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(Topic ID: 257309)

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


By bingopodcast

9 months ago



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  • 332 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
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#201 6 months ago

Stayed up a bit too late last night... Now down to 4.

#202 6 months ago

Stayed up less late last night... down to 3, and started writing the Erasmus modes today. This is pretty neat. This is the first real dynamic dialog I've written, meaning:

1) Switch hit A causes character to speak.
2) Depending on items in your inventory, character needs to say more.
3) If still missing another thing, character says another line
4) If missing yet another thing, character says one more line
5) Character closes out dialog with a wistful sigh.

Of course one or more of those bits of dialog will be suppressed if you do hold the appropriate items in your inventory. While that's not particularly impressive, what I've done is split the dialog up and wrote a coroutine that monitors the playback of those bits of dialog. When the coroutine is running, nothing happens. Once the line of dialog finishes, a handler passes back info to the mode, which causes the GUI to get a note to play the next line.

It's more straightforward than it sounds.

Next up is writing the joke-a-tron. I may have my Erasmus record a few more lines to give it some variety. Right now there's only three jokes, so I would need to space out the joke telling a bit to prevent joke fatigue.

In the computer game, you are able to click around between joke and punchline, but not so in the pinball. I always thought that felt unfinished in the computer game... so I'm fixing it!

Once I have this down, I'll be moving on to the Gargoyle (call and response mode) and then lastly, the fairies. Fairies are fairly easy, they only appear at night. Gargoyle just requires about a 9-12 more shots to be written and a randomizer to call the questions once per game.

#203 5 months ago

Dynamic joke system is written, and I actually switched to fairies because they were easier. Side note: how many other pinballs have a dynamic joke system? Reached out to the voice actor for Erasmus about the possibility of recording some more lines, and he was down, in principle. More jokes to come.

There are a few things that I am doing in the fairy circle scene that are gated based on the time of day. I thought that would be the most complex part, but there is a minor call-and-response thing that is going to start a special multiball mode. I am going to hold off on writing the multiball until the animations for that scene are complete.

This weekend's work:
1) Finish the last two talk modes
2) Install new artwork and split apart backgrounds and foregrounds, create minor and major animations for these scenes.
3) Install new sprite (finally finish the first screen!)
4) Record temporary dialog for voice actors that either I'm not impressed with, or I haven't yet found.
5) Split and place dialog as appropriate for each of these characters (there are quite a few).
5) Work on Use modes (if there's time).

Once use modes are finished, I am either going to add the stable mucking minigame, or work on combat. I'm dreading the Use modes because there are so many different things to manipulate with inventory in this game, but the sooner I'm in it, the sooner it's done.

Just an overview - once the combat is complete, the base game can be completed start to finish for each character class. The remaining stuff to work on once combat is done relates to minigames - a dagger throwing minigame for the thief, the aforementioned stable mucking minigame, the mage's maze for the magic user, and a few other surprises. Nothing that prevents completion of the game, however.

Getting there!

#204 5 months ago

Ahh, just contracted for artwork for the:

1) Start screen
2) Character select
3) Character sheet
4) Forest

For the forest, I am going to manually place various elements. I asked the artist to create a variety of plant life and rocks and so forth, in order to reduce the number of overall backgrounds, as well as to help me. If I am able to place trees in the foreground, for example, I don't have to worry about the character sprite showing on top of the tree.

With the permutations I've asked for, the planned delivery is on the 24th. I'll be very excited to receive those. This thing is really shaping up.

#205 5 months ago

All talking modes are done, some animations turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected, so I've procrastinated a bit on those (I have some basic ones in place for now). Spent way too long fooling with the Goon animation on the first screen, and recorded (and re-rerecorded) dialog for the remaining few characters until I have a chance to contract with some voice actors.

Now I haven't split the dialog apart to add to Unity, but I am going to start working on Use modes for tonight.

There are a few shot indicators that I think I'll be able to add to the Use prefab... I like the way Unity helps you speed up repeated tasks.

#206 5 months ago

This looks awesome. Any time frame on completion?

#207 5 months ago
Quoted from Lawnboy:

Any time frame on completion?

Thank you! I am working as fast as possible, quite honestly every extra second I have. As far as the programming, hopefully pretty soon!

I'm hoping to have it done before the fall. We'll see if I can do it.

#208 5 months ago

While writing one of the billion Use interactions, I had an idea for the next game I want to make... one that is less insanely complex... at least on the software/testing side.

I am taking mental notes now.

#209 5 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

While writing one of the billion Use interactions, I had an idea for the next game I want to make... one that is less insanely complex... at least on the software/testing side.
I am taking mental notes now.

LOL I have mental notes on at least 3 games, not P3 since I don't have one, but they never stop!

#211 5 months ago
Quoted from BorgDog:

LOL I have mental notes on at least 3 games, not P3 since I don't have one, but they never stop!

