. It will need to be wiped out upon death, and upon load, pulled from the long term storage (session).

    Just in the planning phase right now, but I think I've got a pretty good plan... we'll see!

    I also wrote a bit of a generic controller for calling walk/take/talk/look/use and determining the scene currently running. Once I have that totally working, I will be able to call this method on scene load/mode instantiation and it will automatically update the shot paths.

    Regarding shot paths - I realized that for speech in particular, I need to qualify the speaker first. One shot to qualify speaker, then the shot paths will update as the conversation progresses.

    I've added basic attract music for one part of my attract mode, but I've been reading on how to add music and sfx to the game using Unity - pretty amazing, ducking and attenuation are handled automatically, if you set up the objects properly. Hopefully I get it in one.

    I would like to add some of the music to this opening scene just to make me feel better about progress. Haha!

    I've got Thursday penciled in for discussion with my potential sprite artist/animator. That will really make the game come alive when I can drop a character or 10 in.

    #74 33 days ago

    Working on inventory... it's rather tedious! Luckily, this game has a fixed set of items that can be acquired.

    I am currently setting a mode that tracks and shifts between inventory items, which posts to a GUI script which does the rendering, which then will post back to a mode script that will make use of it per scene. Whew! A base method in the mode will check and adjust the inventory when new items are acquired. Since this mode runs all the time, I'll just call the method any time the inventory state changes.

    I've also written the temporary storage of every item in the inventory - now the game knows if you have a thing and puts it in a particular order for rendering.
    Next up is enabling the icons and arrows... you can already shift back and forth within the limits of the apron screen, and the canvas shifts as needed to show you additional icons.

    Stepping away from the nitty-gritty of development and back to game constructs... each new game started through the manual method allows you to choose a class - fighter, thief, magic user. Each of these classes has different starting equipment. This all has to be initialized when the game starts the first time, or when a file is loaded. It's all coming together pretty nicely.

    I'm going to try to finish up that inventory stuff today, then move back to generic controllers for determining and highlighting shots. Once that's done (or if I get bored), I'm going to rig up music and sfx. Then it's adding in dialog! The cool thing is, if I've done this properly, adding additional scenes should be pretty easy (comparatively).

    #75 32 days ago

    I wrote all kinds of handlers for the inventory last night - it now properly enables/disables the items based on what you have in your inventory. I believe I solved the problem of placement as well. The API calls have proven a bit of a puzzle for me, as the normal way I would do this doesn't track exactly with how the API functions. That said, I am pretty sure I have it working.

    To test, I will set up dummy shots and hit the switches to add items. If all goes according to plan, the excess items will render properly (off the screen).

    Shifting back and forth for long lists of items will require a bit more work (it's getting confused, positionally), but hopefully I'll have inventory wrapped up today. My brain is constantly swimming in ideas I want to implement, and I can't wait until I'm writing the actual switch/coil code. First thing's first, though - I would like to wire these up in a generic kinda fashion:

    Walk - there will be a GUI script called WalkController that will post mode information to WalkMode - within each of these, each scene will have methods, maybe (still solidifying that plan).
    Look - same as above, but with LookController/Mode.
    Take - ditto
    Talk - You see the pattern
    Use - This one is a little different - I'll still attach the GUI script to the Use icon, but these items are not scene-dependent. Should work fine.

    I'll take my Apron display stuff, once it's done, and turn it into a prefab, then I can just add the ApronDisplay to any other scene and all my work is basically done for each additional screen.

    Next, I have to wire up sound - I have some sound playing in my attract currently, and I've read and done some tutorials on ducking and attenuation, but getting this just right is really a goal of mine.

    Next, deaths. All Sierra games are known for their interesting and unusual deaths. This takes the place of the traditional end-of-ball or end-of-game. I'll provide a button to restore or restart (or restore automatically if you press start again, and restart automatically after a period of time).

    Then I will likely either add another scene, or work on the class selection screen. I have one whipped up, but it is never called. I think I've made a mistake by allowing a player to press start and bypass the class selection. I might want to force it... undecided. This game will be different enough that I am not sure I want a new player just to jump right on in.

    Once I have a scene or two under my belt (to give my artist time to catch up to me), I will work on the backbox display. This includes two separate modes - character sheet, and backglass image.

    One thing I haven't done a good job of explaining is -why- that day/night cycle is a big deal. I've taught the computer to use an arbitrary measurement of time to equal a day. I set up four separate quarters of the day, and each of those can have separate art or handle things differently. In the game, the encounter rate for monsters will be far higher at night than in the day. My placeholder artwork has been called out by two different art people... I just whipped up a 50% opacity blue image that I am changing the alpha on dynamically. I'd like to add some other touches to the actual art and swap that instead --- just... one thing at a time. Haha!

    Once most of that is done, the underpinnings of the game itself are written. Then I can focus on the rules of 'hit switch x to get result y' in each scene. I will have to have separate modes for each scene that handle, for example, talking to character A/B/C.

    I will also be working with a sprite animator/illustrator tomorrow... lots to do!

    #76 32 days ago

    I just wanted to pop in and say I'm excited that you are doing this and I am looking forward to playing this. Keep up the good work!

    #77 32 days ago

    Thanks for following along!

    Lunchtime today, I added an additional canvas to store my items upon, separate from the overflow canvas I use to store the arrows indicating there are more than 5 items. I also added conditional logic to show/hide those arrows at the appropriate times. I need to test adding items on the fly, but I have no reason to believe it will fail. I do, however, have a problem with items rendering under the arrows. What I will do (first) is add some logic to my beautiful one-liner that automatically spaces all of my items to detect if the position should be 'off-screen', and throw it a little further to the left or right. 1 line becomes six, but oh, well.

    Hopefully I'll have that resolved tonight!

    -15
    #78 32 days ago

    Wow.... you put more time in writing what you want to do than i in building my new homebrew machine.
    Sorry to mutch talk for me.
    I come back when there is something to look at.

    #79 32 days ago

    The explanations are the best part for me. I love hearing how Nick approaches and diligently works through his projects.

    - Gerry

    #80 32 days ago
    Quoted from pinballwil:

    Wow.... you put more time in writing what you want to do than i in building my new homebrew machine.
    Sorry to mutch talk for me.
    I come back when there is something to look at.

    It's only January, but I nominate this as an early entry for Dick post of the year.

    Someone is creating a labor of love that will ultimately benefit us P3 owners, and he's taking the time to document the process. Then there's you bitching because there's too many words!

    #81 32 days ago

    I appreciate all the detail you’re putting in these posts. I’m thinking of a one off game for the P3 myself.

    #82 32 days ago
    Quoted from pinballwil:

    Sorry to mutch talk for me.

    Sorry to hear that - for each game I build, I do a fairly comprehensive blog for a number of reasons:

    1) Show others what is involved with making a game.

    2) Remind myself what I am doing - I work between multiple physical locations using every scrap of spare time I can find, and it is convenient to read previous thoughts on rules, design, or a particularly tough programming problem.

    3) Document for the future. For each of my previous games, I've been able to go back and see where I had trouble and hopefully learn from the experience.

    While I don't take a lot of photos, and at this phase there's not much exciting to photograph.

    That said, it seems like:

    Quoted from gstellenberg:

    I love hearing how Nick approaches and diligently works through his projects.

    Quoted from Cheeks:

    Someone is creating a labor of love that will ultimately benefit us P3 owners, and he's taking the time to document the process.

    Quoted from Cmartin1235:

    I appreciate all the detail you’re putting in these posts.

    these folks appear to get it. Thanks everyone.

    And this is the most exciting part -

    Quoted from Cmartin1235:

    I’m thinking of a one off game for the P3 myself.

    The P3 is the first machine where anyone from the community can make their own games and be able to share them with others. I find this idea really fascinating, and hopefully other developers will be able to see what it takes for a normal person to make a game on this cool platform. Hope to see you start a thread as well when you're ready to begin your game cmartin1235!

    That said, I do hope to see you back again later on pinballwil - good luck on your homebrews and thanks for the feedback.

    Now, some more talk!

    Tonight I fixed, broke, fixed and broke my inventory setup. I am able to add and remove items from the inventory at will (fixed), and the game keeps straight the number of items within the inventory (fixed). Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get my canvas to behave when shifting positions left and right (really broken). When I add an item, I tell it to reset to the zero position (which is the default set in the editor), and it moves the canvas way over to the right for some reason. Still looking into that.