Right there with ya! Problem is.. homebrew games seem to take years to complete. That’s one great thing about the P3 platform.. if you write a game using an existing module You start out WAY ahead. Still a ton of work, but only 1 ton instead of 3 tons

#212 5 months ago
Quoted from Mbecker:

That’s one great thing about the P3 platform.. if you write a game using an existing module You start out WAY ahead. Still a ton of work, but only 1 ton instead of 3 tons

Also true. My typical completion time for a homebrew is about 3 years. For this one, it's gonna be 6ish months? It's insane how much the P3 puts you ahead.

I am still working on Use modes. Holy wow, there's a lot of coding work to be done there. I finished two scenes over a 12 hour period yesterday... 2. Haha!

I am working on the Kobold's cave use modes right now, and I've been thinking of a way to handle the use of Magic Points in the game. Up to this point, I haven't had a way to handle that, as there are only a few use spots I had written that used magic... but now I am writing a huge number of magic Use modes. I wrote a generic method that will work like the Health Points - checking the existing, reducing the amount of the spell if possible, or returning a failure.

The problem will come with interpreting the data. I am doing this on a low-level mode which is constantly running. In order to communicate, I have written a mode-to-mode call to send the reduction amount. The method posts its own mode-to-mode calls to report success or failure, but I am not sure yet how I will generically handle that. I might have to split the actual Use mode into two separate methods instead of handling in a conditional based on skill points, as I do now.

My crude map has helped me to determine which scene to work on next. I basically start in the village, and move East, handling each screen north and south, then moving East, doing the same, then moving North of the village, then West. It takes a while to do this, but it's a very easy way to keep track of what has already been done, and what is left to do.

#213 5 months ago

Still working away - hit one scene that was missing a few callouts in each mode... well, that's taken care of now. At the moment I am working on the 'seed cliffs' where plants are constantly flinging a seed into the air. You can use a variety of items and spells, not all of which have the intended effect...

#214 5 months ago

Still working on use modes for probably the next 1.5 weeks (unless I hit a productivity burst here soon). In the mean-time, here's the redrawn screen at the start of the game!

Main menu (resized).jpg

#215 5 months ago

Looks great!!

#216 5 months ago

Worked super hard tonight - I have just five screens worth of Use interactions left to write (I completed five tonight).

Goals for the weekend:
1) Finish Use modes (seems achievable!)
2) Integrate new artwork (I have a couple of new scene backgrounds)
3) Split/mastering placeholder audio for the last few character voices
4) Add points for each positive action. I was doing this as I went, but found it too hard to keep track of the dozens of variables I have to save to the profiles before working out how each scene would function. In some instances, I am saving a var once a speech is complete, which essentially starts you on a quest.
5) Work on adding custom lighting queues for each interaction mode.
6) Add stable mucking mode
7) Start work on combat. I have a general event that can start combat... and the data you pass across is the type of monster you're fighting.
8 ) Add multiball to one scene...
9) Add dagger throwing minigame
10) Review and add sound effects where needed.
11) Add images to mini-monitor on Lexy playfield.
12) Retire.

...13) Clean up some profile interactions. I have deletion working well, but creation of new is a little funky (as you might have noticed if you've watched some videos of the game).

Of course, once those 11 things above are complete, I will have to integrate new artwork as it arrives, but otherwise, the game should be complete. Very complete. Maybe another 2 weekends?

#217 5 months ago

Everything else sounded great. Can we change this one to "Take a nice and well deserved rest"?

- Gerry
https://www.multimorphic.com

#218 5 months ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

Everything else sounded great. Can we change this one to "Take a nice and well deserved rest"?
- Gerry

Yeah, you can wait until Monday to hire him on.

#219 5 months ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

Take a nice and well deserved rest

Ooh, I like the sound of that. Don't worry, you haven't heard the last of me!

Quoted from LateCenturyMods:

Yeah, you can wait until Monday to hire him on.

...but not in that regard.

On a side note: is anyone here familiar with medieval literature and specifically marginalia? I find quite a lot of it really surprisingly funny, and in the original QFG, there are some little marginal illustrations during the credits sequences and on the character sheet screen.

It's not truly marginalia, but it's done in sort of that style...

Here's an example: https://images.app.goo.gl/4uJP6ioNacWR5CNM8

...and a short article asking, simply, why a knight would fight a snail: https://io9.gizmodo.com/why-do-knights-fight-snails-in-illuminated-manuscripts-1414832198

There's a whole universe of weird, funny, disturbing marginalia out there. And these are just from the books that survived!

Another link to one of my favorite medieval sites with small snippets of marginalia and scholarly explanations for some of them - hasn't been updated since 2012, unfortunately. http://www.gotmedieval.com/category/mmm-marginalia-2

Anyway, I was speaking with the background artist this morning, and asked if she could include a marginalia-inspired illustration on the character sheet. I gave her some samples in particular that I find compelling (not funny, but interesting looking). Can't wait to see what she comes up with.

#220 5 months ago

1) Finish Use modes (seems achievable!) - DONE

Now you can run through an entire game front to back and all the interactions perform as expected. At least... I think so? Testing will be fun.

2) Integrate new artwork (I have a couple of new scene backgrounds) - DONE

So the backgrounds that were delivered were for the start of the game, specifically. Now the character sheet on the backbox and the class selection screen as well as the attract selection screen have been updated. The class selection screen will dynamically change the statue shown into an action pose as you move between the different classes. The backbox character sheet now shows the correct class type statue. While updating all the stats to move to the appropriate spots took a while, the result looks spectacular.

3) Split/mastering placeholder audio for the last few character voices - DONE

Every bit of dialog can now be activated properly and played back. Hooray!

4) Add points for each positive action. I was doing this as I went, but found it too hard to keep track of the dozens of variables I have to save to the profiles before working out how each scene would function. In some instances, I am saving a var once a speech is complete, which essentially starts you on a quest. - DONE

Now points can be acquired for every single action that should award points in the game except for the class specific actions which have not yet been programmed (combat for fighter, mage's maze for Magic User, and Dag-nab-it for the thief).

5) Work on adding custom lighting queues for each interaction mode. - DONE

Now switching between interaction modes will change the lighting in the game to match, to help you visually distinguish the modes.

6) Add stable mucking mode - well, I created the scene...

7) Start work on combat. I have a general event that can start combat... and the data you pass across is the type of monster you're fighting. -- scene is created

8 ) Add multiball to one scene... - not yet!

9) Add dagger throwing minigame - added scene, but not logic

10) Review and add sound effects where needed. -- this will take a while, a bit of polish. I also need to work on getting the existing tracks that I am not reorchestrating re-recorded.

11) Add images to mini-monitor on Lexy playfield. <-- this is next!

...13) Clean up some profile interactions. I have deletion working well, but creation of new is a little funky (as you might have noticed if you've watched some videos of the game).

This last will happen when I feel that the other stuff is in great shape. Not there yet, but certainly closer.

#221 5 months ago

I spent my lunch break adding the images for the mini-monitor on the Lexy playfield.

Next up is the stable-cleaning minigame!

I also received one more sprite animation package - this time for a rough character who sits outside of the main entrance tossing a dagger to themselves... I'll work on getting him added shortly as well.

#222 5 months ago

I'm a dummy and prematurely declared I was done with the mini-monitor. I wrote the underlying code and the event handlers, but had to populate the handlers for every character. I spent a small bit of time last night doing so and it is -now- done.

Today I will be writing the stable cleaning game. I have a full scene created, but that's overkill. I'll just create a high priority mode that runs for x seconds... the upshot of this game is that you will earn a certain amount of money based on the number of successful shots you make in the timed mode.

Speaking of money... one thing that's been bugging me is that I have no representation anywhere of -how much- money you have. Money is split in the standard fantasy trope way of 100 silvers = 1 gold. Certain actions award money, and other actions remove money. Both types of actions are programmed in, but it's a bit of a guessing game to determine what is what. In speaking with my friend Don last night, he suggested that I have a representation somewhere on the playfield or backglass. I think I've settled on adding it to the character sheet (instant info). I'll fool around with that and see what I can do. There should be space.

I also sent the next two sprites to the animator.

#223 5 months ago

I spent my lunch working on the gold and silver display. I had to write some custom characters in the font, and extend the underlying character sheet to display them. Works great (though I did put event handler "pushers" on each spot where gold is used or added, that wasn't necessary. It dynamically pulls it -once- when you look at the character sheet... doesn't hurt anything, but it's unnecessary overhead so I'll go in and remove it eventually. D'oh.)

That took up the majority of my time, but I started writing a general handler for timed modes. In thinking about it, I really will only have this one timed mode... I guess I don't need a general handler... sigh. Haha! I'll rip that stuff out and then write the actual mode. It's going to run at +60 over standard priority, which will prevent changing icons (so underlying scene modes will not fire). I'll need to add methods to the underlying scene to clear out the lanes. During the mini-mode, I am going to prevent death and see how I like it. A really good player should be able to acquire 20 s(ilver), but most players like me will get just a handful. The real gain in this mode is increasing your vitality and thus your hit points.

I initially planned to have it transition scenes when the mini-mode starts, but that's a lot of overhead for not a lot of gameplay meat. I think just adding a mode is more than sufficient. I also read up on pop-up text, and I might go ahead and add some during this mode since it's super easy to do so.

Obviously I've hit another little bit of trial and error, but once I have this one down, I'll be working on the remaining mini-games (which are not timed).

Similarly, though, most of them (aside from combat) will not allow death. I'm still thinking of rules for the Mage's Maze, but I think popping up the walls and scoops, dropping a specific scoop, then lighting them up in colors based on the buttons you press (cycling through like the interaction modes) will be a good way to handle it. In fact, I think that's the thing to do.

For the dagger throwing minigame, I would like to retain the gambling component (you tell the chief thief how much you want to wager, then start the competition). Similar to hitting the bullseye targets on Lexy's mode, I might require that you hit those two center targets simultaneously. Anything else fires it to the left or right...