    Otherwise, this thing is buttoned up and looks pretty good. I did some tweaking on my indicator arrows, and they are almost working the way I'd like. I think the canvas weirdness is impacting them, so once that's fixed either this will snap into working properly or the problem will become more apparent.

    Hopefully a short jump tomorrow to finishing up the inventory.

    #83 31 days ago

    I love a good math problem. Most bugs that I introduce are either race conditions or simply order of operations considerations.

    In this case, though, the inventory had a few different display bugs that were caused by improper calculations.

    1) I mentioned the arrows were sliding around in weird ways. I thought about different ways to handle that because the rendering looked pretty wacky. I added small pngs behind to hide the items that are rendered 1/2 off screen, and passed the array of items/positioning that I use for enabling/disabling items to determine if you have selected the first item or some other thing. End result is that the arrows only appear when I want them to appear, and they provide a very helpful indicator that you can press the button one or more times.

    2) I was getting CRAZY jumps on the canvas holding my item list when I would add or subtract an item. I wrote methods to reset the canvas and the selector, so that when you acquire a new item, both jump back to the starting position. I used a piece of local data (temporary, known only to the current game-in-session) to keep track of the number of items that the player has. I was not passing this to the GUI because I was (haha) keeping track of the number of items in a different set of methods there. Fixed that up pretty quickly and ensured that it was passing the number -in order- so that the item list could never get the rendering out of order. Simple solution, but I've been fighting that for a while. Now I can add and subtract at will, which is going to prove very important.

    3) The canvas was also sliding in ways that I didn't want. If you were on item #2 in the list, and pressed the left button, it would move the selector, but not necessarily slide the canvas over so that you could see the item... problematic. So to fix this I went on a logging spree to figure out where my math was going wrong. Turned out that my extreme oversimplification didn't work - I was checking the currently selected item number and then forcing it to move -85px. The real answer was to compare the absolute value of the current canvas position to the absolute value of the current selector position and if it exceeded a certain threshold, move it. Otherwise, don't.

    I've applied the #3 fix to the left methods, but not the right. I'll tackle that easy job tonight (basically doing the same calculation and setting thresholds in the opposite way from the left methods), then do something totally different because I'm tired of looking at inventory methods.

    #84 31 days ago
    Quoted from pinballwil:

    Wow.... you put more time in writing what you want to do than i in building my new homebrew machine.
    Sorry to mutch talk for me.
    I come back when there is something to look at.

    What...in the holy...

    *deep breaths*

    Alright, Wil, I don't know who you are, but the better point is you obviously don't know who bingopodcast is. He's one of the smartest, most ambitious, get-stuff-done, kinda guys and if you really are workin' on a homebrew, you'd be well suited to take note of the suite of award-winning projects bingopodcast has completed. I don't know who hurt you and then dropped you off in this thread to leave that turd of a comment, but you can take your negativity somewhere else because it sure as hell won't be tolerated around here.

    #85 31 days ago

    Whoa... I just stumbled across this and my head is still spinning. I cannot believe how quickly this has progressed. Super cool for P3, pinball, and classic gaming all in one.

    It seems Mr. Baldridge's hyperkinetic genius-brain never fails to raise the standard. I'd be happy to lend a voice if need be.

    #86 31 days ago

    If you provided a few images and a little more explanation of what you are going for, I can probably ease your pain on this a bit.

    Just based on what you said above, I'd recommend a slight rework of the inventory ui system, implementing a set array of rotating ui images with fixed item positions when movement left/right is complete. (effectively, as an image goes off screen/behind a mask, you snap it to the start of the other end, and it will reflect a subset of the item array in your main inventory code. You are shifting Image elements along a fixed horizontal group within the canvas)

    Unity doesn't generally do well with a shifting canvas (unless you mean in world space). If you are shifting stuff in ui space, you want to shift as a child of the canvas. You may be doing these things, it's just a little hard to tell. Hope this helps. Good luck

    #87 31 days ago
    Quoted from nTronz:

    Just based on what you said above, I'd recommend a slight rework of the inventory ui system, implementing a set array of rotating ui images with fixed item positions when movement left/right is complete. (effectively, as an image goes off screen/behind a mask, you snap it to the start of the other end, and it will reflect a subset of the item array in your main inventory code. You are shifting Image elements along a fixed horizontal group within the canvas)

    Unity doesn't generally do well with a shifting canvas (unless you mean in world space). If you are shifting stuff in ui space, you want to shift as a child of the canvas. You may be doing these things, it's just a little hard to tell. Hope this helps. Good luck

    Thank you! Yes, I am sort of doing what you describe. I have a parent canvas that contains certain Image objects (the arrows) and contains also a canvas that contains Image objects. Those images are being laid out in fixed positions on a canvas, and then the canvas is moved as the cursor goes past that area. Good to know that Unity doesn't like doing that, but I -believe- I have it all sorted now. I am a real beginner at Unity, so there has been a bit of a learning curve on what the engine likes and doesn't like. If I end up having to rework it, I'll keep my canvas fixed and implement as you suggest.

    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    I'd be happy to lend a voice if need be.

    I have one voice actor that bailed! I just might take you up on that. PM incoming in the next couple of days. Thanks Nic!

    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    *deep breaths*

    ryanclaytor I'm just glad you're on my side! Haha

    #88 31 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Sorry to hear that - for each game I build, I do a fairly comprehensive blog for a number of reasons:
    1) Show others what is involved with making a game.
    2) Remind myself what I am doing - I work between multiple physical locations using every scrap of spare time I can find, and it is convenient to read previous thoughts on rules, design, or a particularly tough programming problem.
    3) Document for the future. For each of my previous games, I've been able to go back and see where I had trouble and hopefully learn from the experience.
    While I don't take a lot of photos, and at this phase there's not much exciting to photograph.
    That said, it seems like:

    these folks appear to get it. Thanks everyone.
    And this is the most exciting part -

    The P3 is the first machine where anyone from the community can make their own games and be able to share them with others. I find this idea really fascinating, and hopefully other developers will be able to see what it takes for a normal person to make a game on this cool platform. Hope to see you start a thread as well when you're ready to begin your game cmartin1235!
    That said, I do hope to see you back again later on pinballwil - good luck on your homebrews and thanks for the feedback.
    Now, some more talk!
    Tonight I fixed, broke, fixed and broke my inventory setup. I am able to add and remove items from the inventory at will (fixed), and the game keeps straight the number of items within the inventory (fixed). Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get my canvas to behave when shifting positions left and right (really broken). When I add an item, I tell it to reset to the zero position (which is the default set in the editor), and it moves the canvas way over to the right for some reason. Still looking into that.
    Otherwise, this thing is buttoned up and looks pretty good. I did some tweaking on my indicator arrows, and they are almost working the way I'd like. I think the canvas weirdness is impacting them, so once that's fixed either this will snap into working properly or the problem will become more apparent.
    Hopefully a short jump tomorrow to finishing up the inventory.

    No no you do a great job don't mean this bad.
    This wil be one of the best p3 games when ready.
    But i dont understand everything you say and i don't like reading. I'am more for photo's and video sorry.
    So in the future there will be enough for me to watch.
    Keep on the good work.

    #89 30 days ago
    Quoted from pinballwil:

    Keep on the good work.

    Thank you, I'll try.

    I did finish the inventory last night. I also accidentally posted my awkward video to Facebook (meant to just send it to Instagram).

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B7ZuZN2nEm6/

    Then I started into work on the shot paths. I looked around for some good arrow artwork. Found something that wasn't too crazy that I could animate. I spent a bit of time last night rigging up manual animations for the arrows, but I realized this morning that I can actually use Unity to do that for me... so I'll need to tear that out and re-learn how the animation system works. That will let me do lots of cool things automatically instead of having a ton of extra methods to do the animation (I can be a bit dense sometimes).

    Anyway, I'm calling various handlers to display the shot paths automatically, in different colors, and labeled for everything except walking.

    #90 30 days ago

    Nice Nick. Do you move the inventory items with the flippers then hold them both in to select or do you have another select button?

    #91 30 days ago

    The P3's default button box has three different buttons on a side. The flippers will act as traditional lane change for the R-E-S-T spelling. The next buttons down will change your action icons (Walk, Talk, Take, Look, and Use), and the last set will change the active inventory item.