And I've talked briefly about combat before. That one I'm still puzzling through the enemy AI component. When/how often should they strike - how to handle parrying, etc. Getting there. Just need some more solidifying of the jello of my brain.

Regarding the multiball, I am going to have specific rules that are unusual and challenging, and hopefully not extremely punishing. I'll have to try it in the real game to verify. This, likely, will be the only 'main game' multiball in QFG, and as such, I need to do a lot of reading to ensure I understand how to implement.
I can launch a buncha balls, but assume I need to do a little more than that.

#224 5 months ago

Not sure if you have any modes or mini-games that would support this idea, but there's always been a type of mode I've thought would be cool since the introduction of color-changing LEDs. This would look coolest with something like CCR's playfield ramp LEDs, but could certainly work with the scoops (or any other lighted shots).

Anyway, I've always thought of it like a combination, where you need to get a pre-determined set of colors -- say left = blue, middle = red, right = green. All shots start as the same color, and each time you hit a shot, it cycles through a color set: red, green, blue, red, green, blue. The object would be to get all shots to match the combination. So, you need to hit each shot a certain number of times, and if you hit one too many, you'd have to cycle back through again. There could be a scalable difficulty by adding a 4th or 5th shot and/or a 4th or 5th color.

This would thematically fit with picking a lock, but could also be configuring / assembling something, mixing potions to a recipe, whatever.

Actually, a potential derivative of this would be recreating the old Mastermind board game where you need to guess a hidden combination of colors. In this case, you'd hit shots to select colors and then submit them as a guess at the combination. You'd then need to deductively figure out the combination based on your correct / incorrect guesses. Maybe something like this could weave into the riddles?

Anyway, not sure if this would fit with anything you're doing, but I thought it's a decent enough place to throw the idea out into the ether for potential future use by someone. I think it would be a fun mode.

#225 5 months ago

That does sound fun - what I am proposing requires a bit more player interaction for the Mage's Maze, but perhaps that is something that could go in game #2? Time will tell!

#226 5 months ago

Finished up the stable cleaning mode (need a few sprites and some animations, but the mode and scoring works properly). I ended up popping up some instructional text, and a note that you have 30s.

Each ramp hit (alternating) awards 1 silver (and informs you on the game screen, briefly) and at the end of 30s, the day/night cycle moves forward 1/4 day automatically. (Though perhaps I should move it further).

I pop this information up through pop up scores, which are a feature of the SDK. Thanks to help from Multimorphic, I've modified mine to a fairly custom state, but the ability to quickly pop up and automatically 'disappear' information on the screen is very useful.

I remove the stable cleaning mode and readd the stable mode to the stack, and you're good to go (hopefully with some more loot and some more muscles)!

Oh, I also received the player character idle animations, and it certainly looks better once the player reaches the end of their walking animation. A reminder to myself: import the spritesheets only, don't bother with the individual sprites as the size requires manual adjusting for each one.

Next up is going to be the multiball, I think. I am pretty sure I want to have that done before the next physical test. Heck, I want everything done, if possible - I'm close enough.

A reminder of what's left on my master list:
1) Add multiball mode
2) Add dagger throwing minigame (dag-nab-it)
3) Add mage's maze
4) Add combat mode
5) Polish the profile interactions
6) Review/add whatever music is missing. Originals for now.
7) Add whatever artwork when it arrives

#227 5 months ago

Multiball mode: written! This is a bit of an unusual multiball, because it is a guaranteed multiball - 5 (as written, but I might make it 6) balls, 30 seconds. Once the timer is up, you can drain all of your balls save 1, at which point you'll return to the scene from which the MB was triggered. Depending on the type of multiball (there are two), you will either immediately die upon returning, or continue on to continue the game... once you drain all save one balls. This may or may not be fun, so I may have to rework it to make it more so once I try it in the physical machine.

I'm working on the dagger throwing minigame now. This is a bit different because the game requires that you choose an amount to gamble when you start. In order to avoid some funny business, I may allow a 0 silver wager (need to review how I structured the start of the scene/mode). Pick the amount to wager with left and right flippers, then press launch to begin. You are attempting to hit dead center between the two alien targets (right under the center of the mini-monitor). Once you hit that, or not, the game will throw the dagger. If you smack those targets properly, you'll score a bullseye. Otherwise, you'll score off by whatever amount (based on the target you hit).

When you hit something... your flippers will die and the game will throw your dagger, then randomly throw the dagger for your opponent. He's got a good arm, though, so you'll need to be on your toes to win.

Your throwing skill will determine the 'fudge factor' on awarding the bullseye target. Higher the better.

There may be more than the silver as an award if you win...

This is obviously going to take me a moment to orchestrate. I'll let you know when it's done! And yes, I'm procrastinating working on the combat mode!

#228 5 months ago

Dagger Throwing Minigame Rules (Dag-Nab-It):

When the mode starts (through conversation with the Chief Thief), your viewpoint changes to a position in front of the dartboard.

When your viewpoint changes, the flippers and bumpers go dead. A box appears prompting you to choose a wager. You input the amount with the left and right flipper buttons, then select with launch.