    Each of the buttons has the potential to modify shots needed, and there will be arrow indicators on the screen to show you what you need to shoot.

    #92 30 days ago
    Quoted from pinballwil:

    Wow.... you put more time in writing what you want to do than i in building my new homebrew machine.
    Sorry to mutch talk for me.
    I come back when there is something to look at.

    Don't get me wrong, your projects are incredible, far beyond any skill that I have, but you are just moving around someone else's work, you aren't actually creating something that is your own. Additionally, a lot of this is on the software side of things. There is a reason Stern can ship 4-5 different games per year, but their code updates continue for much longer, it is far easier to build machines than they are to code, and to code well. Plus this gives other users on this platform that multiple people can use (again a difference from your one off machines) so it is far more important for it's development to be well documented just in case this does become something that others on the P3 platform wish to one day put into their cabinets.

    #93 30 days ago

    I ended up using a simple script to blink the arrows and draw attention to the shots that way. Slickly less slick, but a heckuva lot faster to write.

    Then I wrote the methods to swap between icon shot paths on the fly and everything works!

    My next challenge was audio. I wanted to play several of the different tracks I'd recorded, and I found out how to do that from the helpful folks at Multimorphic.

    Now I'm fighting with a volume issue (it's oddly whisper quiet), then I'll move on to sfx and dialog. Once I have those hammered out, it'll be time to work on light shows.

    Once those are complete this scene will be done (aside from the sprite work I need that is still in process). I could see rigging this up to test in the real game by the end of the weekend if everything goes really smoothly...

    But there is a ton of dialog to slice.

    #94 28 days ago

    Music is integrated and working well, and I found some German bird recordings, edited them and tossed them in for this first screen (the original used a synthesizer to simulate birds). I have the bird chirping (a Wrybeck) and other ambient noises working off of a randomized timer, so you don't hear constant chirping. Sounds great!

    I also sliced and diced the pertinent narrator dialog and the sheriff's dialog. I also added in a mode or two to handle the dialog tree on that first screen. It's not yet pretty from a gui standpoint, but it gets the job done. I also added a separate mixer for VO that pumps it up to a certain level.

    The dialog disables the other switches while a character is talking, so you don't get a big stack of crazy speech on top of speech.

    I'm working on prettying it up, then I'll move on to some of the other handlers.

    This doesn't sound like a lot of work, when typed here, but trust me, it was a tremendous amount of work to get right.

    #95 28 days ago

    I am staggered.

    This project must be costing a lot of bucks.

    #96 27 days ago
    Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

    This project must be costing a lot of bucks.

    I am a pretty cheap person. So, to me, it is costing a lot of bucks. However, I started with the budget for any of my previous homebrew games, and aside from sprite art, which I did not budget for at all, I should be coming in right around what my previous games have cost.

    I am doing a lot of the work that would cost quite a bit of money if you paid someone to do it, leaving small bits for actors, musicians, and artists to do. The artist has the heaviest workload, and therefore is costing the most money.

    Tying all of this together via programming is the real work, and thankfully, I work for free!

    #97 26 days ago

    Progress:
    I added the intro narration, and allowed it to be skipped. In hindsight, I probably should have used the IntroMovie mode that was provided in the SDK, but live and learn!

    Speaking of:

    I have one mode that handles drawing the shot paths for any of the icons selected (I haven't fooled with the 'Use' icons yet, that one is going to be a bear), but I added handlers for any of the shots that allow you to talk to a particular person, then the shots that chain off of that, while allowing you to go back and talk to someone else (if you choose).

    I set up about 400 state handlers (a sign that you're doing something wrong) to trap and check for various conditions within the dialog tree. For example, I don't want you to be able to pound all of the shots and have 15 speech calls going at once, so I needed a way to disable those shots temporarily. I had state handlers to check which person was currently selected, and which speech call was active, handlers for scoring (I added my first point via the dialog tree - yippee!), and a variety of other seemingly simple, but truly complex things to change how the graphics are displayed on the screen while someone is talking at you.

    Unfortunately, I realized when I had the thing working about 90%, that it just wasn't flexible enough. When I added the second person's dialog, or switched from icon to icon during the dialog, the game lost track of the state. That would be fine, but because in the P3 SDK the graphics and physical layers are decoupled, you could wail on a target and get a speech callout when it wasn't signified on the screen.

    So I decided to throw all of that code out (as painful as that decision was - hundreds of lines) - and rewrite it using the much more straightforward mode syntax.

    I added a mode to handle the talking shot paths, as they will vary per screen. These modes basically have the event handlers for when the correct switches are pressed, which will then add another mode to the queue, which removes the previous mode. This is necessary as the same switch is defined twice in my modes (as a select and a dialog option).

    Then I added a mode for when the sheriff was selected... which enables the shot paths for the 7 or 8 different dialog options.

    Now everything is broken because I don't have the calls in the right spots to enable these modes and etc. Also, I discovered that I couldn't determine if a mode was on the stack and being executed, but Multimorphic helped me out there.

    I need more time, anyone got any to spare?

    In other news, I have almost-final artwork for the backglass. I'm pretty excited about it.

    Also, the third scene is being colored right now, and the sprite work for the main character's walking animations should be delivered tomorrow or so.

    My backglass artist - I am going to see if he can whip up a couple of early screens (intro, character sheet, character class selection), as the other artist works through the environments. Gonna ask a friend if he thinks that's a good idea first, though.

    #98 26 days ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    I am a pretty cheap person. So, to me, it is costing a lot of bucks. However, I started with the budget for any of my previous homebrew games, and aside from sprite art, which I did not budget for at all, I should be coming in right around what my previous games have cost.
    I am doing a lot of the work that would cost quite a bit of money if you paid someone to do it, leaving small bits for actors, musicians, and artists to do. The artist has the heaviest workload, and therefore is costing the most money.
    Tying all of this together via programming is the real work, and thankfully, I work for free!

    i would be pleased to send you a few hundred dollars as a gift with no expectations. I don't mean to intrude so whatever you're comfortable with. Send me a private message if you like.

    #99 26 days ago
    Quoted from Mr68:

    i would be pleased to send you a few hundred dollars as a gift with no expectations. I don't mean to intrude so whatever you're comfortable with. Send me a private message if you like.

    That's extremely generous, but there's no need. I am doing this for fun, and, hopefully, will be able to present a complete package to Activision to license at the end and you can support me via purchase of the software!

    Your thought is very appreciated, but I don't want to be beholden (and I would feel so). I truly appreciate the offer, though.

    I enjoy learning and making games, and if folk appreciate them - that is really reward enough.

    #100 25 days ago

    Third scene was received this morning. The artist has two weeks of projects ahead, but gave me some good news: after those two weeks, she should be able to focus solely on this project and crank out three scenes or so a week! There are so many screens, that I am looking forward to this. I've sent her the next batch of three to quote.

    I am still working on my underlying mode handlers for speech. I'm about 90% there, I have one really persistent bug that's happening right now that I hope to squash today, then I'll move on to the looking and touching/take handlers.

    For those interested, I am making separate modes for each scene/screen for each icon. If you choose walk, then those walk paths highlight in the GUI mode and blink atcha. The handlers for those are called as separate physical modes from a controller mode. So HomeWalkMode will call HomeLeftWalkMode or similar. HomeLeftWalkMode is the thing that actually handles the switch hits. I do this in this way so that I can call in HomeWalkMode and have it constantly running while the scene is running. It will farm out and add the HomeLeftWalkMode to the queue when the Walk icon is selected in the apron display.

    I'm going to have this available for each of the action icons, as well as any Items that might be usable in a scene. In this way, I can keep a bit organized, and allow the SceneIconMode controllers add and remove the handlers as needed. This will ensure that you are not able to, for example, hear the dialog from the sheriff over and over when hitting those switches while you're in look mode.

    One thing about Quest for Glory that I haven't mentioned is that it is one of the few point and click games where you do not need to combine inventory items. Every inventory interaction happens outside of the inventory itself.

    Backglass and main character walking sprites will be returned today, I hope. Then I will set the sprite artist on to working on the Sheriff, most likely, and as mentioned above, the backglass artist I will set on the background for the character sheet/character selection.

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