Launching has a side effect of launching the ball.

When your ball hits any target, the flippers go dead, and the ball drains. At that point, the Chief gets a turn.

I am in the process of building a method to allow the Chief to 'flip' the ball when it comes down the ramp. Due to small variances in speed, he likely won't always hit the bullseye, but will frequently. I can build in small delays or use other tricks to slow him down if he's too good...

Regardless, both you and the Chief will take turns throwing daggers. After three turns, the game is over and your points will be tallied.

As you throw, you are increasing your throwing skill. If your aim is true and you have a decent throwing skill, your dagger will always reach the intended target. If not... well, hopefully you didn't wager too much!

I did build it so that you can wager 0 silver and just practice throwing if you choose. This is a far more economical way to practice than picking up rocks and throwing them at the archery range.

When the last ball drains in the mode, the scene will transition back to the Thieve's Guild and you'll be ready to launch and continue play.

I have all of the switch handlers written and about 1/2 of the GUI stuff made. I have to knit together sound effects or placeholders and move around the rough dagger images I have.

I plan to have this done by about mid-afternoon tomorrow.

Then it's on to the Mage's Maze, which will use the Walls and Scoops feature of the P3!

#229 5 months ago

I had an emergency call at work that required a large portion of my day, but just finished with that, and I'm happy to report that I finished the Dag-Nab-It mode last night!

Today I started work on The Mage's Maze. This mode will have its own set of icons (spells) that you will switch through. You play a magical flame and are trying to guide it through several different walls/bridges/doors/etc. using a set of six spells.

You will be actively playing against the wizard, Erasmus. I do not yet have his portion programmed, and I don't have the player's portion fully programmed, but it will use the walls and scoops.

All pop up at the start of the mode, and each are color-coded to match a spell. Paging through the spells will drop a wall in front of a scoop, and hitting that scoop will cast the spell.

If you finish the maze first, you win a new spell! Pretty great reward, but should be pretty tough to do. Lots of shots.

#230 5 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

I had an emergency call at work that required a large portion of my day, but just finished with that, and I'm happy to report that I finished the Dag-Nab-It mode last night!
Today I started work on The Mage's Maze. This mode will have its own set of icons (spells) that you will switch through. You play a magical flame and are trying to guide it through several different walls/bridges/doors/etc. using a set of six spells.
You will be actively playing against the wizard, Erasmus. I do not yet have his portion programmed, and I don't have the player's portion fully programmed, but it will use the walls and scoops.
All pop up at the start of the mode, and each are color-coded to match a spell. Paging through the spells will drop a wall in front of a scoop, and hitting that scoop will cast the spell.
If you finish the maze first, you win a new spell! Pretty great reward, but should be pretty tough to do. Lots of shots.

Hmm...Interesting! Sounds like it's taking Lexy's Warehouse navigation to a whole new level. Very creative to use the scoops as a navigational tool through a labyrinth. How will you know which way you're supposed to go? Is there something that clues you to which paths to take?

#231 5 months ago

So in the original game, there are no clues. You are presented with an interface with some spells and because you are abstracted from the character you play (a character playing a game within a game), it is all about choosing the correct spell to advance.

I have streamlined things a bit - in the original you had to click a bridge to fetch it, but I wanted to keep the action fast. In mine it will pick a bridge and move it.

Sorta/kinda like Lexy warehouse (my favorite mode), but more under your control!

#232 5 months ago

I'm going a bit slower today than I would like, but I'm on track to finish the Mage's Maze today. I have all of the moves for Erasmus written, and all of the graphical stuff done for the player except for moving the player character.

Initially, I am going to teleport the player from position to position because I don't have animations or sprites. I made some terrible placeholder sprites for now, and will need to revisit this whole section (as with any sprite/GUI area) when I get final animations.

I have the teleport method to write and the method that shows which spell you have selected.

So the six choices you will have:
1) Flame Dart (moves your avatar)
2) Fetch (Moves bridges/ladders)
3) Calm (shrinks your avatar if enlarged)
4) Open (Removes boulders in path)
5) Trigger (Enlarges your avatar)
6) Mana Potion (increases your mana).

Each player (Erasmus and the Hero) have 10 moves to make before the game is complete. Erasmus, at the moment, makes a move once every 10s. I am thinking of changing it to be randomized between 10-15s, but I want to see how long it takes me to complete (knowing the sequence) vs. Erasmus.

This last option reminds me that I need to write a handler for reducing your magic points. I was waiting until I started writing the combat mode then go through all the spell modes. Should be straightforward.

I also need to ensure that there are handlers to improve all skills. Right now the ones that do not increase are tied to combat, mostly. Your luck should increase with lockpicking, spellcasting, and etc., and I don't have luck increasing. Luck will play a huge role in combat (spotting opportunities for double damage).

I wish I had more time, but hopefully I'll be done in the next couple of days. More details on the combat to follow.

#233 5 months ago

I finished the Mage's Maze shortly after that last post and began work on the combat scene in Unity.

I had already built a placeholder scene and am now starting to customize it. The original game used awesome clay sculptures for (most of?) the combat models. I have exported those as placeholders for now, and pulled them into the scene.

I am going to build a 'combat handler' mode that can be imported in any scene. This mode will run the RNG and figure out if combat should be required, and if so, pause for a few seconds before starting the combat scene. This few seconds will allow the player character to exit the scene if they choose to do so (like in the original game).

The handler mode will be responsible for firing off the event to start the combat scene mode. The scene mode will be initialized with an event that passes the name of the creature you are fighting. The scene mode will be responsible for determining the attributes of the creature (strength, vitality, etc.).

At the end of the combat, an event will fire back to the combat handler which will handle the cleanup (through the low-level default mode), and restart the scene mode in which you previously found yourself. I've experimented with just dropping back to the scene mode, but found that certain things were not cleaned up well (by me). It's much cleaner to just restart the scene mode.

So that's how the behind-the-scenes stuff'll work. I just have to write it. Finishing up the graphical placeholders now and then will go into the design phase of the pinball component. This is the optional scene that you will see most frequently.

#234 5 months ago

Today I got a bit further with combat...

1) Added handlers and images for within the starting scene to show you the enemy that you're about to fight. Just static images, always coming from the left side for now. Undecided on how I want to handle wrt animation as it will be very expensive to animate the walking animations for 10 different monsters... we'll see how I feel as I get through spending more money.

Anyway, when the randomizer decides that it's time to make a monster appear, they now appear!

2) Add a prefab to contain the images and a couple of helper functions that will be used in each parent mode that can call randomized combat.

3) Tested the randomizer and found that during the day, especially, it was way too relaxed - it took about 20 attempts before I hit upon a monster. My memory is that the PC game is pretty relaxed like that as well - combat is not a constant thing, but I would like to increase the number of (potential) encounters in the pinball. So I bumped up my percentages. We'll see how that does later.

4) Added callout for starting combat. Might need to remaster it (I think I'm using raw audio from the voice actor for the narrator). Added handler for calling callout and trigger for the handler.

5) Watched the Combat scene completely bomb when triggering. I am doing through a timed call and I think I messed up the final parameter. I should have that fixed quickly. Tonight and tomorrow I may not be able to work on the game at all! Kills me a bit as my BG artist just returned all of the pieces and parts to make up all of the forest scenes. And she really outdid herself. There are so many objects in the PSD file that I may never use them all. I sent her the next four scene modes to draw - down to about 20 remaining! She is unable to start work on those four until May 5th, so I've got a little time to set up all those forest scenes. There are approx... 10-15? forest scenes in the game, so I'll have my work cut out for me. I am changing the nature of some of the scenes within the game just to maintain my budget for BG art.

So whenever I have time to work on the game (probably tomorrow at lunch), I will fix the combat scene startup. Then I need to write the combat scene handlers to enable monster stat generation and attacking. Then I need to write the handlers for the hero to attack. I could always do the monster later, but I think having that all worked out will be easy to review. The monster can wail on me and I can make sure that death works properly within combat, if that makes sense. This is by far the most complex sequence of events I've scripted in the game, and because you interact with it so frequently, I want to make sure it's right.

#235 5 months ago

This is getting exciting, can't wait to see more video when you are ready.

#236 5 months ago

I've only had a few minutes to scrape together over the last couple of days, but I did manage to make some sliders for the combat scene that will show you your health, magic points, and stamina at a glance, as well as the enemy's health.

I still need to wire those into the mode itself, but they are working as intended (sliding up and down properly).

Also still have to write the rules. This lack of free time is particularly crushing since I'm so close!

#237 5 months ago

Nice progress Nick. Have you been able to play it along the way? Don't forget that step! Its necessary and fuels your imagination and pays you back for your hard work!

Quoted from bingopodcast:

I've only had a few minutes to scrape together over the last couple of days, but I did manage to make some sliders for the combat scene that will show you your health, magic points, and stamina at a glance, as well as the enemy's health.
I still need to wire those into the mode itself, but they are working as intended (sliding up and down properly).
Also still have to write the rules. This lack of free time is particularly crushing since I'm so close!

#238 5 months ago

Thanks luvthatapex2 ! I have only loaded it up at certain milestones. I'm trying to get this last mode done before firing it up again. I test in the simulator for exceptions and other funkiness all the time, though.

#239 5 months ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Nice progress Nick. Have you been able to play it along the way? Don't forget that step! Its necessary and fuels your imagination and pays you back for your hard work!

I keep telling him this, about all his masterpieces. *sigh* Maybe he'll listen to someone else...he says naively.

#240 5 months ago

Combat is done! And it's challenging and cool!

I have a child mode that is called from any forest scene. It will randomly calculate if you will meet a monster on that screen... if so, then as the scene is created, you'll see a sprite appear. You have approx 5 s to move to another screen if you don't want to engage in combat. That might be a bit much, I'll have to see on the real machine.

The type of enemy is randomly chosen based on if during day or night. Nighttime enemies are harder.

When combat initializes, there are several random elements.

1) A timer is started to determine how frequently the enemy attacks. The stats for the monster are generated randomly based on the monster type. HP and strength.
2) A timer is started to determine how frequently a luck check happens. If your luck is above a randomly chosen threshold, then a scoop might pop up (more on that in a moment). Which scoop? Randomly chosen.
3) A timer is started in the background to determine how long a scoop will remain up.

The player's stats are pushed to some indicators on the playfield monitor - the apron display disappears. The lane icons also disappear (can't sleep during combat).

These indicators are Health, Stamina, and Magic Points. The monster also has an indicator for their Health. The max and current values are initialized at scene creation and go down appropriately... if your health goes all the way to 0 you die. If the monster's health goes to 0, you are returned to the previous scene with a random award based on the type of monster and where you discovered them.

Now... how to fight:

The main flipper buttons shoot the ball around. Most targets stab the creature. If you are a fighter - your base damage is multiplied by 1.25 as you are using a sword vs. a dagger. The amount of damage that you do is randomized, and compared against your luck stat to determine if you will hit at all. Side targets and ramps will do a slice, which does more damage (multiplier).

The luck scoop that appears will do 2x the damage of a standard stab if you hit the scoop while up.

The second set of buttons will dodge left and right. The monster's attacks do not land immediately - there's a small delay while an animation will play that will allow you to safely dodge without getting hurt. This threshold is really hard to gauge without the animations in place. I'll likely have to increase them when I get the animations in... at the moment you have about 1/2 s to make the decision. Probably a 2s threshold would work better.

The final set of buttons changes based on your character class.

Fighters: Parry. If you successfully parry an attack (based on the above). You will do an amount of damage to the monster based on your parry skill.

Magic Users: Left button casts Zap - this will make your next attack, if it lands, do 2x damage. Costs 2MP.
Right button casts Flame Dart - this will attack the monster for a randomized amount of damage based on your skill in magic. Costs 5MP.

**EDIT** - I forgot the Dazzle spell... When casting this, you use the launch button. It will temporarily blind your opponent (preventing their attack for a time).

Thief: Without parry or magic skill... you're left with... an inventory use. If you are holding rocks, you can throw one for an amount of damage based on your throwing skill. You only get one, however.

Each action, on the player's part, takes a bit of stamina. When you run out of stamina in combat, in the original game, you will die immediately. In the pinball, I fixed that bug. Instead, any additional action will take a bit of your Health.

You cannot lose combat by draining. At least in this initial version. I thought that might be too difficult, and since you'll be encountering this very very frequently for story and non-story reasons.

I'm excited to have this final piece of the puzzle complete and the game done(ish). I have lots of polish to do, and I'm certain I'll find some super cool bugs when I push it to the physical cabinet, but this is still a giant milestone.

#241 5 months ago

Wow! Amazing work! Hard to believe you got a pinball machine to do all that. I'll be interested to hear how it holds up in gameplay (too hard? too complicated? Is there such a thing?) Ha-ha!

#242 5 months ago

I have a small punch list that I'm running through, but so far, in the simulator, things are looking good.

I spent this lunch break double-checking that my base Scene Mode would auto-kill 'icon modes' (walk, talk, take, use, look) when paging between them. This performs a cleanup and prevents stacking of switch action where it doesn't make sense. I was, unfortunately, very spotty in killing those modes previously. I've cleaned all that up, and things should be much nicer now. If you saw in a previous stream/demo where the character was walking to a screen that they shouldn't have been able to access after death... that's why.

I'm currently working on an animation that appears only after a certain day in the game, and only at midday. All that is blocked out in how the speech callouts work, so the heavy lifting is done. I just have to make the animation and apply it to the scene, then disable it if not at the correct time of day. I got this one a while ago and animations are very tedious to me, so I've been procrastinating.

The character sheet background has also undergone a minor change (that'll be a quick swap), then the forest scenes need to be crafted. I am going to try to make them appear similarly to the ones in the game, but as I mentioned previously, I'll need to put my own spin on things.

#243 5 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

I just have to make the animation and apply it to the scene, then disable it if not at the correct time of day. I got this one a while ago and animations are very tedious to me, so I've been procrastinating.

Well, I've gotten better, that only took a few minutes. Working on a bug introduced in the auto-kill method I added. Simple fix, but added an optional parameter and need to ensure the parameter is passed where needed. About 85% through checking/adding.

I hope to work on the Forest backgrounds tonight/tomorrow!

#244 5 months ago

Great work, Nick. I continue to look forward to these updates every day! I'm particularly eager to see how fun the combat sequences are to play and how they're integrated into gameplay. Your descriptions are really good at making me feel like I'm reading about a Sierra game, so I expect gameplay to be spot on. No pressure!

- Gerry
https://www.multimorphic.com

#245 5 months ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

Your descriptions are really good at making me feel like I'm reading about a Sierra game, so I expect gameplay to be spot on. No pressure!

Wow, that's high praise. I hope they'll be half as fun. I tried to make the combat about choice and consequence, similar to the PC game. Also like the PC game, you have the ability to just swipe like a mad person and hope for the best. The sim shows that it should be fine, but when playing on the physical machine with the pressures of a goblin getting ready to wail on you? It may be too much!

#246 5 months ago

Added all the forest imagery - might need to revisit some of that to make it a bit nicer looking (placing those elements is tougher than I thought - I'm no artist!).

I also added the ability to start multiple rounds of combat in a row. This is used in exactly two places in the game. Tried, tested, works great.

Next up will be adding in the rest of the special combat (story combat stuff), including separate ways combat can be triggered.

Then I will be going through and ensuring music is triggering in each screen properly.

Finally, I noticed a character that requires bribes to talk to you - I forgot to add his 'Use' modes with gold. He is optional, which I guess is how I missed him. I like working from lists as you avoid this kinda thing, but I figured I didn't need them... I guess I was wrong!

#247 5 months ago

Having a ton of fun writing these scripted combat modes. For fighters and magic users, these encounters cannot be avoided. Thief characters have an ability, Stealth, which allows them to potentially sneak past the monsters, or to steal treasure.

This skill improves greatly for each monster passed or house successfully burgled. Increased stealth skill helps you in future situations like these.

I have added the ability for a thief to manually engage in combat as well in these situations, if desired, by using their dagger on the monster.

Adding this kind of flexibility requires a tremendous amount of state tracking, as you might expect. Thankfully, the P3 SDK makes this quite easy. I have a single state that I track for killing a unique monster... I can check if this key has been written into the state, the value of the key, save a new value into the key, or delete it entirely. This provides a tremendous amount of flexibility for me, and really makes this kind of complexity quite easy.

I have four more combat situations to write, but I'm almost there.

My entire todo list:
1) Scripted/automatic combat sequence start on scene load - only a few left

2) Add bribe interface - should be quick

3) Check / Add music (and decide what I would like to do about remaining original tunes). Would love to get a group of musicians together to play some of the songs. I threatened earlier to dust off some instruments of my own and record them, or I have made contact with a great musician that can play and record slightly different versions of the songs using emulated instruments. Not sure how I want to go yet.

4) Play through an entire game as each character class in simulator and correct any missing/bugged quests or puzzles.

5) Add "winner" mode/final mode. At the moment, when you complete the last quest, the game goes to the ending scene, but does not jump back to attract automatically. I wanted to do something special here, perhaps some victory lap multiball action? Haven't really thought what would be fun to do, while allowing you to bask in your glory... but I keep thinking about Medieval Madness... and I might want to shamelessly rip that off.

I think I'll work on this a bit more slowly over the next few days - need a little rest.

#248 5 months ago

Another two scripted combat sequences written, and it looks like I already wrote a third (must've been sleep-coding).

In one instance, I have expanded the ruleset of the modes surrounding the enemy. Should be good...

So that leaves... one more, that I may have already written as well!

I'll probably write that bribe mode tonight. Taking it slow is working...

#249 5 months ago

Ava and I played a bunch of QFG today. It plays pretty well! I ran through a couple of puzzle sequences on my character, and found some pretty great bugs. One is that in combat, I have a series of switch handlers that will launch a new ball if you hit them. Somehow, it decided to launch 3-4 balls automatically. As I feared, combat was a bit too easy. I am going to work on improving that (reducing the amount of damage that you do).

As a brand new player, I went and attempted one of the sequences that has multiple enemies at once. I was able to last through the first monster easily, but the second killed me by attrition. This is the correct behavior (though the first monster should have put up more of a fight).

I am going to figure out a couple of the bugs related to loading a game and maybe work on those profile improvements over the next week. I have a handle on some of the bugs I've seen. I had mentioned previously that modes were not being culled properly, and I implemented a fix for those. Unfortunately, while it definitely fixed the previous issue, there is a very, very similar issue that is happening for a different reason. I'm pretty sure I know what's up there, so I'll make sure that gets fixed shortly.

One thing I was particularly pleased with was the light show. Now the lamps will change to show you at a glance which icon type you have selected. It's super easy to know that at a glance now, and it REALLY helps. It's not fancy, but it is really nice.

I added music for each of the scenes in the game with unique audio, and those that I was able to visit seemed to work properly. I also remastered the callouts for the giant... you may have heard them in a previous video - way too loud with that much bass.

Next time I pop it in the cabinet, my goal will be to have the restore functionality working 100% on each screen, and hopefully correcting the scenes with auto-launch to ensure only a single ball is active at a time if that is what the mode should be doing.

#250 4 months ago

this is the first time i have been able to see what exactly goes through the brilliant mind of a game developer. Thanks for all the hard work and updates. as a new P3 owner (very soon!!!), I am EAGER to see the final product.

thanks for the amazing work, and the updated thread on your progress. the platform willl benefit from your hard work, and hopefully you will as well (financially speaking) !!!

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